Under the Bylaws of Camp Olson YMCA, members of the corporation meet annually and elect members to the Board of Directors for a three-year term. The Board of Directors then manages the affairs of the corporation. Currently there are 15 board members who meet monthly to ensure all resolutions of the Board of Directors are implemented, observe and enforce all rules and policies of Camp Olson such as The Camp Olson Code of Conduct. The Camp Olson Board of Directors also hires and assesses the performance of the Executive Director on an annual basis. The Camp Olson Board of Directors operates under the Carver model of governance. Serving on the Board of Directors is voluntary and without reimbursement. Camp Olson’s fiscal year is October 1 -September 30. Our annual meeting for the 2016-2017 year will be January 23rd in Rochester, MN.
Please contact Camp Olson YMCA if you are interested in learning more about becoming a board member.
2017 Camp Olson Board of Directors:
Thomas Shepard – President
Minneapolis, MN – 2nd Year, 2nd Term
I first experienced Camp Olson as a family camper when I was 3 years old and was later a camper for 8 summers including two years as a Homesteader. From 1997-2002 I was on staff, spending most of my time at the Boathouse. Since graduating from Camp I have become a professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of St. Thomas and now live in Minneapolis. Camp is a place that I feel a special connection with, a place whose positive transformational impact on children and young adults I have experienced first-hand. I am delighted to be giving back to the place which has given so much to me.
Mike Holmes – Vice President
Rochester, MN – 1st Year, 2nd Term
My first year as a camper was in the early 70’s. My parents sent me there; my mother’s argument was “I don’t want you running around the streets all summer”. After two weeks I had so much fun I stayed another session. Then I came back for another 7 summers working as a CIT, kitchen staff, counselor, sailing director, and maintenance man. When the camp staff years ended I continued my involvement as a work volunteer, board member, family camper, and parent of campers. I reside in Rochester with my wife Leah and daughters Ann and Sara. I have degrees in Biology from Southern Methodist University and Environmental and Occupational Health from the University of Minnesota. I work for the Mayo Clinic as a manager of two research work units that are part of the Medical Genome Facility. I rely on the experiences and lessons learned as part of the Camp Olson family daily; they influence what I do at work and home.
Nancy Huizenga – Secretary
St. Paul, MN – 1st Year, 2nd Term
I have a long history with Camp Olson dating back to 1961 when I first attended Camp as a Family Camper –with my parents Ken and Isabel, sister Debbie and brothers Donald and Charlie. Our family stayed in Cabin #2-what we know today as Frontenac. I returned to Camp most summers through the 1960s as a camper and was a staff member 1974-1979. I am now the mother of a camper. I received a bachelor’s degree from Ohio Wesleyan University and master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I have worked in the Rehabilitation field for over 30 years in both direct service and leadership positions. The majority of my work experience has been in non-profit management and administrative roles. I am currently employed as the Director of Community Services for Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute (formerly Courage Center).
Lucy Bahn – Past President
Rochester, MN- 2nd Year, 2nd Term
I came to Camp Olson as a family camper in the year 2000 with my husband, Mark, who is a former staff member and canoe trips leader, and our three children, two of whom enjoyed years of summer sessions and also served on staff. I was raised in the Netherlands, attended St. Catherine University, and hold a Ph.D. in Biology from UCLA. I enjoy many different activities in the community and serve as a volunteer for a number of organizations. I joined the board of Camp Olson to help sustain the unique and positive north woods experience for future campers.
Winnetka, IL – 2nd Year, 1st Term
I got quite homesick my first year at Camp Olson in 1984, while on a trip on the Little Fork River, but I also fell in love with the outdoors, the adventure, the activities, and the camaraderie. For three years as a camper, and 2 years on staff, I felt like I truly belonged, and was able to be the person I wanted to be. I was sad to move on to other summer jobs after graduating from high school. I was always jealous of the kids who had been coming to Family Camp for so many years, so I was thrilled to be able to share the experience with my children starting in 2011. It has been wonderful to be a part of the community once again. My daughter has been going to kids’ camp for several years, and loves it as much as I did. Those weeks, we took her younger brother to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area; he’s just coming up on his first year of traditional camp. They are both so proud to wear their tie-dyed Camp Olson shirts to school at the end of the summer. We live in a northern suburb of Chicago, where I am a stay-at-home dad. I have bachelor’s degrees in astrophysics and mathematics, and a master’s degree in educational psychology. It has been a labor of love to create new maps for camp, and invest in the future of the nature program through supporting orienteering activities.
