We look forward to spending the summer outside interacting with the kids and staff. We work ten months to get ready for two. The best part is getting to know the campers on an individual basis.”

Mitchell & Michelle Kessler

Mitchell and Michelle Kessler are the proud owners of Spring Lake Day Camp. Spring Lake has been family owned and operated by the Kessler family since 1989, making this their 34th anniversary summer. Having the advantage of being born into a camp family, Mitchell knew that SLDC was the place that could create a magical feeling of community, spirit and well-being. He has been able to use his experience and education to create what he believes is the best day camp in the entire world!

Mitchell holds a B.A. in Economics from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and a Master of Architecture degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture. He puts his degree to work by designing all of our beautiful structures around camp. Michelle holds a B.A. in Psychology from New York University and a M.A. in Guidance Counseling from Hunter College. Before embarking on the wonderful journey of camp, Michelle was a teacher and then a Guidance Counselor in Manhattan. Mitchell and Michelle share their passion for camp with their two wonderful boys, Max and Michael.

Our Year-Round Staff

Dara Garcia, Director
Dara Garcia, DirectorDara loves her home away from home, Spring Lake Day Camp, and has been on our administrative team for 16 years. She began as a Program Administrator, then Division Leader in Girls’ Camp, Director of Junior Camp and Assistant Director before becoming our Camp Director. With a B.A. in Sociology and a M.S. degree in Social Studies Education from Queens College, Dara has worked in education since 1993 teaching elementary through high school both in Queens and New Jersey. Dara also worked in the not-for-profit world at a YM-YWHA as the Director of Camp, Youth, and Family services for three years. When Dara started with us in 2005, her daughters began in Junior Camp and are now both lifeguards at SLDC. Dara’s administrative experience, strong leadership and communication skills keep Spring Lake on top of its game.

FUN FACT: Dara has run eight 5K’s and is training for her next one!

Rosemarie Budde – Office Manager/Bookkeeper
Rosemarie Budde - Office Manager/BookkeeperRosemarie came to us in 2001 with a wealth of administrative office skills along with her then 10 year old daughter, Amanda, who was a camper, counselor, lifeguard and corporate event planner here. Prior to SLDC Rosemarie worked for 28 years as an administrative assistant at a Fortune 500 company. Her knowledge of the business world and dealing with people has made her an invaluable asset to the SLDC team. As our Office Manager and Bookkeeper, parents and staff have spoken with Rosemarie over the years as she is involved with every aspect of the camp. She is also a vital component of our event planning for corporate picnics, and we are fortunate to have her on our year-round office staff.

FUN FACT: Rosemarie is the proud parent of our SLDC camp dog, Buddy Budde.

Alessa Laraia – Transportation Director & Office Administrator
Alessa Laraia - Transportation Director & Office AdministratorWhile Alessa’s summertime gig at SLDC is really her favorite part of the year (scroll down for more on that!), in the off-season, she is a vital component to SLDC’s day-to-day tasks such as billing, enrollment, marketing, parent communication and most importantly, transportation. Alessa is in charge of routing all the SLDC buses prior to the first day of camp. Alessa believes that camp begins when the children are picked up in the morning and ends when they all return safely home at the end of the day.

FUN FACT: Alessa starred in a hair commercial as a college student.

Buddy Budde – Camp Communications Expert
Buddy Budde - Camp Communications ExpertBuddy joined the SLDC family eight years ago and has been a vital part of our Year-Round Staff ever since. In 2015 Buddy graduated PetSmart Dog Training Academy with high honors and we are very proud of him! Buddy brings love and smiles to our campers and staff each and every day.

FUN FACT: Buddy is a social media celebrity; he receives the most likes than any other SLDC post.

Our Administrative Team


Lauren Amoroso – Director of Junior Camp
Lauren Amoroso - Director of Junior CampLauren has been a Spring Laker for nine fun-filled summers. She began as our Pearls & Jewels Division Leader and has been our Junior Camp Director for the past five summers. Lauren’s two daughters began in Junior Camp and are now enjoying their summers in Girls’ Camp. She has dual Masters degrees in both Special Education and General Studies from Mercy College and is a resource and collaborative special education teacher in the Franklin Lakes School District. Lauren brings creativity, tremendous spirit and cohesiveness to Junior Camp each and every summer.

FUN FACT: Lauren has completed two mud runs and cannot wait for her next one!

Alessa Laraia – Dinos & Dolfins Division Leader and Transportation Director
Alessa Laraia - Dinos & Dolfins Division Leader and Transportation DirectorAre you doing a double take?! Yes, Alessa serves as BOTH our Dinos & Dolfins Division Leader during the summers and Transportation Director in the off-season. Alessa’s lifelong experience working with children began as a counselor at SLDC in high school. She earned her B.A. in Psychology and received her K -8 Elementary Education Certificate from Ramapo College to become a teacher and had her own three children before returning to our Spring Lake family in 2017 as an administrator. Alessa’s bright smile, energy, love for fun and gentle demeanor is just the thing for our youngest campers to feel right at home.

FUN FACT: Alessa starred in a hair commercial as a college student.

