Our Directors and Executive Staff bring a wide variety of backgrounds and experience to ‘Camp’ Camp. Many of them have been part of our Staff for years. Most importantly, they share a love for ‘Camp’ Camp – and the collective ability to know just how to make sure you have the best time ever!
meet our directors
Kerry Riffle (Owner/Director; Los Angeles, CA) was severely traumatized by five days at Camp Storer during his sixth grade spring break. However, the memory of his hunky Camp Storer counselor and his inexplicable desire to see the state of Maine prevailed when he saw an ad for the very first year of ‘Camp’ Camp in The Advocate back in 1997. Kerry has held various positions on the Camp staff since then, including Theatre Instructor (1997-1998), Rainbow Group Leader (1997-2000), Staff Training Supervisor & Programming Coordinator (2000-2004), and Assistant Director for Operations (2005). A member of Camp’s Steering Committee from 1999-2005, he was asked by ‘Camp’ Camp’s founder Bill Cole to assume ownership of Camp in 2006. So though his dream was always to have his own theatre company, Kerry nonetheless now happily finds himself the proud owner of a fabulous LGBT summer camp instead! Originally from Ohio, Kerry lived in Chicago from 1988-1999, where he waited tables, toiled as an administrative assistant, and worked as a stage manager and director with such theatres as City Lit Theatre, Talisman Theatre, and Bailiwick Repertory where he curated the Pride Performance Series in 1995. Curious about life beyond the Midwest – and partially inspired by his ‘Camp’ Camp experience – Kerry moved to Boston in 1999, then to New York City in 2001 where he worked as Office Manager/Controller for Rottenberg Lipman Rich, P.C., a boutique Manhattan law firm. In June of 2016, he finally left New York City behind so that he could devote his energy full time to ‘Camp’ Camp in hopes of developing a west coast version of Camp. After a full summer in Maine and an extended fall/winter visit with his family in Ohio, Kerry headed to Hollywood, California in March of 2017 where he now lives with Brody, his adorable-but-beastly ten-year-old Norfolk Terrier. 2018 will mark his 22nd year with ‘Camp’ Camp, thus giving him the dubious distinction of being one of only two people who has been at ‘Camp’ Camp every year since it’s inception in 1997. He has seen and heard a lot.
Betsy Orr (Owner/Associate Director; Portland, ME) is a wicked-local, lifelong resident of Maine and is uniquely qualified to co-run ‘Camp’ Camp: until her move to Portland in 2013, she could see Camp from her house – although she did have to travel to Boston Pride to find out about it. Betsy first came to ‘Camp’ Camp as a Driver in 2003 and later became a Rainbow Group Leader. When Kerry asked her to become his business partner in 2009, she said “Yes!” before she really had time to consider what she was doing. Camp 2018 will be her 16th summer at ‘Camp’ Camp, and she has loved every minute of the journey thus far. A lifelong camper – well, she spent much of her youth at her grandmother’s camp – Betsy is well-equipped to spend her summers playing with a bunch of homos in the Maine woods. To know her is to know that she’s really just an overgrown kid. ‘Camp’ Camp founder Bill Cole gave her the Indian name “Plays Well With Others,” which is a pretty accurate description, as her constant smile, quick wit, and colorful (ahem) language render her easily approachable at ‘Camp’ Camp. Betsy finds working with ‘Camp’ Campers to be somewhat similar to working with the Middle School students she teaches when ‘Camp’ Camp is not in session. (Betsy avoided lesbian stereotypes by becoming a PE and Health teacher, and after many years on the job, still loves every minute of it.) Betsy can always be heard before she is seen – which gives you ample notice to turn and run or to stop and talk.
Brett Auttonberry (Owner/Associate Director; Slaughter, LA) has worn his share of hats over the years. To name the more notable, he has been a professional operatic bass/baritone, Mariachi marimbaist, Jazz pianist, high school band director, cake decorator, U.S. Army Ranger “AIRBORNE!!,” box dancer, adult film talent, potter, horticulturist, and proud husband. And now Brett is so excited to add the hat of ‘Camp’ Camp Owner/Associate Director to the list that he could just spit! Camp 2018 will mark his 10th year at Camp and his third year as Associate Director, having first attended ‘Camp’ Camp in 2009 as Pottery Instructor, a role he held until 2015. Brett lives in the village of Slaughter, Louisiana, just up the road a piece from the state’s capital, Baton Rouge, with his husband (and Camp’s Morning Dining Hall Manager), Darin, in their home, Serenity Cottage, c. 1886, with their 14 cats, 2 dogs, 2 foster dogs, 3 crawfish, and 50+ chickens, where they are known to village folk as “the boys with the beautiful gardens.” And eggs… So, so many eggs.
meet our executive staff
Mary Beth King (Asst. Director; Columbia, SC) is a self-proclaimed camp addict and Camp’s resident vegan. She refused to go into recovery and instead has been spending the past seven summers at ‘Camp’ Camp and working/volunteering at YEA Camp and Camp It Up. Camp 2018 will mark Mary Beth’s second year as Camp’s Assistant Director, after first attending Camp in 2011-2012 as a Camper. She became one of our Rainbow Group Leaders in 2013, then added Vegan/Gluten-Free Baker & Dessert Chef to her Camp responsibilities beginning in 2014. (Whew!) She grew up in the Girl Scouts and started attending camp the summer before third grade. Mary Beth attended camp every summer after that first year, became a CIT, camp counselor, and eventually directed Girl Scout summer camps professionally for 10 years. She has presented workshops at several American Camp Association (ACA) conferences, was a standards visitor, and sat on the ACA Ohio board. The Barn Dance is Mary Beth’s favorite ‘Camp’ Camp activity, and she likes to warn all first-year campers that their face will hurt afterwards from smiling so much.
