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
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
Bethany “Bumblebee” Bruno
Danielle “Cookie” Campion
PR & Marketing Coordinator
Lindsey “Llama” White
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!