Forest Lake Camp Director and Owner Team

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Gene and Lilly Devlin, Directors

Gene is responsible for our day-to-day operations, marketing, recruitment and alumni development. Gene was a teacher and administrator for 15 years in the private boarding school world prior to working at FLC. He most recently served as the Director of Admission at a boarding school in New England and was before that the Director of their Wilderness School, where he led students and families in the outdoors for over 8 years.

Gene possesses a wealth of knowledge in working with children and families and has years of administrative experience. He graduated from the University of Vermont in 1996 with a degree in Education and English with a minor in outdoor education. Gene also holds a Master’s Degree in Organization and Leadership from The University of Antioch New England. Pictured here with his wife, Lilly, their youngest son George, and FLC campers, Skyeler and Camden.

Why do I return to FLC every summer: “For me camp is a place of community, renewal and self-discovery. I return each summer because I take great pleasure in seeing our campers make new connections and discoveries about themselves through relationships and their environment.”

Lilly is responsible for staff hiring and training and curriculum design. Lilly began her own camping days at an all girls’ camp in Maine at the age of 10. She returned every summer until the age of 22. She worked as a CIT, counselor and eventually held a head counselor role. During those formative years Lilly developed a deepened commitment to the impact that a summer camp experience can have on each child’s development. Over the past 13 years Lilly has actively been involved in education, in the classroom and in wilderness settings. She has worked with elementary age children up to high school, as well as with families.

Lilly’s high energy, creativity, compassion and understanding of young people is a true value to the Forest Lake community. Lilly not only brings to Forest Lake her quality of character but also a deepened knowledge and vision of the camping world.

What excites you about being a member of the FLC family:“When I am asked what I look forward to most in my role at Forest Lake, the word family consistently comes to mind. I have always felt as though there is no greater environment outside the immediate home than a camp family. Family, to me, means feeling connected, taking time to listen and share. It means encouraging, challenging, and supporting one another. Family is having fun. Forest Lake brings all of the same values.”

Geoff Blanck, Owner/Associate Director

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A second-generation alumnus of Forest Lake Camp, Geoff spent 6 years at FLC in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. His brother Rob Blanck also spent several years at FLC over that time and his father Bob Blanck spent many many summers on ‘the hill’ in the 50’s and 60’s.

Geoff is a graduate of Hobart College and Babson Business School, has lived and worked in London, traveled extensively in New Zealand and now resides in Waterbury, Vermont. Pictured here with his wife, Shalagh, an alumna of the Brown Ledge Camp for girls in Colchester, Vermont, and campers Emma and Annecy.

Owning FLC is a dream come true for Geoff and his family. A highlight of his summer is leading the old Indian rain chant ‘Flee, Fly, Flo’ at campfire every Sunday night to ward off the clouds for the upcoming week.

Why do I return to FLC every summer: “It is both invigorating and surreal to own the camp that has been part of my life since I was 7 years old and part of my family since the mid 1950’s. I returned to FLC for the beauty and tranquility and the ability to positively shape a child’s life.

When I was at FLC I learned how to make friends, what it means to be a leader and experienced things that I never would have had the chance to experience otherwise. Having the opportunity to provide that to a few hundred children every year is exhilarating. I am proud and eager to continue the wonderful traditions of FLC and seeing the smiling faces of campers every day makes me a very happy camper myself.”

Tobin Kelly, Owner/Associate Director

Tobin is an alumnus of Camp Tohkomeupog in Madison, New Hampshire where he spent 18 years as a camper, counselor and Head Counselor in addition to leading the alumni association for ten years. He has spent many happy days hiking and canoeing in the White Mountains and has been discovering the Adirondack High Peaks during his time at Forest Lake! Tobin is a graduate of Harvard College and Babson Business School. He has spent most of his career in the education and training field when not at camp.  Pictured here with his wife, Margaret, Lower School Admissions Director at the Fessenden School in Newton, Massachusetts, his son, Quinn and daughter Kenzie, who is a current camper at FLC.

Why do I return to Forest Lake each summer?: “Growing up, summertime meant going to camp where I could enjoy the outdoors, camaraderie and spirit of a traditional summer camp. The friendships I formed have been lifelong and the experiences so special that I was even married at camp! When I had the opportunity to get involved with Forest Lake, it was and is the continuation of a dream come true.”

