Dear Saltaire & Surrounding Communities,
A little about me. Although I did not grow up in Saltaire, I did grow up around the beach on Cape Cod. I feel so peaceful at any beach, and any beach feels like home. As a kid I loved diving off my dad’s shoulders into the Atlantic – I felt safe since he was a lifeguard for 14 years at Horseneck Beach in Westport, MA. I would throw seaweed, make sandcastles, and dig through the muck for quahogs. My dad and I would smash them on the dock and eat ‘em up raw!
My life happily took me to NYC where I attended NYU for graduate school and then upon graduating worked in a public middle school for a few years in East Harlem. I transitioned to independant schools and was the camp director of A Montessori Summer for 15 years. I’ve been with Saltaire Day Camp for 3 summers and I love the time I get to spend there; another beach home away from home. During the school year I do educational consulting on a variety of topics such as school scheduling as well as diversity, equity, and inclusion. I also work part-time assisting my stepmom who is an oil painter. I currently live in Providence, Rhode Island with my husband Tom. We just bought our first house in December 2022! We also just moved my mom into assisted living and we have adopted her cat Willow – but full disclosure – we just call her “kitty” or “kittinu” or “little miss foof.”
My 4th summer in Saltaire is sure to be special. I started in the summer of 2020 at the height of the pandemic and it was a challenge to pull off any programming at all – much gratitude to the board, village administrators, and staff from that unusual summer. As we are pulling out of the pandemic the last two summers have been a delicate dance and we have done our best to provide the children as close to a ‘normal’ experience as possible. Summer 2023 will be filled with joy, laughter, and the return of some treasured Saltaire Day Camp traditions: Independence Day games, a reinvigorated swim team with REAL swim meets, some field trips (Adventureland anyone?) and a rousing hot dog lunch on the field in honor of Ron Metzler on the last day of camp. Sorry – there WILL be hot dog jokes.
Stay tuned for a “Meet the Team” page that is in development. We have SO MANY terrific staff returning, and some truly impressive new talent.
Camp Aquatics Director
Hi everyone, my name is Meg Schou and I am the Camp Aquatics Director. I was born and raised in West Islip, NY and have spent every summer between Kismet and Fair Harbor. Time flies and this will be my 18th summer working for The Village of Saltaire. In 2006 I started as a lifeguard, and I have been growing my water safety education and certifications since then. I love aquatics!
From the months of September- June I can be found on the mainland teaching high school Health and coaching Girls Varsity Swimming. I received my bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences and K-12 Education from Towson University (Go Tigers!) and my master’s degree in Special Education from Touro College. In my spare time I love to spend time with my friends and family, swim, run and read. We have a fun summer planned, and I can’t wait for it to start!
Assistant Camp Aquatics Director
Hi everybody my name is Connor Fleming and I am very excited for my first summer at the Saltaire Day Camp. In addition to being a pediatric physical and occupational therapy aide, I have also coached football and lacrosse at Port Washington and West Babylon High Schools and for years was the head swim instructor for aquatics for special needs campers at another camp. I’ll be going back to school this fall (for the first time in a while) to get my Master’s in Physical Education from Adelphi. I cannot wait for this summer to start and meet everyone (although it looks like I’ve already known most of the people here for a very long time) and it’s a great feeling knowing I’ll no longer have to rush home from work to get to the beach!
Field Program Director
Hey everyone! This will be my 8th summer working for Saltaire Day Camp and my 4th year as your Field Program Director. I previously served as a group leader here at the Saltaire Day Camp from 2016 to 2019, which laid the groundwork for my love and appreciation for such an amazing community. I was born and raised in West Islip, NY (just a five-minute drive from Robert Moses Beach). I have been a tenured high school English teacher for the past nine years at one of Manhattan’s top schools. I earned my undergraduate degree from SUNY Oswego in 2013 and completed my Master’s program from LIU Post in 2018.
I think it’s more important than ever for your children to receive the opportunity to experience a fun summer through learning, friendship, camaraderie, and sportsmanship through outdoor games and activities.
We’re going to make the summer of 2023 the most memorable one yet. I look forward to seeing you all soon! Now, let’s play ball!
Art Program Director
Hi everyone! My name is Lauren and this is my first year as the Art Program Director. I was born and raised in Islip, NY, currently residing in Farmingdale. Over the years I have spent countless summers exploring the Fire Island seashore. Growing up, I have fond memories of summers spent at my grandparent’s house in Lonelyville, selling painted seashells and cups of lemonade to people near the ferry docks, riding bikes with friends on the boardwalk, and watching magical sunsets on the bay. Fire Island has and always will hold a special place in my heart.
