Your 24-7 Colorado Mountain Camp Team

Summer Overnight Camp Staff

It takes an extraordinary kind of person to spend 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 10 weeks a summer living, breathing and delighting in working with kids and teens outdoors. Fortunately, the summer overnight camp team is chock-full of these extraordinary types—not just outdoors experts with excellent credentials and extensive training, but passionate educators with boundless enthusiasm for what and where they teach. In short, the only thing our staff loves more than adventuring outdoors is inspiring campers to do the same.

Heather Cardneau, Windy Peak

Heather’s love for the outdoors came from attending camp every summer in Michigan. As she transitioned to being a camp staff member, she fell in love with the transformation she saw in her campers, fellow staff and herself. It was because of this experience that she decided to get a degree in outdoor recreation, leadership and management from Northern Michigan University. After spending a summer as a backpacking guide in the San Juan Mountains in Colorado, Heather headed back to SpringHill, the camp she grew up at, to direct their high school program. The lure of the mountains, however, called her back to Colorado. When she is not at camp, Heather loves to backpack and rock climb with her best adventure buddy, her Australian Shepherd, Chaco.

Eric Rightor, Mt. Evans

Eric’s passion for outdoor adventure and youth development started early on and has only gotten stronger since becoming a camp professional 10 years ago. Born and raised in Boston, Eric started going to overnight camp at age 10 and has only missed one summer since, which he did to realize his dream of thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail. He spent 14 years at YMCA Camp Coniston in New Hampshire, climbing the ranks from camper to senior leadership, before becoming the Senior Program Director of the YMCA of Greater Boston’s Overnight Camps and the Executive Director of Camp Bauercrest. Eric has his B.A. in communications, legal institutions, economics and government from American University in Washington, D.C., and despite the best efforts of many to draw him into a different career, he simply cannot let go of his belief in the power of camp. Eric has seen and experienced first-hand the power of outdoor adventure in teaching kids the valuable lessons that will enable them for success, no matter their life’s pursuit. When he’s not at work, you can find him competing at the curling club, skiing down the slopes and exploring the backcountry in every way he can.

TESTIMONIALS

My son has ADHD and really struggles with friendships and self-esteem issues. His counselor, Erik, was amazing. He really made him feel confident and secure. He learned how to interact and foster better relationships, he matured a great deal in one week. When I asked him what he learned at camp, he said ‘I learned I can be a really kind and generous friend.’ When I asked what he liked most about camp, it was how much Erik cared for them and encouraged him. He came home exhausted, dirty and happy and already talking about going back next year. Thank you for helping him grow so much in one short week.
—Parent of CMC Camper