OUTSTANDING SUMMER PROGRAMS FOR TEENS

Summer Leaders

Our summer leadership team is made up of unique individuals who place safety first and are skilled in creating a fun, dynamic and inclusive environment. Every staff member has succeeded in passing our rigorous screening of personal interview, reference checks, and criminal background check, followed by our in depth training program. Take a moment to meet some of our outstanding leaders. There is a reason we say they are leaders worth following!

Danny Schiff

Danny grew up on the beaches of Florida, earning his degree in education from the University of Florida, and spending his weekends surfing and training for triathlons. Danny has led 15 programs over 9 summers with Westcoast Connection / 360° Student Travel. When he isn’t building homes with Habitat for Humanity in Maui, surfing waves in Costa Rica or hiking at Macchu Picchu in his summers with our students, he has been teaching math at boarding schools in Japan, North Carolina, and currently in Switzerland. Danny finds it too difficult to choose his favorite part of a 360° program – the family-like groups he helps to form, the life changing service projects or the exciting adventure activities. He brings a special energy to every program he directs and allows each and every one of his trip members to leave with a unique appreciation for the destinations they have visited and the people they have met.

 

Gavin Whitehead

Last summer was Gavin’s 12th directing our programs. Having led trips on 4 different continents, through various languages and cultures, he has learned that the chance to grow, to take on new challenges and to make lifelong friendships can occur anywhere and at any time. Following a trip to South America, he was enamored by the language and culture, and sure enough Gavin moved to Ecuador to pursue teaching opportunities at a Quito based IB school. His extensive experience includes volunteering for a year in Ireland at Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Camp as the high ropes instructor, along with guiding student trips to Washington, DC and Philadelphia.

Melissa Salvatori

During the school year, Melissa is an 8th grade math teacher in New York and spends a great deal of time coaching volleyball, track, and basketball. Melissa earned her Bachelor of Arts from Marist College and completed a Master’s Degree in Education at SUNY New Paltz. She always looks forward to spending her summers on a Community Service program. She has led trips for 5 summers throughout North America and Costa Rica.  She is passionate about helping other communities, and encourages those around her to feel the same way! In addition to participating on our service projects, you may encounter her singing and dancing (poorly) during trip performances, hosting cheesy 80′s game shows, or hangin’ ten on a surf board!

 

Adam Chaim

For more than 10 years, Adam has led our trips through the southwestern USA, the slopes of Canada, the historical sights of Europe and the beaches of Australia. After graduating McGill University with a Bachelor of Health & Physical Education, Adam moved to Toronto to pursue his career as a High School Health & Physical Ed Teacher (now Athletic Director) and personal trainer. Adam has lived overseas to help fulfill his passion for travel, and has walked the Great Wall of China, gone SCUBA diving with Aussie sharks, zip lined the rainforests of Costa Rica, and observed a colony of elephants in the bushes of Africa… and this is just the tip of the iceberg. Adam is always looking forward to the summer because his personal connections with each trip member make him feel as though he is seeing each place for the first time.

Shelby Streimer

Shelby grew up in Maryland and first became a part of Westcoast Connection / 360o Student Travel as a trip member on a western Active Teen Tour.  She has a passion for working with teens and has worked at summer camp and has been a dance and fitness instructor for many years!  After seeing the world through travels in Israel, Costa Rica, Thailand, New Zealand, Fiji, Europe, and living in Australia, Shelby knew she wanted to share her experiences with teens and get them excited about their world and traveling through it.  Shelby’s enthusiasm for travel is contagious and you can’t help but get excited about each destination she takes you to!

Matt Danbrook

Matt joined the Westcoast Connection / 360° Student Travel gang in 2004 and has led 400 students in their global travels. When he is not traveling the world, he is continuing his graduate work in School Psychology and has a Master’s degree in Child and Youth Studies.  It has been his experience and philosophy to learn about people and the world through travel. Matt has visited and/or lived in over 75 cities around the world, in Asia, Europe, and North and South America. He is passionate about working with teens and loves making sure every student feels respected, safe and is having fun. He pours everything he has into each program he leads and is looking forward to seeing you on our next adventure!

Anna Zuck

Anna graduated from Queen’s University with a degree in Science and in Physical and Health Education, and then went on to complete her Bachelor of Education as a secondary school teacher. She grew up sailing, kayaking and swimming on the waterfront both attending and working at summer camps for 15 years. In her 7th year directing and supervising programs, Anna has now led programs on 4 continents and in 8 different countries in our Global Adventure, Community Service, Active Teen Tour, and Family Vacations divisions! From riding elephants in South Africa or skiing in the Rockies, to traveling and living in any number of countries like China, Thailand or Australia, Anna is known for her passion for travel, trying new and exciting foods, exploring other cultures, and service learning. You can tell that her heart and soul go into each and every program she runs, and she truly makes sure each trip member has THE experience of a lifetime.

