Meet Your Counselors (In-Person Camp)
Updated: Jun 7, 2021
With summer camp less than seven weeks away, we're delighted to introduce you to some of our overnight camp counselors that will be shepherding you through Sidleterra this summer.
Say hello, heroes!
Brad is a budding chef with some serious nerd hobbies. He is currently taking finals and plans on a gap year before pursuing culinary school. He especially enjoys Asian-inspired food. “I really look forward to getting to pursue that line of work even if it's just making delectable sandwiches... or if I'm lucky, in a professional restaurant kitchen.”
Though Brad relaxes with video games, books, television, and go-karting, his nerd hobbies include 3D printing, playing Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, and other tabletop role-playing games. He’s also really into costume-making and foam-smithing: the craft of shaping plates of foam into costume armor or props.
“Ever since I got into camp I have enjoyed making [costumes] like Cloaks, Leather Dusters, Custom Masks. One I am [particularly] proud of would be the Druidic Sentinel I recently put together, between the limitations of a natural look to the high detail of some of the ‘wooden’ foam-smithed armor is rather impressive in my opinion.”
He has been a “continuous camper since [he] was 11 years old,” and has taken some improvisational acting classes. “I am most excited to be back in the saddle storytelling to kids and allowing them to take a break from reality to learn and play in a fantasy environment; I enjoy knowing I am providing the same means of enjoyment and fulfillment I had when I came as a camper to The Story School. Knowing the fact that I am going to be able to give that experience to the next generation makes me absolutely stoked to start! I am told I am dedicated to my work, friendly to talk to, and approachable.”
Korbin Johnson (they/them)
Korbin is an actor, musician, artist, and author, currently a theatre major at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island, with a minor in arts management. “My dream job is to work with theatres and performing artists to create sensory/autism-friendly theatrical performances and concerts. I'm interning with a neurodivergent theatre company in the fall helping them develop a certification program to help theatres become sensory-friendly.”
Their experience in theatre and acting will come in handy at camp. It’s their sixth year at camp and third year as a junior counselor. “I'm super excited to finally be in person again and see all my friends!"
"This place is like a second home to me at this point and I can't wait to be back.”
Korbin enjoys reading, writing, and attending and performing in plays. “I'm working on two plays right now. One is based on the book Ordinary Grace, about the coming of age of two boys through three deaths in their town. The other is a sci-fi musical about a trans boy who joins a guild that destroys glitches in reality.”
Music is another area of intense interest. They love listening to and playing calm, steady, major-chord new age piano music by Brian Crain, and listening to a cappella groups with perfect harmonies and great dancers. “I'm obsessed with the group Pentatonix and recently got into Citizen Queen as well. Once the world opens up, I want to travel and explore.”
Korbin draws constantly and is quite modest about their exceptional talent as an artist. “I've only been doing it for about 5 months and I've never taken lessons. I draw portraits."
Emory Spivock (she/her/hers)
Emory loves stories, acting, camp, and natural settings. She just graduated from college, with dual degrees in Psychology and Criminology.
She loves the great outdoors, having been a camp counselor and rock climbing director at a wilderness camp in Alaska. She enjoys exploring in the mountains, going to the beach, and recently learned to skateboard, which she does with friends.
“I have lots of nerdy hobbies! I play D&D with my friends where I'm usually the DM"
"I cosplay, which involves making a lot of costumes and practicing with some pretty cool SFX [special effects] makeup looks. I've also been making candles and researching different tales in mythology and folklore.”
Emory has a lifelong interest in stories and creativity. She participated in the tech side of theater in high school and was involved in some plays in college.
“Since I was a child I've always been creating stories and imaginary worlds. My creativity has since been used through life as both a way to relieve stress and as a tool to solve problems in both my professional and personal life.”
“I'm very excited to meet the campers and my fellow counselors. The camp program seems to be very engaging and exciting, and I'm glad to be a part of it. I'm very skilled at improvisation and I make sure to keep everyone feeling included, so I'll be utilizing both skills to ensure all the campers are involved and engaged within the world of the camp.”
Kira Connelly (she/her/hers)
Kira says she’s “OBSESSED with exploring the natural world! I spend a lot of time wandering the woods looking for animals, plants, and fungi, and I hope to do more scuba diving in coming years.”
Kira is currently doing a gap year between high school and college. “I've taken a biology course, volunteered at a rescue animal farm sanctuary, and taken other [miscellaneous] classes to expand my knowledge on some of my interests.” She just may have a very promising future in biology.
Surely, her expertise will be appreciated as heroes venture into the acres of woods at this summer’s camp venue, the Historic Publick House Inn in Sturbridge.
Kira has been involved in The Story School’s camps since the age of twelve when she attended one of our camps. For the last two years, she has been a monster camper. This year she will be a junior camp counselor. “I'm most excited to meet everyone and spend the summer with the amazing, creative people of The Story School’s community, and do whatever I can to assist in creating a fun experience and bring the heroes’ stories to life!”
