Staff Profiles

Small Crafts


Sailing & Paddling Staff

Paddy McHugh Hamilton, New Zealand Asst. Department Head
Learned to sail at the age of 11 and has experience sailing small to giant vessels. Has been on numerous overnight voyages around the gulf of New Zealand and most recently completed a week-long trip in the Mediterranean. Experienced rugby and water polo coach. Works as a rural banker throughout the year.

J.R. Ahlers Waco, Texas
Four years of instructor experience at summer camp in Texas – taught sailing, skiing, wakeboarding and knee boarding. Says there’s no better thrill than seeing a child’s face light up sailing a boat. Also a seasoned sailor – solo sailed to a group of islands twenty miles of the coast of Australia. Loves being on the water and can’t wait to experience Echo Lake!

Matthew Armstrong–Kitchen Lancashire, England
Learned to sail through his career in the English army and took it up as a hobby. Sails regattas and has achieved his level two certification. Has sailed small dingys to larger vessels. Physical trainer in England during the year.

Catie Bristow Sugar Land, TX
Competitive sailor for Texas A&M – has competed in several conference and national regattas. On the team’s student leadership board and has taught several fellow students to sail. Learned to sail on a sunfish and can’t wait to share her passion with Laurel campers!

Jessica Gula Warren, MI
Member of the Northern Michigan University sailing team; has more than 10 years of competitive sailing experience. Specialty is 420 sailboats, but is skilled at sailing all vessels. Received her level 1 instructor of US sailing certification in 2013; spent the past four summers as a coach and instructor at her local camp.

Hannah Milkie Marquette, MI
Collegiate sailor at Northern Michigan. Has sailed competitively since the age of 14. Has spent the past three summers teaching sailing at a local day camp. Loves all things outdoors – when not sailing you can find her biking, running or on the beach volleyball court.

Garrison Murphy Scottsdale, AZ
Rising junior at Arizona State University where he races for their varsity sailing team. Owns a laser and has crewed on vessels up to twelve meters. Also a talented guitarist, plays for two touring bands. Volunteers teaching music to disadvantaged teens. Welcome, Garrison!

Sophie Shapiro Fort Lauderdale, FL
Returning for her eighth Laurel summer after seven as a camper. When in Readfield you could find her on the sail beach. From Maine to Florida, Sophie holds years of sailing experience. Has spent the past two summers teaching martial arts at her local dojo.

Tamara Southward Montreal, Canada
Grew up attending a sailing camp in Quebec – has been sailing for as long as she can remember. Wide range of experience working with kids as a swim instructor, camp counselor, head counselor at a day camp and assistant teacher at schools in Switzerland and South Africa. Currently co-writing a novel with her best friend based on their summers by the lake.

Discovery & Fishing

Discovery & Fishing

Harrison Hill Manhattan, KS Department Head
Returning for his third summer on Echo Lake. Harrison has worked in baseball, as an Apache specialist and can’t wait to lead Disco in 2017. Elementary education graduate from Central Methodist University. Collegiate baseball player; dad is the head coach at Kansas State. Avid outdoorsmen and nature lover. Excited to share his passions at his favorite summer place.

Phil Nguyen Manchester, NH
Volunteer with the City Year program in New Hampshire; works with elementary school children in a classroom setting. Comes through Sequoia CL Jared Burris. Attending Boston University this fall to complete his Master’s in Educational Leadership. Received his undergraduate degree from UC Santa Barbara. Fun fact: Loves to fish.

Katie Olney Stuart, FL
Junior psychology major at Florida State. Loves all things outdoors and has hiked and kayaked all over upstate New York. Spent last summer working at FSU’s day camp. Music minor; plays the clarinet and is a talented vocalist. Excited to share her many talents this summer!

Taylor Stewart Gardner, KS
Natural and environmental science major at Kansas State. Lover of the outdoors. Has explored many national parks – Acadia, Yellow Stone, Grand Canyon and the Rocky Mountains to name a few. Led several youth basketball, volleyball and soccer clinics in high school. Hidden talent: fluent in German.

Eric Schoolmeester Hurley, SD
Recent earth science graduate from University of South Dakota. Grew up catfishing with his family and is now an avid fly fisherman. Loves the outdoors and completed two 50-mile backpacking trips last summer. Coaches his nephew’s flag football team during the year.

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