Richard Lawrence (Operations Manager; Jackson, MS) will mark his 12th year at ‘Camp’ Camp in 2018, his eighth year as Camp’s Operations Manager, having been part of the Maintenance & Logistics Team since he first attended Camp in 2007. However, ‘Camp’ Camp is far from his only summer camp experience. Richard grew up in the small town of Canton, Mississippi where the movies A Time to Kill and My Dog Skip were filmed. Just north of Canton is a small, 752-acre camp where Richard spent every summer since he was 13. He was a camper for only two years, but then was a counselor for two years, full-time summer staff for three years, and adult staff for 14 years, followed by ten years as property manager, living on-site year long and working the camp and conference center. In 1996, Richard was responsible for designing and directing a winter camp for high school students that takes place in the break between Christmas and New Years Day, subsequently running the program until 2004, though the camp continues to this day. He has worked in construction and sign painting, as well as Art Direction for commercials, trailers, and short films. He is currently the Technical Director for Mississippi’s only not-for-profit, professional theatre where he acts, directs, sings, and builds sets for the theatre and surrounding community theatres, as well as serving as the Vice President of the local avant-garde theatre group, Fondren Theatre Workshop. Two Truths And A Lie about Richard: his mother is eight years older than his oldest sister, he once died, and he can swallow his tongue. (The first one is the lie: his mother is actually nine years older than his oldest sister!)
Wendy Hinckley (Asst. Operations Manager; Raleigh, NC) first attended ‘Camp’ Camp as part of our Maintenance & Logistics team in 2012 and has been Richard’s right hand (wo)man since 2013. Originally from Southington, CT, Wendy currently works as an Office Manager at a CPA firm. She is a fitness enthusiast who participates in local triathlons and running events. When not training for the next event, Wendy enjoys camping, hiking, and spending time with family. While at Camp, she enjoys the waterfront and Evening Social Events. Although initially reluctant to attend ‘Camp’ Camp due to an apprehension of large crowds and meeting new people, her experiences at Camp and the wonderful friendships she has created have won Wendy’s heart and she looks forward to her time in Maine each summer.
Jim Wilkins (Asst. Operations Manager; Anchorage, AK) is a lifelong Alaskan who originally hails from Sitka, Alaska in southeast Alaska where there are no formal camp grounds. Jim has been a flight attendant for the last 28 years and finds his flight-attendant skills come in handy at Camp! He has worked in various jobs over the years including being an auditor, waiter, caterer, candy man, pizza specialist, and DJ. His parents owned restaurants when he was growing up, so Jim understands the complexity of running a successful business and is always willing to do whatever it takes to make things happen. Jim’s love of Alaska shows when he has visitors to his home state, and he loves to show his connection to his Inuit roots from his mother’s side through culture and art. Jim originally read about ‘Camp’ Camp in The Advocate quite a few years back, but, thinking Maine was at the edge of the earth and having never gone to summer camp, he had no idea what to expect. Always up for an adventure, Jim finally decided to go for it and attended Camp for the first time as a Camper in 2012. He returned for two more years as a Camper, before joining the Maintenance & Logistics Team in 2015. He assumed his current role as Richard’s (other) right hand man in 2017. He is honored to be a part of something so magical and exceptional that creates a safe space for so many.
Stacey Reardon (Transportation Manager; Bethel, AK) originally hails from Montgomery, IL. In fact, it was a dark and stormy night in Montgomery in 2005, when she said “I want to do that!” – and applied to be a member of Camp’s waterfront staff, looking forward to sunning herself on Camp’s beautiful beach. Alas, she was too late, and all the lifeguard positions were filled. But, fate had a plan: Camp needed another Driver. So, Stacey accepted that position for Camp 2005 and again in 2006. With fate continuing to plot, she then took over as Transportation Manager in 2007 where she used her organizational skills and ‘get your butt in the van’ personality to keep all aspects of ‘Camp’ Camp transportation moving. After seven years of successfully leaving no Camper behind (except those who overslept), Stacey found herself as Assistant Director for Camp 2014 and 2015, when she not only continued to manage all of Camp’s transportation logistics but also was able to employ her management skills during the week of Camp overseeing the Camp Operations Staff and assisting in general Camp operations. A new job in Alaska (yay!) meant she had to miss Camp 2016 (boo!), but she is excited to be back as Transportation Manager once more as she is always happy to do whatever she can to help Kerry, Betsy, and Brett continue making summer the best time ever.
