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Yearround

Leadership Team

Executive Director

Riel Peerbooms

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

Molly McCue

Molly joined Trail Blazers in 2014, and she is now in her 11th summer working in camping. She was the overnight camp director from 2014 – 2018, and also served as the Director of Programs from 2016 – 2018. She is now the Director of Operations, working about 80% of the time from her new home in CT. Molly spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Burkina Faso promoting girls’ education and empowerment and worked in a Kindergarten classroom upon her return. She holds a B.A. in Critical Social Thought from Mount Holyoke College.

Development Director

Tiffany Caton

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 Programs

Jennifer Bombardier

Jennifer joined Trail Blazers in 2014 as an intern for Under One Sky and then as a Group Leader before assuming the role of Program Director in 2016. She brings experience gained as a preschool teacher and educator for multiple environmental education organizations in Virginia as well as the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Education Department. She holds a B.A. in Integrative Studies with a Concentration in Elementary Education from George Mason University and an M.A. in Environmental Conservation Education from New York University.

Director of Overnight Programs

Christopher Thomasson

Christopher is excited to join Trail Blazers as the Overnight Camp Director. He brings 19 years experience as Head Staff and Associate Director of Camp Ojibwa for Boys in northern Wisconsin. Christopher also founded the Camp History Project, an archival project aimed at preserving the legacy and impact of the summer camp experience. Additionally, Christopher spent 9 years working with Macy’s Parade & Entertainment Group to help bring a magical Christmas experience to tens of thousands of NYC children each year. He holds a BA in Theatre Arts from the University of Kentucky and an MFA in Directing from CUNY Brooklyn College.

Director of Day Programs

Callie Radday

Hi all! I’m Callie and I am very excited to join the Trail Blazers team as the Day Camp Director. As a lifelong camper, I have always been passionate about all things camp. Camp provides such a unique, yet important experience to our youth and I am excited to be a part of it. Outside of camp, I enjoy staying active and spending time outdoors. I’m looking forward to meeting you all soon!

Director of School Programs

Philip Robinson

Philip joined Trail Blazers from the UK in 2016 as part of the Overnight Camp team. Philip has held various positions at our Overnight Camp, including Program Director and Assistant Director. Philip is excited to combine his love of summer camp, education, and the outdoor environment, gained from his years of camp and leadership in The UK Scout Association, to lead our Under One Sky Afterschool Program. Philip holds a B.A. in Education and Geography from Durham University (UK).

Office Manager

Stephan P. Lendor

Stephan joined Trail Blazers in 2010 as a Group Leader in our Overnight Camp program. In 2011, he was the lead counselor for the biking program and in 2013 he was the Program Director for Montague Day Damp. In 2015, he led the inaugural year of Brooklyn Day Camp. Stephan currently manages Trail Blazers’ enrollment and registration. When you call or visit the Trail Blazers office, more often than not the kind voice greeting you will be his!

Property Manager

Steve Bates

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, the Tuscarora Resource Center property in Mt. Bethel, PA as the Operations Manager, 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, and daughters, Sarah and Lindsey. He graduated from Philadelphia College of Bible with a Bachelors of Science in Youth Ministry and has extensive trade skills training at Monroe Vo-Tech.

School Site Director

Nigeria Preston

Nigeria was born and raised in Brooklyn and has been working with children for over 10 years. For over seven of those years. Nigeria has been with Trail Blazers and absolutely loves being the Site Director of P.S. 316. Nigeria’s heart is filled with joy when she sees the big bright smiles of her campers and recognizes the positive changes she helps them develop each day at Trail Blazers Afterschool.

School Site Director

Afrika Preston

School Site Director

Nicole McCormick

Nicole has been with Trail Blazers Under One Sky afterschool program since 2017. She has progressed through roles, including Group Leader and Team Supervisor, to now be the proud Site Director of P.S. 770. Along the way, Nicole worked at our Prospect Park Day Camp and enjoys the opportunities Trail Blazers affords her to tackle challenges and grow as a leader. She embraces her role to guide campers and staff through challenging moments and to encourage them to spend as much time in the great outdoors as possible. In addition to her work at Trail Blazers, Nicole is also pursuing a degree in Criminal Justice.

School Site Director

Erick Mejia

Erick is a proud son of Dominican parents and a Brooklyn local. He holds a B.A. in History from SUNY Old Westbury. Eric brings years of experience from voluntary community positions as an educator and role model and from being a Group Leader at Summer Camps. Erick loves camp and embraces the opportunities Trail Blazers affords him to make a difference in the lives of young people as the Site Director at P.S. 139.

School Site Director

Tia Linton

Tia hails from Portland, Oregon, where she completed her B.S. in Environmental Science. Tia is now happily based in Brooklyn as the Site Director of Brighter Choice Community School (BCCS). It’s here that she embraces her two greatest passions of working with young people and encouraging a lifelong love and understanding of the environment. It is something she looks forward to doing for the whole school year and beyond.

School Site Director

Kittisha Doyle Brens

Kitty is proud to be the Site Director at P.S. 241, having joined the program as a Group Leader in 2016. Kitty loves the opportunities Trail Blazers offers for campers to learn through outdoor play, helping them to develop team-building and self-management skills to carry into adulthood. Kitty can often be found unplugged from technology and enjoying exploring nature with her campers.

Program Specialist

Fran Meger

This is Fran’s first year working for Trail Blazers. Hailing from Wisconsin, she moved to New York two years ago to pursue a master’s degree in Environmental Education, which she now puts to great use in her role as Under One Sky Program Specialist. During her free time, Fran loves to travel, garden, and ride her bike. Fran shares Trail Blazer’s belief that hands-on, outdoor learning settings help children develop empathy for the natural world and for each other. She is excited to share her love of nature with others!

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