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Our Staff

The staff you have chosen [are] truly amazing. There isn't ever one staff member that we have come across that isn't truly loving and special. You guys are amazing.” - Returning Parent

Camp Sloane has a reputation for mature, responsible and caring staff. We are proud to say that a large part of our American staff are Camp Sloane camper alumni themselves and our international staff has been vetted and selected for their amazing talents and skills.

Safety is our number one concern and our staff members have all been rigorously interviewed, referenced, background checked and undergo an intensive training program prior to working with campers. Staff training covers important topics such as waterfront safety, childhood development, inclusion training, and leadership development. All activity specialists hold certifications in their areas of expertise such as lifeguard and ropes course certification. In addition, we employ full-time, licensed nurses to attend to your child’s medical needs 24/7 while at camp.

 

Year-Round Staff

We have a team of six year round staff (4 of whom are lucky enough to live on-site at camp!) who live for everything Camp Sloane. See below for more information about them!

Paul "Bear" Bryant
Executive Director/C.E.O.
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Bear serves as our Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director here at Sloane. He’s been in the camping world for over 30 years, 25 of those with the YMCA. He got his start in YMCA camping in the summer of 1988 as an adventure trips leader at Camp Jewell YMCA in Colebrook, CT. Bear has been the CEO and Executive Director here at Sloane since 2006. Most recently, he was the Executive Director of Camping Services for the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit, where he ran two resident camps. Prior to that, he served as Camp Director at Camp Hazen YMCA in Chester, CT and held positions at the Hamden-North Haven YMCA in Hamden, CT and at the Pratt Center in New Milford, CT.

Bear holds a Master's degree in Education and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Toledo in Toledo, Ohio. He is a certified Organizational Leader by the YMCA of the USA. He sits on the YMCA of the USA Camping Cabinet’s Diversity, Inclusion and Global outreach (D.I.G.) Committee as well as the Data and Analytics Committee. He’s presented at numerous conferences, both nationally and internationally. He is the Board Chair on the board of the Housatonic Child Care Center in Salisbury, CT. Bear lives at camp with his wife, Allison, his two sons, Kieran and Quinlan and a menagerie of dogs, chickens, ducks and Guinea pigs.

Rhino Merrick
Camp Director / Associate Executive Director
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Rhino serves as our Camp Director and Associate Executive Director. He started with the Y in 2000 as part of a round-the-world trip that saw him stop in Chester, CT to spend the summer as a camp counselor at Camp Hazen YMCA.

Originally from the small town of Balnarring, in Victoria, Australia, Rhino has been part of the professional Y staff since 2005 and has most recently served as the Camp Director at YMCA Camp Tockwogh, in Maryland.

Rhino holds a B.S in Human Services, from Springfield College as well as a Diploma in Natural Resource Management and has also spent time as an instructor with Outward Bound. He has served on the American Camp Association New England and Connecticut Camping Association Boards, the Northeast Y Camp Conference Committee and was a long time volunteer on a Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition. Rhino has been a licensed foster parent and is joined at Sloane by his friendly chocolate lab, Houston.

Heidi Reineke-Kelsey
Business Manager
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Heidi serves the Sloane family as our Business Manager/Registrar. She was born in Massachusetts and has lived in a multitude of states out west including Washington, Montana, and California. She currently resides in the nearby village of Canaan with her wife Lynn. Between the two, they have 7 beautiful children and 4 grandchildren. Heidi has always worked for non-profits and has been with Sloane for 9 summers! Her free time and stress relief typically involve a sandy beach and lots of sun! Call or email our camp office and most likely you will always find yourself engaged in a pleasant conversation with Heidi because after all, it's always a great day at Camp Sloane!

Rusja “Ru” Foster
Assistant Camp Director
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Ru joined the Sloane family in 2011 to work in our office and as a Media counselor, teaching filmmaking classes, taking photos and making videos of camp life. From that first summer, Ru was hooked on the camp way of life and has continued to return to Sloane every summer since, taking on different roles and responsibilities, from Media Director to Program Director and now Assistant Camp Director.


Ru is a graduate of Falmouth University in Cornwall, UK, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Film. She followed this up with a Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) from University College London to become a Qualified Teacher. She has used the off-season to adventure around the world, living and working in the UK, France, and Australia. Ru now resides at Sloane full-time, a dream come true.

Chris Wadsworth
Director of Facilities & Maintenance
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Chris found his love of Sloane in 1978 when he worked several summers on the maintenance crew while earning his degree. He received a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology and Applied Social Relations from Eastern Connecticut State University. After graduating, he explored other interests and positions and returned back to Sloane in 1990 as a full-time employee. Shortly thereafter, he was promoted to our Facilities Director and has served that position proudly over the years.

Chris resides in nearby Falls Village, with his wife Laurie and two lovely daughters, Olivia and Natalie. Chris enjoys working on projects such as building a tiny house and his little tug boat, both built from scratch! What was once, "only supposed to be a summer job," has turned into a lifelong commitment of 37 years!

Dave Wright
Caretaker
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Dave serves the Sloane family as our Caretaker since 2010. He is a graduate of SUNY Cobleskill with a Bachelors in Agricultural Engineering. Dave's love of Camp Sloane travels back to the summer of 95', where he started his first few summers with us mowing lawns and taking good care of the property. It seems only fitting that in his later years, he would return to his rightful position as our Caretaker.

You may see him around his yard as he resides at the main entrance of the camp with his son Michael. In Dave's spare time, he enjoys collecting vintage machinery, woodworking, using his sawmill and raising his chickens in his backyard.

Summer Staff

We hire about 100 summer staff each year and they are the heart and soul of our camp program. Keep checking in to see who is returning and who is excited to spend their first summer at Camp Sloane working with your campers! Click on each pin on the map to see where our staff come from and learn a little bit more about each of them.

FIND OUT WHERE OUR STAFF ARE FROM!