Directors and Staff
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 7th 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 (age 10) and Tobin (age 8), 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.
Dave Irwin is the Assistant Director/Leadership Director at Camp Belknap. In this capacity, he is Acting Director when Seth and Steph are out of camp and he is the head of Belknap’s celebrated Leadership Program. During the summer, Dave works closely with the leadership to provide feedback and help them grow as Leaders.
He has completed his 27th year at Belknap. Dave was previously a Cadet Leader from 2000 through 2002 and served as the Middler Division Head for 2003 and 2004. He was then a member of the Program Staff from 2005 through 2013, acting as Program Director during 2005-2012.
In the “offseason”, Dave is the Director of Secondary School Counseling and Head of Upper SchoolThe Fenn School in Concord, MA. He received his B.A. in American Literature and Civilization from Middlebury College and he attended Harvard University to receive his Ed. M. in School Leadership.
Dave lives in Concord, MA with his wife, Mandy, and their daughters, Willa and Hayes.
Chris Thurber, known as “Thurbs”, is an Executive Advisor for Camp Belknap.
Chris has served Belknap for 38 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.
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 2019 was Geoff’s 18th 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 Maslands live at Belknap during the summer months, bringing spirit and energy to the Belknap family.
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. He also runs the Belknap Online Store during the holidays.
This is Kyle’s 27th 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 2013-2014.
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 (13), CJ (6), and Aiden (4).
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. She has completed her 5th 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.
Seri Bowley is the Camp Administrator of Belknap. She works in the office with our Directors and the Development team. 2019 was Seri’s 2nd 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, ages 11 and 9, 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.
Kate is the Communications Manager at Belknap. In this role Kate heads Belknap’s annual giving, publications, mailings, and digital media.
After graduating from Colby College in 2017, she put her Geology degree to work for a year Aries Engineering, Inc. where she was in Environmental Consulting. However, her passion for non-profit missions led her to work for Appalachian Mountain Club in NYC in 2018. She discovered how she enjoyed being in a communications role by working as the Program Coordinator with the AMC’s Youth Opportunities Program.
Kate was a camper at Camp Consiton in her youth, then in 2014, 2015, and 2016, she was on staff at Kingswood Camp for Boys in Piermont, NH. As their Trips Director, she designed, organized, and prepared hiking trips for the 20+ trip leaders and the 230+ campers. She also led many of the longer, more challenging overnight trips.
Nate is the Facilities Director at Camp Belknap. He is responsible for the upkeep and improvements of camp’s physical plant and property, which can be as simple as moving a rock or as complicated as making sure water keeps flowing through camp.
He spent seven summers under the pines as a camper, concluding in 2003. This is his 3rd year as Facilities Director. Combined with his camper years, he celebrated his Timi-Hi 10 Year Award this summer.
Nate received a BS in Oceanography from the University of New England.
Nate spent nearly 3 years in Saudi Arabia, at first building, then managing the operation and maintenance for an Oceanographic Research Center’s Aquatic Life Support System.
He resides in Tuftonboro, NH with his wife, Sunnie, his daughter, Serenity, and his son, Forrest.
Jaime Fahy is one of the Nurse Practitioners at Camp Belknap this summer. As a camp provider, she is responsible for the health and safety of the campers and staff of Belknap. This will be her fourth summer on staff.
Jaime is an experienced Family Nurse Practitioner and graduate of George Washington University with a Masters in Nursing. During the off-season, she practices in an adolescent and young adult health clinic in Washington, DC. She loves all things athletic and outdoors.
Jaime and her husband, Jason, live in Vienna, Virginia with their two Belknapper sons Quinlan (14) and Campbell (12).
Kathleen Hughes is one of Camp Belknap’s Nurse Practitioner’s for the 2020 Summer. It will be her 5th summer at Belknap.
Away from camp, Kathleen works a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in Lincoln, Rhode Island, caring for children from birth through college. She is a graduate of Yale University, the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, and the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions. Prior to becoming a nurse practitioner, she taught college and high school English for a decade and was a fiction writer and journalist.
Kathleen lives in Providence with her husband, Tim Groves, two children, Ruby (15) and Belknapper George (12).
Chef Wilfredo Morales joined the Belknap team in the Spring of 2018 and just completed his second summer as our Food Service Manager. Because of his infectious positive attitude, 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.
Nick Nowak is currently the Program Director at Camp Belknap.
He has completed his 18th summer at Camp. Nick 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, and served as Leader Corps Director from 2014 to 2017.
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 lives in Canaan, New Hampshire.
Adam is the Waterfront Director at Camp Belknap, overseeing the safety and enjoyment of all activities on the water.
Adam spent seven years under the pines as a camper starting in 1992 and another seven years in the leadership. He was a leader in the Middler and Senior Divisions and was the Besserer Division Head. Adam also spent time on the program staff and was an Assistant Waterfront Director in 2005.
Away from camp, Adam is the Athletic Trainer at Burke Mountain Academy. He works with alpine and nordic athletes, preventing, evaluating, and rehabilitating athletic injuries. Adam lives in East Burke, Vermont where he loves to be active and outside with his wife Alexandra, their daughter Mabel, and son Bo.
Joe LaLiberte is currently the Leader Corps Director at Camp Belknap, and will serve in the role for the first time in the 2020 summer.
He has completed his 15th summer at Camp, most recently serving as the Besserer Division Head. Joe was previously a Cabin Leader in Juniors from 2015 through 2018, serving as the Junior Division Head in the 2018 summer. 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 in his second year as a teacher, coach, and advisor at Delbarton School in Morristown, New Jersey. He teaches Middle School Math and Spanish, coaches Football and Track & Field, and runs the Ski Club, Board Game Club, and the Middle School Magazine.
Joe received his B.A. from Middlebury College in Vermont where he studied Sociology/Anthropology and minored in Spanish and Education Studies.
Joe currently lives in Morristown, New Jersey.