Meet Our Camp Staff

Camp Director

Sonja Feinberg

I first came to Woolman as a Semester School student in 2013. After falling in love with the pastures, ponderosa pines, and rustic living, I knew I had no choice but to apply to this "Camp Woolman" I kept hearing about. Nothing could have prepared for what a magical, loving, challenging, and truly unique experience Camp Woolman would become for me. I spent my first three summers working as a Wombat Camp counselor, and I will never forget how kind, compassionate, and accepting my very first cabin of 12 year olds was. A first I was quite intimidated by them, but they showed me right off the bat how truly unique the Woolman community is. They were patient, kind, and full of excitement as they taught me the inner workings and magic of Camp Woolman - from their perspective. They introduced me to campers of all ages, silly games and songs you will only find at Woolman, and they inspired me to be as open and vulnerable as I could be in this community full of support. This is how I can best describe Woolman, it is not just our staff that will put in every effort and kindness to make new faces feel welcome and at home, but this sort of accepting and celebrating love radiates from our campers as well. I found working in Teen Leadership Camp, both as a counselor and a Co-Director, equally accepting and loving. My teens taught me about facing your fears, relying on your community for strength, and channeling your inner goof ball as often as possible. I am excited to see what lessons and surprises are in store for me this sescond summer of being Wombat Camp Director.

A majority of my Wilderness Leadership skills were cultivated through courses with the National Outdoor Leadership School, Prescott College, and receiving my Wilderness First Responder certificate. I received my degree in Sustainable Design from Pacific University in Oregon with the intention of pursuing a career in sustainable architecture, but one week into my Masters program I got delightfully side tracked by Outdoor Education. I left Architecture School's dusty drafting studios behind and gleefully skipped into a wold full of exploring nature with children and teens. I spent 2 years working at Outdoor Schools in Colorado and Oregon, primarily teaching forest ecology, marine biology, wilderness skills, and team building.  Perhaps I will be called back to architecture later on in life, but for now you may find me leading groups of kids through forests and meadows, examining the grasshoppers, returning the call of a bullfrog, and singing songs about chickens on a barn yard fence.

Teen Leadership Camp Director

Kerry Willoughby

I was immediately drawn to Camp Woolman and the position of TLC. This initial connection has only grown as I have come to learn the intricacies of camp and the wonderful young people that we have over the Summer. After finishing my degree in Outdoor adventure sports leadership and management I have been involved in outdoor education in 5 different countries. I have hiked, canoed, climbed, sung, danced and played my way through many summers which I am entirely grateful for. As an international member of staff I love learning from the children and my amazing coworkers new things and cultural differences. Camp Woolman is truly a family and it’s hard not to feel welcomed in and embraced for who you are. So even though I have a funny accent and consider myself a bit of a wanderer I know I will always have a summer family at Camp Woolman. I am so excited to be able to pass that feeling of acceptance and freedom onto the teens that arrive on camp. I am both an intrepid adventurer with a strong knowledge base and qualifications in the outdoors and an innante muma bear that looks after evreyone. My goal is always to support and nurture youth in their personal, social, spiritual growth through leadership, communication and outdoor skills. O ! and have lots of fun and laughter along the way. I cannot imagine myself in any other career and I cannot wait for the summer to begin to get back out into the wilderness! 

Wombat Camp Assistant Camp Director

Deja Cannon

Woolman has been an integral part of my life for over ten years as I grew from a camper, to a CIT, to a counselor, and now Assistant Director. Woolman has always been my favorite place in the world because of the magic that lives there.  Every summer at Woolman is spent meeting people from all over the world all come to bask in nature’s glory and build a loving camp community of silliness and connection. Woolman changed my life as a camper by offering me a place where I was able to discover and be my true self in an environment that accepted and nurtured me. My goal this summer is to share that same magic, love, and light I experienced as a camper with all the new and returning campers I am able to encounter. It is a place where you are able to ground yourself once more with mother nature and allow her to truly release your inner self.  I am looking forward to in depth talks about our world and all that we can do to preserve it.  I'm excited to sing, to laugh, and to run around with all my new camp friends! 

