Meet the Staff
Alex “Pono” Charters
Aloha ! My name is Alex Charters or as I’m known at camp, Pono. I am a 4th year Computer Science major. I love playing soccer, snowboarding, and going hiking. My favorite things at camp are Color Wars because I’m really competitive and Adventure Squad because I love being outdoors in general. I love seeing how good of friends all the campers become, even though they are only there for a week. I’m counting down the days until this year’s camp!
Ashley “Smash” Parkhurst
Hello, everyone! My name is Ashley, but a select few get to know me as Smash. I am a fourth year studying Biomedical Engineering and I hope to pursue a career in counterintelligence or pathology. My favorite thing about camp would have to be the big group games that we play, especially during color wars. It’s so fun to try to talk strategy with all the kids and then end up just running around like a weirdo.
Hayden “Woodchuck” Goldberg
What’s up y’all! I’m Hayden Goldberg or, as I’m know by a select few, Woodchuck. I am a 2nd year Pre-Commerce student here at UVA. I love the outdoors, football, and of course hanging out with my Kesem fam. My favorite things at camp are Color Wars because I love seeing everyone get into it and have such a good time. I love seeing how much camp means to everyone, even though they are only there for a week. I can’t wait to spend my second year at camp this summer and see the Kesem Magic unfold again.
Ella “Wiz” Cleary
Hi! My name is Ella Cleary, or “Wiz” as the campers know me. My twin sister is Cheese, and together we’re Cheese Wiz! I am a 2nd year Global Development Studies and Arts Administration major. Some of my favorite things to do are swimming, singing, playing music, and traveling! My favorite parts about camp are the scavenger hunt and the talent show because I love getting competitive and seeing all of the impressive talents our campers have to offer! I feel so lucky to be a part of the Camp Kesem family, and I can’t wait to see everyone at camp!
Grace “Cheese” Cleary
Hellooo! My name is Grace Cleary, also known as Cheese. I am a 2nd year Pre-Comm student. In addition to Camp Kesem, I am also in an a cappella group called the Harmonious Hoos and a member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority. I LOVE to swim and to be active, so my favorite part about camp is swimming and playing games around the river. Camp is one of my favorite weeks of the year, and I can’t wait to go back!
Morgan “Suds” Clough
Hi guys! My name is Suds and I am a third year psychology major and women and gender studies minor. I am on the development team this year (aka fundraising)! Even though this past summer was my first summer at camp, it was by far the best week of my summer. My favorite part of camp is probably Messy Olympics because who doesn’t love having a flour caked in their hair?! Can’t wait to do it again next summer!
Operations and Programming Coordinators
Mary Kate “Meerkat” Helm
Hi my name is Meerkat, or Mary Kate Helm as it says on my birth certificate. I’m a 3rd year Commerce major and also minoring in History. I love playing sports, playing pranks, and singing and dancing around. My favorite part of camp is by far Messy Olympics since I’ve won the Counselor Sundae for two years in a row. I can’t wait until next year’s camp!
Ben “Juke” Turnbull
What’s up everyone! I’m Juke, a 3rd year systems engineering major and Camp Kesem enthusiast. In my free time I dabble in basketball, trail riding, and general exploring of any kind. My favorite thing from camp was messy olympics because how often do you get the chance to be made into a chocolate sundae and then return the favor? Last year was my first year at camp and it turned out to be one of the best weeks of my life so I can’t wait to make it happen again next year!
Reid “Red Bear” Morin
My name is Reid Morin, but I’m known as Red Beard at camp, because I grow a very red beard. I am a 3rd year Mathematics major. I love swimming, playing squash and tennis, and water skiing. I really liked bonkers this past year at camp because it was a really fun game I’d never played before and also any time we play competitive games because I’m incredibly competitive (but I tone it down for the kids). I can’t wait for camp this summer – it’s going to be another great week.
Margaret “Sunshine” Lowe
Hello! My name is Margaret Lowe or as I’m known at camp, Sunshine. I am a 3rd year Classics major concentrating in Ancient Greek, but I am also PreMed. I love biking, swimming, running, and going hiking. My favorite things at camp are when the UVA Marching Band visits, Messy Olympics, and swimming at the lake because I love to dance, am really competitive, and enjoy being outdoors in general. Camp Kesem is special to me because, even though it is only a week, the campers and counselors become a family. We support each other, laugh together, and have a ton of fun.
Lydia “Lyds” Pickrell
Hi friends. My name is Lydia Pickrell, also known as Lyds. I am a 3rd year Cognitive Science and Biology major with a concentration in Neuroscience. I love playing volleyball, baking, and going to the lake. I love all things Kesem, but my favorite thing at camp is the talent show, because I love getting to see all of our talented campers doing what they love to do! Plus the dance party afterwards is always a blast. I’m already excited for this year’s camp, and can’t wait until summer!
Bethany “Bumblebee” Bruno
Hey ya’ll! I’m Bethany, or Bumblebee (zzzzzzz), and I’m a third year majoring in biology with a minor in bioethics. Although that premed life unfortunately limits my free time, I still manage to watch unhealthy amounts of Greys Anatomy, play the harp, ski on weekends, and bake out the wazoo for my fam/friends. I absolutely LOVE everything about Camp Kesem, especially the pineapple hat song The kids are the BEST, and I love watching how much they grow through camp. Summer 2015 can’t come fast enough!!!
Danielle “Cookie” Campion
Hi, friends! I am Danielle Campion or “Cookie.” I am a second year studying speech pathology and psychology. A few of my favorite things are spending time with my friends, being outdoors, watching movies, and eating warm cookies. I love everything about Camp Kesem, but the bond that forms between the all of the campers and counselors is something that stands out to me. I am thankful to have become a part of this organization and can’t wait for camp this summer!!
PR & Marketing Coordinator
Lindsey “Llama” White
Hi guys! My name is Lindsey but I’m better known as Llama. I am a third year History and Foreign Affairs major. I am as some may call a “townie” because I grew up in Charlottesville and now attend school here! I love all things Charlottesville related, like apple picking at Carter’s Mountain, hiking Humpback, or jumping into Blue Hole! It’s impossible to choose my favorite thing about camp but I definitely thing singing songs and playing Mafia are some of the best! My time at camp last summer was hands- down my favorite week of the summer and I cannot wait for next summer to get here!
Allie “Sloth” Soroka
Hi! My name is Allie, but I go by “Sloth” at camp. I am a fourth year Psychology and Spanish major. I love to research about sloths, go on hikes, watch movies, and hang out with friends. There are too many amazing things about Camp Kesem to count, but one of my favorite activities during camp is singing camp songs. I am so excited to see all the campers this summer and can’t wait to meet our new campers as well!
Nikki “Nala” Turner
Hi! My name is Nikki Turner, or Nala as the campers know me. I’m a fourth year enrolled in a five-year program to earn my bachelor’s degree in psychology and my master’s degree in elementary and special education. Aside from all the campers and other counselors, a few of my favorite things about camp are the Kesem Effect Ceremony, Mafia, and Huggy Bear. This upcoming summer will be my fourth year at camp and I couldn’t be any more excited!