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 8th 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 is the Assistant Director at Camp Belknap.

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 Waterfront Director.

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.

Leadership Director

Dave Irwin is the Leadership Director at Camp Belknap. In this capacity, he is  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.

This is his 29th 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 School at The 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.

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.

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 2021 will be Geoff’s 20th 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.

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. He also runs the Belknap Online Store during the holidays.

This is Kyle’s 29th 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, CJ, and Aiden. CJ will be a first time camper this summer during 5th session.

Program Director

Nick Nowak is currently the Program Director at Camp Belknap.

This will be Nick’s 20th 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, 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 and his wife, Julie, live in Canaan, New Hampshire

Leader Corps Director

Joe LaLiberte is currently the Leader Corps 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.

Waterfront Director

Pete Marshall is the Waterfront Director at Belknap.

Bio coming soon.

Trips Director

Wes Becton is the Trips Director at Belknap.

Bio coming soon.

Medical Director

Kathleen Hughes is one of Camp Belknap’s Medical Director for the 2021 Summer. It will be her 6th 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 and Belknapper George.

Nurse Practitioner

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 Rhode Island with their two Belknapper sons Quinlan and Campbell.

Facilities Director

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 5th year as Facilities Director. Combined with his camper years, he has been at camp for more than 10 summers.

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.

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 7th 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.

Camp Administrator

Seri Bowley is the Camp Administrator of Belknap. She works in the office with our Directors and the Development team. This will be Seri’s 4th 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, 20 chickens, and Precious the Pig. She’s active in the community and is a Tuftonboro Girl Scout Leader. Seri enjoys to be outside tending to her large vegetable garden.

Food Service Manager

Chef Wilfredo Morales joined the Belknap team in the Spring of 2018 and this will be his 4th 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.

Live Camp Updates with the Directors

Register for a session below to learn more about the 2021 season. Get your questions answered.

Director Q&A:

  • Information Session for All Session 5 Parents/Guardians on Thursday, August 12 at 830PM - REGISTER

Pre-Arrival Requirements

The following link has mandatory pre-camp requirements. Additional details related to pre-camp symptom monitoring and pre-camp testing will continue to be posted on this page.

Updated Summer 2021 Brochure 5th Session (Updated 8/9/21)

Pre-Camp Requirements SESSION 5 ONLY for Vaccinated Campers (Updated 8/9/21)

Pre-Camp Requirements for Unvaccinated Campers (Updated 5/25/21)

Pre-Arrival SESSION 5 ONLY COVID Testing Requirements (updated 8/9/21)

For those that are attending Family Camp and Women’s retreat please see the communications tab for requirements pre-camp.  We request that all participants for these other events follow low risk COVID behaviors in the two weeks prior to arrival. 

Also please note Family Camp participants – all unvaccinated participants will need to have a PCR COVID test complete 3-5 days prior to arrival. 

Women’s retreat – all participants must be vaccinated for this program.  For both Family and Women’s camp documentation will be required.

Packing for Camp

Click here to view and download the most up-to-date list of items to pack for camp (Updated on February 24th, 2021).

If any changes to the list occur prior to the start of camp, a new list and updates will be posted here.

Please note the following:

  • No Laundry - To minimize handling of camper clothes and equipment, Belknap will NOT be offering laundry for sessions that are 1 or 2 weeks. We will provide laundry for 4-week campers.
  • Mask type requirements are outlined as of the current CDC guidance.
  • Water bottles with strap or carrying device are required. Water fountains will be closed to minimize transmission of COVID. Instead, campers will be asked to carry their water bottles to program periods. Water bottle fill stations are located throughout camp.
  • Medications – Belknap is using PackMyRx to help pre-pack medications for camp. Please click here for information and instructions. Please ensure you complete this process at least 30 days prior to your session. Late fees apply.
  • No care packages. Please send letters only.

Drop-Off and Pick-Up

Belknap is planning coordinated efforts to minimize exposure and risk on these high traffic days. 

