Friends of Camp Kenan Board of Directors
Robert "Goose" Gray
The One, The Only, Graaaaay Goose! Robert "Goose" Gray, needs no further introduction to most local Western New York residents. A resident of Lockport, NY Goose has been serving the community of Lockport and beyond for many years with his unforgettable story telling, singing and love for the outdoors.
He continues his life long work in resident camps, sharing his special talents with children every summer. Goose remains a beloved fixture at the YMCA in Lockport, NY and Camp Kenan.
He was a part of the founding members of Friends of Camp Kenan and our annual Camp Kenan staff reunion, "Goosestock" is named in honor of his service to Camp Kenan. Goose stayed on the Friends of Camp Kenan Board of Directors during the 2010 elections, as an advisory member. He is an active member of Friends of Camp Kenan and returns each year to Goosestock.
I am fortunate to have a beautiful, loving wife and four children [Age 12, 9 , 6, and 2]. I met my wife at Westminster College in Pennsylvania and we have lived in Erie, PA since 2000. I grew up in Gasport, NY and was a graduate of Royalton-Hartland High school in 1994. I own several business including a landscaping and rental property business as well as work for Meadville Medical Center as a Financial Manager since 2003.
My grandmother, Ruth Natemeier, was the camp secretary for many years and was the main reason that I started attending Camp Kenan at age 7. For many years I sold hundreds of candy bars so I could attend Camp Kenan at least once a summer, and many summers for two weeks. Being a fiercely competitive kid and a kid in no short supply of energy Olympic week tended to be my favorite week of the year. I donít know how many times I have heard Dan Doctor tell the story that all the counselors wanted me in their cabin for the swim meet but that was it! I think he thought I was a hand full?
From 1982 to 1990 I moved from Cadet, to Junior and finally to the Senior Village. In 1991 I became a CIT with a class of 7, several of them I am still close friends with today. The experiences I had that year with my fellow CITís, our director and other staff helped mold me into the person I became over the next five years at camp. I spent one year as a JC, then two summers as an SC and my final two years on staff I was the Aquatics and Waterfront director. After the summer of 1996 it was finally time to grow up, I was offered an internship at my college that I couldnít pass up.
I would come back to camp just once in the next ten years, and that was to see the new tower which was named after my grandmother. However, in 2007 my oldest daughter [Maddy], after hearing all my stories about camp decided to go to camp at age 7. Since 2007, Maddy has gone every year and Luke who is now 9 has gone the past two summers. Ellie canít wait to join her brother and sisters in another year.
Goosestock 2010 became my watershed moment with the Friends of Camp Kenan. In less than 3 months a small group of us organized, planned, communicated and revitalized Goosestock as a destination weekend for former staff members. Since that year we have had more than 100 people attend Goosestock!
I am currently a manufacturing and supply-chain specialist with the Department of Defense in Buffalo, NY and live in Lockport, NY. I began this position in April of 2010. In addition to my position with the DoD, I have also been a member of the Marine Corps Reserves since 1996 and have served both at home and overseas. I earned my Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at SUNY Buffalo and returned to earn my Master of Science in Supply Chain & Operations Management. While, I still live in the city where I grew up, I have also lived in Florida on two occasions, both times deciding that I would happily give up the weather of Florida for the people of Western New York. I prefer to be active in my local community and support organizations that I feel strongly about. I also enjoy spending time with my wife, Kelly, and our dog.
I spent many summers at Camp Kenan, not only as a camper (Cadet through Senior), but also as a staff member. I was a Counselor-In-Training, Junior Counselor, Senior Counselor, Waterfront Director, and also spent a couple of summers as the ďSpare TireĒ, assisting area directors and staff members and working as the Program Coordinator in the off-season. Camp Kenan has always been a special place for me, as I know it has for countless other people.
I greatly look forward to working with the rest of the board members and with all of the people who help to keep Camp Kenan such a special place.
My name is Leslie Poyer-Tobin and I am currently a stay at home mother. I have two children, Lena and Finnegan, and I am married to Christopher.
I graduated from Arkport Central School in 2000 then moved to this area while attending Niagara University, where I studied History. I moved to Lockport after Chris and I were married in 2007.
Not growing up in this area, I never knew about Camp Kenan, until I met Chris. I started attending Goosestock with him four years ago, and had the privilege to attend the dedication of the Michael Tobin Memorial Chapel in memory of my brother in law.
I am very excited to be on the Friends of Camp Kenan Board of Directors and hope I can help continue the great work they do.
Rachelle (Barends) Hathaway
I never had the experience of being a resident camper at Camp. As a shy and quiet teenager, I was very fortunate my sophomore year of high school to be selected to attend a Leadership Camp at Camp Kenan. It was that early weekend in September that I first met the Old Grey Goose and a couple very outgoing staff members. After that weekend, I made the decision to apply for a counselor position in the upcoming summer of 1993 and continued to work full summers through 1996. In the summer of 1994 I spent an entire week canoeing the Erie Canal with The Old Grey Goose and four campers. Getting to know Goose and the campers, helping them work together and safely return to the shores of Lake Ontario are only a few of the memories I have from my favorite week as a counselor.