Duluth, MN – 1st Year, 2nd Term
My connection with camp goes back 35 years, when my family began attending family camp. I was on staff in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, and met my husband while working at camp. We now bring our three children to Family Camp, and our daughters attend residential camp. While some things about camp have changed (no more riding double and without helmets!), others have not, like the lifelong skills and friendships that are built in the north woods. We live in Duluth, where I am a psychologist in a group practice.
Rochester, MN – 3rd Year, 1st Term
I’m pretty sure I was in love with Camp Olson before the bus even came to a complete stop. I can so vividly remember the excitement and anticipation on that long (and a little stinky) bus ride from Rochester almost 30 years ago. I’m so thankful my childhood best friend introduced me to camp and I cherish the memories we made being campers, CITs and staff members together. I was on staff in the early 90’s and have had the great joy of watching my family fall in love with camp over the past four years during Family Camp. Before my husband, Aaron, and I moved back to Minnesota, I graduated with a M.S. in Natural Resources and Environmental Science from the University of Illinois and taught college level Environmental Science classes. These days I have the great honor of spending my days with our three camp loving kiddos Isabel, Amelia and Louis, as well as doing some scientific writing work from home.
Minneapolis, MN – 3rd Year, 1st Term
My connection to Camp Olson began in 1993 when we spent a wonderful, very wet week as family campers when my girls were ages 3 and 6. Our first cabin was Radisson; we spent the next four family camp summers in Frontenac and have great memories. Both of my daughters, Chelsey and Kristin, have been on the staff serving as counselors, program assistants and directors, and program director. Kristin to this day has not missed a summer at camp since age 3.
I currently reside in Minneapolis; previously our family lived in Rochester, MN where we were first introduced to Camp Olson. My work history includes both corporate and education experience and extensive volunteer work. Currently I am employed by Rasmussen College, a Public Benefit Corporation, in the role of Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Operations where I assist in directing operations for 23 campuses. Previously I worked in K-12 education in student finance, transportation and administration areas. Prior to that, I was in the corporate world in the electronics and computer industry. My volunteer experience for youth-oriented organizations includes fundraising and board of director’s involvement with Aldrich Memorial Nursery School, Boys and Girls Club, Ronald McDonald House, Rochester Art Center and Zumbro Lutheran Church, all of Rochester. In addition I served four years on the Rochester School Board, including one year as its president.
I loved my camp experiences as a young girl and am so happy to be able to support Camp Olson in providing a great experience for hundreds of other children into the future.
Minneapolis, MN – 1st Year, 1st Term
I was lucky enough to marry into a Camp Olson family. My husband, Frank Bures, and his two brothers worked at and attended camp. My first experience was camping in the Shurds with Frank while he was Camp Naturalist, and trying not to get eaten alive by mosquitoes. Since then, I’ve also had the opportunity to enjoy Family Camp with Frank and my two daughters on a number of occasions. As a Camp Olson board member I want to work to ensure that the north woods experience we’ve had is around for generations to come.
Duluth, MN – 1st Year, 2nd Term
I grew up in Rochester attending camp nearly every summer with a crew of friends – soccer camp, general camp and canoe tripping camp. Years later, I was fortunate enough to work at camp with many of the same friends. I was on and off staff from the late 80’s to the late 90’s. While at camp, I worked as a counselor, horseback riding director and maintenance guy. In addition, my siblings Kristin and Jon, both attended and worked at camp. Currently, I reside in Duluth with my wife Jennifer and two children, Haakon and Annika. The last handful of summers I have been fortunate enough to share camp with them as family campers and look forward to dropping them off for a week or two of fun at Camp Olson. I attended St.Olaf College and then UMD for a master’s degree. After finishing school I spent a short time teaching high school in California. Now I spend my free time coaching and trying to rally the neighborhood kids for adventures. I spend my working hours in Radiation Oncology at Essentia Health as a Medical Physicist.
Duluth, MN – 3rd Year, 1st Term
My history with Camp Olson began when I followed my big brother Chris to camp back in the late 1970’s and returned for many summers as a camper, work camper, CIT, counselor, kitchen assistant and trips director. After a 20 year hiatus, at the urging of camp friends, I returned a few years ago with my family to family camp and it seemed I had never left. In fact, many of the same faces were there, along with their own kids.
