Meet Our Camp Staff

 
Jeremiah Dentz, Executive Director

jdentz@sheboygancountyymca.org

Jeremiah started working at Camp Y-Koda in 2001 shortly after earning his Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Education from the UW-Stevens Point. Jeremiah strongly believes in the value of outdoor experienes as part of a healthy childhood and works to ensure Camp Y-Koda provides those experiences to everyone. He enjoys his job because he knows camp is impacting young lives in a positive way and providing life-long memories. He loves seeing exhausted, dirty, and smiling faces at the end of a full day of playing outside. 

     

 
Sarah Dezwarte, Director of Education & Maywood Summer Camp

sdezwarte@sheboygancountyymca.org

Sarah has a degree in Biology and Elementary Education, a graduate certificate in Leadership in Natural Resources from the UW-Stevens Point, and a Master's Degree in Educational Policy and Community Engagement from the UW-Milwaukee. She recently started a Ph. D. program in Education, where she plans to focus her research on the growing gap between children and nature. Sarah has a love for Lake Michigan and the learning opportunities it provides.  She has studied Great Lakes Ecology aboard the R/V Lake Guardian on Lake Superior and aboard the S/V Denis Sulivan on Lake Michigan.  In addition she has a strong passion for citizen science.  She believes the key to stewardship is involving the community in hands-on, real-life science.  Sarah has engaged the public in data-collection on the Sheboygan River Area of Concern for the past 10 years. When not working Sarah enjoys running, cycling, working out, hiking and spending time with her husband, Todd and her two children Ellison, Ethan and her yellow Labrador, Maggie. Her favorite Wisconsin animal is the Grey Fox.  She finds this secretive member of the canine family fascinating because they can climb trees, either to search for prey, sleep, or to escape from predators. They have strong, hooked claws that are unique among canines. This is her 16th year working full-time at Camp Y-Koda. She enjoys her position at camp because she likes working with children and loves teaching about the natural world. 

     
 
Kaitlyn Rautmann, Program & Summer Camp Director

krautmann@sheboygancountyymca.org

Kaitlyn has been a member of the Camp Y-Koda community from the time she was a camper and volunteer. Since then, she began as a counselor, Arts & Crafts Director, Outdoor Education Instructor, Assistant Director and now your Summer Camp Director. This is her 10th year working for Camp Y-Koda. She is a certified trainer for Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention and a committe member for the YMCA Mid-America Camping Conference. Kaitlyn graduated from the UW-Milwaukee with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and has a Project Managment Certificate from Lakeshore Technical College. She participated in the Disney College Program as a Children's Activities Hostess at Disney's Port Orleans Resort. Kaitlyn loves working with children and teaching our youth the wonders of being outdoors in a safe and positive way. She enjoys going on nature hikes and marshmallow roasting oer the campfire. She is known as the frog whisperer at camp! 

 

     
 
Heather Nitsch, Director of Community Engagement

hnitsch@sheboygancountyymca.org

With nearly 10 years of professional experience in camping, Heather has a long history with children at camp and in many other settings. Heather graduated from Lakeland University with a Bachelor's degree in Non-Profit Organization Management and Sociology. Prior to Camp Y-Koda, she worked in many capacities for 8 years at Camp Evelyn, a Girl Scout camp. In college Heather joined the Camp Y-Koda team as in intern and as an outdoor education instructor. In 2018, Heather started her new role as the Director of Community Engagment with us. Her favorite activities at camp include anything and everything on or near the water!

 

     
 
Willa Leannah, 4K Nature Preschool Teacher

wleannah@sheboygancountyymca.org

Willa started working for Camp Y-Koda and the YMCA in 2018, as our first Nature 4K Preschool Teacher at Maywood Environmental Park. As a child she attended YMCA camps and grew a passion for being in the great outdoors, which she currently gets to do in this role. Willa has a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology from the UW-Milwaukee, a Bachelor's Degree in Education from the UW-Oshkosh and is DPI certified. She was previously a teacher at Kindercare Learning Center and Preschool, and experienced being a Field Trip Coordinator at the Above and Beyond Children's Museum. Her very first real teaching experience was in a one-room school in India. Willa's favorite activity with her students is putting down a big quilt, laying down and watching the wind in the trees. There is nothing better for Willa than instilling an appreciation and adoration for nature in little ones. In her free time she draws illustrations, plays music on her viola (and guitar), and taking her dog on long walks! 

 

     
 
Terese Koene-Carroll, Administrative Assistant

tcarroll@sheboygancountyymca.org

Terese began working at Camp Y-Koda in 2007 as an Outdoor Educator. With her love of camp, she became our Administrative Assistant and a Lifeguarding CPR & First Aid Trainer for the Outdoor Education and Summer Camp Team. When she was 9 years old, she saved her 6 year old brother from drowning. She has been a lifeguard instructor for over 20 years and a swim instructor for more than 30 years. The best part she loves about working at camp is taking walks around our grounds and seeing our campers every morning with pure energy and excitement they have for camp. She enjoyos working with her family on a small hobby farm taking care of their ever-changing menagerie of animals including 3 dogs, 6 goats, 4 bunnies and 16 chickens. During her down time, Terese enjoys a good cookout with her friends and family. Her favorite activity at camp is anything to do with water either at the lake, river or swimming pool.

 

     
 
Mackinzi Beaty, Summer Camp Director - Maywood Site

mbeaty@sheboygancountyymca.org

Mackinzi is an Environmental Education Specialist and the Maywood Summer Camp Director with Camp Y-Koda. Mackinzi has been working at camp since 2015. For the past several years she has been focused on a career in environmental education. Before coming to camp she worked for the Wisconsin DNR as a Naturalist and Outdoor Educator. She has earned a Bachelor's of Science degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. She enjoys working at camp because she loves being able to share her passion for nature with students and campers. Mackinzi enjoys educating the public and hopes to create awareness and appreciation for our environment. Mackinzi has many outdoor interests including gardening, kayaking, hiking, and camping. She also has many creative hobbies like drawing and painting, crafting, and nature photography. 

 

     
 
Jason Braun, Maintenance Technician

jbraun@sheboygancountyymca.org

Jason has been working for camp since 2017 as our Maintenance Technician. Prior to Camp Y-Koda, he worked as a Journeyman Carpenter, and at the YMCA of Metro Milwaukee for 5 years. This will be Jason's 20th year with experience in construction and maintenance fields. His favorite activity at camp is playing Gaga ball and loves seeing the kids have fun learning about nature and the environment. When Jason was younger he earned the honor of becoming an Eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America. In his free time, Jason enjoys camping, and spending time with his family and friends, and kayaking around the area.