While Cedar has some new faces on staff every summer, many are familiar faces from years before. Our core staff is made up of veterans —mature, professional educators, coaches, and teachers. Following are short profiles of some of the key members of the Cedar team.
ANDREW PAVA – PROGRAM DIRECTOR
Andrew Pava started at Cedar in 1994, as a Warrior in Bunk 1A; 25 summers later, he is still here today. Andrew attended Cedar alongside his brothers, Zach and Max, who are also members of our 10+ years club. Our resident Cedar historian, Andrew serves as our Program Director during the summer season. Andrew is responsible for the daily and long-term scheduling of each and every camper and counselor, ensuring that each Cedar camper has a diversified program. Originally from Newton, MA, Andrew attended Lafayette College before joining Cedar year-round. Andrew works alongside Jeff and Sue as our Staffing Director during the off-season, in charge of recruiting and hiring the wonderful staff that helps oversee your children’s summer.
Gill Stansfield – Head Chef
Gill is in charge of everything that comes out of our very busy kitchen. He is a popular figure at camp and his food is known to be nutritious, healthy and delicious. In the off season, Gill is a Department Chair at Johnson and Wales Culinary University. Gill has received a number of awards, including the Escoffier Award in recognition of his leadership and contributions to the college. He was inducted into the Academie Culinaire De France and he coached the Student Culinary Olympic Team which garnered a bronze medal at the Culinary Olympics in Germany. He brings a number of his students to work in the Cedar kitchen each summer and they contribute to making the Cedar food so outstanding. Gill is married to his amazing wife Candace (CJ), and they have three terrific boys who are with us at camp.
Wakeso Peterson – Athletic Director
Wakeso, or “Kaso” has been a fixture at Camp Cedar for nearly 20 years. Kaso oversees our activity departments and is responsible for organizing our intercamp and intracamp teams and tournaments. Kaso is an elementary and high school teacher in Toledo during the school year. He is also the high school volleyball and basketball coach and runs an afterschool program called Teen Outreach. Kaso was a tremendous athlete and played football for the Ohio State Buckeyes. He is a talented coach and mentor and has had great success with his high school teams and with his teams at Cedar. Kaso is married to his high school sweetheart, Tanesha, who is a middle school teacher and is also at camp. They have three children Akia, BJ and Jaali who all join us in Maine for the summer.
VJ Gibbons RN BScN Bed MS – Health & Safety Manager
VJ is the best. VJ has been with us since 1998 and he is the leading camp nurse in the country. VJ has been a strong advocate for the positive effects camp has on children. He is president of the Camp Nurses Association, he is the lead faculty for the New England Camp Nurse Workshop, now in their 12th year of training nurses and he is asked to speak every year at national and regional camp conferences. VJ runs a professional and caring health center at Camp Cedar. Along with 4 or 5 other nurses and a doctor on site, the Cedar health center is able to handle many difficult situations and provide the individual care and TLC that the campers may require. VJ has been a pediatric critical care nurse specializing in cardiac surgery and trauma care. He has volunteered his time with the American Red Cross to missions in El Salvador and Haiti. He also volunteered in the evacuation shelters in Atlanta following Hurricane Katrina and worked as a shelter manager in southern California during the wildfires. We are very fortunate to have VJ with us at Camp Cedar and he welcomes your questions or comments about the health services at Camp Cedar for your sons anytime.
Bob Thomas – Head Caretaker
Bob is one of the key fixtures at Camp Cedar. Bob has been with us for 31 years and knows the ins and outs of camp like no one else. He is able to fix anything, drive anything, move anything, solve any problem and make it look easy. Bob has been a consultant to many other camps through the years. He takes a lot of pride in his work and is a big reason that Camp Cedar looks so good. Bob’s sister, Lettie, has also worked with us for over 30 years. It is always hard to come home after the summer and not have a Bob to help us out around our homes!