Forest Lake Camp Administrative Staff

 

Caitlyn Seamster, Girls Head Counselor

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This summer will be Cait’s first summer at FLC.  Cait worked at Bonnie Brae, which is a residential treatment center for at-risk youth boys. Every summer, Bonnie Brae rents out FLC and Cait fell in love with FLC the minute she pulled into the driveway. Cait was a part of the recreation department at Bonnie Brae and tried to spend every moment at the waterfront!

Cait is from New Jersey and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in education and leadership at St. Lawrence University in upstate New York. While pursuing a degree at St. Lawrence University, she is also the assistant softball coach at the university. Before St. Lawrence, Cait attended The College of New Jersey and received a degree in women and gender studies with a minor in sociology. She is very passionate about helping others and is interested in finding different ways to motivate others to achieve their goals. She is very excited to find unique ways to motivate everyone at camp!

What am I looking forward to this summer?

I am thrilled to take on the role of head counselor at FLC! This is a new and exciting chapter in my life and I am ready for the challenge.  I am excited to build strong and healthy relationships with staff and campers.  I am looking forward to having fun at camp and adding some flavor to the FLC experience!

Caroline Kravitz, Girls Head Counselor

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This summer will be Caroline’s 10th summer at FLC. She has been to camp as both a camper and counselor and is thrilled to return this summer as a Head Counselor on Girls’ Camp!

Caroline is from New York City and currently studying history at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. She is passionate about social justice issues and is pursuing a certificate in civic engagement along with her degree. She also works with a number of international and local nonprofit organizations that focus on refugee-related issues, assisting in areas such as tutoring, legal aid, and resettlement. She has learned a lot about open-mindedness, gratitude, respect, and community from this work and hopes to bring these values with her to camp!

Last summer Caroline led the LIT program on Girls’ Camp in addition to taking photos for the camp website, end-of-session slideshows, and social media pages. When Caroline is not looking out for her campers and staff on Girls’ Camp she is teaching fitness zumba, creative writing, and lacrosse. Caroline brings an infectious laugh, a deep respect for others, and an incredibly strong work ethic to all she does.  FLC is fortunate to watch her grow as a respected leader at camp.  Caroline is looking forward to another summer of adventure, community, and fun!

Why do I return to FLC?

Camp has opened me up to an incredible community all over the world. It has taught me communication, organization, and leadership skills that carry me through the off season, and it has helped me build confidence and empathy. Most importantly, it has connected me to people, places, and perspectives that would not otherwise be on my radar. I love the Adirondacks and everything about camp!

Ben Nicols, Boys Head Counselor

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Ben is excited to spend his 4th summer at Forest Lake Camp this summer. Though he grew up just down the road, Ben did not arrive to Forest Lake Camp until 2014 when he had the pleasure of joining the FLC family as our waterfront director. Ben made a huge impact down at waterfront, sharing nonstop fun and laughter to all ages.  He may be most notably remembered for epic counselor vs. camper beach volleyball tournaments.  Fishing derbies and greasy watermelons are of the many traditions that came back into camp life during Ben’s tenure as waterfront director. Waterfront director is a coveted position at camp and Ben thought he had the best job of anyone.  Not only does the job come with swim lessons, paddle boards, kayaks and sailing, but it also earned Ben the best tan on staff and first in the water each day!

Summer 2017 brings new excitement and opportunities for Ben as he takes on the role of one of Boys’ Camp Head Counselors. Ben is looking forward to helping keep the amazing FLC traditions alive while at the same time trying to help improve experiences for campers summer after summer.  Ben is a key team player at FLC and we look forward to the many moments where he will continue to help campers reach their potential.  His patience, ability to connect with all campers and staff and his deep appreciation of individual differences and strengths makes him a valued member of FLC.   We are excited to see Ben on Boy’s Hill this summer and know he will continue to make a lasting impact.

Why do you return to FLC each summer?

I return FLC because it is an amazing opportunity to observe growth in adolescents in a compact time frame. Being able to watch campers challenge themselves, and overcome personal obstacles, whether it be at the climbing wall, on a hike, or at the waterfront, provides the staff of FLC with a huge sense of satisfaction. Many parents of FLC campers have seen huge amounts of growth take place in their children while at FLC, and being able to watch those changes occur first hand is what keeps me wanting to come back to FLC.

