Category Archives: Staff

Better For Having Been: Catching Up with Sari Wexler!

Once you walk through the gates of Trail’s End Camp, you become part of the TEC family.  Whether you’re getting ready for your first summer at camp or it’s been awhile since your camper days, it’s great to know you can always say “I Am Trail’s End.”

This past Saturday, Trail’s End alumni gathered in New York City for a reunion. Not only did they get a chance to reminisce about their time as campers and their favorite TEC memories, they also raised over $500 for SCOPE (Summer Camp Opportunities Promote Education).

At the reunion we caught up with TEC alum, reunion organizer and new Varsity Head Counselor, Sari Wexler!

What do you miss most about your time as a camper?

Looking back at my time as a camper, the one thing I miss most is constantly being surrounded by some of my favorite people. Waking up at reveille together, cleaning the bunk together, activities together, free play together and so much more. Some of my favorite memories were just during the down time hanging out with my friends!

What message do you have for current campers?

My message to current campers is to live in each moment, be present and don’t be afraid to try new things! Put yourself out there in every way, to make new friends, bond with your old friends and to create new memories at the best place ever, TEC!

How has your time at TEC impacted who you are today?

Trail’s End has impacted my life in a tremendous way.  I was fortunate to return to camp as a counselor, group leader and now I will be taking on a new role as a head counselor. Each of my prior roles has shaped me into the person I am today. I learned to be more confident in myself, how to be a team player and most importantly, work to make the camper’s camp experience the best one yet.


Can’t wait to relive your summers at TEC? Be sure to join us for Alumni Day 2018, on August 4th at Trail’s End Camp!

Introducing Our Leadership Team – Summer 2015

Leadership TeamWelcome to the Summer of 2015! We would like to introduce you to our leadership team. Calvin Snyder, Stephanie Fineman, Zach Wahl-Alexander and Katie Donahue represent the Boys Campus, Girls Campus and Varsity. Juli Puglisi is our Parent Liaison and Special Needs Coordinator. Adam Haines serves as our Athletic Director, Sara Harl is our Evening Programer and Sara Fetterhoff is our Assistant Director leading all prospective families through camp during the summer. Stacy Carus, our other Assistant Director, will continue to work out of the New York office in Wantagh. Please feel free to contact them with any needs you have this summer.

Calvin SnyderScreen Shot 2015-06-06 at 12.58.36 PM
Nickname: Cal
Favorite Sports Team: Cleveland Browns
Favorite Color: Blue
Favorite Movie: “Field of Dreams”
Favorite Quote: “There may be people that have more talent than you, but there’s no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do.” – Derek Jeter
Favorite Camp Tradition: Olympics
Years in Camp: 12
Position In Camp: Boys Head Counselor
Favorite Camp Memory: The first line-up skit on Boys Campus!

Screen Shot 2015-06-06 at 12.58.10 PMMy name is Calvin Snyder and I have been coming to Trail’s End for the past twelve summers. I started as a baseball counselor then moved up to Group Leader and finally now the Boys Head Counselor. I am originally from Ohio but now have been living and working in Germantown, Maryland at Sheridan School as an Athletic Director and Physical Education teacher for the past 9 years. I can’t wait to spend another summer with my camp family and get to know all the new staff members and campers.

Stephanie FinemanIMG_9536
Nickname: Steph or “Mom”
Favorite Sports Team:  Florida Panthers
Favorite Color: TEC Green
Favorite Movie:  “Overboard!” and “The Shining”
Favorite Quote:  “You’re gonna need a bigger boat!” (Jaws)
Favorite Camp Tradition:  When Stan announces the Olympic teams at the cook out slope and asks if “they are ready” prior to going through the Olympic Village and Campfire
Years in Camp:  This is our 6th summer
Position in Camp:  Girls Head Counselor
Favorite Camp Memory:  Group Nights at the Arts and Crafts shop

IMG_7704Hi everyone!  It is a pleasure and an honor to introduce myself to all of you.  To begin, I’m the Mom who never grew up!  I have been camping since I was 11 years old, and will continue to do it until I cannot anymore.  (Hopefully never!)  Our family is from Florida, and while I get to play with all of your children along with my two boys, my fabulous husband, Alan, remains in the tropical heat to make us a living so we can continue the fun.  The Fineman’s are looking forward to another wonderful summer, as always.  I can’t wait to see how much all of “my girls” have grown up since last summer, as well as meeting all the “new friends” starting this season.  I am so happy to switch from my winter job as a teacher in the classroom, to the outdoor fresh air of beautiful Beach Lake, Pennsylvania.

