YMCA CAMP BURGESS & HAYWARD

Meet the Gurus

 

Marc Belanich

OE Guru

Greetings! I grew up in Suffern, New York and try to keep myself in the woods. I have always had a love for the outdoors, animals and science. Since graduating from SUNY New Paltz I have worked at a ski mountain in Lake Tahoe, promoted a restaurant in Croatia and installed wood floors in my hometown. While working as an OE Guru here at Camp Burgess you can find me riding my bike or searching for the catch of the day… Go Yankees!

 

 

Demi Cassanos

OE Guru

Hey everyone! Demi here- I’ve been coming to camp for 13 summers but this is my first year as an OE Guru. I grew up in Somerville, Mass but Cape Cod is most definitely my second home. Some things about me: I really like to travel (I hope to make it to Australia next), I’m a skilled tie dye artist, and I love swimming in Spectacle Pond. At camp you can catch me soaking up the sun on the waterfront or cuddling with the queen herself, Buffy the cat.

 

 

 

Leah Cotton

OE Guru

Hey there! My name is Leah and I hail from the far away city of Newton, Massachusetts. In 2015 I graduated with a degree in creative writing from the University of Redlands in sunny southern California, and immediately rushed back east where I plan on never leaving. You can usually find me at Fenway Park rooting hard for the Red Sox, or eating a delicious brunch of eggs benedict. This is my first time at Camp Burgess and I’m so excited to be living in the woods again! I spent three months rambling through the Rocky Mountains with nothing but a backpack, a few good friends, and a lot of mac ‘n cheese.  My favorite places in the world are Fenway Park, the lawn at the Atlantic Inn on Block Island, the kitchen at my aunt and uncle’s house in Vermont, Joshua Tree National Park, and the Outdoor Programs building at the University of Redlands. Go Sox!

 

 

Sean Crehan

OE Guru

Sean hails from the underbrush deep in the Amazonian Rainforest (El Segundo, CA). Born on sheer cliffs in his rainforest domain, Sean descended the rock face as a rite of passage to find food and water. He has been climbing rocks ever since, in search of the dinosaur family that helped him in his many excursions into the forest and first hunt for food.  He lives on nothing but the woodchips Nitro the dog leaves behind as he shreds trees.  Sean plans to circumnavigate the world in a claw-footed tub with nothing but a fly swatter, and ride an alpaca named Ricardo into the sunset of Borneo at some point.

 

 

Myles Davis

OE Guru

Sup, I’m from Brooklyn, New York, and I graduated from Colgate University with a degree in Biology.  Before coming to Camp Burgess I was working in South Florida doing conservation research with Crocodiles and invasive species removal of Burmese Pythons and Black & White Tegu Lizards.  I love doing work out in nature because it’s easy to be friends with people outdoors! I also really like to teach and enjoy fostering a community where people grow or participate more as they gain comfort in a new environment. I’m known for my whimsical nature, 200 + dread locks, and provocative eyebrows. My favorite things to do are running, exploring, and eating.

 

 

Jim DiCenzo

Farm Guru

Jim grew up in the suburbs of New Haven, CT where he spent his childhood playing outside and participating in sports. After attending college, he spent some time living abroad and was fortunate to rediscover his familial roots during a journey across Sicily. His desire to connect to the earth and live a simpler lifestyle like his Italian ancestors led Jim to join the Burgess Outdoor Education staff in August 2015. He has taken on the role of Farm Apprentice for the 2016 season, where he is affectionately known as “Farmer Jimbo.”

 

 

Brennan Gillis

OE Guru

Hey folks, I came south from the state of Maine to become an OE Guru! You can usually find me outside; skiing, camping, or breathing fresh air.  I am an ecology enthusiast and I love getting my hands dirty.  I have a strong family history in Chatham, and I am looking forward to a summer on the Cape.  I love outdoor recreation and have ambitions to continue my wilderness medicine education.  Yeeaaaaaaaaay Science!

 

 

 

Jenny Heisel

OE Guru

I am from the great state of Minnesota and am so happy to be living in an area that reminds me of home. This is my first year at Camp Burgess and first time living on the East Coast.  I have worked in outdoor education in many capacities including camps, guiding canoeing and kayaking trips, teaching fishing, aquatic soils research, the Peace Corps, farming, nannying and horticulture therapy. I am thrilled to combine my love of science, farming, and teaching in the outdoors here at camp and look forward to some great trail running and biking this summer and fall.

 

 

Kate Hilliard

Kitchen Guru

Hello there! I’m from San Diego, California and like most everybody here I love being outdoors, particularly hiking or riding my bike. I come from an environmental studies/education background and began cooking professionally 4 years ago, which is what brought me to Camp Burgess and Hayward. If I’m not in the kitchen I can often be found drinking copious amounts of coffee, riding my bike, paddling on Spectacle Pond or playing volleyball. I’m fascinated by transportation and love old cars and traveling by train. I also love museums and have been to some excellent exhibits; if you have the chance I would recommend The Forney Museum of Transportation in Denver, CO. It combines two of my favorite things!

 

 

Matt Hunter

OE Guru

My name is Matt and I am from Lexington, MA. I graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University in 2015 with a degree in Health and Human Kinetics, and before working here at Burgess this season I was traveling and working as a coach. I’ve been coming to Camp Burgess since I was 11! Since that time, I’ve known Burgess to be a place where anyone belongs; getting to work here and share that sense of belonging with others is an incredible privilege. In my free time I like to play sports, watch movies, listen to music, play guitar, try new things, or hang with my friends!

 

 

TJ Kuhn

OE Guru

I grew up in Collegeville, PA as an avid Philadelphia 76ers fan and mischievous neighborhood hooligan. I graduated from University of North Carolina Wilmington in 2013 with a degree in Film and Animation. Since then, I have rambled all over the US of A picking up work as a film crew laborer, trail guide, landscape builder, dogsled musher, farmer, and handyman. In my spare time, I enjoy throwing the frisbee, shooting pool, and high art films such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles I and II, Home Alone, and The Mighty Ducks.

 

 

Derek Slesinger

OE Guru

Hey! I hail from Newark, Delaware, where I’ve lived for most of my time on Earth.  I graduated from University of Delaware in 2013 with a degree in Organizational & Community Leadership.  This is my fourth season here at Camp Burgess, although my last 3 were spent working in the summer camp program in various positions. I’m an avid rugby fan and have been playing since high school, and plan on playing until I’m too old to function. I’m also very passionate about music and have been playing bass guitar for 10 years now. When I’m not working you can probably find me in the dining hall cooking up something yummy or playing kickball with the rest of the Gurus.