Jim and Denice Dunn enjoy working and living at Camp Merrie-Woode where they have been the Directors since 2002. Denice began as Merrie-Woode’s Development Director in 1999 after a career as an engineer. She became camp’s Associate Director in 2001. Before Jim came to camp, he was the Director at Summit Charter School in Cashiers, NC. Both graduates of Rochester Institute of Technology, Jim also earned a Masters degree in Education Administration from Canisius College. Jim and Denice are the proud parents to two grown sons, Tyler and Bradley. Together, Jim and Denice oversee the camp’s operation, with the support of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees.
Betsy Reese Helms is our Associate Director. She was a camper from 1989 to 1996 and a counselor from 1997 to 2004. During her years as a staff member, she worked as a cabin counselor, Would-Be leader, Head of the Waterfront and Assistant to Senior Staff. After she earned her Masters degree from Western Carolina University, Betsy worked as a high school English teacher at Charlotte Latin School and Isidore Newman School. She joined the year-round Merrie-Woode team just before the summer of 2008 as our Head Counselor and Staff Recruiter and became CMW’s Associate Director in 2012. Betsy lives at camp with her husband, Josh, their children, Owen and Leigh, and their beagle, Irma.
Robin McKinney Walker is our Director of Development & Alumnae Relations. Her primary responsibilities include planning and executing the goals and objectives of the Camp’s Strategic Plan involving the Centennial. Robin was a camper from 1989 to 1996, a 1996 Captain, and a staff member in 1997 and 2001. Robin obtained her BA from Davidson College in History and French, then completed her JD at the University of Florida Levin College of Law. She practiced law for over 10 years with private firms in Tampa and Orlando, and as an Assistant City Attorney at the City of Tampa. Robin developed an interest in development work through her volunteer experience with various non-profits, particularly the Junior Leagues of Tampa and Greater Orlando, and she joined the Merrie-Woode year-round staff in April 2015. Robin and her husband, Frost, live near Brevard, NC with their dogs, Tajar and Yonah.
Media Coordinator & Performing Arts Director
Lindsay Garner Hostetler enjoys working at camp where she wears a couple of different hats, depending on the time of year. For most of the year, Lindsay can be found in the camp office where she coordinates camp communications through print and digital media including the website, social media, and newsletters. During the summer, Lindsay spends most of her time out in camp overseeing our performing arts programs: Dance, Drama, Music, and Tumbling. Lindsay was a Merrie-Woode camper from 1992 to 1995. She returned to work as a counselor in 2000 and hasn’t missed a summer since! Lindsay and her husband, Gary, live in Brevard, NC.
Outdoor Adventure Coordinator
Kelli Talley oversees camp’s Mountaineering, Boating, Swimming, and Riding Programs. Kelli graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree in Outdoor Leadership from North Greenville University in 2013. Before arriving to Merrie-Woode, Kellie gained experience leading trips and teaching for organizations including Peak 7 Adventures in Washington, Camp Merri-Mac and Camp Timberlake, North Greenville University, Asheville School, and Green River Adventures. Kelli lives at camp with her husband, Ethan, and their dog, Hazel.
Many of you will remember Annette Herstek as our Office Manager from 2002 – 2007. Annette returned to Merrie-Woode in 2017 in the same role, after taking several years off to spend more time with her children as they were growing up. Now that both kids are grown, we are thrilled to have her back in the camp office! Annette is the first voice you will hear when you call camp, and she is a former camper parent herself! Her daughter, Courtney, attended Merrie-Woode from 2003 – 2005. Her responsibilities include office management, High Heaven bookings, and keeping all of us in the office in line! (No small task.) She lives nearby with her husband, Rob, in Cashiers, NC.
Christy Forrester joined the Merrie-Woode team in 2017 as our Camp Registrar. Her primary responsibilities include database management, camper registration, summer preparations, and staff scheduling. Christy was a camper from 1981 – 1982 and a counselor in 1986. She was born and raised in Jacksonville, FL and graduated from the University of Alabama in 1990. She returned to camp with many years of experience in the financial and healthcare fields. She’s thrilled to transition out of the corporate environment and back into the camp world. She is also passionate about volunteering, spending many years as a volunteer with organizations such as Hope Therapy in Northeast Florida and Susan G. Komen. Christy lives nearby in Sapphire, NC.
Debi Stewart is Merrie-Woode’s part-time bookkeeper, a position she has held since 1996. You can reach her at camp on Mondays and Thursdays. Debi lives in Cashiers, NC with her husband, CW, and son, Townsend.
Facilities Management Crew
Facilities Manager, Travis Fox, leads our extraordinary Facilities Crew. Jody Pressley, Gary Hostetler, Travis Kinsey, and Ethan Talley are among the able bodies who keep Camp Merrie-Woode running smoothly and looking good! From remodeling and renovation work, building new facilities, keeping up the grounds, and laying beautiful rock work, these folks can do it all!