Zach Wahl-AlexanderScreen Shot 2015-06-06 at 12.53.20 PM
Nickname: The Dr.
Favorite Sports Team: Alabama Crimson Tide
Favorite Color: Blue
Favorite Movie: “Gladiator”
Favorite Quote:  “I am the master of the universe.”
Favorite Camp Tradition: Olympic captains being called down the hill
Years in Camp: 4
Position In Camp: Varsity Head Counselor
Favorite Camp MemoryScreen Shot 2015-06-06 at 12.53.01 PM: Brian Carus being awarded Olympic captain

My name is Zachary Wahl-Alexander, and this is my 4th summer at Trail’s End.  For my first two summers, I was the Group Leader for the Pioneers, and last summer I shared an office with Calvin and served as Boys Head Counselor.  This summer, I am the Varsity Boys Head Counselor, and cannot wait to be down in the village.  I recently graduated from the University of Alabama with my PhD in Human Performance and began to officially be called Dr. in May.  I start work as an assistant professor at Northern Illinois University in August, and am very excited to start the next chapter in my life.

Katie DonahueScreen Shot 2015-06-06 at 12.53.58 PM
Nickname: Sunshine
Favorite Sports Team: The Alabama Crimson Tide
Favorite Color: Anything pastel
Favorite Movie: “The Princess Bride”
Favorite Quote: “In a world where you can be anything… be yourself”
Favorite Camp Tradition: Olympics
Years in Camp: 6
Position In Camp: Varsity Girls Head Counselor
Favorite Camp Memory: The last day of camp during my last year as a Group Leader (2013) when I spent the whole day with my girls sharing our favorite memories about the summer. I was (and still am) so proud of the cohesive, supportive, and loving group of girls. I watched them grow and felt so lucky to have been a part of their journey.

My name is Katie Donahue and this is my 6th summer at TEC. I started as a counselor for the Lower Collegiates back in 2010 and this summer I will complete my second year as Head Counselor down in Varsity. I can’t believe that the girls I had when I was a counselor will be COUNSELORS THEMSELVES this summer!
Screen Shot 2015-06-06 at 12.57.39 PMI received my undergraduate degree in Middle Childhood Education from The Ohio State University and this past December, I graduated with my Masters in Elementary Education from the University of Alabama, Roll Tide! After graduation, I got hired as a 6th grade math and science teacher in Alabama and loved it! However, I am leaving the warm weather and southern hospitality for Illinois after camp this year because Zach got a job as a professor at Northern Illinois University. I am currently looking for an Elementary teaching position and can’t wait for camp this summer.

Juli PuglisiFullSizeRender 2
Favorite sports Team: Giants
Favorite Color : Light blue ( Sabrina said it is purple but I think it’s light blue)
Favorite Movie : “The Fugitive”
Favorite Quote: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”- Wayne Gretzky.
Favorite Camp Tradition: Opening Olympic Ceremony
Years in Camp : 11 as a camper and will be 5 as a staff member
Position in camp: Parent Liaison/ Office Manager
Favorite camp memory: Olympics 2013- Flash Mob!

