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Molly Davis

 

 

Camp Director

 

Dear Saltaire & Surrounding Communities,

Just a little about me. I grew up on Cape Cod, Massachusetts where I spent my summers piling into the family station wagon and spending lazy days at the beach with my mother, aunts, and cousins. Eating Cape Cod potato chips and soft serve with chocolate JIMMIES. Hey – I love New York, but don’t call them SPRINKLES 🙂 I was always swimming, diving off my dad’s shoulders into the Atlantic (he was a lifeguard at Horseneck Beach for 13 years), snorkeling, and digging through the muck for quahogs (Pronounced: KO-HOGS). I treasure my memories of growing up at the beach and feel so lucky to actually work at the beach! 

Since the summer of 2005 I have worked in summer camp administration, and it’s a field I think I can honestly say that I love. When I’m not in Saltaire (boo!), I do educational consulting on a variety of topics such as school scheduling and diversity, equity, and inclusion. I currently live in Providence, Rhode Island with my husband Tom and our cat – whose name changes every day: the current favorite is Mrs. Meow Meow.

Time flies and this will be my 5th summer as Camp Director. I am so excited that things are really humming and are “back to normal” after the devastating years of Covid19. We have field trips, swim meets, and many more kiddos participating in After Camp sports. We have a beautiful renovated art shed, and such wonderful staff – 40+ returners and a record number of CITs.

And on that note, I’d like to introduce the new Recreation Assistant Vickie Messinger. Vickie was a camper herself under the leadership of Ted and Jen – and the whole office team is excited for what she will bring to the program. Vickie has lots of experience working with children, and organizing lots of information – and people – through her work in event planning. Also Vickie’s background in the service industry is invaluable. I couldn’t ask for a better right hand as we launch into what I know is going to be a fantastic and very busy summer.

Happy Camping!

Molly

Vickie Messinger

 

 

Recreation Assistant

 

Hi Campers and Families! My name is Vickie and I’m so excited to be the recreation assistant this summer! Although this is my first time working at the Day Camp, Saltaire has been a part of my life forever! I grew up in Saltaire as a “year-rounder,” and spent many summers at this very camp. When I’m not in Saltaire, I love to hike, camp, and explore the outdoors. This summer I’m trying to learn how to fish. Wish me luck if you see me on the dock!

Meg Schou

 

 

Camp Aquatics Director

Hi everyone, my name is Meg Schou and I am the Camp Aquatics Director. I was born and raised in West Islip, NY and have spent every summer between Kismet and Fair Harbor. Time flies and this will be my 19th summer working for The Village of Saltaire. In 2006 I started as a lifeguard, and I have been growing my water safety education and certifications since then. I love aquatics!

From the months of September – June I can be found on the mainland teaching high school Health and coaching Girls Varsity Swimming. I received my bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences and K-12 Education from Towson University (Go Tigers!) and my master’s degree in Special Education from Touro College. In my spare time I love to spend time with my family and friends, swim, run and read. We have a fun summer planned, and I can’t wait for it to start!

Sarah Whelan

Ocean Specialist

Hi everyone! I’m Sarah, and this will be my fourth summer here at Saltaire Day Camp! A bit about me is that I’m Long Island born and raised, from Massapequa. I was an ocean lifeguard for 5 years before joining the Saltaire crew. I also graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Marine Vertebrate Biology. When I’m not in Saltaire, I live and work on Santa Catalina Island in Southern California as a marine scientist and instructor for the Catalina Island Marine Institute at Fox Landing. I do everything from kelp restoration, snorkel trips, lifeguarding, animal collection, and educating the students of the west coast about the Pacific Ocean! I am so excited to get everyone in the water and learn more about our Mother Ocean!

Christina Molloy

Ocean Specialist Assistant

Hi everyone! My name is Christina Molloy and this will be my fourth summer working at Saltaire Day Camp. I graduated from Siena College with my NYS Education Certification in Social Studies (Grades 7-12) in 2023. I am currently pursuing my Master’s in Special Education from the University of Florida. I’m from West Islip, NY and I spent many of my summers boating on the Great South Bay. Some of my favorite summer memories include boating at Atlantique and spending time in the Adirondacks. Prior to working at Saltaire Day Camp, I was a tennis instructor at a tennis camp on Long Island. I love to run and recently ran the Chicago Marathon in 2023, and am training to run the NYC Marathon this upcoming fall. When I’m not running, I love to play tennis, swim, and of course go to the beach! I’m so grateful for this opportunity to work at Saltaire Day Camp. I’m so excited to see what’s to come this summer!

