Camp Spofford hires a whole host of people during the summer months in order to make everything run smoothly; we need staff for waterfront, maintenance, dining hall, housekeeping, childcare, and of course our Camp Counselors! There is always a LOT going on at Camp Spofford during the summer months. The rest of the year, however, it is our full-time staff that keep things going. From September-June, our small group of full-time staff stay busy hosting retreats, planning events, maintaining the facilities, and carrying out the Mission of Camp Spofford so that God can continue to use it for His purpose.
From left to right: Doug and Kathi Hildreth, Liz and Dave Nelson, Bethany and Peter Fiorello, Elizabeth and Patrick Miller, Bob and Karen Rathbun, Mary and Craig LaPorte. This photo was taken at our 2016 Summer Staff Banquet. And in case you’re wondering, we don’t typically dress like this while working at camp.
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Doug Hildreth, Food Services
Doug has served in Christian camping for 35 years and has made Camp Spofford the focal point of his ministry since 1995. His excitement for his job is evident as he constantly develops new award winning dishes and themes to enhance the quality of your experience. Doug and his wife Kathi have two married children who have both served on staff and 5 grandchildren. Doug also serves as an Elder at Sturtevant Chapel and has a slight obsession with vintage Subaru Brats. One will often see Doug cruising all over Keene in the late summer afternoons when he is not at camp.
Mary LaPorte, Bookkeeper
While often hidden away in the back corner of the office, Mary has the essential job of keeping the lights on and our staff paid. She moved to the area over 20 years ago with her husband Craig and began working at camp several years ago. Mary and her husband have 4 kids, most of whom have worked at camp in some capacity. When not in the office, she’s bound to be either gardening, working in the woods, cooking, or sewing.
Patrick Miller, Director of Knute’s, Assistant Chef
Patrick joined us last year as our Director of Retreats and Assistant Chef, thought this summer he is also taking on the role as Knute’s Director. From Reading, PA, he has had many years of experience as a professional chef from places such as Shenandoah National Park, Monterrey Bay, CA, and most recently at Boston University. He and his wife Elizabeth have two little girls, and one of Patrick’s favorite things to do at camp is go fishing in the evening with his family. He is excited to come up with daily specials at Knute’s this summer that are both creative and tasty.
Dave Nelson, Director of Family Camp
Dave began serving here in 1991 and has spent all but two of those years working to improve and maintain the buildings and grounds around Camp. He and his wife Liz have 6 children, the oldest of whom is married, and most of his kids are working or have worked at camp during the summer. His favorite spot to hang out is on the chapel porch, especially when there is a good sunset.
Bob Rathbun, Director of Maintenance
Bob began serving in the winter of 2008 after working several years in the construction business. He has been instrumental in renovating several buildings while also conducting much-needed repairs on everything from public walkways and kitchen floors to porches, plumbing, and roofs. He and his wife Karen, who up until recently worked in the office, have 2 boys, both of whom are working at camp this summer. Bob’s favorite spot at camp would be near a coffeepot, particularly one that brews hazelnut coffee.
Ben Tabone, Youth Camp Director
Ben joined us earlier this year as our new Youth Camp Director. From Harrisburg, PA, Ben is a graduate of Messiah College with a degree in Adventure Education. He has been involved with camp ministry for many years, and has a special fondness for Northern Frontier. Self –described as “more amphibian than human,” his favorite place to be at camp would be in a kayak on the lake. He also has a slight obsession with drinking Red Bull.
Bethany Fiorello / Kristin Bakke, Office Managers
These ladies stepped in this year to fill the big shoes of lovely Karen Rathbun. Bethany is married to Peter, the Director, and Kristin is a local mom who has been involved with camp for many years. If you call or stop by the office, you are bound to deal with one or the other of these women. Together, they keep each other laughing, even when frustrated. It’s a better alternative than pulling out one’s hair. When they are not in the office, they are most likely trying to locate their children.
Below is a photo of our staff during the summer months.