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Leadership Team

Jan Peneston: Executive Director

Jan Peneston is the Executive Director of the Camp Fire USA Central New York Council.  Formerly, Jan Peneston was the full-time Camp Director at Camp Talooli for over 20 years.  Jan is also on the Local Council of Leaders as the Standards Chair of the Upstate NY section of the American Camp Association, which provides guidelines and industry standards for camps across the United States. This will be Jan's 33rd year working at Camp Talooli!

Kelly Peneston: Camp Director

Kelly Peneston is the Camp Director and coordinator of the Talooli Integration Program at Camp Talooli.  Formerly, Kelly spent four years as the Boating Director and grew up at Camp Talooli as both a camper and a overnight counselor.  Kelly is a graduate of Hobart and William Smith and has a Master's Degree in Education from UMass Amherst. Currently, Kelly is trained as a School Psychologist.

Lea Taylor: Assistant Camp Director

Lea grew up attending Camp Talooli as a camper and CIT. Prior to becoming the Assistant Camp Director, she served as the Waterfront Director and spent seven summers working at the Talooli waterfront. Lea has a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Skidmore College and is currently pursuing a PhD in Clinical Psychology at Syracuse University.  

 

Jeff Peneston:  Program Director

Jeff Peneston is the Program Director at Camp Talooli and has held this position and many others at Camp Talooli for over 30 years.  Jeff has been an invaluable resource at Camp Talooli and is well known by campers and staff for his vast knowledge and ability to hold large crowds captive. In 2011 Jeff was named the New York State Teacher of the Year and in 2009 he spent a few months on board the Swedish Icebreaker Oden, helping to do research during the ship's voyage through Antarctica. Jeff recently retired from teaching Earth Science for the Liverpool School District and has started working for Camp Fire to develop year-round programming. 

Matthew Peneston:  Assistant Program Director

Matthew Peneston is an Assistant Program Director at Camp Talooli.  In his role at Camp, Matthew helps to design and oversee our weekly themes and campwide activities. He also provides evening first aid support. Matthew has been on staff for 15 years and has also grown up at Camp Talooli in various positions such as Waterfront Director, lifeguard and day camp counselor.  Matthew is currently working as a certified EMT and pursuing a teaching degree at SUNY Oswego. 

 

Crystal Peneston: Assistant Program Director

In her role as an Assistant Program Director, Crystal supervises the training and evaluation of individuals that are in their third year of our counselor-in-training program. She also provides administrative assistance in the office, supports the CIT 1 and 2 program, and assists with our DVD production. Previously, Crystal worked as a the Nature Director, as well as a Day and Resident Camp Counselor. She was also a camper and CIT at Talooli for many summers.  Crystal graduated from SUNY Brockport with degrees in Inclusive Childhood Education, Psychology and Creative Writing. She also has a Master's Degree in Curriculum from SUNY Oswego. Crystal currently works for the Liverpool School District.

Jenn VanWormer: CIT Director

Jenn began attending Camp Talooli as a camper 15 years ago and graduated from our CIT program. After several summers of working as both a day and overnight camp counselor, Jenn began working with our CIT 1s and 2s during the summer of 2015. Jenn is completing her senior year at Wells College and is currently studying Pottery.

 

Chad Ventre: Waterfront Director

Chad oversees the swimming area as our Waterfront Director, previously having spent four summers working as a lifeguard at the Camp Talooli waterfront. Before working as part of our staff, Chad attended Camp Talooli as a camper and completed our CIT program. He is currently completing his junior year at the University of Arizona, studying Engineering.

Pat Schmedicke: CIT Director

Pat grew up attending Camp Talooli as a camper and CIT and has spent the past four summers working as both a day and overnight camp counselor at Camp Talooli. He is excited to be stepping back into the role of CIT Director this summer in order to give back to the program and train the next generation of Talooli counselors. Pat is completing his junior year at SUNY Morrisville, studying Psychology.

Pam Southworth: Administrative Assistant/Bookeeper

Pam grew up at Camp Talooli as a camper, CIT, and Camp Fire club member. She previously worked as both a camp counselor and Waterfront Director, and was also a member of our volunteer Board of Directors. For the past few years, Pam has worked in our camp office. Her three children also attend Camp Talooli throughout the summer.