Directors and Staff

Directors

The Kassels, the sixth Directors in the history of Belknap, carry on the esteemed Belknap tradition of family headship. The Kassels have been the Directors of Belknap since 2013, having completed their 10th summer this year.

As Directors, the Kassels are honored to be an integral part of the Belknap community. Originally hailing from Amherst, Massachusetts, Seth began his Belknap career as a Middler in 1992. He was an Honor Camper and was awarded the Colin Brown Award as a member of the Leader Corps. He advanced through the Belknap leadership system, serving as Middler Division Head in 1999 and concluding as Program Director in 2005.

Prior to his start as Director, Seth held several entrepreneurial positions in the field of renewable energy, including serving as a co-founder and VP of a utility solar energy company.

Stephanie (“Steph”) currently is a Family Nurse Practitioner and Doctor of Nursing. As a specialist in the field of diabetes care and research, she has worked with some of the top diabetes centers in the country and has multiple publications including the New England Journal of Medicine. Steph attended overnight camp in her youth as well as professionally leading and directing wilderness trips. Steph first visited Camp Belknap in 1999 and shares Seth’s passion for its spirit, culture, programs, and natural beauty.

The Kassels met as undergraduates at Colorado College and both earned advanced degrees from the University of Colorado. They are avid hikers and campers and have led numerous youth-group back-country expeditions. Their two sons, Noah and Tobin, bring joy and energy to their home.

The Kassels reside at Belknap year round. They are active members of the Tuftonboro/Wolfeboro community where they both sit on boards of local non-profits and coach youth sports teams.

Assistant Director

Adam Perreault is the Assistant Director at Camp Belknap. His primary responsibilities lie in the management of enrollment and family/camper relations, shoulder season programming, risk management & safety.  

This will be Adam’s 21th year at Belknap, first attending as a cadet camper in 1992, Adam was a camper for 6 years before entering into the leadership where he spent time in Middlers and Seniors before finding a home in Besserers as the division head in 2003 and 2004. 

Before returning to Camp Belknap as Assistant Director, Adam worked as the Head Athletic Trainer for the US Men’s Alpine and Nordic Ski Teams through two Olympic cycles, and then he moved to Vermont to work at Burke Mountain Academy. 

Adam and his wife, Alexandra (who spends time in the health center during the summer as a Nurse Practitioner) live in Kirby, VT with their children, Mabel and Bo and two dogs, Tasman and Ruka.  They enjoy biking, hiking and skiing together. 

Leadership Director

Nick Nowak is currently the Leadership Director at Camp Belknap.

This will be Nick’s 22nd summer at camp. He was previously a Cabin Leader in Besserers and Seniors from 2009 through 2011. He served as Besserer Division Head in 2012, Senior Division Head in 2013, Leader Corps Director from 2014 to 2017, and served as Program Director from 2018 to 2021.

Outside of camp, Nick is a History Teacher at Cardigan Mountain School in Canaan, New Hampshire and serves as the Dean of Student Life. He was previously a member of the History Department at the Hyde School in Woodstock, Connecticut.

Nick received his B.A. from Colby College and completed his Masters in Educational Studies from UNH.

Nick and his wife, Julie, live in Canaan, New Hampshire

Leadership Director

After a 20-year hiatus, Kent Cruger will be returning to Belknap for his 17th summer in the role of Leadership Director.

Kent’s first year at Belknap was as a junior camper in 1977. After 5 years as a camper, he entered the leadership ranks first as a Junior Leader, then continued as a Junior Division Head and finally oversaw the Leader Corps for six years. He counts as one of his greatest life accomplishments serving as Woodcraft Chief during his last two years at Belknap.

Kent received his BA from Cornell University and his MA in Education from the University of Colorado, Boulder. It was at CU Boulder in 1993 where Kent met his wife, Kim, and they have been in Boulder ever since. Their son Jackson spent 13 summers at Belknap, his final as the Senior Division Head. Their daughter Chloe is also a Belknapper, having spent 2 summers providing childcare for the Perreault children. 

Recently retired after 30 years as a teacher and elementary school principal, Kent currently works at Eldora Ski Resort on the Mountain Safety team. 

While it’s difficult to imagine anyone more excited than Kent to be returning to Belknap, it might be possible that Kim is even more thrilled to finally be spending a summer at Belknap. And, their dog Gus might actually wind up having the best summer of all the Crugers.

Advancement Director

Geoff Masland is the Advancement Director at Camp Belknap. In this role, Geoff is the key liaison with the Belknap community to fulfill the vision of Belknap’s Strategic Plan of protecting, preserving, and strengthening camp for years to come.

Geoff returned to Belknap after a decade of work in sales, marketing, and growing companies. Most recently, Geoff was CEO and co-founder of Oxbow Brewing Company, which Geoff grew to a staff of 25 employed at multiple facilities throughout Maine. The businesses that Geoff helped launch continue to thrive.

Geoff received a BA from Colorado College.

The summer of 2023 will be Geoff’s 22nd at Belknap. Starting as a Cadet in 1990, he was a camper in every division before becoming a Leader, Middler Division Head, and Leader Corps Director in 2003 and 2004.

