Woolman Staff


Headshot Amy Cooke, Executive Director

Amy came to the Woolman campus with her husband Chamba and daughter Nora in 2000 as Head of School of John Woolman School. Fifteen months later, the four-year boarding program was suspended and the vision for The Woolman Semester was born. Amy continued in her role as Head of School until 2005, and she stayed on staff until 2006, when she and Chamba built a home next to the school. After a brief stint in the film industry, Amy and Chamba bought Summer Thyme’s Bakery & Deli in nearby Grass Valley. Serving food in the community and connecting with local farms became a second passion. As she returns to Woolman after a 10 year hiatus, she marvels as the full circle her life has taken. She is driven by the vision for a sustainably run educational center embodying meaningful learning embedded in a diverse community.   

Headshot Laura Carroll, Operations Manager

Laura was raised in Nevada County in a large family of outdoor enthusiasts. From a young age Laura harbored a sense of belonging among the tall trees and large granite slabs that cover the Sierra Nevada landscape. After high school Laura relocated to Humboldt County to pursue her education. Growing up in the Sierra Nevada and being surrounded by enthusiastic environmental stewards as a child brought Laura to a degree in Ecological Restoration and a deep understanding and appreciation for the natural systems upon which we rely. Laura has since returned home to pursue a vision of a sustainable future. Laura enjoys making art, staying active outdoors, cooking creatively with local, seasonal vegetables, and spending time with her dog Roxy. 

Camp Woolman

Headshot Keenan Lorenzato, Camp Director

Keenan is ecstatic for his first summer as Camp Woolman Director. A perennial face over the past 15 years he has contributed in many ways to the center's community. A veteran backpacker, Keenan served in two conservation corps restoring native habitat to parks and wilderness lands in Washington and California. In previous summers Keenan has worked at the Woolman camps as a counselor, operations manager, and TLC director. Keenan holds a BS in Biology from Guilford College with a minor in Quaker Studies. He is inspired by community formation, studying nature, and outdoor play.

Headshot Jessica (Jessie) Mitchell, Assistant Director

Jessie is a 2016 graduate of The State University of New York at Albany with a degree in Social Work and a minor in music. She has served as a mentor for high school freshman and was a facilitator for social change as part of a community service group called Alpha Phi Omega (APO). Additionally, she has substantial experience in coordinating special events as well as marketing and outreach. Among her many interests are hiking, backpacking, camping, photography, music, theater, and yoga. She holds certifications in Wilderness First Aid (WFA) and CPR. Jessie is eager to advance Woolman's commitment to providing transformative summer experiences to each of our campers in a positive and wholesome environment.

Headshot Kaitlin Estill, Support Staff

Kaitlin, or rather Cacti, as she is known at camp, is excited to be returning to Woolman for her third year! This summer she will have a different role at camp, as a member of Support Staff. Cacti was raised in Iowa and went to college in North Carolina, where she majored in Sociology at Guilford. Despite this, Cacti has found a home on the West (best) coast, where she lives in San Francisco working as an educator and activist. At camp, Cacti looks forward to facepainting, swimming in alpine lakes, and hanging out with campers!

Headshot Kessa Andrews, Support Staff

Kessa is so excited to come back to Camp Woolman this summer as a member of support staff! She has worked at camp for the past three years, and can’t wait to see what this summer brings. This winter she became a Wilderness First Responder and is ready to help take care of camper’s medical needs.
Kessa is from Oakland, California, and now goes to school at Carleton College in Minnesota. She loves painting, drawing, and all kinds of camp arts and crafts, especially: tie-dye, flower pressing, and collage making. She also loves to dance and be in nature. She is so excited to spend time with all the amazing campers, and help the summer run smoothly! She is most looking forward to backpacking, berry picking, and hilarious talent shows. She hopes to do all of these things (and so much more) this summer with all of you!  

Headshot Mark Runyan, Director of Teen Leadership Camp

Usually found planning backpacking trips, playing soccer, leading jugs, or otherwise exhausting an essentially limitless energy, Mark's love of camp knows no bounds. He acknowledges that this is, in part, due to his desire to believe he can still keep up with 4-year-olds. Mark has long held a passion for experiential education and the outdoors, and has followed a calling towards these ends working with teens and children at Camp Woolman for the past 6 years as a counselor and as the operations manager for both camps -- coordinating backpacking trips and ensuring that the campers are continually offered new, exciting, and safe trips throughout Tahoe National Forest and the surrounding area. This year, Mark is excited to step full time into his role as director of Teen Leadership Camp, a position which he held in tandem with others in 2015 and 2016. 

Headshot Max Paris, Operations Manager

Max (known to many as Grandpa Max) is a music loving soul who is rarely found without his trusty ukulele by his side. He hails from many places (North Carolina, California, Maine, Nevada, Etc.) but has always considered Woolman to be his true home. Max first came to Sierra Friends Camp in 2013 as a volunteer cook, and has continued to come back every summer as a counselor. This summer Max will be returning as your operations manager (hooray!) Max cannot wait to welcome you all with open arms and perhaps a silly little song about the many adventures you'll have at CAMP WOOLMAN!!!!

Headshot Arden Ambrose- Winters, Counselor

Arden is currently stuck in Indiana at Earlham College studying biology. Her extracurriculars at Earlham are rugby and Quakerism. She loves insects, chocolate, and the ocean. In her spare time she wanders the outdoors either by foot or bike, reads good books, and bakes pastries. Arden is both a lifeguard and wilderness first responder certified. She has missed camp all year and is excited to be coming back to Woolman for her third year!