Connor Fleming

 

 

Bay Specialist

Hi everybody my name is Connor Fleming and I am very excited for my second summer at the Saltaire Day Camp. In addition to being a pediatric physical and occupational therapy aide, I have also coached football and lacrosse at Port Washington and West Babylon High Schools and for years. I was the head swim instructor for aquatics for special needs campers at another camp. I’m enrolled in a Master’s program in special education, and I work in the Central Islip and Bay Shore school districts. I am looking forward to another great summer!

John Woodburn

Field Program Director

Hey everyone! This will be my 9th summer working for Saltaire Day Camp and my 5th year as the Field Program Director. I previously served as a group leader from 2016 to 2019, which laid the groundwork for my love and appreciation for such an amazing community. I was born and raised in West Islip, NY (just a five-minute drive from Robert Moses Beach). I’ve been a tenured high school English teacher for the past 10 years at one of Manhattan’s top schools.

I am married and we are expecting our first child (daughter) this summer! I’m excited for her to be a future Saltaire camper in the next few years!

As a coach, I am excited to teach your children the responsibilities of being a teammate, a competitor, and a friend through teamwork and fun in all the games that we offer here at the Saltaire Day Camp.

We’re going to make Summer 2024 the most memorable one yet. I look forward to seeing you all soon! Now, let’s play ball!

Tori Mueller

Field Program Assistant

Hi Everyone! My name is Tori and I grew up on Long Island, spending summers at the beach and Fire Island. This will be my 4th summer working at Saltaire and my first summer as the Field Program Assistant. A little about me, I was a competitive gymnast for 10 years and 6 of those I was also a part of the Varsity Gymnastics team. I will be attending the University at Buffalo in the fall, majoring in Architecture.

I come from a big family, the youngest of 7, and I really enjoy working with kids. Some of my best memories are from being a camp counselor at Saltaire and I am so excited to be a part of the Field Program! I also took American Sign Language from 7th- 12th grade and I am looking forward to being able to share my love for the language with the campers! I can’t wait to have a great summer and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone!

Lauren Capobianco

Art Program Director

Hi everyone! My name is Lauren and this is my second year as the Art Program Director. I was born and raised in Islip, NY, currently residing in Farmingdale. Over the years I have spent countless summers exploring the Fire Island seashore. Growing up, I have fond memories of summers spent at my grandparent’s house in Lonelyville, selling painted seashells and cups of lemonade to people near the ferry docks, riding bikes with friends on the boardwalk, and watching magical sunsets on the bay. Fire Island has and always will hold a special place in my heart.

A little about my experiences: I graduated with my BFA in Art Education from LIU CW Post, and MS in Visual Art Education from SUNY New Paltz. I have experience teaching art in both public and private schools on Long Island and NYC for 8+ years. In my spare time I enjoy drawing/painting, kayaking, and spending time at the beach.

I’m very happy to be part of the magic Fire Island has to offer, by bringing an amazing art program to the Saltaire Day Camp. I look forward to an inspiring summer guiding your children to cultivate creativity, self-expression, artistic exploration, and forming memories that will last a lifetime.

Lily Winagle

Art Program Assistant

Hello Everyone! My name is Lily and I grew up in a small town in northeast Pennsylvania, and I spent my childhood swimming in the lake and attending summer camp. I am currently an incoming senior at Cornell University majoring in Fiber Science and have enjoyed volunteering at YMCA afterschool programs. I have visited Fire Island and stayed in Fair Harbor many times and this summer I will be staying for July and August. I am super excited to be working at Saltaire Day Camp for the first time. I love all kinds of art including drawing, painting, sewing, crocheting, making friendship bracelets, and more! I can’t wait to meet everyone!

Maryann Stewart

Nature Specialist

This is my third summer at the Saltaire Summer Camp and my second as the Nature Specialist. I grew up on Long Island and I currently live in Bayshore with my husband John and our daughter Laurel. I lived on Fire Island for 18 years, there is no other place like it! Kismet was our neighborhood, but Saltaire was our summer town. We spent many of our days walking the boardwalks, reading books, and playing games in the library and at the marina. I am an avid birder, hiker, and have over 10 years experience in outdoor education, having taught a range of ages from toddler camp programs to high school assemblies. I received my BA in Environmental Studies and Education from LIU C.W. Post and I am a NYS certified Teacher Assistant. Assisting with the environmental education program at the Woodhull school is one of my favorite parts of my job. Teaching children to love the outdoors and appreciate nature is something I never grow tired of. I’m so excited to work with such an amazing group of educators. This will be a summer to remember!