Monica DeVita – Owls Division Leader
Monica DeVita - Owls Division LeaderMonica has been a welcome addition to Junior Camp. After being an experienced counselor in Girls’ Camp for five summers she has been our Owls’ Division Leader for the past three summers. Monica is a preschool teacher of students with disabilities in the Clifton School District, she has a B.A. in English and Early Childhood Education with an endorsement and certification as a teacher of students with disabilities from Monmouth University She is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Special Education at William Paterson University. Monica encourages those around her to explore new experiences at every opportunity.

FUN FACT: Monica has been skydiving and is looking for her next leap!

Carolyn Settlow – Bears Division Leader
Carolyn Settlow - Bears Division LeaderCarolyn joined the Spring Lake family in 2012 as our Bears Division Leader and brings warmth, humor and excitement to our fun-loving first grade boys. As a licensed Certified Social Worker with an M.S.W. degree from Yeshiva University, Carolyn’s professional work as a therapist has been with children, teenagers and families. She has a son in Boys’ Camp, one daughter as an LTP and her eldest daughter on staff here at camp. Carolyn’s expertise and love for children as well as her leadership skills have made her a perfect fit for Junior Camp.

FUN FACT: Carolyn rode a camel in Cairo, Egypt to visit the pyramids.

Arielle Linn – Pearls & Jewels Division Leader
Arielle Linn - Pearls & Jewels Division LeaderArielle is excited to be celebrating her 21st summer at SLDC! She spent eight years as a camper, three years as a lifeguard, five years as a counselor, and has been our Division Leader for Pearls & Jewels for the past five years. Arielle is a first grade teacher (in the school she went to as a child) in the Fair Lawn School District and has recently completed her Reading Specialist Certification. As an SLDC “lifer”, Arielle brings an enormous love of camp to Junior Camp each and every day.

FUN FACT: Arielle is a spin instructor at CycleBar Wyckoff.


Laurie Ann Weinstein – Girls’ Camp Director
Laurie Ann Weinstein - Girls’ Camp DirectorLaurie Ann’s 2 sons were already campers when she joined our SLDC team 25 years ago. After spending one summer as a Junior Camp counselor, Laurie Ann joined Girls’ Camp, first as a Division Leader for the Emeralds and Rubies, and in 2005, as its Director (aka “The Queen”). Laurie Ann has a B.S. in Psychology and a Juris Doctorate from Boston University School of Law. Laurie Ann cannot imagine spending her summers anywhere other than at SLDC where she gets to wear a crown and a tutu and is forever “young and beautiful.”

FUN FACT: Laurie Ann met her husband on the first day of law school and upon marriage, her initials became “LAW.”

Brooke Mendel – Emeralds & Rubies Division Leader
Brooke Mendel - Emeralds & Rubies Division LeaderBrooke joined the SLDC family 23 years ago while she was still in high school. After six years as a counselor in Girls’ Camp, Brooke became the Division Leader for the Emeralds & Rubies. Brooke has a B.S. in Early Childhood Education from the University of Hartford and taught elementary school for five years. Her three children are growing up at Spring Lake, where Brooke has found her forever home in Girls’ Camp.

FUN FACT: During her first summer at SLDC, Brooke met her husband, Joey, who was a Boys’ Camp counselor.

Jamie Schechter – Diamonds & Opals Division Leader
Jamie Schechter - Diamonds & Opals Division LeaderJamie has been a proud member of the Girls’ Camp team for nine summers. With a B.S. in Social Work from the University of Maryland and Masters of Arts in Teaching – Elementary Education and holding a Reading Specialist Certification from William Paterson University, Jamie teaches, tutors and is mom to one of SLDC’s youngest campers. Jamie continues to bring a fresh and energetic spirit to Girls’ Camp that the entire camp enjoys!

FUN FACT: Jamie was married during a blizzard in 26 inches of snow.

Bridget Sullivan – Corals, Jades & Stars Division Leader
Bridget Sullivan - Corals, Jades & Stars Division LeaderBridget joined our SLDC family as a counselor in Girls’ Camp in 2011 and has been with us every summer since! She graduated college with two B.A. degrees in Elementary Education and Psychology as well as a certification in Early Childhood from Rider University. We are delighted Bridget has been part of the Girls Camp administration since 2016 as a Division Leader for the Corals, Jades & Stars!

FUN FACT: Bridget loves to travel and has been to 32 countries, 30 states, and 17 national parks!


Mike Levy – Director of Boys’ Camp
Mike Levy - Director of Boys’ CampSpring Lake has been Mike’s summer home for 12 years. He began as a baseball specialist for two years, joined Boys’ Camp as the Eagles Division Leader for six years and has been our Director of Boys Camp for the past four summers. Mike has a B.A. in History, a Masters of Education in Social Studies from Rutgers University, and teaches high school Social Studies in the Wayne School District. Throughout the summer Mike can be found on and off the fields joining his campers in games and activities.

FUN FACT: Mike has visited all 50 states!