FullSizeRenderI live in Dix Hills, New York with my husband Greg and three children, Ellie (13), Sam (11) and Sabrina (11). I was a Special Education teacher in Manhattan until I had my children. After a few years off I moved to Long Island and went back to work as an Early Intervention teacher.  In 2011, I had the opportunity to start working at Trail’s End. This meant the world to me as Trail’s End has been my childhood summer home, starting as a Buddie in 1981 and continuing all the way through as a counselor. I love being up at camp and watching my children and the other campers have the experience that formed so many of my own childhood memories. My husband, Greg also gets to share in this experience as the camp doctor. I can’t wait for the memories of 2015.

Adam HainesScreen Shot 2015-06-25 at 6.36.36 AM
Nickname :  Tater Salad  (Ron White reference, I have no nickname)
Favorite Sports Teams:  San Antonio Spurs, Florida State football
Favorite Color:  Green
Favorite Movie:  “Saving Private Ryan,” “Braveheart,” “Band of Brothers” miniseries, “Elf” around Christmas time
Favorite Quotes: “The way you do anything is the way you do everything;”   “Give a man a fish, feed him for the day, teach a man to fish, feed him for life.”  “You can’t learn in school what the world is going to do next year.”
Favorite Camp tradition:  Olympics break, captain selection and opening ceremony
Years in Camp:  7
Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 6.36.26 AMPosition in Camp:  Athletic Director and Basketball Director
Favorite Camp Memory:  Going to New York to make the movie for finding the missing torch for Olympics.

My name is Adam Haines.  I have been a teacher and basketball coach at the varsity level for 14 years and this is my 7th summer at Trail’s End.  I have been married to my wife Laurel for 11 years and I have two boys,  Wyatt who is 8 and Levi who is 7.  We live in the Charlotte, NC area but my wife is from Pennsylvania and I grew up in Virginia.

 

 

Sarah Harl
Nickname: The Other Sara(h)Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 6.39.03 AM
Favorite Sports Team: Iowa Hawkeyes
Favorite Color: Turquoise
Favorite Movie:
 “Beauty and the Beast”
Favorite Quote: “Sometimes I believe in as many as six impossible things before breakfast” – Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Favorite Camp Tradition: I couldn’t pick – either Rope Burn or College Day Base Race
Years in Camp: 9
Position In Camp: Evening and Special Events Director
Favorite Camp Memory: The prep for and the Dr. Seuss breakout.

Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 6.38.03 AMBy way of background, I’m originally from Iowa and graduated from Simpson College with a degree in Sports and Entertainment Management. In January, I moved to New Jersey and have been loving my new East Coast life. In my free time, I love to attend sporting events, travel (including making as many trips back to Iowa as I can!), and plan 1,001 Olympic Breaks. I can’t wait to spend summer number 9 in 18405!

 

Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 6.39.58 AMSara Fetterhoff
Favorite Sports Team: Boston Celtics and Michigan State Men’s Basketball
Favorite Color: Teal
Favorite Movie: “The Goonies”
Favorite Quote:  “Maybe I have lost a few more games than planned, but, it won’t be the wins I’ll remember forever. It will be the blood, sweat, tears and friends that I’ve gained playing the game I love.” – Larry Bird
Favorite Camp Tradition: SING
Years in Camp: 8
Position In Camp: Assistant Director
Favorite Camp Memory: Winning Sing with the UBuds and URangers in 2011!

Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 6.44.12 AMMy name is Sara Fetterhoff, I have been spending the past 8 summers at Trail’s End. Starting off as the basketball counselor with the Middies, I worked my way up and now spend 12 months a year thinking and planning for camp. What could be better!? This summer my first year campers are officially staff members, which is crazy to me. During the summers, I run our tour program and help educate all prospective families about how great Trail’s End is. I am so excited for the summer of 2015 and reunite with all of my favorite people.

Stacy Carus39671_417446548516_1254212_n
Favorite Sports Team: New York Islanders
Favorite Color: Green/Blue
Favorite Movie: “Inception”
Favorite Quote:  “Summer afternoon, summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”  –  Henry James
Favorite Camp Tradition: Apache Relay during Olympics
Years in Camp: 12
Position In Camp: Assistant Director
Favorite Camp Memory: Frog hunting during free play!

