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STAFF

Our dedicated staff members are Camp Minikani’s most valuable asset. From the moment your child arrives, our camp professionals are focused on making sure he or she is safe, supported, comfortable and has the time of their life!

Camp Minikani’s summer staff are carefully chosen for their genuine love of children, maturity and youth programming experience. Most of the Camp Minikani staff are former campers themselves, and have received three or more years of extensive hands-on training and evaluation through our nationally-recognized Leadership Training programs.

All of our staff are trained in:

  • Youth development
  • Safety
  • Bullying prevention
  • Skill development
  • Role modeling
  • First Aid/CPR certification 

Jen Feltz
Executive Director, Camps Minikani and Matawa

Greetings! I have been the Executive Director here at Camp Minikani since October 2008, and have truly enjoyed meeting all of the wonderful campers, families and alumni as well as working alongside the incredibly dedicated staff. I was a “Y brat” and grew up going to camp and being a camp counselor. I can’t imagine doing anything else besides working for this great organization and being able to have a positive effect on so many kids and families that we serve each year. I have two great kids, Brady and Ellie, who both enjoy time at camp throughout the year! They are happy to have a mom who works at such a cool place and I enjoy sharing time at camp with them.

Before taking on this role, I held positions as the Branch Executive at YMCA Camp Matawa, Senior Program Director at YMCA Camp Kern in Ohio and as the Teen and Camp Director at the Southwest YMCA in Greenfield, another branch of the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee. I hope that if you have any questions, concerns or comments you will not hesitate to contact me directly at jfeltz@ymcamke.org or give me a call at 262-251-9080 ext 6401.

Gillian Spence
Engagement Director, Camps Minikani and Matawa

Hello Campers and Parents! I am excited to be part of the Camping Services team, after having started my YMCA career as the Center Administrator for the Downtown YMCA. Prior to my Y life, I worked for a nonprofit in Minneapolis, called Upstream Arts that provides arts programming for youth and adults with disabilities. That’s where my love for working with nonprofits began and I’m thrilled I get to pursue that passion through this role with Camps Minikani and Matawa.

I’m looking forward to connecting with campers, families and community organizations about all the awesome things that are happening here at camp. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me by email at gspence@ymcamke.org.

Eli Fyksen
Program Operations Director, Camps Minikani and Matawa

I have been connected with the Milwaukee Y, and Camps Matawa and Minikani, for the last 8 years. Prior to that, I earned my Bachelors in Environmental Education from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. During my time at Point I was also a trips director for Wisconsin Lions Camp working with kids of all different ability levels. That led me to my role as Environmental Education Director with Camp Matawa and Minikani.

Last year I moved into the role of Program Operations Director. Although I have been connected with Matawa and its programs for the past eight years, in my new role I am able to take on the responsibilities of overseeing the entire operations, including Summer Camp, alongside Andrew Gappa. Last summer I worked exclusively at Matawa which gave me the chance to see first-hand the life changing power that exists here.

As the Program Operations Director, I hope that if you have any questions, concerns or comments that you would not hesitate to contact me at efyksen@ymcamke.org or call camp at 262-251-9080.

Kathy Gilbert
Food Services Coordinator

Hi, I am Kathy Gilbert "Kitchen Kathy" and I am the food service coordinator at Camp Minikani. I have over 37 years in the food service business. I have been at camp for the last 5 years preparing meals and overseeing the kitchen staff. In the summer we have 12 staff members doing the prep and serving of the meals. It can be very hectic at times but we all have a passion for making sure everyone has a well-balanced meal to have the energy so they can keep up with all the activities during their stay. If your child is coming to camp and you have any concerns feel free to call or e-mail me at kgilbert@ymcamke.org and we can talk about their dietary needs.

Kelly Pagel
Registrar, Camps Minikani and Matawa

Hello Camp Families! I am excited to have become part of the team at Camp Minikani and look forward to another fantastic camp season! Not only am I the camp registrar, but also a camp parent. My two daughters look forward to attending YMCA Camps in the summer and always have plenty of stories to tell about new adventures and new friends! I began my Y career at the Tri- County YMCA in 2005 and have worked in many different areas as the years have flown past. I enjoy a good challenge and the fast pace and ever evolving world of camp keeps me hopping! When I’m off the camp grounds I enjoy playing volleyball, attending concerts and even MORE CAMPING with my husband and girls! I hope to meet you and your family this camp season. Please contact me with any questions you may have via email at kpagel@ymcamke.org.

Alex Philpin
Equestrian Director

Hello, I began my position as Equestrian Director for the YMCA in 2004 at Triangle Y Ranch in West Bend, WI. In 2006, when the new equestrian center was built, I moved the year-round lesson program to Camp Minikani where it continues to grow with new students and summer equestrian campers.