Jamie Kerrigan, Boys Head Counselor

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This summer will be Jamie’s 4th year at camp and he feels each one gets more unbelievable then the next.  Jamie has an undergraduate degree and a Master’s degree in Physiology, and biomechanics and will be starting a PGCE and a second masters program in September. Jamie has worked in schools his whole working career from Special Educational schools to mainstream schools, covering ages from 8 straight through to adults. His experiences in the classroom and out in the filed with students, combined with his passion for the great outdoors are what led Jamie to FLC, and are of the many things that make Jamie such a strong part of the FLC team.

During Jamie’s time at FLC he has played several diverse roles; most notably a rugby coach, soccer enthusiast, life guard, trip leader, and rock climbing instructor. Some of Jamie’s favorite experiences of camp have been taking groups of boys on hiking  and canoe trips and creating lifelong memories. Jamie feels these types of experiences bring the FLC family even closer together. Jamie will be joining the leadership team at FLC this summer as one of our Boys Head Counselors. Jamie’s commitment to young people and his time in both traditional and nontraditional settings is a giant strength that he brings to our camp community.

Jamie returns to FLC with enthusiasm, drive and determination to give every child the summer of a lifetime and something they will never forget.

Why do you return to FLC each summer?

There is nowhere else on earth I would rather spend my summers. I get to spend 8 weeks making new friends, seeing my FLC family and working with awesome campers day in and day out. I have people around me who I can rely on and who want to join me in creating an amazing summer for our campers. Every year at the end of summer I am asked to sum up FLC in one word. I spend hours thinking about this one word and I think it is an impossible task. FLC cannot be simply summed up in one word, the experiences we have here cannot be put into one simple phrase. FLC and the experiences we have are too vast and too great to be summed up. It is a place I long for and a place I miss when I am gone. It is a home away from home for so many of us. This is why I return to FLC.

Brett Booker, Waterfront Director

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Brett Booker, Waterfront Director

Brett first came to camp as the soccer specialist in 1990 and returned for 4 consecutive summers. After an 18-year break (which Brett considers his sabbatical) he returned as Head Counselor in 2012-2015. In 2016 Brett took on the responsibility of Private Rentals Manager for Forest Lake Camp and helps outside groups enjoy the beauty of FLC. From Weddings, School Groups, Corporate Groups and even dog training competitions, Brett has welcomed and will continue to welcome them all. Without wishing to fully disconnect from Summer camp Brett has taken on the role of FLC’s Summer Camp Waterfront Director. Brett is often seen enjoying a game of dock-out down at our waterfront or teaching a camper how to roll a kayak. Brett is instrumental in maintaining many of FLC’s deep traditions as well as offering new and spirited life down at our waterfront. Brett brings much laughter every week to Campfire, values the opportunity to share camp life with his boys, and is often seen in festive attire during camp events. Brett thanks FLC for so much and not least providing an introduction to his wife and FLC alumna Sadie Ball.

Why do I return to FLC every summer?: “I have 2 small boys who I must ensure experience the FLC factor and working at camp allows me to help make that legacy possible. Forest Lake is a magical place that allows for a degree of personal growth unlike anywhere else I have ever known. The relationships and bonds between fellow staff members and campers and indeed campers and staff are bonds that, speaking from experience, last a lifetime. At camp I am able to really develop and use skills that are only really applicable at Camp. Where else can I teach people about communication skills and personal development and then take part in a campfire Skit with Custard Pies? With the current ownership and director’s mission to make FLC the best camp it can be, I feel I am truly part of an exciting legacy.”

Elyse Rubchinuk, Program Coordinator

This summer will be Elyse’s 5th summer at FLC.  Elyse was born and raised in New Hampshire.  Elyse graduates this spring from Bates College in Maine with a major in Environmental Studies and concentrations in philosophy, psychology, and education. Elyse started her time at FLC as a Wilderness staff member, leading trips off camp and sharing her passion for the outdoors and adventure.  Among many things, Elyse has been actively involved with camp’s composting system, recycling in the cabins and a part of FLC’s 16 year old LIT (Leaders in Training) program.  Of the many sports Elyse coaches at camp, her favorite one is basketball. Elyse shares, “I love being able to work with a team of girls to prepare for a competition and to see their progress throughout the summer.” Last summer Elyse had the pleasure of spending time at the stables to help the riding staff with lessons. “Riding is a special place for campers to try something totally new that they may not get the chance to do at home. Some of my favorite camp moments happened in the riding ring.”

