Directors and Staff

Camp Akeela Staff

Camp Akeela is proud to boast a ratio of more than 1 adult for every 2 campers. More essential than the number of staff we employ is the quality of our personnel. At Akeela, every camper benefits from the care, spirit and skills of each staff member. We undertake extraordinary lengths to find the best of the best, to ensure that campers have the safest, most fun and most transformative experience possible. Each of our staff members has chosen to join Akeela because they are excited about living, playing, laughing and learning in our camp community. They approach each summer with the energy, dedication and sense of humor that make it evident how much they enjoy and truly “get” Akeela campers!

This incredible group of people includes experts in the fields of child development, psychology, special education, therapeutic interventions, and health care. All of this combined expertise helps ensure that every Akeela camper receives the individualized care and attention that he or she requires to have a successful summer.

Our Camp Directors

Sasson Family
Debbie and Eric Sasson (with their daughters, Margo and Julia)

Eric Sasson has over 35 years of camp experience, at some of the Northeast’s finest camps, including Camp Walt Whitman, Camp Wingate*Kirkland and Camp Mah-Kee-Nac. He has been a full time camp professional for over 25 years and is an active member of the American Camp Association. Eric earned a BA in Math from Haverford College and a Masters in Education from Harvard University. Outside of the camp world, he has extensive experience working with children and young adults in a variety of settings.
Favorite Book: Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
Place I’d Like To Visit: New Zealand
Camp Food: Fajitas
Debbie Sasson has been spending her summers at camp for more than 30 years. She has a BA in Psychology and a Masters in School Counseling from the University of Rochester. After 3 wonderful years as a middle school counselor in Belmont, MA, she returned to school and earned her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Yeshiva University in May 2008. She works as a full-time director of Camp Akeela, a position to which she brings extensive knowledge of the fields of child, adolescent and Family-Systems psychology.
Favorite Book: A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
Place I’d Like To Visit: South Africa
Camp Food: Tacos

Debbie and Eric met at a summer camp and have been partners in camping ever since. They have each held virtually every job available at camp, from bunk counselor and swim instructor to unit head and camp director. Throughout their careers, Debbie and Eric have always found themselves gravitating towards the “quirky” kids. Opening Akeela enabled them to create an empowering community for boys and girls who thrive in traditional camp setting with a little extra social support.

Connect With Our Directors

Our Senior Staff

Our senior staff is composed of highly trained and experienced professionals in the fields of psychology, education, special needs, and therapeutic interventions. These “go-to” people train and provide on-going support to our counselors and activity specialists. They also work directly with campers as part of our regular program and on an as-needed basis.

Erin Stewart
Assistant Director
Erin was born and raised in Country Derry, Ireland, and has been living and working in the US since 2012. She has always loved the outdoors, and was a member of Scouting Ireland for 15 years where she learned to love camping, climbing, and hiking, as well as the friendships and bonds that come from experiencing these things together! While studying for her Bachelor’s in English Literature, she took part in an exchange program which placed her at a summer camp in New Hampshire, and she immediately felt at home. Since then, she has worked through the ranks at camp, first as a camp counselor, and then as Adventure Staff member and Program Director. She accepted a position as a Camp Director in 2016, and has been directing since then. When she isn’t at camp, Erin loves exploring new places, visiting National Parks (she hopes to visit them all eventually), and spending time with her partner, Amy, and their two dogs, Koda and Archie, who you might spot at camp!

Favorite Book: On the Road by Jack Kerouac (She also reads the entire Harry Potter series once a year!)
Place I’d Like To Visit: Belize
Favorite Camp Food: Mac & Cheese

Rob Glyn-Jones
Rob Glyn-Jones
Assistant Director
Rob Glyn-Jones lives in the north of England, although he has spent every summer since 1996 working at American summer camps. He has always been drawn to working with children and believes that camp is a fantastic environment for encouraging growth and development – as well as having a great time! Rob joined Akeela in 2010 and has filled almost every leadership role imaginable since then. One of his primary focuses is on communication, working closely with Debbie, Eric, Erin and the head counseling team to continually improve how we communicate all of the successes happening at camp with the outside world! In his spare time he enjoys cooking, reading, swimming and watching Doctor Who!
Favorite Book: The Box of Delights by John Masefield
Place I’d Like To Visit: Nepal and Tibet
Camp Food: Hot Dogs and dessert!