Kira likes making costumes and props, cartooning, and playing Dungeons & Dragons. “I'm fascinated by the art of creating and portraying different characters. I am also a fan of snacks; eating mint chip ice cream is not an unlikely thing for me to be doing with my free time.”
What characteristic is essential to Kira’s personality? “Positivity!" she exclaims. "I’m happy and optimistic and confident to meet the challenge of any situation.”
Tricia Navigato is this year's Logistics Director. She’ll be the main person backstage making the adventures run smoothly. She has a degree in theater arts from California Polytechnic State University and has “starred in a few shows, but my passion has always been behind the scenes.”
She’s been a professional stage manager for the past eight years, working on Princess Cruises and with Spork in the Road Theater Company, a student-run group at Cal Poly, specializing in interactive theater, a special interest of hers. They create plays with multiple subplot lines that the audience votes on electronically during the show, directing the actors with hundreds of possible outcomes.
Although Tricia is new to Sidleterra, she’s clearly used to being on her toes with constant variations in the plot. She enjoyed going away to camp as a child and has been a camp counselor in the past. She’ll also fit in with The Story School’s outdoor and downtime activities since she likes inner tubing and wakeboarding at her vacation house near the Colorado River, solving puzzles, and playing strategic card games.
When she’s not doing any of that, “I can either be found hunting down clues and scavenging through the wilderness looking for geocaches, or beating a record in an escape room.”
“I am excited to become part of the world of Sidleterra. I hope my experience with interactive theater can help with this year’s adventures. I can’t wait for my team to deliver an exciting plot to the campers full of twists and turns.”
Ryan is a college student majoring in theatre and studying creative writing. He attended camp at The Story School for three summers, then was a monster camper and junior counselor for two summers, then afterward was a counselor for three summers. That makes this is his ninth summer at camp!
He likes playing Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering very often, as well as board games and video games. He also runs a role-playing club at his school.
“I'm excited about this summer because we're going to be at such an amazing location!”
Liz attended camp for two years as a teen, then was a monster camper for two years, and this is her second year as a regular counselor.
She’s currently a student at the University of Maryland, majoring in information science, “meaning that I work with databases and code to analyze data. I'm also hoping to minor in sociology so I can understand the larger context behind the data I work with.”
Her interdisciplinary interests led her to combine her keen interest in the natural world, especially animals, with other hobbies, such as gaming and photography. “I made a whole D&D campaign after researching bug taxonomy! The four subphylums of Arthropoda are personified into four major deities, leading to adventures with lots of legs. Myriapoda is my favorite. I also like hiking in the woods and taking pictures of all the cool things I find, like abandoned structures.”
Liz has a number of creative hobbies, including role-playing, writing, drawing, story-telling, and painting rocks. Listening to music “often gives me some story or character inspiration, so that usually leads into a creative pursuit of some kind.”
“I played music all throughout public school. The photo is…from my time in my high school marching band, which gave me some of the best years of my life. I played all sorts of percussion instruments for the indoor concerts, including keyboard instruments, drums, and various auxiliary. However, for marching band, I was solely on the marimba." A marimba is bigger than a xylophone and also has wooden tone bars or keys, but a rich, resonant sound.
“I'm excited to be back outside this summer! My love for story-telling and my talents at improv make me confident that I'll keep the plot exciting for the campers.”
Panda has been going to The Story School for about a decade and has found every experience delightful. “I love this community with all my heart, and I am more than ecstatic to be back in the saddle again.” Panda will be a junior counselor this summer, the perfect opportunity for adventure before starting college, an exciting new quest.
“I've been going by Panda for years now, and it's become ingrained as a part of my life. I wear Pandas on my clothes, have Pandas on my walls, every one of the things that I own has pandas on it.”
While Panda enjoys playing video games, acting is even more fun. “Whenever there is a theater opportunity to be had or an opportunity to act, I pounce on it with abandon. There is nothing I love more than putting myself in a theatrical role.”
Chuck Kelly (he/him/his)
Chuck Kelly is a teacher of 10 years, a former theater geek, and a big fan of the outdoors. "I currently teach 8th grade English, as well as run a book club, the Peer Leaders, Latin Club, Robotics Club, and Game Club at Knox Trail Middle School."
His interests include a love of "hiking, camping, role-playing games (D&D, Monster of the Week, Dread, Bulldogs, etc.), reading, writing, and I have started getting into photography." Outside of work, you might find Chuck with fresh soil beneath soles, which he proclaims is good for the soul, and so is often found on a trail. When not out hiking, you might find Chuck participating in podcasts and Twitch streams of tabletop and video games.
Chuck says that he "believes in that the best things in life are stories, nature, and cupcakes (and that order changes day to day)."
Are you still deciding if summer camp is the right choice for how to spend your summer this year? Contact us today and we can answer all of your questions, from how overnight camp's logistics and plots will run to what sessions are available for our virtual STEM day camp. We can't wait to see you, heroes. Until then, Huzzah!
Oh... you can also expect a MAJOR announcement coming very soon.