Alex joined us last year for the first time and was a perfect fit for the program. Having obtained a B.S. in Exercise Physiology, and soon a B.S. in Health and Physical Education, Alex is interested in the lifelong pursuit of improving people's well-being through being active. Last year, he breathed life into the fitness program at camp and inspired numerous campers to get up before breakfast for a run.
This coming summer, he looks forward to new challenges, the great outdoors, and seeing the progress returning campers have made in achieving their personal fitness goals!
Though this will be Ben's first year "on the other side" as a staff member, he is hardly lacking experience. He's been in the program as a counselor since he was old enough to paddle, and he knows the ins and outs of our tripping program well. You can find Ben's name on many of the fishing plaques in the Mess Hall, having reeled in numerous records.
As a counselor in training, he'll be learning the ropes and working closely with our experienced staff to gain confidence in his new position of leadership. He looks forward to helping some of the new campers catch their first fish in the Boundary Waters.
Bryan Halverson returns again to Camp Voyageur this year for his fourth summer. Having spent his first season with us as a counselor way back in 2005, the veteran Bryan first came to know some of our other staff when they were still young campers. Bryan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Minnesota Duluth and a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. He currently makes his home in Milwaukee, WI.
Dylan is returning to Voyageur for his second year on staff after five years as a camper. He is currently attending the University of Wisconsin Stout for a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology. Dylan is excited to now be working along side some of the counselors from his time as a camper and hopes to make the camp experience just as memorable as they did for him.
Ethan was a camper at CV for five years and is returning for his second summer as a counselor. Right now he is attending University of Vermont, majoring in Environmental Studies and German, with plans to go abroad this fall. On the peninsula, you can find Ethan making music with campers, trying to identify plants and animals and speaking broken German to anyone who will listen.
Ethan returns for his second summer on the team. Originally, Ethan learned about camp from a friend back home and former camper/counselor, Elliott Keller. Ethan comes has just finished his last semester at Indiana University in Bloomington. At IU he studied Outdoor Recreation, Parks, and Human Ecology in their school of public health. He is excited about returning to camp so that he can get back to what he enjoys most - canoeing in the great Northwoods!
Mike returns this summer as a veteran counselor. An avid outdoorsman, he believes strongly in the experience of wilderness immersion and small group dynamics. He is known around the hill for his guitar playing during rest periods. He enjoys fishing, and especially the moment a camper catches their first fish.
Between now and the last time Mike worked at camp, he peddled a bike across the U.S. with fellow counselor Ethan Wegrecki, as well as former counselors Tommy Running and Evan Pydych. We look forward to hearing the stories of their adventure this summer!
Ned started as camper at CV in 2004, and has worked at camp since 2012. He is currently working towards a Master's degree in Econometrics at Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China, but still has time to come up and work at camp during the summer. This year he's looking forward to some good fishing and a chance to practice some new camping skills.
Stephen has been a camper for five years and is now in his fourth year as a counselor. He is currently working in Columbus, Ohio.
Stephen is known for his humorous stage-talent in the evening programs at camp. He hopes to lead many adventures and explore new areas of the Northwoods. He looks forward to spending another summer surrounded by his friends, new and old.
Joe has joined the staff for his 9th time, starting as a Counselor in Training back in 2007. He is an avid photographer and musician, and you can count on him taking many of the high-quality photos at camp this summer. Over the years, he has taken an interest in sailing, becoming a skilled boat-repairman and leader in the sailing program. Back in Wisconsin, Joe teaches grades K-12 as a band and general music teacher. He has served for 3 years AmeriCorps in Oregon teaching music.
An experienced leader and wilderness guide, Ely and the Boundary Waters are Ellen's home turf. She graduated from St. Scholastica, earning a masters degree from Dartmouth. She will soon be a graduate of William Mitchell College of Law. She's helped out at camp in a variety of ways the last 10 years, and we are lucky to have her back for another summer!
Liz is a returning trip leader at camp for the girl's trips that go out. She is an experienced leader, having lead science clubs for middle school students in Lincoln, NE, and taught English to grades 1-9 in Chile. She's currently a volunteer at a local natural science museum with kids and works as a researcher and grad student. Her future plans include finishing her thesis and then rewarding herself with travel in the U.S. and Canada.
Deb, sister of Vicki and John Erdmann, has grown up at camp, coming up nearly every summer since she was 3 months old. She attended the Minnesota State University, Mankato, to get her masters in experiential education. She remembers fondly making her decision to focus on camp; "I had a great opportunity to affect people in a special way, and I thought, this could be my life work. This place is where my heart is. It's in my DNA."
Deb manages the business aspect of camp and coordinates logistics such as meal preparation and management of staff. As she likes to say about running camp, "it takes a lot of people paddling the right way to make the canoe go." Deb and her husband Jeff also manage camp during the off-season, living only a short walk away.
Deb is also the contact person for the camper scholarship application.
Since the summer of 1984, John Erdmann has continued the tradition of his parents, Mim and Charlie Erdmann, who founded the camp in 1950. "Kids gain something special here through physical activity, challenge, adventure, and the community of friendship. They grow in ways not possible at home during each summer in the great Northwoods."
After graduating from DePauw University an fine arts degree, John spent two years in the Peace Corps in Venezuela. He has worked in higher education, the corporate world, and has run his own chicken franchise in Milan, Tennessee for 30 years. In a few years, his grandchildren will become campers.
This is Fran's first year here, but she's been a part of the Voyageur community for decades (her son, Jere, was a camper back in the 80s!). For the past 10 years, Fran has been cooking in remote camps for gold miners, oil companies, wildlife camps and on research vessels throughout Alaska. She makes the Mess Hall a friendly and inviting gathering place for all of CV to enjoy food and fellowship.
From cakes, to homemade ranch dressing, to hearty soups, meats, and veggies, she looks forward to whipping up some delicious food for hungry campers!
Bill first worked as a CV counselor for Charlie Erdmann in 1972, and is now in his tenth year serving as the program director. He is responsible for coordinating the staff and directing the morning, afternoon and evening programs.
His career experience includes serving as an educator, high school and college tennis coach, and then as a health science administrator managing fitness, health and wellness centers. At the top of his list of goals for the summer is developing some new and different day trips that make the camp experience truly more memorable.
Vicki has spent part or all of her summers at camp since she was four years old. She is the sister of John and Deb Erdmann. A retired elementary school teacher, she spends most of her time here making supply runs, assisting Deb in meal preparation, and assuring that campers have adequate gear. She is an essential part of making camp work from behind the scenes.
Peter has spent five summers as a camper. He will be working extensively on the website, producing blogs, videos, and photos throughout the season. He worked for an Engineering and Surveying Firm in Connecticut after graduating from the University of Vermont in 2013. He now attends graduate school in Geneva, Switzerland.