Our Mission: To be a place where Christian Science is lived and loved, through overcoming limitations, nurturing spiritual growth, promoting spiritual discovery, and having fun.
Seth Johnson - Executive Director
A long time member of the Newfound and Owatonna family, Chic first came to Camp in 1964 as a camper, worked as a cabin counselor while in college, and later served as Owatonna's Director for four summers. Chic's mother, Connie Johnson, was Newfound's Director for many summers.
In addition to his years of work at Owatonna, Chic had a 35-year career in intercollegiate coaching and athletic administration at Williams College, Principia College, and Bates College. And most recently, he served as General Manager of the Seacoast Mariners, a semi-professional soccer team he helped start in Portland, Maine.
Chic moved to Falmouth, Maine in 2003. He is married to Libby Hoffman, and they have three children: sons Caleb and Gabe and daughter Anna. All three children have attended Newfound and Owatonna, and both boys have been counselors at Owatonna. Chic is an active member of his branch church, currently works in the Chaplain Program in the Maine Correctional facilities, and also served as Committee on Publication for Maine for five years.
Chic has a BA from Williams College and a Masters in Education from Boston University.
Mary Rankin - Camp Newfound Director
The instant I drove down the Newfound hill in 1989, saw the sparkling water on the horizon and heard, “Welcome Mary, you are in Cabin Sunshine!” sounding across the grove, my mind was made up: this would be my home away from home. I knew that I wanted to be Director of Newfound some day and proudly announced to my family that it would happen.
The annual drive from Florida was long. I sat in the car squashed between two brothers, three trunks, three duffle bags and two dogs. It was a sacrifice I was willing to make if it meant another summer on the shores of Long Lake. We must have looked absurd with windsurfing boards strapped to the roof, ballet and soccer shoes dangling from the trunk, and already dressed in camouflage for the illogical chance that we would arrive in time for a spontaneous game of Capture the Flag. Twenty-four years later, I still get butterflies in my stomach as I turn onto Route 35 waiting for that satisfying crunch of the gravel under the car tires upon pulling into camp (you all know what I am talking about). From day one, pines and Long Lake water have been fixed in my heart.
Intentionally, I chose a career path that would lead me to camp full-time, and it did in more ways than I expected! My time immersed in other leadership, character, and outdoor education programs gave me exposure to what today’s youth is facing and insight into how issues are being handled. My work with organizations such as the Earthwatch Institute, Mote Marine Laboratory, National Outdoor Leadership School, Leelanau Outdoor Center, Leelanau School (Five Senses Learning), and The Children’s House (Montessori) provided a vast foundation for me to build new ideas and make educated decisions. Subsequently, I have gained new perspectives, solidified my take on experiential education, and developed a clear vision for Newfound.
Camp has shaped my life and given me the courage to stand up for what I know is right. I am grateful for the joys and challenges that camp brings to each one of us. As we empower young women to raise the bar, step out of their comfort zones, and challenge themselves, we inevitably see them grow to new heights and develop a love for themselves, the world, and Christian Science.
Reid Charlston - Owatonna Director
We are very excited to welcome Reid Charlston as the new Owatonna Director. Reid has a long history at Owatonna: He has been an Owatonna camper, counselor, tripper, CIT Head, Trips Director, and Assistant Director. He can’t wait to re-establish his Owatonna connections by meeting current and future Owatonna campers, staff members, and families.
Since his many summers at Owatonna, Reid has worked as Athletic Director, teacher, and coach at Fox River Country Day School; Resident Counselor at Principia College; and, most recently, as Home Life Manager at Principia College, where he oversaw the Resident Counselors and all aspects of college student housing.
Reid, in thinking about his new role, says, “I have a deep love for Camp Owatonna. Camp was largely responsible for putting me on the path I have traveled in my professional career, and to have the opportunity to give back and to provide that same impulse towards a service-based life for campers and counselors – as well as the same trust that God is leading and guiding us in every step of our lives – is an opportunity that means a lot to me. I see Camp as a great way to serve the Christian Science movement and to continue to learn and grow in ways that will help me bless the world.”
