Weldon Rutledge// Director of Camp Leelanau
In 1987 I stood in front of the Camp Leelanau for Boys sign with big plans in my head. I knew then that I would attend Camp for 20+ summers, run the trips and CT programs for the greater portion of the first decade of the new century, eschew stable work in order to always have my summers free well after college, and eventually be named the Director of Leelanau. All of this I remember thinking as I tore around the Northport site desperately seeking the restroom, because I feared if I wet myself on the first day of camp I would be too ashamed to follow through on my plans. Thank God for my counselor Bill Helms for showing me the bathhouse and setting me on my career path.
Maybe it didn’t go quite like that. But the camp nurse can tell you that from a very young age Green and Sand have been coursing through my veins.
As the summers progress, the priorities of Camp Leelanau remain the same: raise young men to love brotherhood, unselfishness, and integrity. Leelanau has been developing leadership skills, growing competence and creativity, and encouraging progress for over ninety years and I am honored to continue that blessed calling.
Pippi Rutledge// Director of Camp Kohahna
The year 2005 brought together a beautiful fall and my first time ever in Northern Michigan. I arrived here to work my first season at The Leelanau Outdoor Center, and needless to say I was immediately hooked. All I could think about was, “How can I figure out a way to live up here all year long?” Well, after working many seasons as a LOC staff member, eight years as a counselor at Kohahna, and five years as the LOC program coordinator, I’m still here and couldn’t be more thrilled to have the opportunity to continue serving camp as the Kohahna Director.
Despite being a “latecomer” to camp, I took to Kohahna immediately and recognized the value in what Kohahna brings to campers and counselors. I’ve grown a lot in the last eight summers and I’m so very grateful (and excited) to continue in my own personal growth, but to continue to give that opportunity to others as I support Camp’s grand mission to teach Christian Science youth.
Marianna Hronek// Office Manager
My first experience at Camp was in 2002 as a camper. I was in Sandpiper and even though I only spent one summer at Camp, I still keep in touch with Camp friends. Flash forward 12 years and I moved back to Northern Michigan and experienced my first Harvest, the women’s weekend at Camps Leelanau and Kohahna. Every year I can’t wait to get back to Harvest and experience Camp again with so many wonderful ladies. Whether it is spending the day on the ropes course and climbing wall, doing a night hike to Pyramid Point, evenings trying to finish every craft in the craft room, eating delicious food, or having a girl’s weekend with my mom.
I have spent time in Boston in the Finance Department at Longyear Museum, a museum for Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science and I spent the last five years working for HighTower Great Lakes.
I am honored to be serving as the Office Manager. I look forward to working with all of the families and getting to know everyone. I have had so many wonderful experiences from my few years at Camps Leelanau and Kohahna, and I look forward to witnessing many more examples of strength and grace as campers overcome obstacles and find new ways to grow. I am so grateful to be serving at Camp and to be a part of the Camp family!
Katie Duntley// Director of The Leelanau Outdoor Center
I knew that I wanted to work at the Leelanau Outdoor Center (LOC) ever since I first heard about it during the summer before my freshman year of college. “Playing outside with kids all day in the most beautiful place on earth? Yes, please!!” But, LOC is much more than having fun and being outside. It’s about learning what we’re capable of and growing into our true selves.
Outdoor education is immeasurably valuable for today’s youth. Kids who attend a LOC session are able to push themselves beyond their comfort zone, ultimately reaping the benefits of realizing their true potential. Whether they are learning about pond ecology, scaling the climbing tower, or running down the sand dunes, they are growing and learning about themselves in a loving and judgement-free environment. In short, LOC Rocks!
I have worked at LOC almost every season since graduating from Principia College in 2010. When I wasn’t here on Pyramid Point, I was either traveling abroad or coaching collegiate volleyball.
Tina Pirazzi// Development Director
As a parent of two Leelanau campers, and having fallen in love with Northern Michigan at first sight, the opportunity to serve as the Director of Development is a dream come true!
With experience in international business and the non-profit universe, it is a pleasure to be supporting Camps Leelanau, Kohahna, and the Leelanau Outdoor Center.
While my non-profit work has been focused on rebuilding lives for women in Africa, anti-poaching efforts of endangered species, wetland restoration, and classical music, all worthy causes, there is something uniquely special about Camp, bringing out the best in one’s self, giving all, and having all to give.
After dropping off our boys at camp, and returning home, I always wished that I could make Camp my home as well, wondering “Why am I leaving?” And now, I am delighted to call Camp my second home. It’s a privilege to be part of the Camp family, and I look forward to getting to know our broader camp families as well.
Erik Schupbach// Maintenance Manager
My first experience at Camps Leelanau and Kohahna was in 2011, dropping our 4 daughters off for their first summer camp experience together! Their ages were 11, 9, 8, and 5! The whole family was nervous about sending our youngest to camp for 3 weeks, giddy with excitement about it being with her sisters, but completely confident that this would be one of the most amazing, enlightening and powerful experiences they could have as sisters!! Although neither my wife nor I had attended Leelanau or Kohahna, we had come to know many of the staff well as church family. We had seen and felt their love, confidence, character and integrity and knew Kohahna would be the best fit for our family. After attending the Men’s Weekend in 2018 and experiencing the camaraderie of the Leelanau alums, I felt honored and blessed to be a part of the tradition that is camp and feel the same today as a part of the “Team”!!
