Lauren Amoroso – Director of Junior Camp
Lauren has been a Spring Laker since 2013. She joined our staff as the Division Leader for the Pearls and Jewels and has been our Director of Junior Camp since 2017. Spring Lake is a family affair for the Amorosos; Lauren’s two daughters started as Junior Campers and continue to enjoy their summers here at camp. Lauren has Master’s 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.
Alessa Laraia – Dinos & Dolfins Division Leader
Are you doing a double take? Yes, Alessa serves as both our Dinos & Dolfins Division Leader during the summers and as our Transportation Director in the off-season. Alessa’s experience working with children began in 1998 as an SLDC counselor when she was in high school. She earned her B.A. in Psychology and received her K-8 Elementary Education Certificate from Ramapo College. Alessa taught 5th grade and had her own three children before returning to our Spring Lake family as an administrator in 2017. Alessa’s bright smile, energy, love for fun and gentle demeanor help make our youngest campers feel right at home.
Monica DeVita – Bears Division Leader
After spending five years gaining experience as a Girls’ Camp counselor, Monica moved to Junior Camp in 2019 where she has been a Division Leader for both the Owls and the Bears. Monica 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 teaches kindergarten and first grade students with disabilities in Clifton while pursuing a Master’s Degree in Special Education at William Paterson University. Monica encourages those around her – from her campers to her friends- to explore new experiences at every opportunity.
Ashley Beneventine – Owls Division Leader
Ashley began her SLDC journey as an Owls counselor in 2014, worked with the Bears and our JTP program and, after a brief hiatus, returned in 2022 to where she started – back in Junior Camp with the Owls, but this time as their Division Leader. During the school year she works as an Elementary School Social Worker and Counselor in Morristown where she provides counseling, serves on the Child Study Team and is the Harassment, Intimidation and Anti Bullying Specialist for her school. Ashley received both her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Social Work from Monmouth University and continues to advise college students there. Her energy and bubbly personality are an asset to not only the Owls but to our entire camp program.
Arielle Linn – Pearls & Jewels Division Leader
Arielle has literally grown up at Spring Lake and has spent almost every summer of her life here. She was a camper for eight years (starting in the Dinos!), spent three years as a lifeguard, five years as a counselor and has been a Junior Camp Division Leader since 2017. Arielle is a first grade teacher in Fair Lawn (in the same school she attended as a child), has completed her Reading Specialist Certification and has a Master’s Degree in Reading. As an SLDC “lifer,” Arielle brings an enormous love of camp to Junior Camp each and every day.
Laurie Ann Weinstein – Director of Girls’ Camp
Laurie Ann’s two sons were already campers when she joined our SLDC team in 1998. After spending one summer as a Junior Camp counselor, Laurie Ann joined Girls’ Camp, first as the Division Leader for the Emeralds and Rubies, and in 2005, as its Director (aka “The Queen’). Laurie Ann has a B.S. in Psychology from SUNY Binghamton and her Juris Doctor 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.”
Brooke Mendel – Emeralds & Rubies Division Leader
Brooke joined the SLDC family in 1999 while she was still in high school. After six years as a counselor in Girls’ Camp, Brooke became the Division Leader for the Emeralds and 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.
Jamie Schechter – Diamonds & Opals Division Leader
Jamie has been a proud member of the Girls’ Camp team since 2013 where she is the group leader for the Diamonds and Opals. Jamie has a B.S. in Social Work from the University of Maryland and a Master of Arts in Teaching- Elementary Education, as well as a Reading Specialist Certification & Supervisor Certification from William Paterson University. Jamie teaches and tutors and shares her love of camp with her son who spends his summers with his mom at SLDC. Jamie brings her fresh and energetic spirit to Girls’ Camp each summer. There’s no place she’d rather be!
Bridget Sullivan – Corals, Jades & Stars Division Leader
Bridget joined our SLDC family as a Girls’ Camp counselor in 2011 and has been with us every summer since. She graduated from Rider University with B.A. degrees in both Elementary Education and Psychology, has a certification in Early Childhood Education, and has been a middle school science teacher since 2017. Since becoming a Division Leader in 2016, Bridget has been a wonderful role model for our oldest Girls’ Camp campers and her creativity and organizational skills have elevated the program for this age level.