Brad Edelson

Brad’s trips are filled with energy, fun and are famous for their incredible group dynamic. Since 2004, Brad has led our programs to China, Hawaii, Europe and throughout North America. Brad grew up in Michigan as a long time sports advocate and first fell in love with our travel experience as a participant himself.  He attended Michigan State, where he graduated with a degree in Commercial Business specializing in Tourism. When not exploring the world with our trip members in the summer, Brad manages a 3 tiered travel company that leads tours for fitness experts, university study abroad students and adrenaline junkies. Brad sees his summer as time to bond with trip members, teach them the little lessons in life and show them an amazing time.

Julie Butterworth

Julie joined Westcoast Connection / 360° Student Travel team 11 years ago after many summers working at summer camps in Ontario and in Maine. She has been a camp counselor, a waterfront director and program director and continues to shine throughout the year as a Special Education teacher with a focus on students with autism. She has led programs in our Active Teen Tour, Community Service and Global Adventure divisions. Whether whitewater rafting on the west coast, working at the Boys & Girls Club in Hawaii, exploring fjords in Alaska, hangin’ ten in Costa Rica, or working in a primary school in South Africa, Julie is an avid traveler, always planning her next world adventure. She is currently working on planning a yearlong volunteer/work exchange trip that will have her partnering with local organizations in South America, Africa, and Asia!

Samantha Halpern

Sam has unparalleled passion for working with teens and puts this drive and excitement into each of the programs that she leads. Sam hails from Toronto and has completed her Master’s of Teaching at the University of Toronto, after completing a Life Sciences degree at McMaster University. She grew up going to summer camp as a child, before she moved on and started to work at them! She is currently a fulltime Physical and Health Education teacher and in her free time plays ultimate Frisbee and is currently learning how to play hockey. Sam is known for her smile, her dedication and commitment. She has run programs in California, Costa Rica, Australia and Europe. During her programs you may find her pulling out her camera and capturing the breathtaking views, practicing another favorite hobby of hers, photography.

Amanda Bulkis

Amanda grew up in Toronto, Ontario and has attended and worked at summer camps for 15 years. She has always loved working with youth which is evident through her coaching of skiing and gymnastics. After piecing this together, she decided to pursue her career as a teacher and completed her Bachelor of Education in Canada’s capital, Ottawa during which she traveled to over 30 countries around the world. Amanda has led both Active Teen Tours and Community Service programs on both the east and west coasts of the continent (including Alaska and Hawaii) and is known for her fun trip mascots and incredible enthusiasm!

Jason Ganz

Jason joined the team 19 years ago and has played an integral role in building our internal Active Teen Tours. During the summer, Jason brings his many experiences leading, directing and supervising programs in Australia, Canada, Central America, Europe, and the United States and planning our European programs to his current role as Company Director. During the school year, Jason can be found teaching his 7th grade class in Toronto.  Jason is an avid snowboarder who can also be founding biking or just relaxing reading a good book.  Jason is known for his commitment to “Each & Every” and ensuring that all participants have the summer of a lifetime.

Julie Gonneau

Julie grew up on the east coast of Canada. She holds undergraduate degrees in Science from the University of New Brunswick and Education from McGill and recently finished her Master’s in Education from the University of Alberta. It was during her McGill summers that she joined our family and she has been hooked ever since. After earning her education degree, she spent six years in Montreal teaching high school science, coaching basketball and leading international school trips to Costa Rica and Italy. She has also worked as a student advisor for Queen’s Engineering where she traveled to Botswana to prepare incoming students to study in Canada. Julie is currently the Science Department Head for a distributed learning high school. She loves a good road trip and has driven across Canada, from California to Alaska and all around Europe. She has also spent time in Africa, Australia and Central America. This will be Julie’s 13th summer. She has led many of our Community Service and Global Adventures programs before becoming a Company Director. Julie enjoys camping, rock climbing, Pilates, running, cooking and volunteering locally. Her summers working on service projects with youth and local communities have been hugely rewarding and keep her coming back.

Rich SwamiNathan

Education and travel are what fuels Rich’s interest in the world. Rich (better known by Trip Members and leaders affectionately as Swami) has lived and traveled to every continent in the world except Antarctica… but don’t doubt that he’ll get there too one day! His passion for world travel was sparked in elementary school after he visited Africa and volunteered with his uncle who worked for the United Nations. Since then, Rich completed his Undergraduate Degree in Child, Family and Social Studies at the University of Guelph and started his Master’s of Education, focusing on experiential education and service-learning while traveling the globe. Rich loves to coach soccer, hike and play with his newborn son. In his different roles as Trip Director, Supervisor, Director of Training and Development and most recently as a Company Director, he has been able to help create meaningful experiences leading to lasting memories for teens and staff alike. Perhaps his most memorable Westcoast moment was arranging for his 40 Trip Members to sing a song for a surprise proposal to long-time Trip Director Lindsey Reid on Main Street, U.S.A. in Disneyland. Oh, and she said yes!

 

© 2014 Westcoast Connection Travel Camp Inc.