A little about my experiences: I graduated with my BFA in Art Education from LIU CW Post, and MS in Visual Art Education from SUNY New Paltz. I have been teaching art in both public and private schools on Long Island and Queens for 7+ years. In my spare time I enjoy drawing/painting, kayaking, and spending time at the beach.
I’m very happy to be part of the magic Fire Island has to offer, by bringing an amazing art program to the Saltaire Day Camp. I look forward to an inspiring summer guiding your children to cultivate creativity, self-expression, artistic exploration, and forming memories that will last a lifetime.
Hi everyone! I’m Sarah, and this will be my third summer here at Saltaire Day Camp! A bit about me is that I’m Long Island born and raised, from Massapequa. I was an ocean lifeguard for 5 years before joining the Saltaire crew. I also graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Marine Vertebrate Biology. When I’m not in Saltaire, I work as a Conservation Biologist for the Department of Conservation and Waterways for the Town of Hempstead, doing everything from wildlife rescue, endangered species protection, and beach monitoring! I grew up swimming, surfing, grabbing critters, and spending all of my free time in the sea, and I am so excited to share my passion and love for Mother Ocean with all of you!
I am thrilled to be the Nature Specialist at Saltaire Day Camp this summer. I grew up on Long Island and I currently live in Bayshore with my husband John and our daughter Laurel. I lived on Fire Island for 18 years, there is no other place like it! Kismet was our neighborhood, but Saltaire was our summer town. We spent many of our days walking the boardwalks, reading books, and playing games in the library and at the marina. I am an avid birder, hiker, and have over 10 years experience in outdoor education, having taught a range of ages from toddler camp programs to high school assemblies. I received my BA in Environmental Studies and Education from LIU C.W. Post and I am a NYS certified Teacher Assistant. Assisting with the environmental education program at the Woodhull school is one of my favorite parts of my job. Teaching children to love the outdoors and appreciate nature is something I never grow tired of. I’m so excited to work with such an amazing group of educators. This will be a summer to remember!
I am a violinist, pianist, and composer from Seattle, Washington. I now live in Providence, RI, and before that I was living and working in NYC for 13 years. I have taught students of all ages since 1993. I currently teach violin and piano at The Providence School of Music and Community Music Works; and music theory at Rhode Island College. I was the Music Director at Bucks Rock Camp-an overnight camp in Milford, Connecticut, and I taught violin at the Brooklyn Conservatory from 2012 to 2020. I also perform regularly in a variety of styles including classical, folk, pop, and jazz. I look forward to leading the children of Saltaire in musical explorations again, including singing new songs and some old favorites – and the all important movement to music! Each session will include some dancing to fiddle tunes and keyboard jams.
Drama & Assistant Group Leader
Hello everyone!! My name is Kate Karen (she/her) and I am the drama counselor! This is my second summer at the Saltaire Day Camp, and I could not be more excited!! I am entering my first year at Syracuse University-BFA in Acting. I have been performing as long as I can remember and have originated roles such as Mollie in “Dublin Rising” and Ruth in “Dear Ruth.” I can’t wait to see all of my campers- new and old! Let’s make Summer 2023 the best one yet!
Yoga Program Director
Dear Friends: If there were ever a time for yoga, it is now. I am so looking forward to returning to the Saltaire Camp/Recreation Program to bring Yoga to your children. This will be my sixth summer. For those of you who do not know me, I have been coming to Saltaire since my son Alexander was born, 19 years ago. After completing my Yoga training (200TTC) to become a licensed yoga instructor, I soon discovered the joy and true sense of peace in teaching at our beach. Currently, I am furthering my prana vinyasa, restorative, yin and reiki studies in Los Angeles and completing my 300TTC. I look forward to showing and building a harmony with your children; sharing the beauty, focus and strength of yoga and our environment. I am grateful to be sharing what I love and strive to make your child’s yoga journey fun, fresh and challenging. Namaste
“Nurse Dana” here and I am thrilled to be the Medical Director for the Village of Saltaire Day Camp. I enjoyed getting to know all of you last summer and look forward to another wonderful time this summer too. My top priority is ensuring that all of the staff and campers remain safe and healthy during their camp experience.
I grew up in Brightwaters and now I live in Bay Shore, during the winter. From March until November, I happily live in Kismet. I have been living on Fire Island, from Dunewood to Kismet, since I was 14 years old.
I have decades of experience as a pediatric nurse, working at many hospitals and home care. During the year, I am the School Nurse for the Woodhull School, located in Ocean Beach. It is a wonderful place to be for students and staff. I am very grateful to be the Medical Director for Saltaire Day Camp!