 

 

Wilderness & Operations Manager

Reed

While working as a Wombat Camp counselor in the summers of 2016 and 2017, I fell in love with the Yuba River and the sprawling blackberry brambles, with the radical kindness and contagious enthusiasm of my coworkers, and with the community ethic of both integrity and joy. I'm thrilled to finally be returning to this second home as Wilderness and Operations Manager and to help facilitate the magical wilderness experiences that are at the core of camp.

Away from camp, I'm often found covered in mud while doing wetlands ecology field research, organizing art and education campaigns in my community, singing sea shanties and traditional gaelic tunes on a long walk, learning to DIY anything and everything, or curled up with a cup of tea and an ever-growing stack of books. I'm excited to bring even more compassion, courage, and silliness to a place where kiddos (including staff!) take on challenge and thrive.

 

Wombat Camp Lead Counselors

Julia

This will be my thrid year at Woolman after stumbling across it online and immediately falling in love with everything the community values. I was looking for a place where I could work with kids and be outside every day, but I found so much more love, friendship, acceptance and silliness than I could have even imagined. Growing up, my family went camping often but I was first introduced to backpacking in high school and ever since spending a month in the backcountry of the High Sierras, I have been hooked on the simplicity, beauty and peace it brings me. It’s just SO cool being able to carry all you need to survive on your back and that your only responsibilities are hiking, sleeping, eating and hanging out with the people around you! I love being able to share this with campers as the places we get to explore have some of the most stunning views and lakes I have experienced. Even though kids can find these trips challenging, it’s always inspiring to see them have fun and form friendships while accomplishing something they may have doubted they could do. I hear people use the word “magic” a lot when describing Woolman and spending a summer here really isn’t anything short of magical! I am currently studying at Western Washington University and even though I am so lucky to spend part of my school year frolicking around the great outdoors of Washington with my child-like group of friends, I still cannot wait to be back for another summer at Woolman and am so excited to be seeing new and familiar faces!

Max

I first discovered the mystical lands of Woolman in the distant year of 2012. At the time I was but a high school student attending the Woolman Semester School to study its “woolie ways.” Little did I know it would be the beginning of my life-long passion and research of  the land and its inhabitants. It wasn’t until the year 2014 that I discovered the existence of a Wisdom of Woolie Wombats called Camp Woolman. These were an odd and magnificent group of mammals consisting mostly of smaller Wombats (and a few larger teenage ones) that had many strange habits and behaviors. I started infiltrating their community through the kitchen, first feeding and observing them. Their love of the outdoors and silliness were matched only by my own, so the very next summer I decided to take another step into their midst and become what they call a “wombat counselor,” a position in the Wisdom that, while it had its responsibilities, seemed to be mostly about telling bad jokes. The next couple of summers would be spent in the same way: do a responsible counselor thing, make a bad joke, repeat process. It wasn’t until the year of 2017 that I took another step further into Wild Woolie Wilderness; becoming the Operations Manager and the Wilderness Director and being in charge of Wisdom safety and Woods exploration. There were conditions to the position though! I had to prove myself through a trial called the “Wilderness First Responder Certification:” a grueling course meant to increase ones’ knowledge and skill in the art of “not dying.” But it worked and in the end I had the time of my life allowing the group to experience the Wild Woolie Wilderness as I once had. Now, I return from a year long sabbatical in my studies to continue my observations of the beautifully amazing Camp Woolman and its Wondrous, Woodsy, Whimsical, Wacky, Warm, Weird, Wild Wisdom of Woolie Wombats!  (Also I play music and backpack a lot. It’s fun. Try it.) (P.S. I will be bringing many ukuleles) (P.P.S. The wombat is Camp Woolman’s mascot and a group of wombats is called a wisdom) (P.P.P.S. Wombats poop cubes)
 

Wombat & TLC Camp Counselors

Teagan (Treegan)

Let me just say I love working at Woolman! I found Woolman online and began as a Counselor in Training in 2017, worked as a counselor the past two summers, and now would be sad to spend my summer any other way. In my time at Woolman my passion for the outdoors and for seeing people experience them has grown. Working with kids makes me so happy and it is my goal every summer to help them have their best possible experience at camp, and to figure out how I can be as energetic as them. 

