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.
Elizabeth (McGuire) Millen
Elizabeth is a stay at home/working mom. She happily married to Andrew Millen; and they have two girls, Cecilia and Josephine, and one sweet boy, Elliott. Professionally she is a family and wedding photographer. Its a small, yet rapidly growing business that allows her to have an amazing creative outlet while still doing about 50% of the work from home.
Elizabeth was a camper in the late 1980's, starting when she was 10. She was honored to become part of the staff, and worked from 1994-1997. Elizabeth was a member of the Board of Directors for the Friends of Camp Kenan, serving as the Secretary from 2010 to 2012. She remained on the board 2012-2013 shadowing the new Secretary for that year and worked as a Goosestock Co-Chair. She served the full 3 year term commitment and then in September 2013 decided to take some time to focus on her business and family, but we couldn't keep her away for long! In 2014, Elizabeth reapplied as a board member, and was voted the new President unanimously by the rest of the Directors.
Emily (Jackson) Kearns
Emily (Jackson) Kearns is thrilled to be a part of Friends of Camp Kenan. Emily was a camper in the late 80's early 90's and then on staff as a Junior Counselor and Senior Counselor from 1996-1998.
Camp Kenan shaped Emily into the person she is today, including her love of nature loving and outgoing spirit. Camp Kenan has had a positive effect on many who made that journey to the lake, and rolled up that magic driveway. Now that Emily is on the Board for the Friends of Camp Kenan, she has the chance to help raise funds to send children to Camp, giving opportunity for others to create memories at a place that she holds so near and dear to her heart.
Since those long ago, but not forgotten days, Emily has become a wife, a mother of two boys, Ashler and Jackson. Emily has a very involved profession of being a vocalist throughout Western New York. From church to Kleinhans, Emily has made herself known, including a few jingles you may have heard on t.v. or the radio. Now luckily, she's here with us on the board of directors, sharing her talents and energy with us.
Nancy (Case) Murphy
Nancy Murphy is the owner/head coach of Zero Gravity Gymnastics Center located in Newfane, NY. She and her husband, Shawn Murphy, have 2 very energetic boys, Shawn Jr. and Rhys. She is a graduate of SUNY Purchase with a degree in Drama Studies. She has been a gymnast since she was 8 years old and loves to be able to teach children how to become physically, mentally, and emotionally strong through the sport of gymnastics.
Nancy was a camper at Camp Kenan at age 7 and came back every summer until she was 13. Then she became a CIT, JC, and then SC. She had been known to do a few handsprings in the Mess Hall and across the soccer field.
After High School, she moved to NYC where she went to college and began coaching gymnastics. In 2004 she moved to Los Angeles and continued coaching gymnastics. In those years, she gained a lot of knowledge in many aspects of the sport and business of gymnastics. She very much enjoyed teaching children something she loved to do and felt very comfortable being loud and acting silly in front of them. I’m sure Camp Kenan played a big role in developing that side of her.
In 2009 she moved back home to Lockport, NY to open her own gymnastics gym. She is so grateful and excited to see all the families that come in to her gym and get to learn and play there. The “spirit of camp” and what Camp Kenan means to her is what the foundation and culture of her gym comes from. She is thrilled to be a part Camp Kenan again and looks forward to helping more children experience camp and make an everlasting, positive impression in their lives.
Rachelle (Barends) Hathaway
While Rachelle never had the experience of being a resident camper, she selected to attend a Leadership Camp at Camp Kenan her sophmore year of high school. It was that early weekend in September that she first met the Old Grey Goose and a couple very outgoing staff members. After that weekend, she 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, she spent an entire week canoeing the Erie Canal with The Old Grey Goose and four campers.
Rachelle was born and raised In Lewiston, NY. She attended St. Peter’s RC School then went on to graduate from Lewiston-Porter Senior High, in 1994. She 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, she began my Master’s in mathematics education. Rachelle completed the degree two years later and she received my permanent NYS teaching certificates as an elementary and secondary math teacher.
Rachelle 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.
Rachelle currently live in Wright’s Corners, Lockport with her wonderful family: her husband Denis, and their children, Sharidan, Robert and Harrison.
Rachelle has already served a 3 year term on the Board, but will be serving another term, is a Co-Chair for Goosestock, and is currently the Treasurer of the Board.
Sean Fuller, a Newfane native, started spending the best weeks of his summers at Camp Kenan in 1982. After 7 years as a camper, Sean participated in the Counselor in Training program in 1989, and spent the next several years as a Junior Counselor, Senior Counselor, Kitchen Staff member and Craft Director.