Reid, his wife, Jessica, and their sons, Rex, Grant, and Japhet, are very much looking forward to being back on the shores of Long Lake.
Alan Sochard - Facilities Dirctor
My love for outdoor adventure began with summers at Owatonna. Right after high school I spent 7 weeks hiking the Appalachian Trail followed 18 months later
with a complete thru-hike of the trail. I was hooked, and have continued hiking and camping all over the world including a month climbing Denali.
My love for camp has stayed with me – returning for Family Camp with my daughter for many years, and leading many Family Camp trips. My wife Martha and I took the plunge and moved to camp and I love being the Facilities Director.
Al can be seen around camp followed around by his trusty canine Percy.
Jennai and Mike Hufstader - Family Camp Directors
We are happy to welcome Jennai (Taylor) and Mike Hufstader as our Family Camp Directors, beginning in the Summer of 2013! Jennai and her family have had a long history at Camps Newfound and Owatonna. Jennai was a Newfound camper from 1994 to 2001 and on Newfound staff for five other years, including as waterfront director, CIT counselor, and Camp Mom. Jennai’s father, Dave, was an Owatonna director; her mother, Janet, a long-time Owatonna arts and crafts instructor; and her sister and brothers are all Newfound or Owatonna alums. Mike was a camper, counselor, and head counselor at Camp Leelanau, and he is very excited to learn all that he can about Newfound and Owatonna. Mike is also a PE teacher at the Overlake School and Jennai loves spending time with their new son, Riggs. Jennai and Mike are thrilled to be directing Family Camp, and they look forward to meeting all of you!
Danis Collett - Creative Arts Director
Creative Arts Week (CAW) started enriching my life in 2003. My daughter had had some great camp experiences at Newfound, and now it was my turn! Every year it’s a renewing, progressive, jovial, heartwarming experience. I am a true believer in the wide, life-enhancing benefits offered by Creative Arts Week.
Every year it’s different, but once I took silk painting, went straight home at the end of the week, cleared off the kitchen table and set up a silk studio. Silk painting is now my main medium as a professional artist (daniscollett.com). For the last few years, my work has been in galleries and open studios, and I’ve taught silk painting in my studio in Peterborough, NH and at Creative Arts. It was Creative Arts that started all that and keeps on giving inspiration, encouragement, courage.
For the last few summers, I’ve been Newfound’s Arts & Crafts Director. It’s a rejuvenating challenge to give the girls a solid program, including ceramics, printmaking, textile projects, jewelry-making, and such—in an unbeatable spot! But the reward is seeing girls gain confidence, have “Aha! moments,” grow in patience, perseverance, and joy.
Still, being Director of Creative Arts Week is actually my dream job. Both with the teachers and students—all adults—I love working with and supporting these people who approach their creative work from a basis of Christian Science. The individual expansion and expression that happen at Creative Arts Week—and that get taken home to spread—is actively leavening the world of the arts and the larger whole. I am thrilled to be working on this program! It is a privilege.
Sara Osborn - Operations Director
I’ve always considered Camp Newfound (and now Owatonna, too) a home away from home. My family began attending Family Camp when I was around three years old; at age 10 I began attending Newfound as a camper; and finally, fourteen years later, I took a summer off from camp. In between ages 10 and 23, I was a camper, CIT, Jr. Counselor, cabin counselor, and Program Director; I even met my husband at camp—when he was the Head Counselor at Owatonna and I the Program Director at Newfound. Now, years later, I’m back at camp, seeing a different side of how camp operates by working in the Business Office, where I have been working in the summers since 2004.
During the years when I was not working at camp, I was a high school English teacher and high school soccer and lacrosse coach at several private schools in the New England area. My husband, Lyon, and I have three boys--Henry, Austin, and James--who all attend Owatonna. At camp, Henry loves waterskiing and team sports; Austin loves the Arts and Crafts shop; and James loves the socials and beach parties! Our family lives in Weston, MA, where we are very involved in our branch church, the local schools, a nearby origami club, and in coaching and playing hockey, soccer, lacrosse, and track.