39333_418965738516_372809_nI came to TEC in 2003 as the Girls Head Counselor. That summer, four Carus’ went to camp. Ben was in his second summer as a Kadet, Brian was starting camp as an Upper Ranger and Erin was beginning camp as one of the Lower Lower Buddies.
My summers up on girls’ campus were the best summers of my life! I especially loved canoeing and sailing and connecting with so many wonderful girls and counselors. After my first summer, I joined the staff in the winter office and became Assistant Director for the winter months. As the last Carus camper finished Varsity in 2010, I switched roles and became Assistant Director in the New York office year-round. Of course, I still come up to camp a few times each summer – I haven’t missed a Visiting Day in 13 years!

 

 

Staff Spotlight – Catching Up with Marielle

Staff - Marielle

The Trail’s End staff recruiting season is in full swing. We have spent the past few months attending domestic and international staffing fairs with one goal in mind – to find the best role models, mentors, coaches and counselors to help create the 2015 Trail’s End Experience for our campers.

Sara recently traveled to England, Scotland, Budapest, Prague and a number of US colleges. With the help of some TEC alumni and current staff members, we were able to hire many talented college students. Throughout March, April and May we will be continuing our search at universities in the US, Canada and overseas.

In order to get a sense of what the TEC Experience is all about, we caught up with current staff member, Marielle Berger. She has been a part of our community for the past 16 summers.Camp Community Service

Marielle Berger
Nickname: Mar
Favorite Sports Team: Yankees
Favorite Color: Purple
Favorite Movie:
 The Parent Trap
Favorite Quote: “You must always remember, you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”–Christopher Robin from Winnie the Pooh

It is hard to believe that in 16 Saturdays I will once again be back at the most amazing place in the world.  Trail’s End Camp has been my home away from home ever since I was 9 years old.  I began this incredible experience as an Upper Buddie in 2000.  My camper years were magical and helped me grow to be the person I am today.  After 8 summers as a camper, there wasn’t even a question whether or not I would be returning to Trail’s End as a staff member.

Marielle as a CamperAs I am writing this, so many crazy camp memories are on my mind.  One of my favorites  is when we would spend Free Play practicing for the Talent Show – we would pick out matching outfits to wear and our counselors even dressed up with us.  Practicing for Sing is another one of my favorite memories, especially when I was a Trinity and we won Sing for the first time!   Square Dancing with Lou and Sue Flego has always been one of the best nights of camp – dressing up in all different costumes with my square was fun and exciting.   I remember going on my first roller coaster in Hershey Park when I was in the Middies, and hiking and going on the Delaware River when I was a Deb.
Leadership T - 2007
When I entered Varsity, camp changed for me in a way that I never would have imagined.  My connection to TEC became even greater.  Being a leader for all of camp during College Day and Olympics is something I will never forget.  I have to say that my final camper summer, my LT year, was my favorite summer of all. My friendships grew tighter as we were inseparable traveling to college campuses and to Utah.  The 10-day Western Adventure was truly an experience of a lifetime.  Living on a river with my best friends and experiencing a part of the country that none of us had ever been to, was the perfect way to end my 8 years as a camper.

Visiting_day_09_(4) While many of my friends ended their TEC days after our LT summer, I never wanted to leave Beach Lake and was determined to give back to future campers all those great things that Trail’s End had taught me.  In 2009, I was hired as a counselor for the Upper Buddies.  It is hard to believe that the campers from my very first summer will now be Second Years in Varsity!  After 3 summers working with the Upper and Lower Buddies, I took on the role of Tour Director.  Showing people from the outside world the amazing place that so many of us call home for two months of the year is something that I take great pride in and I love to do.  After a summer as Tour Director, I was offered the opportunity to be a Group Leader for the Upper Buddies.  As an young educator, I have learned so much from this position and I absolutely love being the person that helps get our new campers started on their TEC journey.  It is so gratifying supporting them as they become part of our camp family.  I will forever remember the feeling I had when Marc awarded me a Community Service Award during Friday night services. As I received the award and then looked up, all of my campers from the past couple of summers came running down the hill to congratulate me.  Everyone at Trail’s End is truly my family.

