Meet the Staff…
When you choose a summer camp for your child, you must make sure that, above all else, you feel comfortable with the PEOPLE who will care for your child. That feeling of trust is essential! PLEASE take time to learn more about the people at Camp Champions – our owners, our directors, our counselors. If you decide that Champions is the right place for your child this summer, we want you to feel great about the people who will help YOUR child grow into a CHAMPION!!!
Owners and Executive Directors
Susie and Steve Baskin live at Camp Champions year round with their four children: twin boys Wiley and Liam (15), daughter Terrill (14), daughter Virginia (11) and basset hound Fenway (age undetermined). In 2011-2012, Steve and Susie took their kids out of school for a year to travel to Europe, Asia and New Zealand. They remain surprisingly sane. They are committed to creating an extraordinary place to serve families.
Steve is the executive director of the boys’ side of camp. That means that he gets to spend time with great campers and counselors during the summer and avoid growing up. Steve is a lifelong camper. He first attended camp when he was 8 and he continued for 11 years. In his years as a camper and a counselor, he discovered the power of the camp experience to develop confidence, social skills and joy. He even wrote about camp in his college applications as one of the defining experiences of his life. After graduating with honors from Davidson College, he got off the camp track for a few years during which he was an investment banker with Goldman Sachs in New York and Simmons & Company in Houston. He then went to Harvard Business School, where he decided to pursue his true passion: summer camp. He and Susie have been full-time campers since 1993. Steve is lucky to have the pleasure of partnering with his wife (and best friend).
Steve has been featured in articles in the Wall Street Journal, American Way magazine, the Houston Chronicle and the Austin-American Statesman. He currently writes for Psychology Today on youth development, education and parenting. Steve chaired the Tri-State Camp Conference (the largest camp conference in the world) from 2008-2010. In 2009, he received the National Service Award from the American Camp Association (ACA). In 2010, he was appointed Treasurer of the ACA and serves on its Executive Committee.
Susie is the camp mom and the director of the girls’ side. She adores her many “children” at camp. Susie did not attend camp as a child or young woman, but has become a powerful fan of the camp experience as she watched its positive effect on her own children. She loves talking with camper parents all year long and helping them with any issues about camp, including parental separation anxiety (camp can be hard on first time parents). In her past life, Susie was a family and adolescent counselor at a hospital in Wellesley, MA and later became a manager at a Boston hospital. She attended University of Michigan undergrad and Northwestern University for graduate school. In addition to being a parent liaison at camp, Susie also directs our camp health center. Susie is a die hard Bostonian and thought she’d live there forever until Steve met her and convinced her to move to Texas. She is very happy that he did as she could never envision a better place to live than right in the middle of camp on the beautiful shores of Lake LBJ.
Full Time Staff:
Assistant Director, Michael Moak, or to us, Moak sir, grew up way out west in Midland, TX. He first fell in love with summer camp while attending Laity Lodge Youth Camp for three summers after 7th, 8th and 9th grades. Moak sir attended Texas A & M and Hardin-Simmons University seeking a degree in recreation, hoping to work at a camp someday. His dream came true! In 1997 he joined the full-time staff of Camp Champions as Sports Director, was the Head Counselor in ’98 and became Assistant Director in ’99. Moak sir serves on the Board of Directors for the Texoma Section of the American Camp Association, is trained in Emergency Medicine and enjoys his aquariums when not busy at camp.
Girls Camp Director, Leah Mesches, hails from Westfield, NJ. She has been a day camper, a sleep away camper and a counselor for both day and sleep away camps. Before coming to Champions, she was assistant director of one of Pennsylvania’s largest residential camps in the Pocono Mountains.
Leah graduated from Northeastern University with a Business degree, but ultimately found camping to be more appealing than a desk job in New York City. Leah loves to spend time with the Girls’ Camp! When not practicing yoga, checking out live music, roaming the outdoors or searching for a good game of Scrabble, Leah is learning the correct usage of “y’all” (for a Yankee).
Boy’s Camp Director, Erec Hillis, is originally from Austin, TX. Erec first arrived at camp in the summer of 2000 as a clueless but excited 10-year old in Cabin 7, and has had the privilege of seeing camp from almost every angle as a camper, counselor, and leadership team member. He graduated from UC-Berkeley with a degree in biology, but always spent his college summers back in Central Texas at the mighty Camp Champions. He continued his education in the year after college by traveling to and volunteering in Africa, Europe, and Asia. Erec also loves reading, the outdoors, and all frisbee-related activities. In fact, his coed ultimate frisbee team recently placed 5th at the 2012 US National Tournament. His favorite things at camp are pickleball, Lake LBJ, Trojan/Spartan Games, torchlight, and all of our other fantastic traditions!
Camp Office Manager, Petie Hensley, is a Texas native that has just recently moved her family to Marble Falls in order to accept her dream job at Camp Champions. The only camp experience she had growing up was cheerleading camp at SMU in Dallas, Texas. She is a graduate from Executive Secretarial School and used her organizational skills as an executive administrative assistant for 14 years in Dallas and Austin before choosing to be a stay-at-home mom with her 3 children: Jake (18), Jonah (16), and Michaela (14). She also started her own jewelry-making business, Heart & Soul, so that she could be at home with her children while also feeding her creative nature. Her children have been CC campers since 2006. It was then that Petie fell in love with camp after seeing the positive influence it had (and still has) on her own kids. When not in the camp office, Petie can be found “hanging out” with her friends on Facebook, watching movies with her family, coloring, or reading a good book. When you need a cheerful camp voice on the other end of the phone, Petie Ma’am is the one to call.
Intern, Robyn Rosenberg was born and raised in Dallas. She recently graduated from The University of Arkansas with a BSE in Recreation and Sport Management. While enjoying college and “calling the hogs”, she always hoped that her Texas roots would reunite her with other family at Camp Champions. Robyn was a camper for eight years, a counselor for three years, and was in charge of Special Events this past summer. Robyn has a smile for everyone and she is always happiest at camp or if there’s a Wal-Mart, a Sonic or a movie theater! In her free time, Robyn enjoys trips to the beach, being outside, reading by the pool, watching sports, and spending time with her family and friends.
Intern, Allison Bruce was born and raised in Austin. She graduated from Texas A&M with a BS in Genetics and in Biochemistry. Allison was a camper for five years and has worked for eight summers. She has been the Mini Division Leader for the past two summers and can’t wait to see all of the returning and new campers this summer! “Camp Champions is the happiest place on earth, so why would I want to be anywhere else?” When not organizing the office or writing to campers, Allison enjoys traveling, camping, climbing, going to the movies and her new favorite camp activity, tie-dying.