Headshot Ariana Nicholson, Teen Camp Counselor

Ari is a first-time Woolman counselor who will be helping to lead the Teen Leadership Camp this year. She hails from Durham, North Carolina, but is currently attending Clark University in freezing Worcester, Massachusetts. She is majoring in Social and Environmental Justice, and fills up her time by helping to run Clark's fossil fuel divestment campaign, contra dancing, playing ultimate Frisbee, climbing, backpacking, and thinking about climate justice. Ari is Wilderness First Responder certified, and is so excited to escape the city to spend some time playing in the West Coast woods!

Headshot Carson Schmittle, Counselor

This will be Carson’s 10th summer at Camp Woolman, and he is more excited than ever for an excellent summer. Coming off of a year that included traveling in Europe and working at home, he is looking forward to stepping into the exciting world of camp before heading off to the University of Oregon in the fall.

In his spare time, Carson likes to read, rock climb, and play guitar. In addition, Carson is certified as a Wilderness First Responder and has been known to walk his dog for hours at a time.

Headshot Charlotte Osborn, Counselor

Woolman entered Charlotte’s (or Chad’s) life when she was nine, and she has been coming here every summer since!
She is proud to say this will be her 10th summer at this magical camp, and is ecstatic to make new memories and hike new trails.
Charlotte just finished her first year at UC Santa Cruz, and plans to major in Environmental Studies.
Next year she is exited to start surfing, join the ultimate frisbee team, and take classes in her major.
This summer she looks forward to backpacking along the Yuba, making nature jewelry, and wearing costumes for our traditional camp game of JUGS!!!

Headshot Deja Cannon, Counselor

Deja is currently studying theatre at Cal Sate Fullerton University and ticking the days down until she can return to camp. Deja spent five years at Camp Woolman as a camper and one year as a counselor in training so she is beyond ecstatic to return as a counselor and help create the magic that is Camp Woolman! She is ready to make friendship bracelets, tackle some switchbacks, and sing camp songs at the top of her lungs with all the eager campers to come!

Headshot Emily Lever, Teen Camp Counselor

Emily originally hails from Maryland and went to Catoctin Quaker Camp and Teen Adventure!. She just graduated from University of Vermonst this past spring and with a degree in Wildlife Biology. She likes to rock climb and whitewater raft, and is a wilderness first responder.  Emily loves the ocean and playing frisbee. She's wicked stoked about friendship and dogs and bikes, and very excited to enter a new camp community! Her past jobs include working on a professional pirate ship, and leading outdoor trips for the UVM outdoor club. She is hoping to branch out from her career as a professional camp counselor by entering the marine science field and *hopefully* doing research on carbon sequestration. 

Headshot Jo Kuykendall, Counselor

A second-year counselor at Camp Woolman, Jo is from Colorado, where they acquired a life-long love of hiking, rock climbing, swimming across lakes and splashing in creeks, and generally any outdoor adventure. They look forward to zany camp activities including backpacking trips, watercolor painting, berry picking, ultimate frisbee, camp songs, and story-telling. Jo holds first aid, CPR, and lifeguarding certifications, and is passionate about creating a safe and nourishing environment for all their amazing campers. They can't wait to have another incredible summer at Camp Woolman!

Headshot Jonathan Azevedo, Counselor

From Watertown Massachusetts Jonathan is a student going into his junior year at UMASS Amherst studying computer engineering, computer science and math! Jonathan’s vegan, loves animals, the outdoors and is excited to share his awesome breakdancing and capoeira moves. Being his first year working at Camp Woolman he’s beyond thrilled to eat tasty food, play soccer and go for a swim up at Mel’s along with backpacking with campers for multiple days.

Headshot Matthew (Mappy) Murphy, Counselor

Matthew loves three things: spectacular views, breakfast cereal, and Camp Woolman. Born and raised in Oakland, CA, he now spends most of his time in CowTown USA, as he enters his second year at UC Davis. There he hosts a terrible early morning radio show, leads backcountry trips with the outdoor program, and majors in Gender Studies and History. Matthew is wilderness first responder certified and looks forward to keeping folks safe and having a good time at his favorite place on Earth. This will be his fourth summer at Woolman, and he cannot wait to spend his days playing jugs, climbing mountains, eating good food, and helping make camp as special for others as it is to him.

Headshot Pedro Pereira, Counselor

Pedro is coming back to camp for his third summer as a camp counselor! From Boston, Pedro found Woolman as a student at the Semester school, and has been going to camp every summer since. He loves the outdoors and enjoys being away from the crazy city life where he can stay 100% present. He is excited to make sure every kid at camp gets to enjoy it as much as he does!


Headshot Hilary Ellis-Lavigne, Housekeeper

Hilary came to Woolman in 2006 as an intern. She has taught Nonviolent Communication, has worked many hours in the kitchen and the garden, still cooks for camp and other events, and is also Woolman's housekeeper. Prior to her Woolman days she worked as a professional actress, an Outward Bound Instructor and a white water raft guide. She was co-owner and operator of G.A.I.N. Inc. (Growth and Adventure in Nature), an outdoor adventure team-building business. She was born in Yaddlethorpe, England, grew up in Derbyshire, rescued worms from the garden pond, bred rats and guinea pigs, walked dogs, and rode horses and motorcycles. She rode a Honda 500/4 all around Eastern and Western Europe before the wall came down and then happened to be in Berlin when that amazing event happened. She lives on campus with her two children, Shendo and Sebastian, and never wants to leave.