My wife Heather and I grew up in Petoskey and love northern Michigan as a place to raise our family. I enjoy golf, mountain biking, climbing, hiking and all things outdoors. Having been extensively involved in the residential youth camp industry for almost 30 years, and a carpenter for just as many, and am excited to be a part of the physical care and upkeep of this amazingly beautiful facility!
Patrice Saad// Kitchen Manager
I fell in love with Northern Michigan when I first vacationed here with my husband about 30 years ago. Several Northern Michigan vacations later, my husband, son and I, following directions to Pyramid Point, drove past the horse barn, pastures and Great House lawn and made the connection that this was home to Camps Leelanau and Kohahna. A few years later we attended Family Camp to check it out as a summer camp option for our son, Colin. After a week of fun activities, good food, and enjoyable company we came to the conclusion that if Colin grew up to be like any of the young men we met during Family Camp, we would be pretty darn happy parents! Colin became a camper the following year. He received his 10-year blanket last year and is the CT and Trips counselor this year. Meanwhile, I yielded to the call of Camp, leaving behind the summer heat of St. Louis to work one summer as Cleaning Mom and another as Office Assistant. I attended Harvest Weekend for Women a few years later and being here in the fall made me dream of living here year round. That dream came true when I joined the kitchen staff in 2018.
I learned to bake helping my mom make Christmas cookies, a tradition I have continued with Colin. Being a vegetarian for most of my adult life, I love vegetables and love making delicious vegetarian dishes. Colin’s love of meat nudged me to expand my repertoire (slightly) but working at Camp has demanded me to master making more than beef fajitas and chicken Parmesan! While I am most comfortable baking I am enjoying the challenge of trying new recipes to provide a variety of items on our menu.
Camp is such a special place. Whether it’s Leelanau/Kohahna, LOC or Sports Camp, there is an energy and vibe that is tangible. I love that the skills and talents I have developed over the years working in education and the business world beautifully support what I’m doing in the kitchen. I’m excited to join the Leelanau-Kohahan-LOC family and be an integral part of supporting their mission.
Joe White// Assistant Kitchen Manager
In 1981 I had my first camp experience in Colorado. Two weeks of awesome activities, new friends and building leadership skills in the Rocky Mountains! The people I met and especially the counselors that guided us, were all CS! Cool, fun-loving people in that camp atmosphere of love, growth and selflessness.
So when a recruiter from that camp visited Principia College looking for people to become one of those unique individuals known as counselors, I wanted in! With no open spots at first, I prayed, knowing I was always in my right place. Pursuing a degree and working as a grill cook at Principia had worked out. I knew that nothing could stand in the way of a right opportunity. Another candidate had decided to go to a camp “Leelanau”, which opened a space for me in Colorado. I was a counselor there in 1988, 1989 and again for a reunion in 1990.
Years later, with a family of my own, during work as a tree trimmer, truck driver and commercial carpenter, it came time for my kids to go to camp. They spent a summer in Colorado which they enjoyed and grew from. The next summer, they attended another CS camp closer to home. One we had heard great things about. That June, 2007, we brought them to Leelanau/ Kohahna for the first of many summers.
During visiting days, I was again impressed with their staff and counselors. Such wonderful role models for our kids. My kids are grown now. They have benefited from summers and falls as counselors and staff members. Even their mother has benefited from opportunities to work at camp. My thoughts of working at camp were always present but felt prohibited by my work schedule. Recently, that schedule changed and led me to once again reach out in prayer for my right place.
This past November when I learned that there was an opening for full-time staff in the kitchen, I responded. It’s my turn! To work at a place, I love. To live in this beautiful part of Michigan. And to be surrounded by these cool, fun-loving people in that camp atmosphere of Love, Personal Growth and Joy, Trust, Integrity, Humility, Alertness, Excellence, Unconditional Love and selflessness.
Kayle DiCicco// Outreach and Alumni Manager
In 1991 I finally got my chance to attend camp after years of stories and drop-offs of my older siblings. From my first day, I knew this place was special and with every passing year, either at camp or elsewhere, my love and gratitude has only continued to grow.
I cherish hearing stories of the alumni who have had shared or different experiences – the lessons that have impacted their life, the relationships that remained constant even from afar. Camp has a way of connecting us even when we may have attended decades apart from one another. The brotherly and sisterly love expressed at Camps Leelanau and Kohahna remains a constant in how camp operates, and no matter how long or short of time you have spent attending the Camps, it is forever a part of you.
I am grateful for the opportunity to reconnect with and grow my Camp family in the capacity of Outreach & Alumni Manager. We are at such an exciting time with our Centennial Celebrations just around the corner!