Head Counselor Barb Wolfson
Barb Wolfson
Head Counselor
Barb comes to us from Wayland, MA, and is a retired Special Educator. She has been a part of the camp community for a long time, both directing her own camp and working as a Head Counselor for Camp Akeela for several summers in the past. (Barb was the owner/director of the camp where Debbie and Eric met, 25 years ago!) She enjoys spending her days with her family, her dogs Nellie and Moose, and staying active by doing yoga, pilates, gardening and being outdoors. When relaxing, she loves to knit, read, cook, and listen to Bruce Springsteen.
Favorite Book: Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
Place I’d Like To Visit: Greece
Favorite Camp Food: S’mores

Head Counselor, Courtney Smith
Courtney Smith
Head Counselor
Courtney first came to Akeela in 2019 and couldn’t be more excited to return for her 6th summer! She has a BA in Communication Media and her Masters in Special Education from NC State University in Raleigh, North Carolina – where she calls home. Courtney has been teaching for 7 years and works at a charter school where she recently made the transition to a Middle School EC Resource Teacher. Along with teaching at the school, Courtney is the Assistant Girls’ Basketball Coach. When Courtney isn’t at camp, working, or coaching, you can find her loudly cheering on the NC State Wolfpack in all sports and playing kickball and volleyball in an adult sports league in Raleigh.
Favorite Book: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
Place I’d Like To Visit: New Zealand
Favorite Camp Food: Brookies (half brownie / half cookie)

Head Counselor Noelle Johnstone
Noelle Van Camp
Head Counselor
Noelle is a sixth-generation Californian, mom of two, MD, and summer camp enthusiast who is joining Camp Akeela for the first time this year! She grew up in San Diego, CA., attended college and medical school at Harvard, and has worked as a pediatrician at Stanford since 2004. She loves history, literature and science, and speaks English and Spanish. She contacted us after Camp Akeela caught her attention online, and knew right away that she would love to spend her summer with us! Her kids attend 7-week summer camps in New Hampshire every year and have gained measurable, happy confidence and innumerable life skills in the process. She brings experience as a child health advocate, faculty mentor in undergraduate and graduate medical education, and is a creative thinker. Her passions include nature and gardening, intellectual conversations with kids, and learning about the amazing world we live in!
Favorite Book: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Place I’d Like To Visit: Greece (going later this year with her daughter)
Favorite Camp Food: Spaghetti
Head Counselor Rob Brennan
Rob Brennan
Head Counselor
Rob was born and raised outside Dundalk, a town in the Republic of Ireland. After graduating in 2017, he spent six years working as a primary school teacher in Dublin in both mainstream and special education settings. He recently moved to New Zealand where he has spent the past year working, travelling and adventuring! Rob first came to Akeela as a cabin counselor in 2016 and he instantly fell in love with camp. He returned the following year as a ropes course specialist and then became the Ropes Director in 2019. After a couple of years away from camp, Rob is delighted to be returning as a head counselor! In his free time, Rob enjoys playing piano, camping and spending time with friends and family!
Favorite Book: Jacinda Ardern- The Full Story of an Extraordinary Prime Minister by Michelle Duff
Place I’d Like To Visit: Paris
Favorite Camp Food: S’mores
Sky Perlman
Sky Perlman
Program Director
Sky grew up in sunny San Diego and has been there since birth (except for a brief 5 year stint involving going to college and working in the midwest). Sky is a Speech-Language Pathologist who specializes in early childhood speech and language intervention, gender affirming voice therapy, and augmentative and alternative communication. They worked at camps in San Diego and Michigan for almost 7 summers as a counselor, lead counselor, counselor in training director, and assistant director. They are thrilled to be a Program Director this summer at camp and return to the outdoors and get to work with the amazing campers that come to Camp Akeela. When Sky isn’t at camp, they love reading, hiking, camping, cuddling their cat Nate, and lifting weights. Sky has an annual zoo pass to the San Diego Zoo and loves visiting the mandrills.
Favorite Book: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
Place I’d Like To Visit: Norway (specifically both the fjords in the summer and the northern lights in the winter, which is a conundrum)
Favorite Camp Food: Ranch Dressing