Camp Kenan has always held a special place in his heart, and he keeps the spirit of Camp Kenan and Goose alive by sharing beloved camp songs, stories and experiences with his friends, family and 10 nieces and nephews.
Sean graduated from The Art Institute of Pittsburg with a degree in Industrial Design in 1996 and is employed at Wilcro Signs & Graphics as a graphic designer. Sean lives in Lockport with his finance Holly and two future step-children Liam and Laena, who are excited to experience Camp Kenan for themselves as first-time campers during summer 2016. As a new member (2015) of the Friends of Camp Kenan Board of Directors, Sean hopes to “pass the torch” by helping to make it possible for future campers to share in the magic of Camp Kenan.
Laura (Henry) Helder
Laura grew up in Rochester, NY. She first made her way to Camp Kenan in 1987 as a Cadet in cabin one, thank you to her grandfather who gave her and her brother a week at camp as a Christmas gift. That gift turned into a tradition that she will forever be grateful for. After many years as a camper she joined the CK staff as an LIT, CIT and JC. All total she spent parts of the best 10 summers of her life at camp. Camp Kenan became a summer home away from home where she met great friends, learned life long lessons and so very many songs.
Laura graduated from SUNY Brockport in 2003 and begin a career in education. After a few years she changed gears and started her own business called Domestic Details providing many services such as cleaning, cooking, shopping, event planning and more. Laura still lives in Rochester close to family and friends and enjoys cooking, crafting, volunteering and working part-time at a local coffee shop.
Laura joined the board after returning to CK for Goosestock in 2016. That weekend reminded her of how very much camp means to her and the special place it holds in her heart. She hopes to help bring that feeling to future generations of CK campers.
Kari grew up in Niagara Falls and joined the Camp Kenan family in the summer of 2000 as a Senior Counselor. She spent five fantastic summers at camp while earning both her Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in Education.
Her teaching career began in Niagara Falls, then took her to Switzerland and Mexico, though she always held Camp Kenan in her heart as one of the most special places she had ever been.
Now living in Croghan, NY with her husband, Greg, and son, Clint, she works with teachers and school leaders across the country as a Professional Development Specialist for Expeditionary Learning, a non-profit built on the belief that teachers and students can achieve more than they ever thought possible. The values she developed at Camp Kenan - character, collaboration, and compassion - are central to the work she does each day.
Mark grew up in Gasport, NY and was a graduate of Royalton-Hartland High school in 1994. He own several business including a landscaping and rental property business, and also works for Meadville Medical Center as a Financial Manager. He met his wife, Jess, at Westminster College in Pennsylvania, and they are the proud parents of two daughers, Maddie and Ellie and, and two sons, Luke and Jack. The Natemeier's currently live in Erie, PA.
His grandmother, Ruth Natemeier, was the camp secretary for many years and was the main reason he started attending Camp Kenan at age 7. Being a fiercely competitive kid, Olympic week was favorite week of the summer.
From 1982 to 1990, he moved from Cadet, to Junior, and finally to the Senior Village. In 1991 he became a C.I.T with a class of 7. He spent one year as a J.C., then two summers as an S.C. and finally two years on staff as the Aquatics and Waterfront director.
Mark served several years on the Board of Directors as the President. Though he stepped down from that position at the end of 2014, he will continue to be a member of the board.
Noreen (Collyer) Pirog
Noreen (Collyer) Pirog grew up in Lewiston and Youngstown, NY where she enjoyed spending a week or two each summer from 1983-1989 as a camper at Camp Kenan. From 1990-1993, she was a CIT, JC an SC. She graduated from Lew-Port in ’93 and moved on to other summer jobs (which, to this day, she regrets not returning as a counselor!!). In 2000, she missed CK so much that she returned and spent an awesome week as a guest SC where she met a new generation of counselors and built lasting friendships.
Noreen attended college at SUNY Fredonia and graduated in 1997 with a degree in elementary education. After graduating, she moved to Vermont where she has lived since. She worked as a classroom teacher for 6 years before shifting to work as a math interventionist. She received her masters’ degree in Math Education from the University of Vermont in 2012 and is now making a difference both at her school with students and across the district by making positive changes to the way math is taught and assessed.
Noreen now lives in Jericho, Vermont with her husband, Rob and two children, Nicole and Hayden. For the past 5 years, she has sent both kids to Camp Kenan so they can have the same wonderful experiences that she did. They beg to go back each year, even though we live 8 hours away! This is Noreen’s first time serving on the Board of Directors and is honored to be “giving back” to the place that gave so much to her.