The Summer of a Lifetime
Each summer 60 or so adults gather in Berkshire mountains of western Massachusetts at Odyssey Teen Camp to live in community, work hard, and help teenagers accept themselves for who they are. We work long, tough hours and change lives everyday—while having a lot of fun! Here’s a little bit about our dedicated core staff below, who return year after year to help us run OTC.
As a New Englander, I relish the summer months and spending gloriously long days outdoors. Smelling camp fires, hearing summer crickets, tree frogs and loons are magical to my senses. They also remind me of my childhood summers at sleep away camp. The skills I learned at camp have stayed with me since then and I’m passionate about the value of camp.
I’ve been a camp nurse at sleep away camps since my kids were old enough to come with me-now they’re grown adults and their mom still goes to camp every summer! When not at camp I live at an independent boarding school as their resident nurse. I am a board certified school nurse of 25 years and a member of the American Camp Nurses Association. I also serve on various professional committees in my field.
I love working with teenagers and I love camp- so it’s a win-win! I not only bring a wealth of camp nursing knowledge to OTC, I bring an understanding of the challenges and needs of teens in today’s world. OTC is a special place and I am grateful that I can pass my energy, passion and commitment to everyone there.
Lisa has been at OTC for 9 great years. Before coming to camp, she had never been to an overnight camp or been in the woods for longer than a few days. She loves dance parties and is ready to bring the support, honesty, and love needed to allow teens to be their best and unique selves.
Georgios has been at OTC since the beginning. He has toured the country with two different circuses, is a published poet, and is active in the underground theatre scene in New Orleans. His favorite thing at camp is helping weird and shy teens realize how cool they actually are!
Hey, I’m Sean (He/Him pronouns). At camp, I will be teaching Kung Fu, Ultimate Frisbee, and Hacky Sack. I am excited to dress up for wacky wednesdays, run in the sun, and hold space at my favorite place in the world.
I’m excited to come to camp for many reasons. I’ve never attended a summer camp before and Odyssey immediately stood out to me: I instantly felt a connection and as if this was an environment I could jump into with my whole heart and whole self. I’m attending this camp simply because I love working with our youth and am thrilled to be a part of an event that allows them to exist simply as they are. I’m excited to be surrounded by so many new personalities and hopefully bring out the kid in me as well!
Riley Thomas aims to foster an environment of radical love and acceptance of self and others here at OTC. A firm believer in the healing power of silliness, laughter, and hope she looks forward to returning to camp each summer where these are abundant. Her favorite thing about camp is helping teenagers discover their inner strength and validity in their ideas, thoughts, and feelings. Throughout the year she can be found working toward her M.A in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and thinking about the magic of laughter over a campfire.
Counselor / Art Hut Manager
Alana is the one of the individuals running the Art Hut this year at OTC. Alana believes the best part about camp is human expression! There is so many ways teens get to express themselves at OTC, whether it be through dance parties, sign language, visual arts, cooking, making music, and so much more! When Alana isn’t at camp, you can find her studying art and Speech-Language Pathology or leading creative arts programming in Ithaca, NY.
I am a passionate vegan cook who cares deeply about health and wellness. I find comfort in nature, and what better place to connect with nature than OTC! My favorite thing about OTC is getting to support and inspire campers while growing alongside them.
Hi! My name is Emily and I’m excited to learn and grow with you at camp this summer!!! (Yes, I know I use a lot of exclamation points, my friends say I’m like an excited Golden Retriever)!! I like to describe myself as recklessly optimistic and ready to learn.
I’m an English major studying at Chestnut Hill College and I love reading. I can even read in French now! Nothing makes me more excited than discussing literature. Other than spending time outdoors, discovering new trails to hike, that is. I learn more about myself and others every day and I hope I can do that will you this summer!
My happiest memories are of the days I spent at summer camp as a kid. So much, in fact, that I resigned from my 18-year corporate career so summers would be free to be a camp nurse. I’m so looking forward to meeting all the extraordinary campers and staff at Camp Odyssey. I’ll be around to cover those inevitable cuts, put ice on bumps and keep your rashes from itching. Oh and no, you will not be seeing double your other camp nurse is my identical twin sister, Tami! That should keep things interesting in the Health Center!
Chloe joined the OTC fam in 2006 as a fifteen year old. She came back again and again because she’s never laughed louder than in the woods, surrounded by the loving community of Odyssey Teen Camp. This year, she so excited to create inspiring, fun programming and can’t wait to get to camp!
Hi! My name is LeeAnn and I am very excited to be working at Odyssey Teen Camp this summer. I am thrilled to be working with youth and making a difference in their lives. I am excited to be able to teach new skills to the young people and hopefully learn some new things from them too! My wish is for everyone, campers and staff, to leave camp feeling relaxed, renewed, and ready to take on the world!
My name is Caroline Kothari. I’m excited about camp to assist in the “Feel Your Fear, Find Your Power Workshop” because it’s the first workshop I took at camp and it changed my life. 9 years later and I’m a certified firewalking instructor hoping to make it into part of my career.
I’m also excited for camp to help young teens come into themselves. Camp helped me find myself and my passions, so I am really looking forward to being able to give teens the experience that I had at camp.
I’m Emma. I was a camper at OTC when I was 14 and my experience still holds a very special place in my heart at 21. I’m from Westchester, NY and I just graduated from University of Vermont. I studied Human Development and Studio Art. I love any form of art making, trying new food, having FUN, emotional movies and music, thrift shopping, hanging out in the sun, swimming in pretty spots, film photography, writing, running and moving, laughing, singing, genuine friendship, meeting and connecting with people, traveling to any new place and having any developmentally facilitating experience. I can’t wait to meet you all!!!!
I want to work at camp this year because I think the community built at Odyssey is unlike any other in the world. Odyssey is the most supportive and well meaning group of people I’ve ever encountered and having the privilege to be a part of it has helped me become a better person. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing everyone flourish together at camp and if I get to share some writing and theatre with people too, that’s just extra. I can’t wait to see what new adventures await me, the staff, and camp as a whole this summer.
Hello! my name is Clare this will be my first year being a camp counselor at Odyssey and I am very excited to meet a whole bunch of new people and explore the new campsite with you all. I currently live in the Bay Area and just graduated with a major in sculpture/ceramics. I am coming to camp hoping to create some friendships and connections and hope to help support campers in any difficulties they might be going through such as self confidence, trouble focusing, or if they are timid to trying new things. I hope that everyone will have the opportunity to explore this location physically and also explore parts of themselves they never have before!
Clarissa is one of our Program Directors. She also manages our social media. This coming summer will be her 6th year at OTC. During the year, Clarissa works as an illustrator and graphic designer. She’s passionate about alternative education and keeping the spirit of Odyssey alive all year round! Her favorite thing about camp is watching teenagers learn how to trust themselves and each other in a supportive and imaginative environment.
HI i’m Melody!! I’m a psychology major at URI & I am obsessed with being outside. Yoga and meditation have changed my life and I love to teach people about it. I also love to dance, learn, and laugh a lot. Summer is my absolute favorite time of year & I am so excited to spend this one at OTC. Feel free to ask me about Shinrin Yoku (aka forest bathing, my newest obsession) or my three beautiful cats. I can’t wait to meet everyone and watch you all be exactly who you are 🙂
Ian Vallone has been with OTC for over a decade (WOW!) first as a camper, and then as staff. At camp, he is involved with sports (mainly Ultimate Frisbee) and all things nerdy. In his other life, he teaches high school physics to a group of wonderful teens. He likes stars, high fantasy, and numbers.