Camp Runoia leadership team

Meet the leaders of the 2016 ‘Magic Makers’ staff team .

Jennifer DresdowJD

Hello Camp Runoia 2016! I live in Fort Wayne, IN with my husband, Wes, and my daughter, Natalie, along with our dog, Ein, our cat, The Dude, a cast of hermit crabs, and one of our camp horses, Ditto. August to May, I work at an elementary school organizing all things related to Title I. I also coach an Interscholastic Equestrian Team and teach riding lessons. Natalie has grown into a competent rider and we stay busy all winter competing all over the Midwest.

Natalie and I will be returning to Runoia for our seventh summer this year. The community created each summer by the staff and campers, as well as the beautiful setting, keep us coming back each year. At Runoia, my primary role is Equestrian Director, maintaining our quality of our riding program. I am grateful to be able to share my passion for horses with our campers each summer. I also work with Alex in the program office with scheduling, tag up, transportation, and all the other fun bits and pieces that happen behind the scenes. Looking forward to seeing everyone at camp next month! On opening days, I hope you’ll come visit the horses at the barn and meet the riding team at the Runoia stables!


JeannieJeannie Fleming-Gifford,

Hello Runoia! I am traveling from Cleveland, OH to be part of the Runoia Magic Makers team this summer. I wrote a blog for Runoia about how this all came about! You can see read it here:

I am the Director of Education and Lead Director of a non-profit, arts education organization that engages 1400 students weekly in music, dance, theatre and visual arts. I have a BA in Music (French Horn) and MA in Child Development. I have a love of animals and have been involved in raising guide dog pups for over 10 years. Other passions of mine include running, yoga, creative writing and any other adventures that can be found outside. This summer I look forward to supporting the counselors in the Senior End of camp (cabins 5, 6,7) to be the best they can be at Runoia and to have a good time with your daughter. Additionally, I am the Director of Arts at Runoia supporting the team in all ten art activities including: pottery, crafts, basket weaving, wood burning, stained glass, batik, wood working, photography and theatre! Fortunately there are a lot of returning, seasoned staff who can help me learn the ropes and get up to speed on all things Runoia! I look forward to meeting you on opening days in Senior End!


Alex Jacksonphoto 4

It’s my 21st summer season at Camp Runoia.  There is no place else I would rather be working and raising my family.  I work year round hiring staff, developing program and managing many aspects of Camp Runoia.  With a dedicated eye to safety I love American Camp Association standards (keeping camp physically and emotionally safe for campers, staff and animals) and developing protocols and operating procedures.  Pam and I work year round together running camp and although I work at my home office I get to camp as often as I can. 04918 is my happy place!  In my spare time I can be found out and about in Maine, skiing, hiking and enjoying time with my kids.  I sing with a local women’s chorus and I am often found volunteering my time for local organizations.  At camp I am in charge of the schedules and day to day program operations.  When the opportunity arises you will find me teaching at the lake or on the ropes course or wrangling some chickens!

JaiJai Kells

I am one of the assistant directors at camp. This will be my 5th year working at camp, and my 16th summer at Runoia! During the off-season I am at home with my kids, Molly (7), Sawyer (4.5) and Frannie (4months). I can’t wait to get the whole gang up there in just about 5 weeks! During the summer I help support the oldest camper area called Senior Village. I also oversee the kitchen at Runoia. I’m looking forward to working with our new chef, Leighann Davis, who plans to keep the same menu (don’t worry Runoia foodies!) and only make it better! please email me with any food allergies or concerns.  My husband, Jesse, comes up on weekends and integrates himself into camp usually on the basket ball courts, at the waterfront and playing guitar around camp. Last summer Jesse and I received our Lifeguard Training certification so we can be more helpful on the waterfront. In my “free time” I enjoy trying new recipes, exploring vegetarian cooking and cooking for family and friends and doing cross-fit work outs and running, and reading about 4 pages before I fall asleep into my book at night. 😉 I can’t wait to see you soon!


Kelly SandmanKel

I moved to Maine from Ohio last spring. This will be my third summer at Runoia. This year I have the privilege of teaching stained glass and filling in wherever else I’m needed, as adaptability and facilitation are two of my super powers. I identify as a builder in many forms: woodworking, building construction, sewing, stained glass, etc. I enjoy adventures, sports, and activities of all kinds, including acting in local theater, yoga, cycling, volunteering at a woodworking school where I’m enrolled for a class this fall, and playing badminton (especially with Ted, he’s a ringer). I am ever in search of new adventures and experiences, and I look forward to being a part of everyone’s summer adventure and to you being a part of mine!


BarbBarb St Peter

My name is Barb and this will be my seventh summer at Runioa. The past few summers I have directed the Counselor in Training program and this summer I will be the Head of Junior End where the youngest campers live. My role is to help support counselors to do their job with confidence and enthusiasm! When I am not at camp I work full time in a grade 3-5 special education classroom at an elementary school in Old Town, Maine. I am also taking classes at Husson University to get my teaching certification. In the winter I work at Sugarloaf ski resort both in the fitness center and at The Bag and Kettle restaurant. When I have free time I like to downhill ski and spend time with my two nieces, one is almost four and one just 15 months.


Pam Cobb HeubergerPam photo current

I am delighted to be working with this amazing Runoia team of administrative staff at Runoia. Their dedication to camp is contagious throughout the staff. Alex and I direct camp year round and many of the administrative team volunteer their time in the off-season to meet, attend conferences and collaborate with us. Runoia couldn’t be the camp it is with all these people PLUS others who aren’t even listed in this intro. Over my 30 years at Runoia, I’ve found people to be at the center of success. Sure, we have great program, quality equipment, safe facilities and more, but the individuals that make up the team are who pushes us from good to great!

My role in the off-season is to connect with new and returning families, support our alumnae group, facilitate long range planning, work with Alex on managing camp business and I oversee all the off season departments of camp. In the summer, I am involved in the daily running of camp and see your daughters every day – many times a day. I love being there when they are smiling and achieving as well as when they need a hug or a chance to problem solve with someone.

I am thrilled to have my daughter, Jai, return for her fifth summer and especially thrilled that she brings my three granddaughters to camp! My husband, Mark, is instrumental in consulting about Camp Runoia’s site and facilities, waterfront programming, tending the fruit trees and gardens. He works as a consultant in the Enviromental and Safety industry and attempts to free up his summer for camp whenever possible. During camp Mark loves to see the girls grow over the time they are at camp. The past two summers he has supervised the waterfront at Runoia and prior to that the sailing and waterski programs. Mark has trained his replacements and will be checking with them periodically this summer to uphold his standards of quality and excellence! Together, we are thrilled to greet you on opening days and welcome you and your daughters to our 110th continuous summer of Camp Runoia!