Our Volunteers and Staff

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.

 

Board of Managers

YMCA Camp Hi-Rock is governed by our board of managers that consists of volunteers from throughout the northeast.  Board members are focused on creating lasting personal and social change for our community and our world.

  • Emily Tice, Board Chairperson
  • Marc Romanow, Finance Committee Chairperson
  • Henry Mitchell, Immediate past chair
  • Susan Buckwalter
  • Sandra Fischer
  • Michele Hendricks
  • Charles Hirsch
  • Marcus Mardirosian
  • Anna Marsland
  • Caitlyn McNerney
  • Maureen O’Brien
  • Kelly O’Grady Ross
  • Meghan O’Hara
  • Jake Pinkston
  • David Sanford
  • Jonathon Smith
  • Marla Strickland
  • Tulika Verma
  • JoAnn Ward
  • Kyle Worell
  • Timothy Young

 

Year-round directors


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.

 

 

 

 

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”.

 

 

 

 

Assistant Facilities Director – Forrest Wood

Forrest and their family first arrived at Hi-Rock in 2003 to attend a volunteer work weekend and immediately fell in love with Plantain Pond and the surrounding property. For several years afterward the Woods attended family camp and sent the kids to resident camp. After their LIT year in 2010, Forrest took a brief 7-year hiatus from Hi-Rock, developing their skills as a carpenter, welder, artist, and creator, earning a degree from BU’s College of Fine Arts within the discipline of Theater Production. In 2018 they decided to “take a break” from living in NYC, came to the Berkshires, and never went back. They’ve worked as the Waterski Director and on the maintenance team for several seasons, somehow earning Paul Duffy’s trust along the way. Now, they’re hoping to leave their mark on camp by helping to facilitate some ambitious rebuilds, repairs, and restorations. While they’re not working, catch them enjoying the outdoors through rock climbing, skiing, snowboarding, biking, hiking, talking to trees, and foraging wild foods.

 

 

Administrative Director  Tanya Gaudette 

Tanya lives close to camp with her husband, son, and daughter. She has lived in the beautiful Berkshires her whole life. Tanya has managed the office for many years and continues to enjoy every minute of it. She has a deep love and respect for Hi-Rock and is grateful to be a part of this community and have her children welcomed into the Hi-Rock family.

 

 

 

heather for website

Senior Camp Director- Heather Neaz-Nibur

Heather has been a part of the Hi-Rock community since the year 2000 when she arrived at camp as a camper. She was a camper from ’00-’03, a CIT in ’04, and then staff from ’05-’11. During her time as staff, she worked as a Counselor, Assistant Unit Director, Area Head, and Unit Director. Heather returned to Hi-Rock in the summer of ’17 as a Program Director and is excited to be staying as a year-round director. Before returning to Hi-Rock in ’17 Heather worked for six years as a preschool teacher in Washington DC and NYC. Heather lives with her husband Derek, son Evan, daughter Mischa, and dog Fire.

 

 

 

 

 

Camp Director- Ethan Kennelly

Ethan first arrived at camp in 2009 at age 10. He continued attending Hi-Rock as a camper through 2015. He was a LIT (leader in training) in 2016, and then a counselor, Unit Director, and Program Director in the subsequent summers. Ethan has a great love for Hi-Rock and is thrilled to have an opportunity to give back to a place that has given so much to him! When Ethan is not working as a Camp Director, you can find him petting his cats and enjoying the beauty of the mountain.

 

 

 

Wilderness Camp Director- Mackenzie Morison

Mackenzie has been a YMCA Camper since 2012 when she attended her first camp in Northern Michigan and fell in love with wilderness trips. Since then she has been a trip leader for six summers at YMCA Camp Hayowentha and graduated with a degree in Recreational Therapy and Outdoor Education from Central Michigan University. She’s excited to be joining the Hi-Rock team, but when she’s not at camp you can usually find her playing with her dogs or enjoying a great cup of coffee.