Mike Levy – Director of Boys’ Camp
Mike joined our Spring Lake team in 2011. His time at SLDC began on the lower fields where he was a baseball specialist for two years. He then spent six years as the Division Leader for the Eagles before becoming the Director of Boys’ Camp in 2018. Mike has a B.A. in History from the University of Maryland and a Master of Education in Social Studies from Rutgers University. Mike teaches high school Social Studies in the Wayne school district but is most at home on and off the SLDC fields joining his campers in games and activities.
Carly Kalman – Eagles Division Leader
Carly is a lifelong camp person, having been a camper, counselor and Head Counselor in Long Island before joining the SLDC administrative team in 2021. She has a B.A. in Math, Secondary Education from the University of Maryland and a Master’s Degree in Education from Florida International University. Carly teaches middle school math in the Mahwah school district. Carly’s organizational skills keep everyone on track and her enthusiasm and love for camp are contagious.
Alex Hutcherson- Patriots and Vikings Division Leader
Alex started his SLDC journey in 2017 as a counselor for the Broncos, a position that he held for 3 years. A highlight of Alex’s counselor experience was being named a Color War Captain in 2018, helping to lead the White Walk of Fame team to victory! After a brief hiatus, Alex returned to SLDC in 2022, this time as the Division Leader for the Patriots and Vikings. Alex has a B.A. in Philosophy from St. Lawrence University. He spent 3 years as a ski instructor at Campgaw Ski School and 2 years as the ski school supervisor. Alex hopes to foster confidence and friendship in his campers and we know that the spirit and leadership skills he displayed as a Color War Captain will ensure that his campers have an amazing SLDC experience.
Aaron Kalman – Bucs, Raiders & Giants Division Leader
Aaron grew up spending his summers on the basketball courts of northern Virginia. Throughout college at the University of Mary Washington he played club basketball while earning a B.A. in Math and a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education. He is a high school math teacher at Ramapo High School. Aaron brings teamwork, sportsmanship and a great sense of humor to our oldest Boys’ Side campers.
Sheri Taback – Junior Camp Aquatics Director
Sheri joined our Spring Lake team in 2004 as a Junior Pool lifeguard and swim instructor. After spending five years in the water, Sheri took her talents to the land as a Girls’ Camp Division Leader but returned to the pools in 2012 as the Junior Camp Aquatics Director. Sheri has her B.A. in Business Management and Marketing from Cornell University and is a Red Cross certified lifeguard and Water Safety Instructor. Sheri brings all of her knowledge and experience to our Aquatics team. Having been a camper for her entire childhood, Sheri feels lucky to still be one in her adulthood.
• Read a message from Sheri Taback.
Stephanie Baer – Mid and Upper Camp Aquatics Director
Stephanie joined our SLDC family in 2009 as our Athletics Supervisor but, with her extensive aquatics background with the American Red Cross, she was a natural choice to be our Mid and Upper Camp Aquatics Director, a position she has held since 2011. In addition to overseeing instructional swim and the safety at our pools, she also runs our successful American Red Cross Babysitting Basics course which so many of our oldest campers love! Stephanie has a B.S. in Physical Education from Hunter College and an M.A. in Athletic Administration from Columbia University. She has been teaching Elementary Physical Education in Teaneck since 1992 and coaches varsity level tennis, bowling and swimming. Stephanie finds all of her work with children at school and at camp extremely rewarding.
Jessica Gordon – Leadership Training Program Supervisor
After seeing what a great time her oldest child had in Junior Camp, in 2022 Jessica (along with her middle child) decided to join in the SLDC fun. Jessica has a B.S. in Human Development from Cornell University, and an M.S. in School Psychology and Doctorate of Psychology from St. John’s University. She is also a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Throughout her career she has had the opportunity to work with children of all ages, from Early Intervention through high school and has been the behaviorist in the Waldwick School District since 2012. Jessica’s passion has always been camp (she has attended and worked at both day and sleepaway camps) and she cannot wait until her youngest child joins his sisters at camp.
