Camp Leadership

Pictured above: Vinny Gschlecht with Brother Jim Halliday honoring his 50 years as a Marist Brother

Vinny Gschlecht, Executive Director

Vinny has been part of the Camp Marist Community for 35 years as a long-time former prefect of Cabin 2/Pineview, the Assistant Camp Director and then Summer Camp Director. Vinny has after 35 years retired from his winter job as a Guidance Counselor and Director at St. Mary’s High School, a Catholic high school located in New York. He is certified as a school counselor by the State of New York and is a member of the Nassau Counselors Association. Vinny is a member of the ACA and has attended conferences, workshops and courses offered by the ACA to augment his many years of experience. One of his passions at camp is hiking in the White Mountains. The beauty of New Hampshire can be found in many ways but hiking provides views that are good for the soul.

Karen Merker, Assistant Director

Karen Merker has been a part of the Camp Marist staff for 25 years. She has been a counselor, transportation director and is presently one of the assistant directors. Karen publishes the Whispering Pines newsletter and the Calendar Yearbook. Karen is a retired middle-school science teacher. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education from Queens College, and a Masters of Technology in Education from SUNY New Paltz. She enjoys photography, chess, cooking, rug-hooking and reading in her spare time.

Chris Krueger, Activities Director

Chris Krueger started coming to Camp Marist as a camper at age 9, was later a CIT, and joined the staff in 1993. He served as a general counselor and an assistant prefect, with many years at the waterfront, including as the waterfront director before moving into The Lodge as the prefect, where he continues to reside. In 2012 Chris joined the administration as the activities director, with responsibility for the evaluation and development of activities as well as the programming of the staff and campers’ daily schedules. Chris is fortunate to be accompanied each summer by his wife Tracie and his three camper children Jared, Maura, and Dylan. He and his family live in northeastern Massachusetts where he keeps busy between camp seasons as a public school Spanish teacher.

Bekki Stronach Kowalski, Assistant Director

Bekki Stronach Kowalski became part of the Camp Marist family in 1999 after completing a year of service with the Marist Volunteer Program. Since then, she has been a counselor for Arts & Crafts, Ceramics and Photography and spent a number of years as prefect in Sailor’s Cottage as well as La Petite Villa. Bekki earned a Bachelor of Arts from Boston College and a Masters of Art in Teaching Creative Arts from Bridgewater State University. During the off-season she is a middle-school art teacher and assists with drama productions for her school. Bekki lives in Massachusetts with her husband — a former Camp Marist in-line skating counselor — and their two Camp Marist loving children. She is an abstract painter, yoga student and is learning to play the ukulele.

Tom Pelliciari, Assistant Director

Tom has been involved with the Marist Community since entering the halls of Mt St Michael Academy in the Bronx, N.Y. and a member of the Camp Marist family for over 40 years. He was a camper, counselor, riflery instructor, assistant prefect, long-time prefect of the Lodge (Cabin One), and mentor. During the off season, Tom is an American Speech Hearing Association (ASHA) certified speech language pathologist (SLP) working for the Danbury Public Schools in Connecticut, as well as, the SLP for the New Milford VNA. Tom’s family which includes Genevieve, Nicholas, Amanda and Sophia have been happy to call Camp Marist their summer home.

Br. Jim Halliday, Director of Mission

Brother Jim has been at Camp Marist for over 20 years, where he has served as the prefect of the oldest boy’s cabin Pogoville and served as director of Camp Marist for 12 years. He has a Master’s degree in school counseling. He previously was the principal of Marist High School in Eugene, OR and currently serves as the Student Activity Director at Central Catholic High School in Lawrence, MA.

 

In addition to his role as Pogoville Prefect, Br. Jim is also our Director of Mission. In this role he keeps the very mission of Camp Marist front and center explaining the core values of St. Marcellin Champagnat. Br. Jim also brings these values to life through the many fun Mound Activities each night.  Br. Jim firmly believes that the program at Camp Marist nourishes the soul. This is especially true in Cabin Life where the campers and counselors bond with each other as family.

Joe Bouchard, Executive Director Emeritus

Joe Bouchard has been at Camp Marist since 1967 and served as a prefect, counselor, activities director and Executive Director. As activities director, Joe was responsible for establishing the present activities program where campers choose their own individual activities for a two day period. After becoming Executive Director he has updated the facilities on the property including a new pavilion, arts and crafts building, staff housing, and the refurbishing of the boat house at the waterfront. He is a graduate of Marist College and Seton Hall University and taught High School for 39 years before retiring in 2006. Joe and his wife Mary have 4 children and reside in Pembroke, Massachusetts during the off season.

Camp administration stand in front of lake

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is dedicated to the spirit of Saint Marcellin Champagnat in its management of the affairs and property of Camp Marist. The Board of Directors is comprised of Marist Brothers and laypeople committed to honoring the past, overseeing the present and ensuring a bright future for the Camp Marist community. To contact the Board directly, please feel free to send an email to: Board@campmarist.org