2016 brought new adventure for Elyse as she joined the leadership team as one of Girls’ Camps Head Counselors.  Elyse’s knowledge of camp, her passion for tradition and her creative spirit, combined for her deep devotion to the camper experience, made her a strong member of the team.  This coming summer we are thrilled to welcome Elyse into the position of FLC’s Program Director.  Elyse continued knowledge of camp culture and what makes for an exceptional camper experience will compliment this new role greatly for her.

Why do I return to FLC? “I return to FLC because I have the privilege of seeing growth in all of the campers throughout their time at FLC. Camp is a place where you are able to be yourself and not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone through trying new things. I am very excited for this new role at camp, and I look forward to the exciting challenges it may bring.”

Bob Duffy, Activities Director

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Bob has been with FLC since the year 2000. He has filled a number of roles at the camp including Coach, Lifeguard, Program Director and Head Counselor. This summer he is looking forward to continuing to take campers whitewater rafting and helping out with athletics. When not at camp Bob is a special education and phys. ed. teacher in the town of Lake Luzerne. Originally from Brooklyn, Bob has fallen in love with the beauty of the Adirondacks.

Why do I return to FLC every summer? “When I was looking for a camp for my daughter I was looking for a safe, exciting, enriching place for her to spend the summer. On my first visit to FLC I was impressed by the fact that so many counselors had been former campers and by the fact that so many campers had been at FLC for multiple years. This told me that campers built a love for this place and each other. My daughter was lucky enough to spend three years at FLC and I have been lucky enough to work and play at this camp for more than ten years. Enjoying the great outdoors with a great, big camp family has been a life enriching experience.”

Olivia Ridge, Trips Director

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Olivia lives in Minnesota and first came to work at Forest Lake Camp in 2013. At Forest Lake Camp she found a place to combine all of her passions: canoeing, photography, and adventuring in the woods. Her favorite thing about camp is sharing her joy of hiking and camping with her campers from different cultures and backgrounds. Being in the wilderness is part of who Olivia is and she hopes to bring that out in all of her campers.

My passion for the wilderness began on canoe trips in the Boundary Waters in Minnesota. I grew up paddling and camping with my parents. It has always been a part of my life. In my childhood, sometimes it felt like something my parents made me do. Then I went to a camp where I got to go on extended canoe trips in remote areas. It wasn’t until camp that it became my own, something that I truly loved. Working outdoors all summer at Forest Lake Camp makes me never want to go inside again.

 Why do I return to FLC every summer?  “FLC is my center. All year, I dream about camp and find myself always drawn to the Forest Lake Family. Camp is a true Utopia of creativity, personal growth, learning from people of all ages, and breathing in fresh mountain air on sunshine days. Here, we find our best selves and delight in sharing our gifts with others. The most amazing part for me is discovering the Adirondacks with the campers. The mountains are my second home and the campers inspire me in exploring all of the beautiful wilderness surrounding camp. Our trips through FLC are all unique and equally special to me. I look forward to meeting so many new mountains and faces this summer!”

John Cullen, Senior Administrator

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In the course of 20+ years at FLC, John has been a junior camper, intermediate camper, senior camper, CIT (counselor-in-training), and a JC (Junior Counselor). He was the captain of his color war team (1969 – they won, and yes his name is on the plaque in the mess hall). He has been a Cabin Counselor, taught archery, taught waterskiing, and taught golf. John’s FLC experience has also included Trip Director, Waterfront Director, a Head Counselor, and even some years has had loosely defined responsibilities, that mostly revolve around making sure everyone has a good time at camp. John is also the master of ceremonies for our weekly Sunday night campfire.

John’s family now has 100+ summers of experience attending or working at FLC. John’s wife, Kelly has been FLC’s camp nurse since 1998 and all of the Cullen children have gone to FLC and all of those who have been old enough, have worked at camp during their college years.

Why do I return to FLC every summer? “My family and I come back to camp every year for the things that haven’t changed since long before I was even aware that FLC existed: the natural beauty of the lake, campus, and the Adirondack Mountains. Meteor Showers and Aurora Borealis in August, hot days, and cool nights. Learning from experience that anything cooked over an open fire has to taste better. Camp is where so many have had the opportunity to take the first steps towards learning to make their own decisions; what to wear, what activities to enjoy, what new things to try, talking to someone you don’t know, and making friends with people you probably wouldn’t get to know at all except for camp. It’s the friendships that most of all have defined my FLC experience.”