Each year, hundreds of volunteers and staff from all over the country and around the world come to work at YMCA Camp Hi-Rock. Many of the staff and volunteers are returners, and often will go to great lengths just to come back to camp. In addition to the summer camp staff and seasonal volunteers, there is a core group of staff who work here year-round.
Executive Director - Jessica Speer-Holmes
Jessica Speer-Holmes attended Camp Hi-Rock as a youth and served in Counselor, Unit Director, and Program Director positions and, for a short time, as the interim Executive Director in 1997. She received a Bachelor’s degree from Brown University and a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Melbourne, Australia. Prior to her role as the Executive Director at Camp Hi-Rock, Jessica worked with the Central Connecticut Coast YMCA serving as the Associate Executive Director of the Lakewood-Trumbull YMCA and the Bridgeport YMCA. Jessica lives at Camp Hi-Rock in the summer months and in the local town of Great Barrington for the rest of the year with her husband Alistair and three daughters. She serves on the boards of directors of the Great Barrington Rotary Club, the Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce, and the Crocus Fund.
Senior Camp Director - Charles “Chuck” Hirsch
Charles began his relationship with the Y at a young age, taking swim lessons at his local Y and getting involved with his father in the Indian Guides. He began his camping experience at Camp Jewell when he was 10 but soon found Camp Hi-Rock and has spent few summers away from our beautiful site in the Berkshires! Charles graduated from Saint Michael’s College in Vermont with a degree in Biology which has helped him appreciate the beauty that lives all around camp. Charles also enjoys photography, sports, skiing, and hiking! Charles is a firm believer in giving EVERYONE the opportunity to come to camp and enjoy themselves while learning and making new friends.
Camp Director - David “Davy” Bjorklund
A true product of the Y, David grew up going to day camp at YMCA Camp Tepee in Trumbull, CT and then moved on to residential camp at YMCA Camp Hi-Rock. As a camper at Hi-Rock, David learned to be a proficient wake-boarder and water-skier and he learned to love the wilderness that was all around him. After his experiences with the Leader In Training program and as a Junior Counselor he went on to study Elementary Education and Psychology at Johnson State College from which he received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Now David and his much loved cat, “The Mighty Quinn,” call Camp Hi-Rock their home. David spends his days off in Great Barrington teaching snowboarding at Butternut Ski Basin and volunteering his time at Berkshire South Regional Community Center. He is excited about implementing fun new programs that can help teach campers the important lessons he learned at camp in a fun and safe environment!
Facilities Director - Paul Duffy
Paul Duffy was originally an art student from Birmingham England who thought a summer in America would be fun. Twenty plus years later, Paul is the Facilities Director at camp and has been for many years. He met his wife Rochelle while working at Camp Hi-Rock. He enjoys playing golf with his brother, riding his 4×4 ATV around camp addressing maintenance problems, and sharing his Hi-Rock stories with all who will listen. Best of all, he loves Camp Hi-Rock because “there’s not a nicer place in the world”.
Camper Care Specialist - Tanya Gaudette
Tanya is in her 4th year as staff at Hi-Rock and lives at camp year-round with her husband, their brand new baby boy and 2 cats. She has lived in the beautiful Berkshires her whole life. Tanya has managed the office for four years and continues to enjoy every minute of it. She is pursuing a degree in early childhood education and has a deep love for children.
Tom Davies – Experiential Education Trainee
Tom first came to YMCA Camp Hi-Rock four summers ago as a general counselor in Abnaki and soon rose up the ladder from Unit Director to Program Director. He now finds himself living on the mountain year round, which in his opinion is “awesome, as I get to live, work and play in this beautiful area.” Tom looks forward to whatever challenges are coming his way next summer. Tom graduated from UCA in England with a degree in Animation and has put to good use his extensive knowledge in art and design in the creation of this new website at the newly formed Hi-Rock Art Department. Tom has many aspirations and dreams; one day, he wants to become an art teacher or Disney imagineer.
Ahren Parry – Wellness Organization Trainee
This past summer was Ahren’s third year up on the Rock. Prior to Hi-Rock, he worked at a summer camp in Texas, a state which in his opinion was “hotter than my favorite buffalo sauce.” Ahren started out as a Frontier counselor, and this past summer he was the Assistant Day Camp Director. He is looking forward to whatever comes his way for the summer of 2013. He loves the outdoors and camp, so when he was offered the chance to live here year-round he jumped on the next available flight and never looked back. Ahren hopes to be one day be a coach for his beloved Buffalo Bills and win the Super Bowl, but he will settle for the Texas Longhorns (dream big, Ahren).