Russell Link- Executive Director
Russell began his employment as Executive Director of Camp Olson YMCA in March of 2003. Like many typical camp staff members, Russ spent his summers during college working at a camp. Russ spent these summers enjoying the outdoors at the Wisconsin Lions Camp in central Wisconsin near Stevens Point. It was at camp where he met his wife Jolene. In 1987 Russ became the Assistant Director of the Wisconsin Lions Camp, and in 1998 he accepted the Director position where he stayed until 2003. Russ has been a member of the American Camping Association since 1987 and currently serves as Vice President on the ACA Northland Section Board of Directors and as an ACA Standards Visitor for the ACA standards accreditation process. Russ served as chairperson for the Conference of Lions Camps of the United States in 2002 and secretary from 1990-1995. Russ says he was drawn to Camp Olson by the rich tradition of honoring the environment and its strong emphasis on family values. Russ believes that a camp experience is important for every child. “I am who I am because of my camp experiences.” Russ lives at Camp Olson in Longville with his beautiful wife Jolene and sons Connor and Micah.
Lindsey Abrahams- Camp Director
“Camp helped to make me who I am today and it’s important to me to give today’s youth an equally life changing experience.”
Lindsey’s love for camping began when she was a camper at Camp Olson YMCA for 5 summers. Her desire for camping as a lifelong career began her first summer on staff at Camp Olson in 2002. For the past 14 summers, Lindsey has dedicated her life and career to organized youth and family camping. Her ten years on staff at Camp Olson started with the role of assistant counselor. Over the following summers, she worked in nearly every position at camp including counselor, craftshop director, corral director, CIT leader and program director.
In October of 2012 Lindsey was hired as the Camp Director for YMCA Camp Icaghowan, a summer camp owned and operated by the YMCA of The Greater Twin Cities. In this position, Lindsey gained the experience to manage a successful summer camp and had the opportunity to work with and learn from some of the top professionals in the camping business.
Lindsey’s past experience with Camp Olson combined with her recent experiences at Camp Icaghowan will be invaluable in her new role as Camp Director. Lindsey is camper focused and understands the knowledge needed to support and understand the concerns of parents as well as the campers at camp. It is her top priority to hire a staff that understands the importance of including and engaging every camper that comes to camp while managing the risk associated with operating a residential camping program.
Lindsey is a 2009 graduate of Northern Arizona University School of Education. We look forward to Lindsey’s return and welcome her back as a staff member to the Camp Olson YMCA Family.
Jake Woodworth- Facilities Manager
Like many aspiring staff members and campers at Camp Olson, Jake Woodworth worked his way up the ladder as a CIT, an Assistant Counselor, and a Counselor during high school and college. He has spent time on the summer management team and the maintenance team at Camp Olson YMCA. After a brief stint working for the Boy Scouts of America he is happy and fortunate to be returning as full time Facilities Director. Jake applied for, and accepted the position in the fall of 2009. Jake grew up in Winona, MN where he graduated as a Winhawk from Winona Senior High School. He spent several years living in Salt Lake City, UT where he graduated from the University of Utah and worked as a ski lift operator. He has attended Camp Olson every summer since he was six and plans to continue.
“I have been quite lucky to have learned my way around Camp from so many great leaders and co-workers. I look forward to providing today’s youth and families with a safe, clean facility, and a Camp they can be proud of. I am well aware that Camp is a special place to so many, and I am excited to be part of such a winning team!”
Amy Johnson- Office Manager & Health Care Coordinator
Amy began her employment with Camp Olson September 2004 as a part- time Office Manager. “I got the ‘Spirit of the Northwoods’ within the 1st week of my employment. It permeates everyone. I believe it stays with most forever. Just talking to the different families and staff associated with Camp Olson and hearing their energy for this place, it didn’t take me long to understand the magic it brings to the children and families who experience it.”
Amy grew up on a fishing resort on Big Boy Lake north of Longville. She attended UM-Duluth and then nursing school. Her experience in nursing has been in Home Care & Dermatology in St. Cloud, and then Family Practice in Longville after she and her husband Craig moved “back home.”
Amy and Craig have twins, Trevor & Heidi. They reside in the woods with Girl Lake nearby. “Both Craig and I grew up in the Longville area. As resort kids, we were brought up with the lakes and the woods and many opportunities to experience nature. It is something we found very important in our up-bringing and made us the people we are today. To have our children growing in the same environment is one of our proudest accomplishments. I’m very fortunate and proud to be part of an organization that provides that to other children in such a wonderful way.”