I was born and raised In Lewiston, NY. I attended St. Peterís RC School then went on to graduate from Lewiston-Porter Senior High, in 1994. I began my undergraduate studies at Westminster College in PA, transferred to Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester, NY, and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Education. In September 2005, I began my Masterís in mathematics education. I completed the degree two years later and I received my permanent NYS teaching certificates as an elementary and secondary math teacher.
I worked as a math teacher at a secure juvenile detention center and in 2007 accepted a position with Newfane Schools as a Math Specialist teaching accelerated, remedial and Integrated Algebra. My position was cut at the end of 2011. I currently work as a consultant for a local company, curriculum mapping common core standards.
I currently live in Wrightís Corners, Lockport with my wonderful family: my husband Denis, my daughter Sharidan, our son Robert and our newest member, our son Harriso
My name is Tony Mannix and I grew up in Spencerport, NY. I first made my way to Camp Kenan in 1992 when I was nine years old. I spent many years as a camper, L.I.T, C.I.T, J.C., S.C., Archery Director, and finally Athletics Director. In total I spent parts of fourteen summers at CK, learning many valuable lessons for my future. I loved being around such an inviting group of people, and they helped shape the person I am today. I made tons of life-long friendships that I cherish.
I graduated from Wagner College in New York City in 2004 with a B.A. in Theatre and a Concentration in Music. I currently live in Chicago with my lovely wife Rachael, and super cool cat Sabre. Iím an improviser at the IO Theatre, home to many Saturday Night Live current and former cast members, and I am also a proud member of Actors Equity. I can be seen playing the part of a server at RPM Italian sometimes as well! My wife asks me to sing sometimes, and for some reason I tend to only remember the lyrics to camp songs.
I am so proud to be a member of the Friends of Camp Kenan Board. Camp has played such a large role in my life, that I look forward to giving others the experience that I was so fortunate to be a part of.
I started going to camp in 1988 and stayed until 2000. I went from camper to Senior Counselor by the time I left, and loved every minute of every summer I spent on the shores of Lake Ontario. In fact, many of the friends I met at Camp I still maintain today, thanks to Facebook!
After leaving Camp, I received a Bachelor's in English and Women's Studies from SUNY Oswego, a Master of Science in Training and Performance Improvement from Capella University, and will be beginning a PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology in January 2012.
These days, I am a technical writer and trainer for an international breast cancer research group.
I am excited about being involved with the Friends of Camp Kenan and giving back to the place that brought me so many years of happiness!
My name is Kelly Stahl, newly elected to the Friends of Camp Kenan. I worked for Camp Kenan the summer of 1994 as a senior counselor. I continued to work for the YMCA in Lockport in the day camp program.
My YMCA career lasted about 12 years; working in Lockport, Rochester, Buffalo, and Syracuse. I am a huge advocate for kids going to summer camp.
I am now living in Groton, NY with my fiance Dar and our baby girl, Emma. I have received my certificate in Practical Nursing and passed my NYS Boards in October 2012.
I am very excited to be a part of the Friends of Camp Kenna Board of Directors and holding the office of Secretary. I am looking forward to working toward the goal of getting more kids to attend camp.
My name is Matt Strusienski and Camp Kenan has been part of my life for nearly 20 years. I first attended Camp Kenan in 1994 during Olympiad Week with my cousins who attended camp previously. I attended camp every summer after including being an LIT in 1999 and CIT in 2000. From 2001-2006, I held a variety of positions at camp including Junior Counselor, Senior Counselor, Day Camp Counselor, Adventure Director, Pool/Waterfront Director, and Athletic Director. At the end of summer 2006, after receiving my degree from St. Bonaventure University, I was given the opportunity of a lifetime to be Camping Services Director for the Lockport Family YMCA/Camp Kenan. I was honored to hold this position for 4 years and enjoyed every minute of it.
Even though camp is no longer my place of summertime recreation or employment, its teachings, memories, and lifelong friendships travel with me always. I have no problem declaring my times at camp as a camper and staff member as the BEST times of my life. These moments include but are not limited to being asked to run the torch into camp for Olympiad opening ceremonies and as a senior camper being asked to throw a chip on the fire. Not to mention, my longest lasting and closest friendships to date that have come from camp. To this day, I always look forward to day trips, Goosestocks, and other community events at Camp Kenan. Camp Kenan will ALWAYS be home to me.
Currently, I live with my wife, Katie and our daughter Olivia in North Tonawanda and work in National Account Development for an industrial safety and supply company based in Buffalo, NY.
As newly elected treasurer, I look forward to continuing to be a productive member of Friends of Camp Kenan and continue the traditions of giving back and supporting Camp Kenan as itís founding members intended.