Cindy Zingher, Executive Director (Camp Grandparent 2010s)
Ira Coleman-Palansky, Program Director (Camper 1960s, Staff 1970s, 80s, 90s, 00s, 10s, Camp Parent 2000s)
Dennis Cormier, Facilities and Wilderness Program Director (Staff 1980s, 90s, 00s, 10s, Camp Parent 2010s)
Cindy True, Facilities Manager (Staff 2000s, 10s)
At Camp Kinderland we pride ourselves on our caring, nurturing staff. The vast majority of our staff members have been involved in Kinderland for a long time. Most of them have completed our two-year Counselor in Training program, where they worked directly with campers, and had workshops and discussion groups to reflect on their experiences and learn new counseling skills. These counselors know Kinderland well; most of them are former campers, and they come back each year because they love the values and environment that camp provides, and want to share that with their campers. Our “new hires” who may not know Kinderland are often friends of current counselors; or make their way to Kinderland from college campuses around the country. These counselors live in the bunks with children. There are usually 3 counselors in each bunk of 10-15 campers.
Each age group is supervised by a Group Leader. Older and more experienced, Group Leaders know each person in their group very well, supervise their staff, and work hard to make sure that every child is engaged and integrated in bunk and group life . They also oversee the planning of exciting, interesting activities, special events, and trips for their campers.
Each summer, specialists bring their particular talents and skills to Kinderland, and teach those activities to the whole camp. These specialists work with all the groups at different times of the day, teaching activities like sports, crafts and pottery, nature, music, campcraft, and many others. Depending on the camp season, or even the week, we have different offerings for campers; but all of our specialists come to camp wanting to share something they love with the Kinderland community.
At Kinderland we have an extremely high staff to camper ratio. Many of our staff members have often been involved in camp for decades. They lend a strong sense of continuity and history to our community. In addition to counseling and program staff, we have two full time nurses, several drivers, and various other support staff including a “camp parent” to stay on top of cleanliness issues, lost laundry, and other physical and social needs of young children. The Director and Program Director are personally involved in hiring all staff; and as mandated by Massachusetts state law, background checks are conducted each summer on every staff member.
We recognize the impact staff people can have on children’s lives. Our staff love children, and love Kinderland and what it represents. They become mentors and guides for their campers, and their friendship, support and affirmation help children adjust to, and thrive in, the unique environment of summer camp.