Meet Our Team of Directors

We Live for Summer – All Year Long!

In addition to the summer counselors that return year after year, our team of directors, managers, and mentors bring a consistency that ensures the unique culture, traditions, and values of Clearwater. We’re fortunate to include the following dedicated, caring, and able people among the year-round staff of Clearwater:

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Liz Baker
Executive Director

With a Clearwater pedigree that includes counting camp founder Sara “Halokwe” Holiday Sprague as her great-grandmother, Liz is a former Clearwater camper, counselor and served on the Foundation board of directors from 2008 to 2013. She stepped off the board to apply for the job of executive director, which she earned after a nationwide search in 2014. Liz brings to Clearwater more than 17 years of nonprofit professional and management experience, working in child and youth development throughout her career. As such, she has extensive experience in furthering the social, emotional, academic and physical development of young people.

Among Liz’s experience is nine years as executive director of the nonprofit Youth Center Inc. in Adams, MA. There, Liz worked closely with a board of directors to guide everything from strategic planning to the daily administration of the organization, which included summer camps, activities, classes and a drop-in center. She is well versed in everything that goes into running a nonprofit, including staff management and fundraising through annual appeals, grant writing, special events and personal solicitations. Most recently, Liz worked for almost four years for the Pittsfield, MA Public School System as their 21st Century Community Learning Centers District Coordinator. In this role, not only was Liz the program administrator, she also supervised programs that were creative, innovative and provided young people with hands-on, project-based learning experiences to stimulate curiosity and enhance critical thinking skills.

Liz has her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, a master’s of science degree in communication and information management from Bay Path College and a graduate certificate in nonprofit management from Bay Path College. In 2013, Liz completed the National Institute of School Leadership (NISL) program. NISL is an executive development program for school leaders, emphasizing the role of principals and administrators as strategic thinkers, instructional leaders, and creators of just, fair and caring cultures while effectively setting direction for staff and designing efficient organizations.

Liz is dedicated to continuing our tradition of individualized care and honoring the relationship each camper has with Clearwater.  She is eager to help every girl and young woman have an amazingly fun summer while they gain the lifelong skills, memories, and inner strength a summer at Clearwater imparts. Liz is also eager to be a resource for new and returning Clearwater families. Should you have any questions please feel free to connect with Liz by email via Liz@clearwatercamp.org or by phone at: 715-356-5030.

Ellen King

Associate Director

Ellen brings to Clearwater a passion for the camp experience through various camp leadership positions she’s held at residential and day camps in Connecticut and Wisconsin. Ellen grew up in Michigan and Ohio, and graduated from the College of Wooster in 2010 with a Sociology degree. Ellen’s strength in leadership and commitment to youth development led to two years serving with AmeriCorps coordinating k-12 service learning and leading a team of eight young adults on service projects throughout the Midwest.

Knowing she wanted to pursue a career in residential camping, Ellen completed her Masters of Science in Natural Resources from University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, with an emphasis on Youth Programming and Camp Management. What’s more, her Master’s thesis points to Ellen’s interest in overall camper health and the camping experience: Healthy Eating and Physical Activity at Residential Summer Camps: An In-Depth Examination of Programming. Additionally, Ellen is an active member of the ACA and hosted an activity session at the 2015 ACA Annual Meeting.

As impressive as Ellen’s knowledge of programming and camp management is, what really shines through with Ellen is her energy, drive and love for the camping experience. She knows the value of camp as a place for youth to be outside, bond and live in nature, as well as a place to develop confidence, friendships and community. Ellen’s own love of camping has taken her to many the places Clearwater explores, including the Porcupine Mountains in Michigan and the Apostle Islands in Wisconsin.

When asked to share her thoughts about joining Clearwater, Ellen exclaimed, “I can’t wait for my first summer at Clearwater Camp to begin!” Ellen looks forward to meeting campers, staff and our vast network of alumnae and friends this summer of 2016 and in the upcoming year. She’s anxious to embrace Clearwater history, values and traditions, learn our camp songs, and enjoy our “diamond days” on Lake Tomahawk. “I believe strongly in the power of summer camp for the life experiences and learning opportunities offered to campers and staff,” shared Ellen.

Ellen can be reached at ellen@clearwatercamp.org or by phone at 715-356-5030.

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Sandy F. Boles

Development Director

Since our long-time Director of Development, Ruth Igoe, became a consultant for our fundraising efforts last June, we’ve been looking to find just the right person to fill the gap as well as fit within our budget guidelines. Sandy will be working with us part-time and her job entails supporting and executing strategies to design and oversee fundraising and development. She will work with the Board and Liz to raise funds, execute our holiday drive, build relationships with current and new donors, as well as find creative ways to fund special projects- such as renovation of our ageing buildings and building our campership funds.

Sandy is thrilled to join the Clearwater staff in the area of donor relations and development. She feels fortunate to have become part of the Clearwater family through four generations of women in her husband’s family and her daughters’ involvement in and love for Clearwater Camp. Her husband is David Boles, and his grandmother (Julia Lee Bowen), mother (Betsy Bowen Boles), aunt (Beverly Bowen Vickrey), sister (Sarah Boles) and nieces (Alicia and Katherine Zimmel and Ginger Boles), have all been deeply involved with and passionate about Clearwater.

