Administrative Team

Executive Director

Riel was appointed as Trail Blazers’ Executive Director in 2008. Prior, Riel worked as the Camp and Associate Director at Trade Winds Lake Camp, and worked for over 10 years in New York City high schools, teaching science and counseling students as a social worker and a guidance counselor. Riel holds a BA in Biology Secondary Education from The Teacher’s College of Utrecht, the Netherlands, a MSW from Fordham University, specializing in Children and Families, as well as a Certificate in Non Profit Management from Columbia University.

Director of Operations and Quality

Molly fell in love with camp when she was 7 years old. After graduating with a BA from Mount Holyoke College, Molly spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Burkina Faso promoting girls’ education. She worked in elementary education upon her return, and realized quickly that she wanted a career in the camp world where kids have the best opportunities to learn and grow. She joined Trail Blazers in 2014 as the overnight camp director, a position she held for 5 years. Since 2018 she has been building out the infrastructure to support Trail Blazers’ expanding portfolio, first as the Program Director and now as the Director of Operations and HR. In total, she’s worked in the camp industry for 13 years.

Director of Development

Tiffany joined Trail Blazers in 2011, transitioning to the nonprofit realm after 5 years of experience in experiential marketing. Tiffany holds a B.S. in Marketing from New York University’s Stern School of Business and a Certificate in Fundraising from New York University’s School of Continuing Professional Studies.

Director of Strategic Initatives

Josh has over 20 years of camping and youth development experience. He taught Education courses at the City College of New York, worked as  a Youth Organizer in Chicago, and led large-scale cross-cultural youth delegations to Cape Town, South Africa and Barcelona, Spain. From 2010 to 2021 he served as Co-Founder and Executive Director of Steve’s Camp at Horizon Farms. Josh holds a doctorate in Education from Teachers College, Columbia University and a BA from Clark University.

Director of Program Quality and Evaluation

 

Eboni brings 10 years of outdoor education and program management experience to her role with Trail Blazers. For the last 6+ years, she worked for the Appalachian Mountain Club focused on outdoor leadership training for teachers and youth development professionals working with youth from marginalized and under-resourced communities. Her own childhood family outings, her grandma’s backyard in the Bronx, and summer sleep-away camp experiences fostered her love of nature and outdoor adventure. After completing her M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on informal, outdoor science education at Islandwood and the University of Washington on the west coast, she returned to her native New York City. Eboni is excited to collaborate with this team to elevate program quality, consistency and added value to all Trail Blazers program participants.

Program Support Team

Customer Service

Originating in the UK, Jay has been a member of the Trail Blazers family since 2014 and has spent time with each of our programs. Drawing from his experience as director for Day Camp and program director for Overnight, Jay now supports all of our families as part of the administrative team.

School Programs Team

Director of School Programs

Assistant School Programs Director

For the past 11 years Joevenelly has focused her time in youth development running summer camps and after school programs with an emphasis on creating high-quality, engaging programming and developing the youth educators that work with our youth.

 

And this isn’t just a welcome, but a welcome back — 10 years later! From 2011-2012 Joevenelly was in our Overnight Camp program where she made lasting memories building campfires at smallcamps, doing vagabond on the Appalachian Trail, and even instructing archery during her 2012 summer! Glad to have you back on the team, Joevenelly.

Assistant School Programs Director

Chad Simmons has worked in many capacities in the New York City Department of Education and Summer Day Camps for over 17 years. He attended The New School University, Eugene Lang College, and graduated in 2011 with a BA in Performing Arts. 

  As a Site Director in West Harlem, he developed a Recess and Clean Cafeteria Curriculum that incorporated the entire student body to clean their cafeteria and engage in safe play on the playground at recess. Also, it allowed for more job opportunities for the after-school staff! 

Chad is excited to join the Trail Blazers Team and looks forward to bringing high-quality programs to the communities we serve!

Day Camp Team

Director of Day Programs

Callie joined Trail Blazers as the Director of Day Camps in 2019, bringing along more than 7 years of summer camp experience. Callie first started in the camp world in 2012, spending her summers working at camp while attending university. She became a part of the head staff at Camp Huntington, a program for children and adults with developmental disabilities, before spending three years as the Associate Director for Shane Camps. While at Shane, she played a critical role in their expansion, growing the program to more than 7 camp locations. Callie holds a BS in Kinesiology from James Madison University.

Callie is currently working to expand our Day Camp programs and is looking forward to making camp accessible to a wider audience in 2021.

Asst. Director

Tazer’s life has been in auto-didactic pursuit of a wide range of interests. Along with almost 15 years of professional childcare, her work history has involved valuable opportunities to engage in informal education experiences with children on a variety of topics, from environmental/biological sciences at the California Academy of Sciences and San Francisco Zoo to board game design at multiple after school programs across Brooklyn.
 
 
Her focus has been on supporting neurodivergent populations, and likes to spend free time trying to understand the intersection of behavior and neurology in childhood development.

Overnight Team

Interim Camp Director

Dahlia Midyette has a unique tie to Trail Blazers and began her journey at just seven years old as a Pixie camper. Following in the footsteps of her mother, aunt, and two older sisters, she fell in love with the magic of camp. She has held various roles with Overnight Camp, from a counselor in 2013 to the summer Program Director in 2017. She has earned a BA in Public Communications and looks forward to pursuing her Master’s Degree. In addition, Dahlia is passionate about film and photography, education, community, and youth development

Property Manager

Steve joined Trail Blazers in 2000 with a wealth of camping and property management experience. He worked as a counselor and instructor in CSB (scouting) programs. He managed the Milford Bible Church complex for 10 years, worked as Operations Manager at the Tuscarora Resource Center property in Mt. Bethel, PA, and owned/operated Marshalls Creek Painting for 13 years. He served 6 years in the US Army as a medical lab technician. Steve lives at Trail Blazers with his wife, Sue. He graduated from Philadelphia College of Bible with a Bachelor of Science in Youth Ministry and has extensive trade skills training at Monroe Vo-Tech.

Director of Operations