In order to reduce the spread of COVID and safely enter and exit campers we have adjusted our drop off and pick-up process as outlined below.

Please note the following:

  • Reminder - Late arrivals will NOT be accepted on to campus because of the testing procedures and COVID protocols. Also please note if the camper needs to depart early from camp for a pre-planned event or unforeseen circumstance, they will be unable to return back to camp no matter what day it is within the session.
  • For 5th Session, all campers (vaccinated and unvaccinated) must bring a printed copy of their negative PCR test on change day.

  • If your camper has had a COVID vaccination, we also want you to bring a copy of the vaccination document (however, this does not exclude them from pre-arrival testing or arrival day testing).

  • The Camp Store will be closed on check-in days. The Camp Store is open online at campbelknap.org/shop

We require anyone outside of their car to wear a mask at all times.

We ask that everyone except for campers stay in their car during check-in and check-out time.

Bathroom facilities will only be available on Clark Field.

Due to onsite COVID testing on drop off day, drop off time will be staggered this summer.  Drop off will be between 10AM and 4PM with families being assigned a specific 1 hr arrival window.  Your time slot is designated by your hometown (not current location) and sometimes also by last name.  Please look for your session below to see your specific arrival times.  Pick up will be on Saturdays and will be between 9AM and 11AM for all five sessions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drop Off process will be the following:

            -Parents/Guardians will be directed to enter camp through camp’s eastern most entrance our laundry facility (just north of chase point rd. on Rt. 109).

            -This will allow us to guide all cars up onto Clark Field where cars will be parked, and campers will be checked in.   Check-in will consist of seeing proof of a negative PCR test within the last 5 days or vaccination card, reviewing any pertinent medical histories with our medical team and receiving division assignment.

            -From Clark Lodge, campers will walk across the field to our main office where they will receive a rapid PCR test. 

            -Campers will return to the car and once confirmation of a negative PCR provided by the test they will be released via car to the division.

            -Once cars arrive at the division, we ask that all parents remain in the car.  The cabin leader will help your son with his trunk. 

            -The cabin leader will provide time to speak to the parents while they are in the car.

Pick Up process

            -Pick Up process will consist of picking your camper up at his cabin and then returning to Clark Field to sign him out and settle up his camper spending.

Family Camp and Women's Retreat

             -Please see communications section and/or visit the events page for more details about arrival and orientation times.

Camp Life During COVID

 

Belknap’s mission remains unchanged.  And much of camp life will remain the same in 2021.  We will continue our Belknap traditions such as choice programming, vespers, woodcraft, candlelight and Adam’s cup.  To enhance safety and still preserve the core principles of Belknap life, we have implemented the following upgrades:

  • All Cabins have permanently installed screen doors and ventilation fans.
  • Our Dining Hall will receive a ~3,000ft2 addition of a tent to allow for more distancing between tables.
  • Replaced all water fountains with water bottle fill stations (don’t forget your water bottle this summer!)
  • Move all camp programming from our closer spaces like the chapel and woodcraft circle to messer field
  • Installed hand sanitizer stations throughout camp.
  • Installed additional hand washing stations throughout camp.
  • Installed a tents at the health center for outdoor triage and potential isolation of COVID positive campers.
  • Rented porta-potties for change days
  • Installed additional safety measures within our kitchen

Masks

Masks for campers and staff will be a part of Belknap’s plan for preventing introduction and spread of virus at Camp. Please note that campers and staff will be unmasked for sleeping, eating, showering, swimming and while participating in activities on the lake in small watercraft.  Campers/staff will be allowed to take masks off with their cabin group (their “Family” for the their time at camp) when that group is not interacting with others.  For information on choosing masks and number needed while at camp, please see CDC guidance and Belknap’s equipment list.  Please note, our masking policy may shift in a division (age group) based on percent of campers vaccinated. (Updated 5/12/21)

Family Camp and Women's Retreat

             -Please see communications section and/or visit the events page for more details about masking during these programs.

