Year round staff
Our Mission: To be a place where Christian Science is lived and loved, through overcoming limitations, nurturing spiritual growth, promoting spiritual discovery and boundless thinking, and having fun.
Jamie Bollinger - Executive Director
JBollinger@newfound-owatonna.com | 207.595.8860
The fall 2011 Copy of the Call of the Loon told the story of how my parents left me on the Owatonna rock in 1960, before I was even a year old. I must not have been concerned about being separated from my parents in such a wonderful spot. Now here it is 2012, and I still feel the same way! In 1967 I finally was able to attend Camp Owatonna for the full 8 week session. I still remember my counselors, Roy and Dana. In fact, there is not much I do not remember from all of the fond memories about my Camp experience.
I certainly had the excuses to “like” Camp having my brother and sister attending several years before my arrival, my mother attending in the 1940s and my grandmother in the 1930s. However, it did not take me long to make Camp my own. That very first summer, I can remember a counselor teaching me how to water ski by pulling me along the shore by hand at the Owatonna Beach (a technique that I imitated some 11 years later when I became a waterski counselor).
I have to admit that wilderness trips were not my most favorite activity as a camper; however, they eventually proved to be the basis of one of my most favorite activities of all – spending time outdoors in the mountains, rivers, and ocean of New England. I later became the head tripper in 1981 and then the trips director in 2010 and 2011. Other roles such as Boat Master for five years, Family Camp Director (with my wife, Tessa) for nine years, husband of the Newfound Director, and serving as a member on the Board of Trustees have allowed my passion for Camp to root deeply into my soul.
My professional career, operating BOLLINGER RESTORATIONS since 1982 has also prepared me for my role at Camps Newfound/Owatonna by developing skills in accounting, facilities management, and management. An eight year run of being Principia’s Head Cross Country and Head Track & Field Coach has also given me experience that can be applied to camp work.
I am so grateful to have the support of my family for my new role as Executive Director. We have made the move from the mid-west, having spent the last 15 years there, to a new life in Maine. Cullen, our youngest, and his brother, Timothy, are both attending Waynflete School in Portland, ME. Conrad, our oldest, who will be a counselor this summer, is finishing up his Senior year of high school at Principia. My wife Tessa, most recently having served Camp as Chairman of the Board of Trustees has the ability to help out in many areas of Camp. She will be guiding Camp through the ACA accreditation process this year, working for a legal firm in Portland, and chasing around her boys and our black lab, Floyd.
Mary Villoch - Camp Newfound Director
Mary@newfound-owatonna.com | 207.595.8983
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.
In 2007 I married my best friend, musician, and prior Director of a Christian Science Outdoor Education Center. We now reside in Harrison, Maine, and fall asleep every night to the rushing sound of the Crooked River. 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.
Dave Pelton - Owatonna Director
email@example.com | 207.595.8893
Camp is thrilled that Owatonna alum, Dave Pelton, will be back on the shores of Long Lake as Owatonna Director beginning in 2013. While Dave is new to the role of Owatonna Director, he is not new to Camp. Dave is, in fact, as his own words state, coming back to his “Owatonna home away from home.” Dave was a long-time Owatonna camper, counselor, and CIT head, and the writer and composer of our beloved song, “Long Lake Living.”
Between last working at Owatonna and coming back as the director, Dave has had varied life experiences. He was an Olympic hopeful in the decathlon, a music producer, an environmental lobbyist, and the Executive Director and Founder of non-profit, environmental companies in Tennessee. He has three children, ages, 7 through 11, who already know and sing “Long Lake Living” at their home in Tennessee.
Dave is very much looking forward to being back at Camp and meeting new and returning Owatonna campers, families, and staff members. If you would like to be in touch with him directly, his email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Welcome, Dave!
Peter Whitchurch - Facilities Manager
Water has been a big part of my life. Growing up between Lakes Erie and Ontario, I learned to boat-surf Ontario’s big waves. At Paul Smith’s Forestry School I fell through the ice into frigid water (nice demo there). In the Keys (U of Miami) I met a big shark in deep water and was run over by an eagle ray in shallow water. The US Army taught me all about sweaty water. My degree from U of Idaho is Wildlife & Fisheries Mgnt. In the car washing business I became expert with soapy water and as a Florida Marine Biologist I got to know salty water. Now, as the Facilities Manager at Camp, I work with drinking water and what is known as black water. Jane, spouse of 42 years, loves the beach. Daughter Jill (former Newfound Counselor) loves to surf and son Ryan is a Scuba Diver. My 4 grandchildren are good splashers in the tub. When I grow up, maybe I can stay dry.
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. Jennai and Mike are both currently teachers: Jennai a middle school science teacher at Clairbourn School, and Mike a PE teacher and coach at Berkeley Hall School. Jennai and Mike are thrilled to be directing Family Camp, and they look forward to meeting all of you!
Michele Parsons - Creative Arts Week Director
Michele Parsons graduated in 1979 from Principia College with a BA in studio art and a minor in metalsmithing. She has ten years of retail sales and management experience in Boston, NYC, and Seattle galleries which feature both art jewelry and wearable art clothing. Since 1994, Michele has studied ceramics at the Kirkland Arts Center (KAC) with nationally known ceramic artists. She has taught ceramics to adults and children of all ages in Washington schools and at Camp Newfound and Owatonna since 1996. In 2007, she participated in the 4th annual Kirkland Arts Studio Tour and sold her newly created “Urban Potter” ceramic series. In 2009, Michele co-managed and opened a new store for KAC where she now volunteers and sells her ceramic work. This year, she was accepted as a Resident Ceramic Artist (RCA) at KAC and enjoys working in a shared studio space with five other RCAs. In 2008, Michele taught ceramics at Creative Arts Week (CAW) at Camp Newfound-Owatonna. She was also director of the first Creative Crafts Week in 2009, and director of CAW in 2010 and 2011. For the fall of 2012, she is happy to reunite with good friend Susie Newbold to co-direct CAW and will be teaching ceramics as well. Michele lives in Kirkland, Washington with her husband, Tom, and their yellow Lab since now they are empty-nesters with two children in college!
Susan Newbold - Creative Arts Co-Director
Susan Newbold is an award-winning mixed-media artist who has exhibited, taught, and studied extensively within the United States and abroad. She has been awarded several fellowships to work in New Zealand and France by the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Maryland Institute of Art. Susan received a BA in Studio Art from Principia College and an MFA in Visual Art from Vermont College; she is also a graduate of the Post-Baccalaureate program of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. She has taught a variety of workshops and courses at schools and art centers on topics ranging from printmaking to book-making to drawing. Teaching is a very important part of Susan’s practice, and she has taught extensively at numerous art centers, in her studio, and at Camp Newfound.
Sara Osborn - Office Manager
email@example.com | 207-583-6711 ex. 202
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.