Sandy’s three daughters, Lindsay, Margaux and Cece Boles, have been campers, Leaderships and counselors. Her youngest daughter, Cece, will return again this summer as a counselor. Sandy strongly believes that Clearwater Camp nurtured her daughters’ inner strength and dedication to community, helping them to become the confident young women they are today.

While Sandy jokes that her professional life as a corporate tax attorney was in the “B.C.E.” (Before Children Era), that background enabled her to serve on many nonprofit charitable and educational boards in a variety of capacities, including planning and executing multi-level fundraising strategies. Sandy graduated with a B.S. in Accountancy from Miami University and a J.D. from the University of Cincinnati School of Law and practiced tax law in the Chicago offices of Ross & Hardies and Sidley & Austin. Sandy is also a Stephen Minister and Stephen Leader and serves as a Spiritual Care Volunteer at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago as well as serving on the Founders’ Board for Lurie Children’s.

Sandy is grateful for the opportunity to merge her passion for Clearwater Camp with her knowledge and experience in development as a team member on the Clearwater staff.

Sandy can be reached at sandy@clearwatercamp.org or by phone at 715-356-5030.

Melinda Edgerley Pearce

Office Manager

When parents call the office, most likely it is our spirited Office Manager Melinda Pearce who will answer the phone. Melinda joined Clearwater’s staff full-time in 2003, 27 years after her summer as a counselor at Clearwater. Melinda’s love of the Northwoods and Clearwater Camp run deep. Her mother was the head of sailing and Melinda spent her summers at her family’s cabin just down the shore from camp. Melinda is a graduate of Colby College, and she and her husband have two sons. Melinda makes time to get out in her kayak or behind her camera lens and enjoy the wonders of the Northwoods.

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Bill Otto
Director of Operations

Bill Otto moved permanently to the Northwoods in 1989 after growing up in the Milwaukee area.  He has been at Clearwater full-time since 1997 after spending the previous 20 years in the management of businesses in Milwaukee and in Minocqua.  As Director of Operations, Bill’s responsibilities include budget and financial management, property management, and contractor and maintenance oversight.  Bill enjoys all of the wonderful opportunities that the Northwoods has to offer and appreciates working at Clearwater where every child that comes has the opportunity to experience the blessings that Clearwater provides.  Bill lives twenty minutes from camp on the Wisconsin River with his wife, Carol, and their four children.

Ruth Igoe
Development Advisor

A Chicago native, Ruth Igoe was a camper, leadership and counselor at Clearwater for a decade. She has been working with Clearwater since summer 2006, first as a volunteer and later as an employee from May 2008 – May 2015, helping to stay in touch with our dynamic and far-flung alumnae, donors and supporters. During her tenure, Ruth shepherded and successfully completed Clearwater’s inaugural $7.5 million capital Voyageur Campaign from 2006 to 2013. She continues to help manage Clearwater’s fundraising efforts as a volunteer because she is so passionate about Clearwater’s mission. She is currently a major gift officer at North Park University in Chicago and in 2015 earned her master’s in nonprofit management from DePaul University, where she was inducted into the Nu Lambda Mu honors society for the study of nonprofit management.

Ruth first earned her bachelor’s degree with honors from Georgetown University and enjoyed a seven-year stint as a journalist for several newspapers, including the Kansas City Star. Ruth then shifted to a career in nonprofit work. Previously, she served in various public relations roles for Chicago’s nonprofit food bank where her duties included managing the web site, newsletters, media relations and the organization’s annual report.

Ruth is proud to be part of a three-generation camping tradition on Tomahawk Lake. Her father, Michael Igoe, was a camper at Clearwater’s former brother camp, Camp Minocqua, from 1940 to 1945. All three of her older brothers followed in his footsteps there. Her sister was also a Clearwater camper, as were four of her nieces.

When Camp Minocqua closed in the 1970s, Michael Igoe purchased some camp cabins and property. Since then – as a tribute to the traditions of stewardship and respect for nature instilled by their shared camping experiences – the Igoe family has donated easements for the wooded property surrounding the cabins to a nature conservancy.

Pam Kipper Gabriel
Senior Mentor for the Riding Program

Pam Kipper Gabriel is thrilled to keep her connection to Clearwater and the riding program at camp going strong!  Pam worked with the riding program for 18 summers…most of those years were spent as head of the program, with 2006 being her last year on staff. This summer Pam will serve on the senior mentor team for the riding program to assist/advise staff and help oversee the program so it flourishes and gives the campers quality instruction in riding and horse care.

Pam’s history with horses is a long one.  From growing up riding at camp as a camper to 4-H, she also worked at an Eventing barn in Maryland as a trainer and instructor. From there, she worked for an A-Circuit Hunter/Jumper rider in Georgia before she decided to return to college. Pam earned her BS degree in animal science with a horse emphasis and then returned to get her Master’s degree in education. Currently, Pam teaches math at the Job Corps in St. Paul, Minnesota along with operating her own photography business. She has also trained many horses over the years, shown horses, and continues to ride her own horse, Cowboy.

She is excited to be back at the barn she has loved for so many years and plans to carry on the expectation of Clearwater’s riding program being top notch.