My wife, Ivy, and daughters Zoe and Wren look forward to family camp every year now, and Zoe has started going by herself to youth camp. Her first counselor happened to be the daughter of my brother’s first counselor, and the interconnections just keep surfacing.
We currently live in Duluth, where I am a family practice physician. I work in a clinic full time, and am boarded in hospice and palliative medicine as well. We are enjoying our life on the shore and look forward to many more days at Camp.
Chillicothe, MO – 3rd Year, 1st Term
I first came to Camp Olson in the summer of 1970 after graduating from high school in Bogota, Colombia. I’d never been to Minnesota before, much less the north woods. But I made great friends that first summer at camp and those friendships and great times ultimately led me to a long career with the YMCA.
I worked on the camp staff for 5 summers in the early ‘70’s and returned to Olson as the Camp Director for 8 years in the mid and late ‘80’s. I started and managed the Grand River Area Family YMCA in Chillicothe, Missouri, retiring in 2014. My wife, Marty, and I still make our home in Chillicothe.
To say that Camp Olson has had a huge impact on my life would be an understatement. I hope to pass along some of the things I’ve learned over the years so that the camp will continue to have a positive impact on young people for many years to come.
St. Paul, MN – 2nd Year, 2nd Term
I was a camper twice in the late 70’s. It was filled with many learnings in the culture of boys! But, I must say that I didn’t truly understand my bond with Camp Olson, or “Camp Bolson” as my daughter first understood it, until my wife Jacki and I started spending our New Year’s Eve anniversaries at Camp. On one of these anniversary visits I got to ski on an already broken (by Andy Healy) trail around the Swamp on the only day that I have ever heard the words “fifty below without wind chill” uttered from the radio while sitting at the hearth of E.O.‘s “Summer” House. Ahhhhhhh! Glad my bindings held. My family and I are regular attendees of the Memorial Day Work Weekend. Additionally, my 16 year old daughter has been a camper for the past 6 years and will be a CIT spending 4 weeks at camp next summer.
Professional History: 1990 Graduated U of M – Art Ed., 1990 – 92 Art Teacher – Botswana, 1994 – 96 Art Teacher – Ecuador, 1997 – present, Computer Teacher – St. Paul. Currently, I am in my second year as computer teacher at Eastern Heights Elementary but I spent the previous 15 years at Museum Magnet School.
Elizabeth, CO – 3rd Year, 1st Term
I met Camp Olson while living in Rochester, MN. After graduating high school, I eventually received a degree from Texas A&M. Most of my working years have been spent doing financial stuff, though I am now semi-retired and living about 55 miles east and south of Denver. Much of my time is spent restoring overgrazed pastures, discovering nooks and crannies in a homestead house from the 1890’s, and caring for two dogs (English Setters), two cats (feral), two goats (wethers), and a single spousal unit. Years as Camper, CIT, the first (amazingly not only) Work Crew, Rover (remember them?) Counselor, Program Director, and Wrangler were years where Camp Olson helped me discover the better part of me.
It was at Olson where I first met the “Spirit of the Northwoods,” made lifelong friends (hopefully not too many lifelong enemies,) and realized that not everybody can successfully bake in a reflector oven.
It is my hope to assist camp to continue to grow healthily in its coming three decades, to assist in assuring that we do not stray from our mission, and to thoughtfully guide the application of limited resources to limitless wants. And to find the fourth Shurd.
Rochester, MN – 1st Year, 2nd Term
In 1964, I first arrived at Camp Olson as a young camper and was immediately hooked on the aroma of the pines, the clear lakes, and, of course, the call of the loon. That first year, our cabin took a canoe trip down the Crow Wing River where we got windblown and drenched as the cold rain poured into the old Barnum tent. My counselor, “Sunshine”, pulled us through this adversity, which I never forgot. I returned to camp as a camper for several years after. I met life long friends at Camp. Several of us went through the leadership ranks including CIT, Work Crew, Rover and eventually Counselor. My last year on the staff, I was Water Front Director. The Olson tradition continues with my family; my daughter, Karolyn Wood, was a camper, LIT, CIT and counselor, and our family has been to Family Camp. Currently, my wife Krista and I live in Rochester. Krista works as a research Physical Therapist at Mayo Clinic and I have recently accepted the position at Ferguson Risk Management as Lead Ergonomic and Safety Consultant. When we are not working, we enjoy keeping a large hobby garden at our farm near Rock Dell, Minnesota.