Years ago I completed a three month long wilderness program at True North in Vermont and a month long backpacking trip at the National Outdoor Leadership School in Wyoming. I learned a lot of wilderness survival and leadership skills, and now have my Wilderness First Responder certification and my First Aid and CPR certifications. I am currently studying psychology at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. I am always excited to return to the Woolman community that changes and grows every summer but keeps its warmth and kindness. It is a beautiful, unique wilderness wonderland that can be home to anyone!

Claire

I am elated to be returning to Camp Woolman for a second year. Last year, I serendipitously found Camp Woolman and it has become my home away from home. Camp is a truly magical place. It is loving, caring, and accepting. I am truly blessed to have stumbled across this gem. 

I grew up in Ojai, California, a small valley nestled between mountains and spent my childhood surrounded by natural majesty. It wasn't until I left for college at UCLA that I discovered how much I truly love nature. The lack of access to natural surroundings and remote landscapes showed me how much I need them to feel complete. As I enter my fourth year at UCLA, I am struck by what I have learned over the years and what I have found on my journey to find my passion for the natural world. Fortunately, through my undergraduate experience, I was able to travel and hike in the Andes and Amazon in Peru and hopefully the Cloud Forests of Costa Rica as well and learn about the importance of nature conservation and education. Through out my education, it has become clear to me that educating young people and helping them find solutions to the climate disaster we are facing is essential. I hope I can share this passion and appreciation I have for the outdoors with campers.

Sophia (Sofa)

Woolman has been a part of my life for 10 years and has truly shaped who I am today. Since I was nine, it has been a place I can fully be myself and over the years it has become home. Every year it gives me a chance to see who I am and what I want out of my life. Camp brings me love and deep connection with people and nature. I can’t imagine my life without it and I’ve loved seeing how camp changes as I grow.  Next year I will start college which is a big transition, but this summer will help me ground myself in what is truly important. I come back every year because I want to make sure Camp Woolman can be a place where people have the opportunity to be fully loved and cherished for who they are. Being a counselor is surreal to me because I remember being a nine year old and looking up to and admiring the staff. I want to share my love for camp with others and make sure they get the most out of it. I love working with children because they bring such a bright light into every situation. I can’t wait to spend the summer in nature with people I love and I am so excited to make new connections. 

Billy

This will be my third year at camp Woolman. Three years ago, the summer after my freshman year in high school, I spent the summer in Teen Leadership camp. I only knew one person going in, but by the end of the two-week session, I considered every single camper one of my best friends. This experience opened my eyes to the love and joy that could be found in the world, so I returned the next year for Teen Leadership camp, and I am returning for my first year as a counselor. During the school year, I attend Lick-Wilmerding High School, where I take classes like furniture and architecture. For the past four years, I have volunteered as a cabin leader at Outdoor Education, an outdoors camp for fifth-grade classes to meet new people and explore the outdoors. Next year, I will be starting college at the University of Oregon, where I will study art and environmental studies. I’ve always been an artist at heart, whether it be painting faces onto doors or doodling in the corner of my math test. Choosing this as a major was a no brainer for me, just like environmental studies. When I was a kid, and someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would say I wanted to be a naturalist. My first year at Woolman really cemented this idea for me, and now that I will be working as a counselor at Woolman, I almost feel like I am one.

