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
Chad is coming back for his second year and is looking forward to making it even more amazing in 2018! 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 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.
Ari Kampel – Athletics
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; Sleepaway 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 campers.
Carol Hager – Director Emeritus
Carol Hager and her family have been at camp for over 40 years. A retired teacher, Carol has been a counselor, group leader, head counselor, and now serves as one of our Directors. “I started at Camp Lakota as a 6 year old child on July 1, 1949 and the rest is history. My passion for camp was strong from day one. My parents brought my brother and me to camp. They both worked at camp and my brother and me became 2nd generation Lakota family.”
“I chose my career in education because of my love for children and camp life. I have been a camper, counselor, group leader, assistant head counselor and head counselor of boys and girls camp and finally, after retiring from 30 years in education, I became Director of Camp Lakota. I am happy to say that my husband Phil and my children share my passion. Today my grandchildren are 4th generation Lakota family.”