Hello, my name is Dillon Archer and this will be my fifth summer at Saltaire Day Camp. I was born and raised in West Islip, NY. I graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree in Adolescent Education from SUNY Oswego and received my Masters Degree in Educational Technology from LIU Post. I taught Social Studies in a Brooklyn high school for 5 years where I also served as the Lead Teacher. I currently teach high school social studies right here on Long Island. I truly love teaching and building relationships with my students. I am a huge Yankees and Jets fan and love sports. I also coach baseball and football at the middle school level in my school district. I am very much looking forward to spending another summer working by the beach in Saltaire. Can’t wait to get started and have a great summer!
Hey everyone! My name is Ryan Denninger and this will be my 6th summer working as a group leader at Saltaire Day Camp. I graduated from SUNY Cortland with a bachelor’s degree in History and completed my graduate program at Long Island University-Post with a master’s degree in Adolescent Education: Social Studies. I am currently a high school history teacher and dean in Brooklyn and I love what I do! In my free time, I love keeping active in any way possible. I love playing sports and rooting on my favorite professional sports teams in the Yankees, Knicks, and Jets. I’m a big time foodie, especially pizza and tacos. Nothing beats spending beautiful summer days on the beach so I cannot wait for the opportunity to work with you all.
Hi everyone! My name is Gianna, and I am happy to be returning for my third summer here at Saltaire Day Camp! Since we have last been in Saltaire together, I graduated from SUNY Cortland with a bachelor’s degree in Inclusive childhood education. Along with graduating, I have gotten a job as a substitute in a local elementary school on Long Island! For those who don’t know me, I was born and raised on a local town of Babylon beach right here on Long Island so, I am pretty used to spending my summers on the water boating, fishing, swimming besides spending my days here at camp. Before coming to Saltaire Day Camp, I have previously babysat for children ranging from the ages of 2-13 years. Also, for the last two years I have been a substitute teacher at local school districts on Long Island.
I am so excited to be returning for another summer here at camp and can’t wait to provide your children with a memorable, fun and safe camp experience!
Hi everyone! My name is Jack and this is my second summer in Saltaire. I am entering my Senior year of college as an education major. I attend St. John’s University where I play Division I lacrosse. When I’m not at school, I live on the south shore of Long Island. I am a very active person and sports have always been what my life revolves around. I was a multi-sport athlete in High School, currently play collegiately, as well as coached many local youth leagues. I’m a huge Islander and Giants fan and love everything that has to do with sports.I am looking forward to another great summer on Saltaire!
Hi everyone! My name is Grace Wichelns. This will be my second summer working here at Saltaire Day Camp and I couldn’t be more excited to return! I am an upcoming junior at SUNY New Paltz majoring in Early Childhood Education with a concentration in history. I am from Oakdale, Long Island, where I spent all of my summers at the beaches of Fire Island. Since last summer, I have started working as a teachers assistant at an elementary school here on Long Island! Some of my hobbies include exercising, reading, spending time with family and friends, and of course, going to the beach! Having grown up playing sports my entire life, staying active is really important to me. Two of my favorite sports to play/ watch and the ones I played from a young age all the way through high school, are lacrosse and volleyball. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to work at Saltaire Day Camp again and am eager to begin and have an amazing summer yet again!!
Hello everyone! My name is Casey Roan and this will be my first summer working at Saltaire day camp. I just recently graduated from SUNY Cortland with my bachelors in Physical Education and have plans to pursue my masters in Adapted Physical Education. I’m originally from and went to high school in Bay Shore where I played football and lacrosse. I’m the oldest of three siblings as I have a sister who plays lacrosse at Iona University, and a brother who is graduating from high school this year. I worked for a number of years at the summer camp for the YMCA as a camp counselor and this is where I discovered my passion for working with children. I’m excited to meet all the new faces and have a fun summer together!
Hi everyone! My name is Christina Molloy and this will be my third summer working at Saltaire Day Camp. I recently graduated from Siena College with my NYS Education Certification in Social Studies (Grades 7-12). I will be pursuing my Master’s in Special Education starting this fall. I’m from West Islip, NY and I spent many of my summers boating on the Great South Bay. Some of my favorite summer memories include boating at Atlantique and spending time in the Adirondacks. Before working at Saltaire Day Camp, I was a tennis instructor at a tennis camp on Long Island. Some of my favorite hobbies include long distance running, playing tennis, swimming, and of course going to the beach! I’m so grateful for this opportunity to work at Saltaire Day Camp and I’m so excited to see what’s to come this summer!