Tallie

I originally came to Woolman as a teen camper after a close friend of mine introduced me to this amazing camp. During my time at Woolman, I bonded with my fellow teen campers unbelievably quickly, and the sense of community was like none other. Being at Woolman truly is a one of a kind experience, and I am incredibly excited to be coming back this year as a counselor! I grew up in the Bay Area and have always loved the outdoors. When I’m not busy with school work, I spend my time playing music. I’ve been a part of band as a flute player for nine years now, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. In addition to flute, I have been playing guitar for five years, both recreationally and in a school jazz band, and sung in choir for four years. I adore music as a whole and think it is a fantastic outlet for self expression. I look forward to making new connections at camp this summer and getting to know everyone! 

Sedge

Having attended Woolman’s summer camp since I was only 9 years old, I’ve been counting down the days until I could be a counselor for a long time now. And while I’ve definitely grown from the peanut I was when I first experienced camp back in 2011, I’m still the exuberant, silly kid I was back when I went by Sedgie. Having the opportunity to be a CIT last year was amazing for me. I loved working with the kids each session and finding the camp spirit I had as a kid alive within each one of them. My coworkers are amazing people and I had the time of my life sharing all the wild adventures Woolman had to offer with them. When I’m (sadly) not at camp, perhaps you can catch me running through Golden Gate Park for Cross Country and Track or in the library writing my next poem for a Spoken Word performance. Next year I’ll be starting my first year of college at UCLA and I couldn’t be more stoked for the future. Amidst all the change in my life though, Camp will always be a grounding force. How could I turn down the chance to experience that camp magic again? This year, returning as a counselor for the first time, I’m excited to take on whatever comes my way and spread the love that makes camp so special. I can’t wait to reconnect with the great people I’ve come to love at camp and get to know so many new faces! See you all this summer!

Emilia

Camp Woolman has been apart of my life for the past 15 years. I first started coming with my mom while she cooked in the kitchen and my sister was a camper. I would play with all the other kids and eat the incredible food. When I was 9, I started coming as a camper and would always stay for the first two-week session. I created so many amazing connections and friendships with other campers that year after year we would always come back to the same session just so we could see each other again. Camp Woolman was my introduction to the outdoors. Going on the 3-day backpacking trips each week was by far my favorite part. Going on from Wombat camp, I continued coming back for Teen Leadership camp when I was 15 and 16. I would stay for the whole summer these two year because I wanted to spend as much time at Woolman as I possibly could. My last year of Teen camp I got to go on two 10-day backpacking trips along the PCT, and this gave me a whole new understanding and awareness of the outdoors. When I was 17, I came back to be a CIT (counselor in training) for 2 weeks of camp, but then went back home to Mount Shasta to work for the Forest Service in their YCC program. This experience really gave me so much gratitude for all those wonderful people out there putting in hard work to keep all these trails cleared and maintained. This will now be my 3rd summer working as a camp counselor at Woolman and I truly couldn't be happier. The unconditional and priceless experiences I’ve had here, are absolutely unforgettable, and have honestly help me become the best version of myself today. I will also be going into my 3rd year of college next fall at CSU Chico State University. Moving away from home has really given me the chance to branch out and find what I really love, and that’s exactly what I did. I currently work for Chico State’s outdoors program called Adventure Outings. We provide student led trips throughout the semester for students, staff, and community members. I applied to work with them last spring because they truly have a strong desire to get people outdoors as much as possible and help their experiences in nature grow and be the best they can be, and that is exactly what I want to do. I want to share my love and passion for the outdoors with everyone who is willing to give it a chance. I think it is so important for everyone, especially the younger generations, to get out and get out and take advantage of opportunities like this and hopefully find their own love for nature. I can’t wait for camp this summer, getting to see all the returning campers and counselors is always a heartwarming moment, but I also can’t wait to see all the new faces that I can share my love for Woolman with!