Joe Turner – Junior Training Program Co-Supervisor
Joe joined the SLDC administrative team in 2021 with loads of camp experience. He was a day camper, band camp participant, and a travel program counselor. Joe 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 brings his great sense of humor and his passion for working with tweens to the JTP experience.
Betsy Greene Bortniker – Junior Training Program Co-Supervisor
Betsy began her SLDC career in 2016 and spent 3 summers as the JTP Supervisor. After taking some time off when she had her children, Betsy returned to SLDC in 2021 as our Lakefront Supervisor. Her true passion, however, is the JTP program and she returned to her role working with our tweens in 2022. Betsy has a degree in Physical Education from Adelphi University where she also received a Master’s Degree in Health Education. She has taught both Physical Education and Health in New York. Her easygoing personality and enthusiasm for camp make her a wonderful fit for our SLDC family.
Ian Burke – Adventure Challenge Supervisor
Since Ian joined Spring Lake in 2012 he has spent his days “up in the trees” as a member of our Adventure Challenge team. In 2017 he became the Supervisor making sure that all of our ziplines, rope elements and climbing areas are staffed and running safely. Ian has been working with ropes since his days as a young Boy Scout where he achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. Ian is currently attending Kean University where he is pursuing a degree in Information Technology and Computer Science.
Michelle Romm – Arts Supervisor
When Michelle moved to New Jersey from California she enrolled her two daughters in SLDC and she came along with them! She has been our Arts Supervisor since 2015 and her creativity and enthusiasm has elevated our Art Department to a whole new level. Michelle has a B.A. from San Diego State University and spent over twenty years working in Hollywood designing costumes for television and films. Her Hollywood career prepared her well for camp where she handles the chaos of tie dye week and the deadlines for camp’s crazy costumes with a big smile and a sense of humor.
Matt Gruby – Lakefront Supervisor
Matt joined our SLDC family in 2022 as our Lakefront Supervisor. He worked as a lifeguard at various summer programs and also spent three summers as a counselor in a travel program. Matt has a Bachelor’s Degree from Boston College and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Drew University. He is a special education teacher in the West Essex school district. Matt loves the outdoors and camping and he is an avid kayaker, making him a perfect addition to our lakefront.
Julie Calabro – Camp Mom
Julie’s bright smile and warmth have been a fundamental part of SLDC since 2000. Julie was our cooking specialist from 2000-2006 and after a brief hiatus, she returned to camp in 2009 as our Camp Mom. Julie can usually be found on the pavilion overseeing the dietary needs of our campers during lunch as well as the rest of the day, and her attention to detail in reading each and every food label ensures that our campers and staff stay safe. 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 and her ability to create a special connection with both campers and staff is such a significant component of our camp’s success.
Mindy Pearlman – Tour Coordinator/Program Coordinator
Mindy’s three boys were already campers at SLDC when she joined our staff in 2005. Mindy has played multiple roles at SLDC including Junior Camp Division Leader and Van Staff Supervisor. Her experience in different parts of camp makes her an asset in her current roles as Tour Coordinator and Program Coordinator. Mindy received a B.A. in Advertising from Michigan State University, a J.D. from the University of Miami and a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from Fairleigh Dickinson University. SLDC is Mindy’s happy place and we cannot imagine camp without her.
Jen Amoroso – Van Staff Supervisor
Jen, along with her two children, joined our SLDC family in 2021. With a B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Rhode Island and an Orton-Gillingham certification from Fairleigh Dickinson University, Jen began her teaching career in Oradell. She is currently a reading specialist in Hillsdale and 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.
Rachel Weiss – Head Nurse
Rachel joined our Health Care Office in 2020 and became our Head Nurse in 2022. She received her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiological Sciences from the University of Maryland and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Georgetown University. Rachel has spent over 17 years specializing in women and children’s care working as a nurse in Labor and Delivery in Washington, DC and in Mother-Baby at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. She has had experience as a school nurse working with children from preschool to high school and currently works at Northern Highlands High School. Rachel spends her “spare time” working towards her Masters of Science specializing in School Nursing. Her extensive nursing experience and her calm demeanor make all of our campers feel safe and cared for.