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Meet Our Camp Directors

Camp Directors' Bios

Rachel Jaffe, Director of Jockey Hollow Camp
Rachel Jaffe

Rachel Jaffe
Director of Jockey Hollow Camp

It’s hard to imagine Jockey Hollow Day Camp without Rachel Jaffe. Rachel has spent every summer at Jockey Hollow since she was in the second grade. Now as a camp director, she loves passing on her experiences as a camper to the girls coming to Jockey Hollow.

“My favorite parts of day camp when I was a camper were definitely swimming and singing on the bus ride home,” Rachel said, noting that she and the other girls sang every single day on the entire bus ride home. Her favorite songs now include “the Bean Song” and “Once a Girl Scout Went to Camp.”

Over the years, Jockey Hollow has been updated. A new pool, a troop house, several cabins, and a pool house have been built. New elements were added to the challenge course and a zip line was installed. Rachel was the first archery instructor when archery was introduced several years ago, and has since added a Gaga Pit and 9 Square in the Air. Old favorites like hiking and stream exploration remain.

Although the camp has been upgraded over the years, she is proud that the traditions she enjoyed as a girl continue to live on. Girls still play field games, like “Spud,” do activities in the lean-tos, enjoy team-building activities on the challenge course, and making lanyards and friendship bracelets. Of course, we still go on hikes, go swimming, and offer stream exploration. Every summer, girls love looking for crayfish and bugs under the rocks.

Her favorite camp activity was swimming in the old pools at Jockey Hollow, one of which was filled with a hose and was always “freezing cold.” After enjoying Jockey Hollow as a camper, she then became a counselor in training, junior counselor, counselor, unit leader, and program director. This summer will be her fifth summer as camp director.

As camp director, she looks forward to camp every year and offering girls the chance to try something new.

“There’s nothing like the look on a girl’s face who is trying something new, like archery. I love seeing girls who have never picked up a bow and arrow and see the look on their face when they hit the target for the first time,” Rachel said. “It’s amazing.”

Outside of her time at camp, Rachel loves being outdoors, spending time with her dog, and traveling. She especially loves cruises. This past summer, she traveled to Peru and was quarantined there for a few weeks due to the coronavirus. She made the best of the quarantine by visiting as many sites as possible. She has also visited many states in the U.S. as well Australia and Israel.

Rachel graduated from Ramapo College with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in women and gender studies. Prior to being the camp director, she worked as a teacher for a Montessori preschool.

This summer, she said she is looking forward to being outside and back at camp. “I can’t wait to see all the campers and staff back at camp again,” she said.

Melissa Schielzo, Interim Director of Lake Rickabear Camp
Melissa Schielzo

Melissa Schielzo
Interim Director of Lake Rickabear Camp

Melissa Schielzo spent many summers as a happy camper at our former Camp Glen Spey resident camp, as did her mom and grandmother! Camp has played a very special role in her family history, and Melissa’s passion for the Girl Scout camp experience is evident. Her love of being outdoors, combined with her natural affinity for mentoring girls, led her to continue her camp experience working as a Camp Glen Spey counselor, lifeguard, and archery instructor after graduating high school. During summers and on weekends, Melissa helped manage all three GSNNJ camp sites, served as a lifeguard, and facilitated the high and low ropes challenge courses and archery for visitors.

A graduate of Lebanon Valley College, in 2017, Melissa became a full-time council staff member working with our Membership Placement team, and subsequently as Executive Associate for Fund Development & Communications, while earning her Executive MBA in Technology Management from Stevens Institute of Technology. However, Melissa’s strong desire to pass on the skills she learned as a Girl Scout and her expertise in technology inspired her to develop and implement GSNNJ’s Mobile Girl Scout Leadership Experience, which brings programming—primarily lessons in coding—directly to service units and troops in their locations at their convenience.

Melissa is very excited to engage with even more girls this summer as Interim Director of Lake Rickabear Camp, and says, “Girl Scout camp is a place where girls can feel free to try new things, test their limits, and learn from their mistakes, while building up courage and confidence. It’s a place where I thrived in the great outdoors and learned survival skills. I hope that every camper will love the Girl Scout camp experience as much as I did and will be inspired to come back year after year long after they graduate to mentor and inspire her sister Girl Scouts.”

   

A Message from Our Camp Directors

We're so happy that you're considering a Girl Scout camp experience for your girl. Girl Scout camp is where girls embrace the great outdoors and feel comfortable acquiring new skills in a safe and supportive all-girl environment. And, camp offers girls a variety of opportunities to learn, grow, and build courage, confidence, and character. 

COURAGE: As they make choices and direct projects, girls learn to work well with others, become self-reliant, and develop their leadership skills.

CONFIDENCE: For many girls, camp has unlimited potential to unlock or boost a girl’s confidence. Girls have the opportunity to try new things and test their limits.

CHARACTER: Camp is a safe place for girls to learn individual responsibility and work as part of a team. 

SISTERHOOD: Girls will explore nature, build confidence by trying new things, and take healthy risks with the support of a sisterhood of fellow campers and strong female role models.

BADGE EARNING: Girls will have the opportunity to earn Girl Scout badges in horsemanship, camping, leadership, and more. By wearing their badges proudly on their uniform all year long, they can remember their accomplishments and special moments from camp.

OUTDOOR ADVENTURES: In our technology-free setting, girls embark on a summer that unlocks their potential and allows them to thrive physically, emotionally, and intellectually. And this summer, girls will need that more than ever.  

We look forward to welcoming your camper this summer!

Rachel & Melissa

   

American Camp Association log 2020

 

We're American Camp Association accredited!