Ashley

Woolman has been part of my life for 8 years now, and it's so important to me. It taught me not only to love the outdoors, but how to love the outdoors. It taught me that loving nature isn't just about being outside, it's about giving back to the earth and leaving it cleaner than we found it, and it's about making nature accessible to those who don't often have the privilege of getting outside. Camp and its community have also taught me that you shouldn't avoid fear and embarrassment, but rather embrace those feelings and challenge yourself anyway. As a counselor, I'd like to keep these lessons in mind, and I'm excited to have the opportunity to work with some great young people. Next year I'll be going to college to study women's and gender studies, which will be a big change, but I'm excited to bring my life to another part of the country and grateful for the opportunity. I'm excited to give back to the camp community and to see all of you this summer!

Lewis

I heard about Camp Woolman from my college outing club, and it sounds like fun to me! So I thought this summer would be the perfect time to work at Camp Woolman for the first time as a counselor. I was never a camper, but from what I have heard, it is a wonderful time. What initially drew me in was the highlight of the outdoors, and the community present. I grew up in Vermont, on the East Coast, and have spent many days and weeks goofing off outside. This passion for the outdoors has carried into college, with being a part of the outing club where I go to school, as well as having my own adventures in the Adirondacks and the Green Mountains. I am going into my final year of college at the University of Vermont, and would like to continue this passion into my post-college life. I am currently majoring in Geography and History, and I am possibly going to minor in Environmental Studies as well. 
As for working in a community, I have always liked working in a group setting, whether it was in a kitchen or hiking around. Group formations have always interested me, and being away from technology and modern technology always seems to bring the best out in a group. I also feel that I have a lot more fun in nature, and feel much more comfortable meeting new people. This all makes me very excited to spend a summer with great people in a new place for me, and to learn all about Camp Woolman from experience. Look forward to meeting everyone and creating great experiences!

Counselors in Traning (CITs)

Sequoia

Camp Woolman is a very special place to me. It has become more of a second home than anywhere else, and I am eager to share with this year's campers the same love, care, and inclusivity that I experienced from my counselors!

I started coming to Woolman when I was ten years old, and each year since then it has always been at the top of my list of where I want to spend my summers. This year, I am thrilled to be returning as a CIT! For me, Camp Woolman is a place of joy, exploration, adventure, and growth. There is no shortage of fun to be had here! My parents taught me early on about nature’s role in finding balance and positivity in our lives, and there is no better place than Woolman to do so. I have made friends who I now consider to be like siblings, and the counselors I've met have become role models who I look up to throughout my daily life. I look forward to discovering more of our world's natural beauty at Camp Woolman and in the wilderness through games, hikes, and laughs with friends old and new!

Theo

Coming to camp has been a long-time tradition in my family, dating back to the prehistoric days of when my older sisters Sophie and Chad went. Chad became a CIT and then a counselor--maybe you remember them? I was always jealous when they disappeared for two weeks, but when the summer of 2012 came, this camp lived up to my high expectations. This will be my eighth year attending this fun-filled experience that we call Camp Woolman. I have made so many friends through the years and I don’t plan on stopping any time soon. This camp gave me a love for exploring and all things nature, and it has taught me so much about the wilderness and the world through the amazing people that I have met. When I’m out of camp, I’m usually drawing or painting for local restaurants or galleries, or biking around the city of Sacramento with friends. I am very much looking forward to meeting new and veteran campers, and hoping to have some great times on trail and at campus.