COVID Testing

Camp Belknap plans to use COVID testing as a part of our 2021 plan for entry and admittance to camp, diagnostic (symptoms) and ongoing monitoring.  The following outlines our requirements for pre-arrival COVID-19 Testing.

We have updated our requirements as of Aug 6, 2021.  Now all Session 5 campers (vaccinated and unvaccinated) attending Camp Belknap are required to have a Covid-19 PCR-based test conducted 3 to 5 days prior to camp arrival. The results must be complete and campers must arrive with a printed confirmation of a negative Covid-19 PCR-based test.

Reminder: once campers are swabbed for a PCR test, we ask that they interact only with their household family members and engage in low risk behaviors to prevent COVID exposure between the time of testing and arrival at camp.  For details, please refer to pre-camp expectations for VACCINATED or UNVACCINATED campers.

What is a PCR-based test?

A Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)-based test is conducted to determine if a person is infected with SARS-CoV-2.   More specifically, a PCR test looks for genetic material from the COVID virus itself.  By contrast, rapid testing is usually antigen testing, which looks for cellular evidence of the body’s response to the virus, but not the actual virus.  The PCR test is the most accurate and reliable test for COVID-19, the “gold standard.”

If you want more information on different types of testing, you can read this:

https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/coronavirus-disease-2019-testing-basics

Again, Belknap can only accept a PCR test, not an antigen test.  This is a state requirement for camp admission.

Where can I get tested? 

Look on your local state websites or contact your primary care providers.  This link might help: 

https://www.hhs.gov/coronavirus/community-based-testing-sites/index.html

Many drug stores such as CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, along with walk-in clinics, are now offering Covid-19 testing.  Just make sure, wherever you go, that it is a PCR test, not a rapid antigen test.

Can I do a rapid test?

Maybe.  Currently, most rapid testing is antigen testing, which the State of NH will not accept for camp admission.  There are some instances of rapid PCR testing, but it is less common.  Bottom line: rapid vs. slow does not matter; PCR vs. antigen does.  Again, we cannot accept an antigen test per the NH guidelines and regulations. If you have further questions, please let us know. 

How will the camp get the results?

You will hand carry a copy of the results with you to camp.  We need a hard copy, not a screen shot or photo of the result.  Your camper will not be able to remain at camp without documentation of a negative PCR test performed 3-5 days before camp, by order of the state of New Hampshire.  Additionally, you may be asked to upload this document to his CampDoc medical record.

What if my child has had COVID?  

If your child has had a Covid-19 infection within 90 days of camp arrival, your child does NOT have to be tested. However, you must upload documentation showing a positive Covid-19 test result to Camp Doc. We also require you to bring a hard copy of the result on arrival day. 

Will campers still be tested on arrival day even if they are vaccinated?  

Yes, all campers vaccinated and unvaccinated will also be tested upon arrival at camp.  If the test is positive, the camper will not be allowed to enter/attend that session.

What if I still have questions about testing?

Call camp or email the Camp Belknap COVID Team at teamc@campbelknap.org

Response to Positive Test

Belknap’s medical advisory group, has a detailed plan for the potential of a symptomatic individual and/or positive test at camp. This plan will include isolation, quarantine, contact tracing, and care of campers/staff.

Any camper who tests positive (vaccinated or unvaccinated) will be asked to leave camp.  All vaccinated campers in close contact with a positive case, as long as they remain symptom free, will be able to remain at camp.  All unvaccinated close contacts to a positive case will be required to leave camp and quarantine at home.

Visitors

Visitors are only permitted until June 6th.  Up until June 6th, please click below for detailed information on visiting camp. When camp is in session, for the safety of our campers and staff, visitors will be strictly limited to vendors and maintenance needs.  If there is an urgent reason to come onto the property between June 7th and August 29th please call camp.

Visit Information

Belknap Word of Honor

Please go to this link to review and agree to the Word of Honor. 

All parents, campers and staff are requested to accept this Word of Honor in an effort to support the safe operations of Camp Belknap.