Geoff and his wife Dash reside in Yarmouth, Maine, with their sons Griffin and Lyle, future campers. The Masland’s live at Belknap during the summer months, bringing spirit and energy to the Belknap family.

Operations Manager

Kyle John is the Operations Manager at Camp Belknap. He takes care of everything from handling all procurement, IT, operating the camp store, keeping camp up to date with permits, and program duties.

This will be Kyle’s 31st summer at Belknap. He began as an eight-year-old camper in 1993, was a Cabin Leader in the Cadets and Middlers from 2004-2008, and served as the Junior Division Head in 2009. From 2010 through 2014, Kyle was part of the Program Staff and was Program Director for the 2013 and 2014 summers.

Kyle is currently pursuing a degree in Information Technologies at Southern New Hampshire University and is an Associate Visitor for the American Camping Association.

Kyle lives in Belmont, New Hampshire, with his wife, Tasha, and 3 kids: Kayleigh, CJ, and Aiden. CJ will be attending camp for the second time, while Aiden will finally get his chance to be a camper for the first time.

Registrar

Linda Gonya is the Registrar for Camp Belknap.  In this role, she manages and coordinates the main office, providing assistance to the Co-directors and family relations with registration and check in/out process. This is her 8th year at Belknap.

Linda is a qualified Medical Assistant/Health Administrator and holds an Associate of Science degree from Hesser College.

She is no stranger to camp life, having spent more than 10 years with The Boy Scouts of America as a Leader and Committee Chair where she held registrations, kept records of awards/achievements of scouts, planned outings, and coordinated fundraising.

Linda has a son who has been both a camper and leader for 11 years.

Linda is a mother of three sons and lives in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire.

Facilities Director

Matt Found is the Facilities Director at Camp Belknap, where he will maintain the 75 buildings and 300 acre grounds so that campers can enjoy a safe and fun experience.

Matt attended Belknap in the late 70’s as a Cadet camper.  His love for alpine ski racing at an early age side-tracked him from the camp life in favor of spending his summers in the Austrian alps skiing and training on a year-round glacier.  Matt competed internationally for many years and later for the University of New Hampshire on the NCAA carnival team.  He earned an undergraduate degree in Business, an MBA, and is currently plugging away at a degree in Architectural and Structural Engineering. 

Matt spent most of his working career in project management and technical roles in several manufacturing companies and worked on several key projects with the Hubble telescope and the Israeli National Defense Department and the Scottish Royal Navy.  Architecture, building and woodworking are passions that Matt pursues in his free time along with just about any outdoor sport you can think of.

Matt and his wife, Maria, live in Wolfeboro, NH with their yellow lab (Tuukka), son (Gunner), and daughter (Anya).  They live in continuous pursuit of adventure, regardless how wild and crazy!

Donation Manager

Seri Bowley is the Donation Manager of Belknap. She works in the office with our Directors and the Development team. This will be Seri’s 6th summer at camp.

A native of Chicago, Seri now enjoys the spirit of a small town life style. Before moving to New Hampshire, she sailed to various ports around the world as a Deck Officer aboard different types of cargo vessels. She is a graduate of the United States Merchant Marine Academy and is a retired Lieutenant in the US Navel Reserves.

Seri lives in Tuftonboro with her husband, their 2 children, Maddie and Everett, a black lab, and 20 chickens.  She’s active in the community and is a Tuftonboro Girl Scout Leader. Seri enjoys to be outside tending to her large vegetable garden.

Finance Manager

Sue Barron joins Camp Belknap in 2022 as Finance Manager. She has held various finance roles in the nonprofit industry – most recently with Dakin Humane Society in western Massachusetts for the last 11 years. She brings over 15 years experience in bookkeeping, account analysis and financial management to Camp Belknap. 

Camp holds a special place in heart since her son Dan spent 9 summers “under the pines” at Camp Belknap from 2005 – 2013 and her daughter Julia attended Camp Huckins from 2008 – 2015. 

As a prior lifelong Massachusetts native, Sue and her husband Howard relocated permanently to their “happy place” on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee in 2020. They share their home in Alton Bay with their chocolate lab, Bella, and love it when Dan & Julia are able to come spend time up at the lake. 

Aside from travel and boating, her favorite thing to do is relax on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee surrounded by her family (both two and four legged).

Communications Manager

Betsy joined the year-round Camp Belknap staff as the Communications Manager in July 2023. She spent eleven years working as the Program Director for Girls on the Run New Hampshire in Exeter and is thrilled to make the transition to a local non-profit focused on youth programming. Summer 2023 will be a return to camp life for Betsy – her last summer at camp was as a Middler at Camp Huckins.

Betsy and her husband, Rob, relocated to Wolfeboro in April ’23 after living in Amherst, NH for 24 years. They have three adult children – Johnny, Tommy (Belknap 2012-2017) and Maggie (Huckins 2011-2023) and one rambunctious yellow Lab puppy, Calvin, who loves to play with the other Belknap dogs. Betsy loves to be outside hiking, kayaking, or sitting by the lake with a good book. Her favorite early morning activity is a quick jaunt up Mount Major!