Steph and MarielleAs I enter my 8th summer as a staff member, this summer  once again brings about a new and exciting change for me as I will be Assistant Girls’ Head Counselor as well as Group Leader for the Buddies.  I am overly excited to be working even more closely with Steph Fineman, the Girls’ Head Counselor, and Lindsay Bernstein, as my assistant Group Leader.  I can’t wait to be in this new role, and to continue working with the campers on girls’ campus.  My love for TEC grows each year, and I look forward to spending the summer of 2015 with all of you!

Trail’s End Camp – Ready, Set, BOWL!

Tradition, CampEvery fall, we count down the days till our camp family is able to get together for our annual TEC Bowling Reunions, and this year was no different.

Camp Varsity GirlsThe weekend started off on Saturday as we spent the afternoon with our current 6th – 11th graders at Bowlmor. It was a great reunion for our older campers as they hung out with their friends, had pizza & sliders and premiered our 2014 video yearbook. We loved being able to get back to that camp feeling that we have been missing all fall. It was also so much fun to watch everyone reconnect and to see how excited they were to see some of their favorite staff members. TEC Group Leaders and Head Counselors flew in from all over the US to spend the weekend with their summer family.

Boy's Summer CampOn Sunday, it was our 1st – 5th grade campers’ turn to reunite and make some new friends during their bowling get-togethers at Syosset Lanes. The turnout was awesome and we were so happy to see how welcoming our returning campers were to the many 1st time Trail’s Enders. After some bowling and icebreakers, the reunions ended with Marc handing out raffle prizes to the lucky winners which included a golf cart ride for your bunk, the counselors having to do clean up, bunk milkshake parties and pizza parties for the entire group, to name a few.

Having spent an incredible weekend with everyone has put us into full-on camp mode. We in the process of finalizing most of the program for 2015 and will be sure to share some of the highlights with you in January. It is have to believe that we are less than 200 days away from Opening Campfire.

Girl's Camp

Boys Camp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wishing you and your family a Happy Holidays. Be sure to keep your eyes open for the video yearbook which coming to your mailbox over the next few days.

Looking Ahead….

Sara's Photo

As the leaves start to turn and the cold weather is right around the corner, we have set our sights towards summer 2015. Here are some exciting camp events and changes we have planned for the upcoming year:

HALLOWEEN CONTEST – We are excited to announce our 2nd Annual Halloween Costume contest for campers and staff alike! Email Sara a photo of you in your costume by November 3rd to be entered in a raffle to win a Trail’s End prize pack! The lucky staff member and lucky camper will be announced via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter early November. Looking forward to seeing everyone all dressed up!

WINTER REUNION – We can’t wait to see our camp families at the Winter Reunions December 6th and 7th, It is always great hanging out and reuniting with old camp friends while getting to know our new incoming campers even better. Remember to RSVP by logging into your My TEC Account at trailsendcamp.com.

TennisTENNIS COURT RENOVATIONS – Our tennis court facility will be getting a full facelift. We will have 7 brand new tennis courts and 3 Quickstart training courts for our youngest campers. We are excited to see the courts in action come June!

BRAND NEW CRAFTS & TECHNOLOGY CENTER –  The biggest change to the 2015 program will be the expansion of Crafts & Technology.  The new center will include woodworking, ceramics, fine arts, jewelry making, textiles, cooking, video production, digital media and rock band. Keep your eyes peeled for photos throughout the winter.  We will post them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

TOWEL SERVICE – Beginning in 2015, we will be providing towel service for our campers and staff.  Towels will be delivered daily to every camper and staff for showers.  Additionally, there will be towels at the lake or pool for their use when swimming and boating.  Our towel service will result in our Lake Photocampers bringing less “stuff” to camp and will create more room in the bunks!

We are very excited for the 2015 additions and cannot wait to be back at TEC. See you all soon!

Only 35 Saturdays till opening campfire!