Patricia Eva Oppenheimer

Yoga

Dear Friends: If there were ever a time for yoga, it is now. I am so looking forward to returning to the Saltaire Camp/Recreation Program to bring Yoga to your children. This will be my 8th summer. For those of you who do not know me, I have been coming to Saltaire since my son Alexander was born, 21 years ago.  After completing my Yoga training (200TTC) to become a licensed yoga instructor, I soon discovered the joy and true sense of peace in teaching at our beach. Currently, I am furthering my prana vinyasa, restorative, yin and reiki studies in Los Angeles and completing my 300TTC.  I look forward to showing and building a harmony with your children; sharing the beauty, focus and strength of yoga and our environment. I am grateful to be sharing what I love and strive to make your child’s yoga journey fun, fresh and challenging. Namaste 🙏🏻

Tom Swafford

Music

I am a violinist, pianist, and composer from Seattle, Washington. I now live in Providence, RI, and before that I was living and working in NYC for 13 years. I have taught students of all ages since 1993. I currently teach violin and piano at The Providence School of Music and Community Music Works; I also teach Rhode Island College and Roger Williams University. I was the Music Director at Bucks Rock Camp-an overnight camp in Milford, Connecticut, and I taught violin at the Brooklyn Conservatory from 2012 to 2020. I also perform regularly in a variety of styles including classical, folk, pop, and jazz. I look forward to leading the children of Saltaire in musical explorations again, including singing new songs and some old favorites, playing instruments – and the all important movement to music! Each session will include some dancing to fiddle tunes and keyboard jams.

Julie Ruggiero

Mindfulness

Hello, fellow Fire Islanders! I’m Julie Ruggiero. Having cherished summers on Fire Island throughout my life, I’m passionate about the beach, bike riding, sunsets, the community, and the lifelong friendships I’ve made here. With a Master’s in Social Work, I’ve spent the last three years teaching mindfulness in grade schools across Long Island and the Bay Area of California. I’m thrilled to bring my expertise and enthusiasm to the Saltaire Camp this summer!

Dana DeRuvo

Medical Director

“Nurse Dana” here and I am thrilled to be the Medical Director for the Village of Saltaire Day Camp. I enjoyed getting to know all of you last summer and look forward to another wonderful time this summer too. My top priority is ensuring that all of the staff and campers remain safe and healthy during their camp experience.

I grew up in Brightwaters and now, during the winter, I live in Bay Shore. From March until November, I happily live in Kismet. I have been living on Fire Island, from Dunewood to Kismet, since I was 14 years old.

I have decades of experience as a pediatric nurse, working at many hospitals and home care. During the year, I am the School Nurse for the Woodhull School, located in Ocean Beach. It is a wonderful place to be for students and staff. I am very grateful to be the Medical Director for Saltaire Day Camp!

Ela Swicord

Group Leader

Hi! My name is Ela Swicord. I was born and raised in Poland where I worked on a family farm. Growing up, I Ioved having fun outside and connecting to nature. As the oldest of seven children, I learned responsibility at a young age which helped me develop a strong work ethic. After earning a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Łódź, I taught in Poland for three years before moving to New York. It was a long journey to get to where I am now… I’ve been working as an ENL (English as a New Language) teacher for the Brentwood school district for the past eight years. I live in West Islip but spent the past eight summers in Kismet. My two kids attended Saltaire camp when they were little. In my free time I like to go to the beach, bake, and read. This will be my first summer as a Group Leader. I can’t wait to meet everyone soon!

Stephanie Woodburn

Group Leader

Hi everyone! I’m so excited to be a Group Leader this summer. I just graduated from SUNY Oswego with a degree in Education, focusing on Biology. I love teaching and science, and I can’t wait to share that with the campers. This summer, I’ll be helping kids learn and have fun. I am excited to be guiding them through activities, encouraging teamwork, and making sure everyone has a great time. My goal is to make this summer unforgettable for all the campers.

Lev Janicki

Assistant Group Leader

Hello! My name is Lev. I went to Camp here since I was probably seven, and now I’ve been a counselor for five years. I am super excited to be an assistant group leader this summer! One thing you should know about me is that magic was my quarantine hobby and I will probably have a quick trick I can do for you if you ask me. I also do bike repair around Saltaire Kismet and Fair Harbor so if you see me riding around town with a bag of tools after camp, that’s what I’m up to. Can’t wait to see everyone this summer!

Erin Dyckman

Group Leader

Hi everyone! My name is Erin and I’m excited for my first summer as a group leader at the Saltaire day camp. I am a physical education major with a coaching minor going into my junior year at Westfield State University. In addition, I play lacrosse at Westfield. I have had great opportunities working with kids throughout my lifetime and I cannot wait to continue that this summer! I love the summer, beach, and sports! I can’t wait to meet you all!

Bella Costello

Assistant Group Leader

Hi! My name is Bella! This is my second summer being involved with the Saltaire Summer Camp; I can confidently say that this is an amazing program. I had so much fun with all of your kids and I can’t wait to build relationships with new campers this summer! I absolutely love the beach and the Summer. I like being outside, riding bikes, and going on walks. I grew up with a lot of siblings and I also work in a school as a paraprofessional; I am very familiar with working with kids. It is one of my greatest passions. I am super excited to be an assistant group leader again this summer! See you all there!