Hi Everyone, I am Gianna Fioravanti! This summer I am excited to be returning back for my second summer at the camp – I worked here in 2021. I am from West Islip, NY. I graduated this year from the University of Connecticut with a Bachelors Degree in Marketing. I just came back from studying abroad in Paris and traveling around Europe for six months. I love to travel, be at the beach, exercise and be around family and friends. I am looking forward to having a fun and adventurous summer in Saltaire.
Hello Everyone, My Name is Darlene. This will be my first year at Saltaire Day Camp. I am very excited and looking forward to a fun summer. I was born and raised in Islip. I still reside in Islip and recently purchased my first home! I currently am a Preschool Teacher’s Assistant at Trinity Lutheran Preschool and have been working there for the past 4 years. I truly love and enjoy working with the children. I enjoy going to the beach and taking walks to the Fire Island lighthouse. I am looking forward to having a great and fun summer at the camp!
Hello everyone! My name is Amaqui Sanchez-Warner and this is my first summer working at the Saltaire Day Camp. I am 20 years old and I was born and raised in New York City and I am entering into my junior year at NYU, studying recorded music and music business. I am a singer, and I have been for the past 15 years. Creating music and singing is my absolute passion so I am pursuing a career as a recording artist, performer, and songwriter. I have also been teaching singing to students for the past year or so, and perform in the city quite often as well as fire island. The past two summers, I’ve been coming out to fire Island and the first summer I was lucky enough to work at the Ocean Beach day camp as head counselor of the Eight’s. I also actively babysit and have been for the past seven years for all different ages, needless to say I really enjoy working with children. I’m very excited to get to know all of the amazing children and provide them with a summer full of incredible memories.
Hi everyone my name is Bryan Woodburn and I am super excited for my first summer at the Saltaire Day Camp. I graduated from SUNY Oswego in 2019 with a degree in Marketing. I’ve been a group leader in many different camps over the years and have a great passion for motivating the youth. I grew up in West Islip and am the youngest of 3 siblings. Some hobbies of mine are hanging out with friends, playing basketball, and watching movies. I am eager to contribute to the Saltaire Camp with a positive enthusiastic mindset and am looking forward to a great summer!
Assistant Group Leader
Hi! I’m Jojo & this is my 6th year as a counselor after going to camp here my whole life. I just graduated high school in Brooklyn where I live & am attending Occidental College for psychology after taking a gap year next year. I’m heading to Japan in September for a language program for three months, then I go to Dublin & then London where I’lll stay with family & intern at a museum. In addition to working at the camp, I also work at the market + yacht club, so you might see me around quite a bit! In my free time I really like to read, listen to & make music, take photos, and this past year I started teaching myself to roller skate! My favorite artists right now are Outkast, MF Doom, The Velvet Underground, and Stevie Wonder. My favorite authors are Kurt Vonnegut, Peggy Orenstein, Bell Hooks & Ocean Vuong. If you have any book recommendations please be sure to send them my way! My biggest fears are change and goats, my favorite ice cream flavor is mint chip, and if I was a kitchen utensil I would probably be tongs.
Assistant Group Leader
Hi! My name is Austin, and I’ve been a member of Saltaire Day Camp for 15 years. My family has been a part of the Fire Island community for my entire life, as my grandfather Ed “Poppy” Whitlatch spent many of his years building and restoring homes through his own business in Saltaire, as well as volunteering through the local fire department. Since I can remember, I’ve lived on the island every summer, and more recently began working here. The day camp has continuously fueled my passion and love for educating and working with children. I’ve also spent the last few months as a preschool teacher and supervisor of an after school program for elementary-aged students in Johnson, Vermont. These experiences have further encouraged me to pursue a degree in Early Childhood Education. Aside from teaching, I like to skateboard, practice yoga, or volunteer within my community, and you can always find me relaxing on the beach. I’m so excited to be an Assistant Group Leader this summer and look forward to connecting with your kids!
Assistant Group Leader
My name is Tim Goldstein and it’s my first summer at Saltaire Day Camp! I’m 21 years old from Bayport, New York. I went to Bayport – Blue Point High School (class of 2019!) and recently graduated Clark University (class of 2023!) where I studied Music and Business.
I have over seven years of camp-counseling experience as well as club management position. I’ve helped to run tennis and basketball camps at Bayport – Blue Point for many years!
I love spending time at the beach, playing instruments, eating healthy, exercising and playing sports. I’m looking to instill great memories in campers for years to come through positivity, amicability and good times. I have spent so much time over at the many Fire Island beaches and many summers over at Kismet and Saltaire since I was very young, so I’m very excited to be returning to meet all you campers!!