Jim Sexstone, Executive Director
Jim joined Camp Carson in 2020, from 25 years with YMCA and Church Camps, most recently as the Executive Director of the Kirkmont Center. He quickly fell in love with Camp Carson, and is excited to bring some of his energy and ideas to life as we continue to grow our programs and find new ways to reach camp families.
Jim earned a Masters in Recreation and Park Administration from Eastern Kentucky University in 1992. Jim is married to Jenni and they have two daughters, Jordan and Josie.
Sarah Hooper, Senior Program Director
Sarah (Peddie) Hooper joined the year round camp team in the spring of 2014. She now serves as our Senior Program Director. Sarah is originally from Mt. Vernon, IN but currently lives in Fairfield, IL with her husband, Zach and daughters, Gretchen and Eleanor. She loves singing camp songs, canteen and the Raggers Program!
Sarah has been coming to camp since the summer of 2002 moving through camper, LIT, CIT, counselor, Teen Director, Special Programs Director, Program Director. She is looking forward to an amazing summer and hopes that you will be joining us this year!
Ryan Meeks, Program Director
A graduate of Ball State University with degrees in Chemistry and Education, Ryan joined our full-time team in January 2018 and currently serves as our Program Director. Before joining the camp team full time, Ryan spent a year and a half in the United Arab Emirates teaching Middle School Science, Robotics, Chemistry, AP Chemistry, and coached Basketball.
Previously, Ryan has worked seasonally at Camp Carson starting in 2014. Ryan has served as the LIT Director, CIT Director, Service Corps Director, and Program Assistant. He is looking forward to having a fantastic summer, learning and growing together.
Sarah Pickert, Camp Registrar
Sarah is originally from North Carolina and has a love for the mountains, Disney, and cats. Sarah comes to Camp Carson with a background in Anthropology, social work, and some great Disney stories, where she was part of their College Program. She also has previous experience working at a summer camp on her college campus of Appalachian State University. Sarah is looking forward to learning and growing here at Camp Carson, and we are excited to have her as a part of the Camp Carson family.
Heather Pierce, Director of Engagement & Development email@example.com
Camp Carson has been a part of Heather's life for 40 years - as a camper, counselor, camp parent and board member. She joined Camp staff in 2020, after 25 years with Kimball International, leading their internal operations, government and customer service departments.
Heather’s love for Camp Carson helps us further expand our Alumni activities, and lead fundraising and marketing activities that create more scholarship opportunities for campers. Her goal is to ensure that Camp Carson continues to be a treasured and valuable resource for young people for many years.
Matt Schooler, Facilities Manager
Matt started as our Facilities Manager in September, 2019. He joins us with a wide variety of professions over the past 18 years. Originally from Francisco, Indiana, Matt’s vocational experience includes carpentry, construction, millwright work, vehicle mechanics, golf course maintenance and restaurant management. A favorite hobby is restoring classic cars. He enjoys the challenge of maintaining our Camp facility and the family atmosphere. Matt is married to Jeni and has three children and one grandchild.
At YMCA Camp Carson, summer camp counselors are positive role models and mentors who are focused on the needs of campers both in the cabins and the activity areas. We personally interview each candidate, secure a minimum of three personal written references and perform a national background check for all new and returning counselors.
Staff training week concentrates on effective cabin leadership and includes heavy emphasis on teaching skills. Staff are required to complete 40 hours of online training and testing prior to on-site staff training. In addition to traditional camp training, all of our staff are also certified in First Aid, CPR, AED, O2 and typically 20-25 of the staff will also be certified waterfront lifeguards.
All Senior Counselors must have completed a minimum of one year in college, while junior counselors must have completed high school. Two/three counselors are assigned to each cabin with a minimum of one senior counselor in every cabin. We maintain an overall staff to camper ratio of 1:4 in the cabin and 1:3 on the grounds with the inclusion of our program staff. Our high ratio ensures each camper receives positive interaction with their counselors each and every day.
While most of our staff are from the US, we also recruit 10-12 International staff each year, to enrich the camp experience for everyone involved. Over the years we've had staff from Chile, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Scotland, Russia, Ukraine, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Thailand, Jordan, Columbia, The Dominican Republic, Brazil, Paraguay, South Africa, Mexico. Our campers have the opportunity to expand their understanding of our global community. This may be as simple as international games and food to more in depth discussions about geography, cultural awareness and education.
To learn more about the staff working at camp this Summer, watch the Camp Carson Facebook page throughout the Spring for weekly introductions.