Austin Tohill

Assistant Group Leader

Hi! My name is Austin, and I’ve been a member of Saltaire Day Camp for 15 years. My family has been a part of the Fire Island community for my entire life, as my grandfather Ed “Poppy” Whitlatch spent many of his years building and restoring homes through his own business in Saltaire, as well as volunteering through the local fire department. Since I can remember, I’ve lived on the island every summer, and more recently began working here. The day camp has continuously fueled my passion and love for educating and working with children. I’ve also spent time as a preschool teacher and supervisor of an after school program for elementary-aged students in Johnson, Vermont. These experiences have further encouraged me to pursue a degree in Early Childhood Education at SUNY Plattsburgh. Aside from teaching, I like to skateboard, practice yoga, or volunteer within my community, and you can always find me relaxing on the beach. I’m so excited to be an Assistant Group Leader this summer and look forward to connecting with your kids!

Darlene Quinones

Group Leader

This summer will be my second year working as a Group Leader at Saltaire Day Camp. I am looking forward to returning to camp. I was born and raised in Islip, New York. I still reside in Islip and truly love living in such a close knit community. I am currently a Preschool Teacher’s Assistant at Trinity Lutheran Preschool in Islip. I have been teaching at Trinity for the last 5 years. I truly love and enjoy working with all my little students everyday. They make my heart happy. I currently assist in the 3 year old class and do aftercare enrichment with 3, 4, and 5 year olds. I enjoy getting them prepared for their journey forward to Kindergarten. I also enjoy spending time with my family. Being a Mom of my now three grown children is a title I hold dear to my heart. Raising my daughter and two sons has been my biggest accomplishment. We always enjoyed going to the beach as a family and playing in the sand. I am so excited and looking forward to meeting all the new campers this summer at Saltaire and having fun.

Dillon Archer

Group Leader

Hello, my name is Dillon Archer and this will be my fifth summer at Saltaire Day Camp. I was born and raised in West Islip, NY. I graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree in Adolescent Education from SUNY Oswego and received my Masters Degree in Educational Technology from LIU Post. I taught Social Studies in a Brooklyn high school for 5 years where I also served as the Lead Teacher. I currently teach high school social studies right here on Long Island. I truly love teaching and building relationships with my students. I am a huge Yankees and Jets fan and love sports. I also coach baseball and football at the middle school level in my school district. I am very much looking forward to spending another summer working by the beach in Saltaire. Can’t wait to get started and have a great summer!

Ryan Denninger

Group Leader

Hey everyone! My name is Ryan Denninger and this will be my 6th summer working as a group leader at Saltaire Day Camp. I graduated from SUNY Cortland with a bachelor’s degree in History and completed my graduate program at Long Island University-Post with a master’s degree in Adolescent Education: Social Studies. I am currently a high school history teacher and dean in Brooklyn and I love what I do! In my free time, I love keeping active in any way possible. I love playing sports and rooting on my favorite professional sports teams in the Yankees, Knicks, and Jets. I’m a big time foodie, especially pizza and tacos. Nothing beats spending beautiful summer days on the beach so I cannot wait for the opportunity to work with you all.

Danny O'Connor

Assistant Group Leader

Hello everyone! My name is Danny O’Connor, this is my sixth summer working at Saltaire Day Camp, and I was a camper before that. I’m from Philadelphia and am currently in school at the University of Pennsylvania studying Mechanical Engineering. When not at camp you might see me out on the bay sailing or hanging out with my cousins. I’m very excited to be coming back this summer and am looking forward to seeing all the familiar faces, and some fresh ones too.

Leah Ricciardone

Assistant Group Leader

My name is Leah Ricciardone. I was born and raised on Long Island. This will be my first summer working at Saltaire Day Camp and I cannot express how excited I am for this summer in Saltaire. I am currently going into my sophomore year of college at SUNY Cortland studying Early Childhood Education. Becoming a teacher has always been a passion for me and changing children’s lives is extremely important to me. During my summers as a child I spent most of my days at camp or at the beach. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my friends and family and sitting on the beach with a book in my hand. I cannot wait to meet everyone and spend my days in Saltaire with all of you!!

Brett Arthur

Assistant Group Leader

Hello! My name is Brett Arthur! This is my first summer working with the Saltaire Day Camp and I can’t wait to start as an assistant group leader. I’m from Phoenix where I was a varsity rower for my highschool. In my free time, I like to cook, bake, and do yoga. My grandparents started taking my brothers and me to Kismet when I was one year old, and I’ve spent every summer here since. I am also looking forward to my first year of studying finance at Fordham University in the fall.