Amy O Rourke
Amy O Rourke
Aquatics Director
Amy comes to camp from Cork, Ireland. She began working at day camps in Ireland in 2017 before finding her summer home at Akeela in 2022. She quickly fell in love with Miller Pond and is looking forward to her third year keeping our campers safe and sharing her love for aquatic activities. Amy works as a rock climbing instructor during the school year and is also studying in her final year of law school at University College, Cork. She loves to travel and be outdoors. In her free time she likes to hike, rock climb and go to the beach.
Favorite Book: Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
Place I’d Like To Visit: Banff, Canadian Rockies
Favorite Camp Food: Cookout burgers and baked oatmeal (but not together!)

Keefe Traendly Photo
Keefe Traendly
Site Manager
Keefe Traendly was born in nearby Lebanon, NH, and grew up along with his two brothers and two sisters right down the road from Camp Akeela! He graduated from Thetford Academy in 2000 and began working as a carpenter for several years before deciding to move to North Carolina to attend college. After 10 years down South, the opportunity arose to come back home to Vermont to help his ailing father run his contracting business. Since then, Keefe has made carpentry into a career, on that gives him the type of satisfaction most only dream of. In 2013, Keefe married his wife, Yvette, who is a special education teacher at the Newton School in Strafford. His hobbies are hiking, fishing, hunting, and going to see as much live music as possible!
Favorite Book: Oh, The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss
Place I’d Like To Visit: Brazil
Favorite Camp Food: S’mores

Connect With Our Directors

Beyond Akeela Directors

Kevin Trimble
Beyond Akeela Director
Kevin Trimble lives in Philadelphia and has worked at Akeela since 2009. He started as an accounting intern, and has spent his other summers as a counselor, Program Director and Head Counselor at Camp Akeela. In October 2013, he joined Akeela’s full-time staff as Assistant Director, before taking on his current role as the director of Beyond Akeela.

Kevin is from Palo Alto, California. He played basketball at Palo Alto High School and was a member of the 2006 State championship team. He then went on to graduate from Wake Forest University with a bachelors and masters degree in Accountancy. After spending a year at Ernst & Young, the call to return to camp was too strong to ignore. He left his young accounting career behind to follow his passion here at Akeela. When he’s not working on camp stuff, Kevin enjoys playing basketball and traveling to see friends.
Favorite Book: The Book of Basketball by Bill Simmons
Place I’d Like To Visit: Greece
Favorite Camp Food: Chicken Patties


Kristin Trimble
Beyond Akeela Director

Kristin Trimble joined the Akeela team in 2015 as a counselor, and has spent every summer since in the Akeela community, including her role as the Beyond Akeela Head Counselor in 2018. When she’s not at camp, Kristin is a school & mental health counselor at a high school in Philadelphia. She obtained her graduate degree in Counseling Psychology from Temple University, and has focused her career on high school aged students. Kristin brings her counseling expertise to camp and oversees the social success and emotional well being of Beyond Akeela teens. During the off-season, Kristin works closely with Kevin to build the Beyond Akeela curriculum and meets with each new family. When she’s not focused on camp, Kristin enjoys coaching basketball, exploring Philadelphia, and finding new recipes to try at home!
Favorite Book: A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
Place I’d Like To Visit: Portugal
Favorite Camp Food: Vegan cookies

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