Food Service Manager

Chef Wilfredo Morales joined the Belknap team in the Spring of 2018 and this will be his 6th summer as our Food Service Manager. Because of his infectious positive attitude while leading by example, it did not take long for Wilfredo to fit right in at camp.

Wilfredo started his culinary career when he was 16, though his love and passion for food came from his grandmother “Josefina”, who taught him to respect food. After working in restaurants and the hospitality industry for over 10 years, he enrolled in the culinary program at The Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale, where he tutored under Master Chef Klaus Friedenreich. Wilfredo also worked with celebrity chef Jean Pierre.

Wilfredo is a talented and devoted chef and we are proud to have him on the team.

Program Director

Joe LaLiberte is currently the Program Director at Camp Belknap.

He has finished his 17th summer at Camp. Joe was previously a Cabin Leader in Juniors from 2015 through 2018, serving as the Junior Division Head in the 2018 summer, and Besserer Division Head in 2019 before moving into his current role. Further, Joe represented Belknap at the American Camp Association National Conference in 2018, and has written nationally-acclaimed work in the ACA Magazine.

Outside of camp, Joe is a teacher, coach, and advisor at Belmont Hill School in Belmont, Massachusetts. He teaches Middle School Math and Spanish, advises 8th grade, and coaches Football and Basketball.

Joe received his B.A. from Middlebury College in Vermont where he studied Sociology/Anthropology and minored in Spanish and Education Studies. He is pursuing his Masters in Education through the School Leadership Program at the University of Pennsylvania, and plans to graduate in July 2022. 

Joe currently lives in Boston, MA.

Leader Corps Director

Charlie Tantum is the Leaders Corp Director for Summer 2024. This will be Charlie’s 14th summer at Camp. He was previously a Junior Cabin Leader (2021), Cadet Assistant Division Head (2022), and the Cadet Division Head (2023). Charlie also served as the Sailing Program Head in 2022-2023. During the fall of 2020, Charlie worked at camp on conservation and belonging initiatives.  

Originally from Belvedere, CA, Charlie is currently a junior at Williams College, pursuing a degree in Computer Science. He is the captain of the Williams Ultimate Frisbee Team, and he also volunteers as a “Recess Buddy” at the local elementary school. In Charlie’s free time, he loves to ski, run, and hike! At Belknap, you will find him waterskiing, playing Rock Hockey or Bizou Ball! 

Waterfront Director

Dacha Thurber is the Waterfront Director and Middler Division Head for Summer 2024.  This will be Dacha’s 14th summer at Camp. He was previously a Cabin Leader (2021) in the Middler Division, Besserer Assistant Division Head (2022) and the Middler Division Head (2023-present). Dacha also served as the Sailing Program Head in 2022 and 2023.  

During the fall of 2020, Dacha worked at camp on conservation and belonging initiatives. No surprise – Dacha’s favorite ways to enjoy Belknap all involve the lake – sailing, taking in the sunrises and sunsets, and skiing on glassy water! 

Originally from Exeter, NH, Dacha is currently in his junior year at Harvard College, pursuing a degree in computer science and music. In addition, he is a violinist and conductor in ensembles throughout Boston and a violin coach at the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra. On the side, Dacha is a chocolate taster for Lindt & Sprüngli and he loves cooking and birding!

Health Center Manager

Kayla is the nurse manager for health services at Camp Belknap.  It will be her 2nd summer at Belknap.  In this role she oversees the management of Belknap’s health team of greater than 10 staff each summer and leads health center operations including supplies, policies, and training.

Kayla graduated from Pomona College undergraduate and returned for a nursing degree at the University of Colorado.  She has spent most of her nursing career in Hospice and is a skilled listener and communicator.  She has been a travel nurse, has filled almost all roles you can imagine, and is a fluent Spanish speaker.  She is now working in the hospital setting in Colorado when she is not at camp. 

Kayla lives in Salida, Colorado with her husband Phillip (who has been known to make the best Belknap desserts) and their two daughters Auretta and Leona who love being staff kids at Belknap. 

Executive Advisor

Chris Thurber, known as “Thurbs”, is an Executive Advisor for Camp Belknap.

Chris has served Belknap for almost 40 years! After three years as a camper (1980-1982), Chris returned as an LC, LIT, leader, and Middler Division Head (1989-1992). He served as Waterfront Director from 1989 to 2013.

Chris received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University (’91) and PhD in psychology from UCLA (’97). He is a psychologist and instructor at Phillips Exeter Academy.

Chris has written widely in the academic and popular press on issues related to youth development, homesickness, and leadership. In 2000, Chris co-authored (with Belknap alum and Belknap Board Member Dr. Jon Malinowski) the best-selling Summer Camp Handbook, a preparatory resource for new camper families. He also designed and hosted the American Camp Association’s homesickness prevention DVD, called The Secret Ingredients of Summer Camp Success.

Chris lives in Exeter, New Hampshire, with his wife Simonida, a chemist and musician, and his boys Dacha and Sava. Both sons were campers and are now in the Belknap Leadership.