My passion for horses began at a very young age. I started taking lessons at the age of 4 in England, which led me to competing in junior jumpers, dressage and eventing. Having made the decision to make instructing a lifelong career, I became a British Horse Society Instructor teaching students of all ages and competing extensively in dressage and eventing.

After moving to the US in 1998, my travels quickly led me to the east coast and then onto Wisconsin where I currently reside with my two sons Ian and Christopher. My career to date has included managing Olympic barns, designing equestrian facilities, 6 years in the warmblood breeding industry, owning my own teaching business and building a year round equestrian program for the YMCA. One of my greatest honors is being involved with the US Paralympic Equestrian team as support staff for the past three Paraolympic games.

My goal at Minikani is to provide an equestrian program that allows both children and adults to follow their dream of learning to ride regardless of their ability to own a horse. Along with the safety of my students, I encourage all students to become involved with the care of the horses through educational programs, camps and year-round volunteer opportunities. My love of teaching also extends to working with students of all abilities through our adaptive equestrian program, which brings me immense amounts of pleasure. In general, I feel very blessed in being able to work with my passion and being passionate about my daily work. I can be reached by email at aphilpin@ymcamke.org or by phone at 262-251-9080 ext 6451.

Steve Radmanovich
Property Manager

I started part time at the YMCA in 2002 at the Northside Branch. Shortly after starting, I realized that the Y was where I belonged. Within a month, I had left my full time job and was at Northside full time. I worked there as the Head Custodian for two years until an Assistant Property Manager job opened up at West Suburban YMCA. After 2 years there, I moved out to my current and hopefully forever home, Camp Minikani. Every day I get up and am glad to go to work. Camp is my home, and I love improving things for the campers and user groups that we serve. I can be reached at sradmanovich@ymcamke.org or by calling camp at 262-251-9080 ext 6412.

Steff Merten
Environmental Education and Conferences Coordinator

My appreciation of the outdoors and camping started very early in life, I took my first camping trip at just three days old. From that point on I have spent as much of my time as possible outside either hiking, kayaking, swimming, rock climbing, or hanging out with my family. I also truly enjoy travelling, I have been to all fifty states and six different countries. When I am not at camp I can usually be found camping with my family in Kettle Moraine State Forest, reading, or relaxing on a river. Through camps like Minikani, I was fortunate enough to find a career path that allows me the chance to share my all of my passions with a diverse audience. I received my Bachelor of Science Degree in Recreation Management from the University of Wisconsin- La Crosse and I am currently pursuing my Masters in Environmental Education with an empahsis in Natural Resources and Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Prior to my role at Camp Minikani, I was the Program Coordinator at Upham Woods Outdoor Learning Center in Wisconsin Dells, the Environmental Education and Summer Camp Director at Campfire USA’s Camp Cahito in San Diego, and an educator at SeaWorld San Diego. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns feel free to email me at smerten@ymcamke.org or call camp at 262-251-9080 ext 6409.

Tom Cramer
Summer Camp Director

My journey at Camp Minikani started 15 years ago as a young, nervous Boys Unit camper in cabin 17. All it took was a few amazing days of bog walks, skin diving, new friends, goofy skits, and peaceful vespers and I was hooked for life. After 5 years as a camper I was accepted to the Leadership Training program, and then was lucky enough to be offered a position as a Minikani counselor. I then went on to join the AD Staff team as the Leadership Training director and later the Boys Unit director, which truly brought my camp experience full circle. I am now honored to be filling the role of Summer Camp Director here at Minikani.

Before taking the post of Summer Camp Director I worked in MPS providing play-based programming at Allen-Field elementary school on Milwaukee’s South Side. At Allen-Field I was able to bring some of the magic of camp to the school playground.

In this new role I hope to continue to grow and strengthen the summer camp program so that we can continue to pass on the Spirit of Minikani to the next generation. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, or just want to chat summer camp, feel free to shoot me an email at tcramer@ymcamke.org or call me at 262-251-9080 ext. 6405.

AJ Laughlin
Administrative Assistant, Camps Minikani and Matawa

Hi campers and parents. I’m excited to be part of the Minikani and Matawa family as the Administrative assistant. I’m currently a full-time student at UWM working towards my Community Engagement & Education Degree. I enjoy camping and being outside in the summer and love spending time on the lakes of Wisconsin boating or swimming. In the winter I love lounging around enjoying a good book or movie.

I’m excited to grow within the Camp as I get to know you, the families and campers, and what camp spirit is all about. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions about camp by email at alaughlin@ymcamke.org.

 

 

 

 


 

 


 


 

YMCA Camp Minikani

875 Amy Belle Road
Hubertus, WI 53033

Phone: (262) 251-9080

Fax: (262) 628-4051

 

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