Carly Kalman – Eagles Division Leader
Carly Kalman – Eagles Division LeaderCarly is a lifelong camper having been a day camper, counselor, and Head Counselor in Long Island before joining the SLDC Administrative Team. She has a B.A. in Math, Secondary Education from the University of Maryland and a Masters in Education from Florida International University and currently teaches middle school Math in the Mahwah School District. Spring Lake is looking forward to Carly’s enthusiasm, organizational skills, and love of camp in Boys’ Side.

FUN FACT: Carly was a cross country and track coach.

Neil Shechtman – Patriots & Vikings Division Leader
Neil Shechtman - Patriots & Vikings Division LeaderNeil has been with Spring Lake for 15 summers in Boys’ Camp as a Division Leader for Bucs, Raiders & Giants and is currently returning to his original role with the Patriots & Vikings. He has a B.S. degree in Accounting and a Masters of Arts in Elementary Education from Columbia University. Neil does it all; teaching middle school math in the Kinnelon School District, tutoring, playing tennis and of course dressing up on our all our SLDC theme days.

FUN FACT: Neil produces his own fantasy football podcast called Chatfantasyfootball.com.

Aaron Kalman – Bucs, Raiders & Giants Division Leader
Aaron Kalman – Bucs, Raiders & Giants Division LeaderAaron grew up spending his summers on the basketball courts of Northern Virginia. Throughout college he played club basketball while earning a B.A. in Math and a Masters in Secondary Education from the University of Mary Washington which led to a career as a high school math teacher in the Montville School District. We are thrilled Aaron will be working with our oldest campers on Boys’ Side bringing teamwork, good sportsmanship, and humor to SLDC.

FUN FACT: Aaron has visited Disneyworld 25 times!

Our Summer Administrative Team

Lori Kleinfeld – Leadership Training Program Supervisor
Lori Kleinfeld - Leadership Training Program SupervisorLori has been with SLDC for 21 years, with this coming summer being her 14th year supervising our successful and well run Leadership Training Program. Lori began her career at SLDC as our Van Staff Supervisor and Camp Mom. She works at Fair Lawn High School as an ancillary teacher with a B.A. in Family Child Relations and Pre-K certification from Montclair State University as well as her Kindergarten – 8th grade endorsement from William Paterson University. Our Leadership Training Program is a well-known work-camp-trip program that provides a strong foundation for learning leadership skills and the responsibilities of being a staff member. Lori’s tutelage and supervision has been the backbone of its growth and success.

FUN FACT: Lori’s two adult daughters met their best friends at SLDC.

Joe Turner – Junior Training Program Supervisor
Joe Turner – Junior Training Program SupervisorJoe is excited to be joining the Administrative Team here at SLDC. He has a B.A. in History and Education from Ramapo College and is a middle school Social Studies teacher in the Montclair School District. Joe comes to us having been a day camper, participated in band camp, a travel program counselor, and will now be the Supervisor of our JTP’s. We are looking forward to Joe bringing his passion for working with tweens to the JTP experience.

FUN FACT: Joe is a natural musician as he plays the saxophone, trombone, and guitar.

Julie Calabro – Camp Mom
Julie Calabro - Camp MomJulie’s bright smile and warmth has been a fundamental part of SLDC for 20 years. Julie was our cooking specialist from 2000 – 2006 and returned to us in 2009, as our Camp Mom. She is the ideal person to oversee all aspects of our campers’ personal care and dietary needs during lunch as well as the rest of the day. Julie received her B.A. in Radio, TV, Film, & Advertising from the University of Maryland and is currently working in the Kinnelon School District. She has always been a strong link in our camp family, able to create a special connection with both campers and staff that is such a significant component of our camp’s success.

FUN FACT: Julie is fluent in Pig Latin.

Mindy Pearlman – Tour Coordinator
Mindy Pearlman - Tour CoordinatorMindy’s 3 boys were already campers at SLDC when she joined the staff in 2005. She was a Junior Camp Division Leader, the Van Staff Supervisor, and our Tour Coordinator. Mindy received a B.A. in Advertising from Michigan State University, a Juris Doctorate from the University of Miami, and a Masters degree in Elementary Education from Fairleigh Dickinson University. She is excited to spend her 18th summer at SLDC, her happy place.

FUN FACT: Mindy has spent almost 40 summers in a camp environment.

Jen Amoroso – Van Staff Supervisor
Jen Amoroso - Van Staff SupervisorJen and her two little ones are so excited to join the Spring Lake family this year. With a B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Rhode Island and an Orton- Gillingham certification from Farleigh Dickinson University, Jen began her teaching career in Oradell and is currently a reading specialist in Hillsdale. She is also a certified OG teacher of the dyslexic. Jen is a lifelong camper and brings her love of children, learning, and fun to SLDC.

FUN FACT: After college, Jen visited 10 countries in Europe in 30 days.

Bob Rosenberg
Bob Rosenberg
Forever In
Our Hearts
(8/29/44 – 3/3/14)

Arlene Liebman
Arlene Liebman
Thank You For 27 Years Of Hard Work And Dedication
Happy Retirement!

Myron Simon, Director
Myron Simon
Thank You For 24 Years Of Hard Work And Dedication
Happy Retirement!

Linda Petro
Linda Petro
Thank You For 32 Years Of Hard Work And Dedication
Happy Retirement!