Robin Benton (Risk Manager; Jamaica Plain, MA), an EMT and Professor of Aquatic Management at Salem State University in Massachusetts, has been providing aquatic and safety training to camps, schools, and recreation programs from Pennsylvania to Alaska for more than 25 years. She originally served as Hiking Instructor at ‘Camp’ Camp when she first attended in 2006, later moving into Risk Management and serving in her current position as Lead Risk Manager since 2009. An author, nationally recognized speaker, and expert witness, Robin has held numerous leadership positions with the National Recreation & Park Association, the National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in Higher Education, Swingtime Boston, and other agencies. An avid outdoor and motorcycle enthusiast, Robin has ridden and camped through much of North America, so, while many people consider ‘Camp’ Camp to be on the rustic side, it always feels like a spa vacation to her! Basically, Robin is just a camper with a day job.
Karl Baudendistel (Camp Store Manager; New York, NY) currently spends his life taking people on vacation as a professional Tour Director. His love of travel grew from his first love: the theater. For many years, Karl traveled the country as the Company Manager for numerous Broadway National Tours including The Phantom of the Opera and Monty Python’s Spamalot. Chances are he’s been to a city near you. He is a trained Sommelier, a licensed NYC and Washington, DC tour guide, and enjoys Bikram Yoga. Having been traumatized by a nightmare week at sleep-away camp as a child, Karl was initially reluctant to attend ‘Camp’ Camp when he first attended as a Camper in 2009, but now he looks forward to escaping Manhattan for the peace and tranquility of Maine for a week each summer where he can relax, catch up with old friends – and hopefully sell you a t-shirt (or two)!
Lyndsey Fox (Executive Chef; Philadelphia, PA), a native Philadelphian, is described by those closest to her as Charmingly Rebellious. A contrarian by birth, she sees no issue in pairing a $100 bottle of Mezcal with a hot dog from a street cart. As an adopted New Englander, she appreciates the beauty of a straightforward answer and cheap beer in a can. Lyndsey and her adorable husband (and former Camp Staff member) John Tysoe recently relocated back to Philly after a brief stint in Northern California where she worked in marketing for a well-known winery. She is a lifetime believer of #nonewfriendsjustcampfriends as a camper and counselor at ‘Camp’ Camp’s host camp, which is how she found Camp in the first place. Lyndsey started her journey at Camp in 2006 as a Kitchen Assistant. 2018 will mark Lyndsey’s 10th year at camp and first true year as Executive Chef. Her favorite part of Camp are the people, of course, but the showtunes and dancing aren’t bad either. During her down-time, you can find her making a mess in the kitchen taking selfies with her dog Stanley, listening to music that makes her nostalgic for her adolescence, or reading one of the 36 etiquette books she has amassed over the years. Her future aspirations include opening a diner, being a Jeopardy champion and of course, writing the next great American novel.
Vicki “Vickers” Hames-Frazier (Waterfront Director; Ann Arbor, MI) brings a wealth of experience in both camping and aquatics to her role as Camp’s Waterfront Director, a role she’s held since first attending ‘Camp’ Camp in 1999. When not making Camp’s waterfront a safe and fun place for all of our Campers, Vickers works as an aquatics specialist for special-needs children and adults, ages 3-26, a position she’s held at the same school district for the past 30 years. Her passion for children with special needs and aquatics led her to start “Aquagirl Aquatics”, a swim program that provides private swim instruction and therapy for special-needs children. Vickers has become a consultant and presenter on the topic of adapted aquatics to aquatic professionals across the U.S. A Girl Scout all her life, Vickers has worked in a camp setting since she was 18 years old as a counselor, waterfront staff, and waterfront director where she taught swimming, canoeing, and sailing. Her interests do extend outside of the water, though: she enjoys home improvement projects and the outdoors and is an avid runner, swimmer, and reader. Cooking is another of her joys, and she is currently working on a “family” cookbook. She enjoys time with her family and friends, especially her son Vincent and his wife, Andie. But… her Greatest Joy is her beautiful wife, Sandy!
Bill Cole (Founder; Colrain, MA) started ‘Camp’ Camp a couple of months after he came out at age 49 in 1996. His goal was to create a safe place for gay and lesbian adults (he didn’t know then about bisexual, transgender, and queer people, so the “BT” was added later) to enjoy the out-of-doors and a variety of activities just like the summer camps he wanted to like, but was never comfortable in, when he was a kid himself. He wanted to give people the luxury of time and the chance to get beyond first appearances to the possibility of real friendship. The first year of ‘Camp’ Camp, in 1997, 88 people attended – this in the days before most people had email and Facebook’s founder was in high school – and about two-thirds of them were part of the Camp staff! In 2006, Kerry and Susan “Clink” Clinkenbeard took over – with Betsy subsequently replacing Clink as Associate Director in 2009 – and have grown ‘Camp’ Camp to the success it is today. Since passing Kerry the reins to Camp, Bill founded Katywil Farm Community, an eco-village with solar-heated houses, organic gardens, berry bushes, and orchards. Its first occupant was Charles Lappen, a ‘Camp’ Camper!