Our Great Lakota Staff
Inspiration, Motivation, Participation
The most important aspect of any great sleepaway camp is it’s staff.
At Camp Lakota, we believe we have the best staff in camping, and we believe this because we, through years of experience, recruit and hire staff that rise through our rigorous review process and meet and exceed our very high standards.
Whether it be our youngest campers, pre-teens, or teenagers, we need to have the best counselors for each age group. And we know, that each age group has different demands and needs. We find and hire the best counselors who are trained and prepared to motivate and lead your children and always keep them safe and healthy.
We also are proud that we have such a great return rate when it comes to our college age counselor staff. We bring back, year after year, the cream of the crop, and sometimes their friends to help us complete a warm, experienced and caring counselor staff each summer.
Additionally, we have a great staff of adult instructors and coaches. So many of our adult staff members have been with us for years and years. And many of these staff members are teachers, coaches and instructors in their professional life as well. Our Adult Staff members lead and train in all of our activities throughout our campus – and it is their adult professional guidance that sets the tone for all of our staff members.
Sharon Keck – Girls Head Counselor
Girl’s Head Counselor Sharon Keck is entering her 30th year at Camp Lakota. Through the years Sharon has held many positions at Camp Lakota. Sharon started at Camp Lakota as the CIT Group Leader. After many years in this position Sharon moved up the camp hierarchy and became our Activities Director. During her time as Activities Director Sharon founded the Camp Lakota Cooking Program which is now one of the most popular activities at Camp. Sharon loves her current position as Girls Head Counselor as she gets to interact with the campers on a daily basis.
Sharon is married to her husband Boris, who can be seen helping out around camp every weekend during the Summer. Her two boys Justin and Brett grew up at camp and were both campers and counselors. Sharon may only have two sons but she likes to say she has hundreds if not thousands of daughters through her years on Girls Campus at Camp Lakota. Sharon Graduated from the New York City College of Technology and currently teaches Culinary Arts in the New York City School System.
Chad Dictenberg – Boys Head Counselor
We are so excited that former counselor and alumni Chad Dictenberg will be joining us as our new Boys’ Head Counselor. Chad was a former NYC middle school teacher for 12 years. Currently Chad has a non-profit soccer and smoothie business called Sips & Kicks.
Chad is a former Division 1 soccer player from the University at Buffalo. His passion for soccer and all sports will be contagious to the kids. He is so excited to hit the fields. He is also looking forward to starting a morning running club.
Chad lives in Tenafly with his wife Jaime and has 2 kids. Both Daniel and Remy are looking forward to an incredible summer at Camp Lakota.
Dov Witkes – Assistant Boy’s head Counselor
We are also very excited to have Dov with us next summer. Dov will be working closely with our new Boys Head Counselor Chad and of course all of Boy’s campus. We are also excited the Dov will be leading our CIT program next summer,
Dov is in his 10th year as an Assistant Principal in a Queens elementary school. Before reaching the administrative level he was a 5th grade teacher at another elementary school within New York City’s Department of Education. He lives in Plainview, NY, with his wife Melanie and their three daughters, all of whom will be attending Camp Lakota. Sadie is nine-years-old and was a Brave last summer, while this will be the first summer for Emery (seven-years-old) and Bryse (six-years-old).
Prior to joining us at Camp Lakota, Dov spent the past six summers as a Division Leader at a day camp on Long Island. As a child Dov attended both day camps and sleep away camps starting at a young age.
Ari Kampel – Activities Director
Ari is a literacy teacher at an elementary school on Staten Island. He resides in West Orange, NJ, with his wife Lauren, and his two children, Risa, age 9, and Ethan, age 7. Ari has been attending both sleepover and day camp since he was seven years old. As a young adult, he rose through the ranks as a C.I.T., Counselor, and Group Supervisor. In addition, Ari has served as Drama Director, Athletics Supervisor, Challenge Course Specialist, Teen Director, and even Bus Driver!
In his spare time, Ari is an avid runner, having completed five full Marathons and several half-marathons over the years. He enjoys reading and spending quality time with his family on weekends.
Finally, Ari is a life-long and passionate Yankees, Giants, and Rangers fan. Expect to hear his sports news and scores at every morning line-up this summer!
Cindy Yaeger – Head of Programming
Cindy Yaeger has spent her summers at camp since she was 7 years old; Sleep away camp, day camp, teen travel camp, and of course Lakota. Along with her husband, Camp Lakota’s Waterfront Director Adam, Cindy joined the Lakota staff in 1999. In 2002, the Yaegers decided to take a few summers off to raise their young children, but returned with Jackson and Ella in 2009. This summer will be Cindy’s 10th summer as Lakota’s Activities and Program Director. During the other 10 months of the year, Cindy teaches elementary school math in Westchester County
and spends much of her free time looking for new, exciting trips
and activities for camp.