Gracie

Seven years ago I came to Woolman for the first time as a shy little camper, and now I cannot think of  a place I would rather spend my summers. I never imagined I would find a place to call my home away from home, but this camp quickly turned into one of the most special places in my life. My experience at Woolman has been filled with many magical moments, such as the day on one of our backpacking trips when a few other campers and I decided to jog to the top of Donner Pass to watch the most spectacular sunrise over Lake Tahoe. It’s moments like this that have cemented my love for Woolman, and the incredible friendships and community I have made there.  I have been fortunate to grow up in a family that values nature and exploring, and over the years my parents have taken me and my little brother on some pretty epic road trips and adventures! Another really important thing in my life is sports, and I am a Varsity player in Lacrosse and Field Hockey, and have also played softball and basketball. I love being part of a team. Lately I have developed an interest in capturing the beauty of people and nature through photography, and you’ll frequently see me with a camera hanging around my neck. I love spending my time outdoors. The joy I found backpacking with friends at Woolman led me to start a hiking club at my school this past year which turned out to be a really popular activity, and a great way to spend time with new and old friends. I know that I never would have had the drive to do that without  Woolman’s influence. I am very excited to be returning as a CIT this summer, and I cannot wait to help create the same loving and fun environment for the campers as my counselors have done for me!

Sophie

I started coming to camp at eleven years old in 2014. My first summer as a Wombat camper introduced me to a warm and loving community that would inspire me to come back year after year. This will be my first summer as a CIT (counselor-in-training), where I hope to share my love for art and the outdoors with all of my campers. I've always felt like I could be myself at camp, and I hope to make others feel the same. Camp Woolman, and everyone there, has always been like family to me, and more than anything I want to give back to this community that I've loved for so long. Next fall I will start my senior year at C.K. McClatchy High School in Sacramento where I am a part of the Visual and Performing Arts program. When I'm not backpacking, you can find me drawing, walking an angry pitbull with my girlfriend, or snowboarding in the Sierra Nevadas. I'm looking forward to sleeping under the stars, eating delicious food, and laughing with all of you this summer!

Sage

The first summer I came to Camp Woolman, I was eight years old and felt uneasy about spending time away from home. Originally, my family discovered Woolman through the semester school which my brother almost attended, but instead my mom thought the summer camp would be a great option for me, and if I had known what I was about to experience, I never would have doubted coming. The minute I stepped out of the car, I entered a community of friends who expressed their love and unique personalities through acceptance, joy, and nature. I was welcomed in with open arms, and am always excited to come back each year and experience a new summer filled with adventure by the sides of friends old and new. Throughout my 9 years at Woolman, I was taught endless amounts of outdoor skills and soon found that a strong passion of mine was environmental science, which I plan on studying next year. I have made lifelong connections at Woolman, and as a CIT, I hope to bring the same level of care and excitement to incoming campers the way counselors always did for me. There is no limit when it comes to fun at Camp Woolman and I am happy to share my summer full of hiking, games, songs, and laughter with everyone!

Quinn

I have grown up spending my summers  in the mountains near Lake Tahoe seeing how far in the rewilding process I could  go.  When I first participated as a TLC camper at Camp Woolman in 2018, I found out that I wasn’t rewilding, I was already becoming a Wombat. Woolman is one of the best places you can ever spend a summer. During my first year as a camper, I didn’t know anyone, but quickly made friends in both counselors and other campers.  Despite  the fact that all the other teen campers had previous experience with being a Wombat, I quickly felt at home due to the open and friendly nature of the camp culture. One of the great things about the Wombat community is their openness and acceptance that allows you to explore both nature and yourself. My goal as a CIT is to give other campers a similar experience to the one I had, by helping maintain the space that allows for people to explore themselves.  Some of the best experiences I had were conversations when wandering across the trails in the backcountry.  AND THE FOOD! The food at Woolman while at camp is the best I have ever had.  On trail, there is something nice about making a meal out of what you find in your backpack, especially because then you can experiment with things that would not make sense to anyone not on trail. Do you know that tortillas and jelly make a great snack?  I have a lot of experience with hiking, mostly in the Sierra Nevadas. I have also hiked trails in other parts of the world.  Traveling to other countries and exploring the wilderness has let me appreciate other cultures and styles of being because everyone has a different and unique perspective, especially as you push yourself out of your comfort zone. I love spending time in and protecting nature.  I have participated in different citizen science projects, conducting my own data collection participating in events such as Bio Blitzs and the City Nature Challenges.   I can’t wait to return to Wollman, meet all the new campers and get back on trail.