Meet Our Camp Staff

Jeremiah Dentz

Executive Director

Jeremiah started working for Camp Y-Koda in 2001 shortly after earning his Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Education from the UW-Stevens Point. Jeremiah believes strongly in the value of outdoor experiences 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

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. This is her 15th year working full-time for 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 Director and Summer Camp Director

Kaitlyn has been a member of the Camp Y-Koda community from the time she was a camper and a 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 8th year working with Camp Y-Koda and is a certified trainer for Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention. She graduated from the UW-Milwaukee in Spring 2015, with a Bachelor's of Science in Architecture and has a Project Management Certificate from Lakeshore Technical College. In 2015, she participated in the Disney College Program for five months as a Children's Activities Hostess at Disney's Port Orleans Resort. Kaitlyn loves working with children and teach our youth the wonders of being outdoors in a safe and positive way. She enjoys going on nature hikes and marshmallow roasting over the campfire! She is known as the frog whisperer at Camp! 

Heather Nitsch

Director of Community Engagement

With nearly 10 years of professional experience in camping, Heather has a long history of working 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 an intern and as an outdoor education. In 2018, Heather started her new role as the Director of Community Engagement for Camp Y-Koda. Her favorite activities at camp include anything and everything on or near the water! 

Willa Leannah

4K Nature Preschool Teacher

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 and a Bachelor's Degree in Education from the UW-Oshkosh. She was previously a teacher at Kindercare Learning Center and Preschool & 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

The first year Terese began working at Camp Y-Koda was in 2007 as an Outdoor Educator. With the love she has for camp, she became our Administrative Assistant and one of our Lifeguarding, CPR & First Aid Trainers for the Outdoor Education and Summer Camp Team. When she was 9 years old, she saved her 6 year old brother from drowning, and today she has now 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 during her lunch break and seeing our campers every morning with pure energy and excitement they have for camp. Outside of work she enjoys workking on her small hobby farm with her family taking care of their 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 Y-Koda is anything to do with water either at the lake, river or swimming pool. 

Seth Cutright

Education Assistant

Seth started his role as the Education Assistant in 2017, for our Outdoor Education Department. He received a Bachelor's Degree in Studio Art at Concordia University in WI, and a Certificate for Landscape Design with Native Plants from the Milwaukee Area Technical College. During the Summer Camp season, he helps with our Administrative Team for our camps at the Maywood location. His favorite part about working at Camp Y-Koda and the YMCA is having the ability to learn new roles and opportunities we offer. Outside of camp, Seth enjoys photographing birds while being an expert in birding. His favorite bird is the Peregrine Falcon and is fascinated by their speed in a dive, which is 200 mph. In his free time, Seth loves reading a variety of books and watching his favorite TV shows with his two cats and bunny at home! 

Mackinzi Beaty

Summer Camp Director - Maywood Site

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

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.