Meet The Outdoor School Staff

Here are some of the program staff that students, teachers and families will work with during their trip.

Karyn Bonner

Camp Director Karyn Bonner is originally from Edinburgh, Scotland, and has been working with College Settlement for over 30 years. Karyn has two teenage children, Rob and Rosie who also love spending time enjoying nature outdoors.  After graduating college in Edinburgh and quickly realizing a career illustrating natural history was not as much fun as actually being teaching about it, Karyn left the art world behind and instead worked with experiential/environmental education programs all over the USA.  College Settlement has always been her favorite place in the world, and where her favorite teachers, kids, bugs, ponds and creeks are! Her hobbies include photography, art, mud runs, anything camp-related, and most of all, being a “mum.”

 

Joshua Davis

Assistant Camp Director Joshua Davis is originally from Michigan by way of Canada, and has been with College Settlement for 19 years. Josh lives on-site with his wife and two daughters, Grace and Sophie, both of whom often come out on lessons with the camp kids! Josh is a Temple graduate with a degree in Sociology (with a focus on both environmental and urban studies) but left the halls of academia for good when he was hired for his “dream job”as the Assistant Camp Director in 2012. Josh enjoys playing and writing music, gardening, hiking, and sharing his love of the natural world with anyone willing to listen…all of which, fortunately, happen to be a part of the job!

 

 

Rebecca and Boo – our fainting goat

Rebecca Coco

Outreach Coordinator and Summer Counselor in Training Coordinator

Rebecca is a Philadelphian and Anthropology graduate from Bloomsburg University. She has been with College Settlement for 5 years.  She has worked with many youth and social service organizations, is a former Teacher Naturalist and Camper Advocate. She recently returned to College Settlement after a year as a Team Leader with Americorps.  Rebecca runs our Counselor in Training program during the summer and coordinates most of our spring and fall weekend programs. Rebecca loves working with our former campers as they join us for their first job and transition into the work word.  Rebecca’s hobbies include reading, biking (not while reading), and meeting each year’s new crop of students. Her favorite part of the job is connecting with students and junior staff, and the teachable moments that occur while spending “time in” at College Settlement.

Our Teacher Naturalists

We take great pride in making sure each student gets the most out of their trip to College Settlement. Our staff members are carefully selected and trained to make sure our programs are a unique opportunity to meet and make new friends, as well as enrich their education and appreciation of our outside world. Outdoor education provides a chance to create fond memories of joy and discovery. From encouraging students to take a leadership role during group challenges to leading night hikes, our TNs keep the students learning and laughing. Some join us for a year or two, while other have been with us for more than a decade.

Old Man Mike

Teacher Naturalist Mike is a Penn State grad and retired Philadelphia science teacher who has worked with us in many capacities for over 30 years. Mike’s hobbies are camping, traveling, running, and terrible puns. His wife encourages him to run long distances… that way she cannot hear his jokes.

Mike would like folks to know: “I once actually had hair. They refer to me as Old Man Mike at College Settlement Camp, since I am the oldest person on camp. I was a science teacher in an elementary school in Philadelphia for thirty five years. I brought groups of children to College Settlement Camp for the three-day overnight trip for 21 years. Since I retired in June of 2009, I have been working at College Settlement Camp as a teacher naturalist during the fall and spring. During the summer I am the farm educator and spend a good part of my day taking campers on hay rides. One of the things that never gets old is watching a child catch a fish for the first time.”

Zoe – professional tree hugger

Zoe

Zoe is from the Chesapeake area and has a bachelors in Biology.  Zoe also has worked with many conservation projects and has done restorative controlled burns to keep the Chesapeake wild lands healthy! (Zoe will be great at starting our campfires) From Zoe “I love to learn, create art in any way shape or form, hike with Carlos (my puppy), and stare at the clouds. I’m extremely passionate about our planet and it’s tiny little processes, especially pollinators and their relationship to just about everything we ever come in contact with. I also like to wear funky hats. But most importantly, showing gratitude to this amazing place we call home, EARTH living my life as a steward of the land.

 

I am a major Star Wars geek because this is the way.

Mary

Mary is from Reading PA and has a bachelors degree in Cinema, Television, and Media Production. Mary loves to make stories and turn them into films. Mary is very passionate about many things, including “working with mental health in all forms of art because it is important for everyone to look out for each other . Taking pictures of the outdoors and the small things not everyone notices is one of my favorite things. I am currently working on my graduate degree, so I can teach in the hopefully near future. Camp has really given me lots of experience and confidence for my future teaching endeavors! This summer was my first time ever at summer camp, but it was the memorable. Not only has camp given me this confidence, but it has given me a chance to meet some great people I am glad to call friends! #oakforever

Jessie

Jessie out in the wilderness

Jessie is originally from Allentown, PA and has spent the last ten years working as an environmental educator in Minneapolis/ Saint Paul, MN. Jessie graduated from Kutztown University in 2011 with a Bachelor’s degree in General Psychology and knew she wanted to work outdoors. She joined Americorps: Conservation Corps of Minnesota and Iowa and headed to the midwest. She gained many skills including chainsawing, tree identification, and how to properly dress for winter. She later took a job working at the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory in Saint Paul, MN where she was able to teach thousands of visitors all about plants, animals and conservation. She even got to hold a sloth as part of her job! She is now back in PA ready to get back to nature! When not working Jessie enjoys going on photo walks, looking for secondhand treasures, trying new restaurants, cooking, and visiting the ocean. Jessie is looking forward to her first year at College Settlement!”

Jacob

Jacob is a local Philadelphian and alongside their time at camp, works as a human rights organizer across the state and country, educating and leading arts & cultural work. Jacob cultivated those passions here at camp, teaching students songs and encouraging curiosities about the natural world. Jacob wants folks to know, “I think that the key parts of the program here at College Settlement – cultivating a love of the outdoors, a fascination for nature and learning, respect for our self and others – and that fun has a real, fundamental value and makes education richer are why I can’t ever stray far from camp! No matter how brief any one’s time here may be, I really think this place makes an impact on people. Even if that impact is just getting a song about moose buried in their subconscious for years to come.”