Head Staff

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BETH ATKINS - Administrative Assistant/Mental Health Counselor

Hi, my name is Beth Atkins and I am from Jacksonville, North Carolina.  I am a School Counselor at an elementary school.  I am so excited about starting my 8th summer at camp.  I enjoy being outside, reading books, and hiking.

I am looking forward to connecting with TAW friends from the past and making new friends this summer.

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CAROLYN BRENNER - Head Staff

My name is Carolyn Brenner from Ormond Beach, Florida, but lots of people call me Mimi, too. I am the proud mother of two beautiful daughters, one of whom was a camper at Camp Ton-A-Wandah. I also have four terrific grandchildren, and two of my granddaughters will attend camp this summer. I have volunteered in schools, Girl Scouts, and sports teams. I love books, British drama series, sports, the Beatles, and taking pictures  of smiling faces.

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MARY FIELDS CHEWNING - Area Head Staff

Hello! My name is Mary Fields Chewning and I am from Spartanburg, SC. I am currently studying Math and German at Wofford College. I will be on Head Staff this summer and can't wait! I attended Camp TAW as a camper for 10 years and then as a counselor for 3 summers. I love to hike and mountain bike! This summer is going to be great!

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KATHRYN CHRISTIAN - Head Staff

Hello Ladies!  I am Kathryn Christian and I am from Chesapeake, Virginia- right on the beautiful Chesapeake Bay! When I am not at camp, I am an elementary and middle school Gifted and Talented Teacher. My love of the outdoors was nurtured by my time at Camp Ton-A-Wondah wayyyyyy back when!  I have two girls that hopefully, you will get to meet!  My favorite things about cam are reading by the lake, hiking with you ladies, and the DINING HALL!!  I can't wait to see y'all this summer!

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NORA COAN - Area Head Staff

Hi there! I am Nora Coan and I am from just down the road in Brevard, NC. I am a former camper, counselor, and now head staff! This is my 14 summer at Camp Ton-A-Wandah! I am so happy to be back at camp this year with my two daughters, Charlotte and Clare! We have two goldendoodles, Sunny and Teddy who wish they could come to camp too!

Looking forward to a wonderful summer with all campers and counselors!!!!

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ARRINGTON COX - Area Head Staff

My family moved around NC a lot while I was growing up, because my father was always being transferred from one town to another.  We ended up in Wilmington until I married and moved to Columbia, SC, where I lived for almost 50 years.  I moved to Camden, following a horse, in 2014.

 

I’ve had horses in my life since I was a little girl and have been either teaching or riding (or both) ever since. My life as a competitor and then as a manager of local horse trials (or both) up and down the east coast soon expanded to include international equestrian competition management. This experience put me in good stead to accept the position of Assistant Competition Manager for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, which kept me away from my riding for 3 long years.  Happily, I am back at it, although the speed is not as fast nor the jumps as high as before! At this point in my life, my grown children shudder when I jump cross-rails!

 

And then in the middle of this came Ton- A-Wandah.  Daughter Jane was 9 when I hosted a party in Columbia and said jokingly “Gosh, I wish I could go to camp.”  Goofus was never one to miss an opportunity to grab staff, and that summer of 1974 I was indeed right where she had in mind:  a counselor in Spruce, working in the riding ring! The next summer I was offered the position of Head of Riding, ran the 3 rings, procured the horses, and trained not only our staff but that of Camp Pinnacle’s down the road. I came for all summer and brought all three of my children, Jane, (10) William (7) and Johnston (4). Camp was closed in 1988 for a year, and Eloise and I moved over to Camp Rockbrook.  I ran the riding program there, and Eloise was just wonderful Eloise, being everything to everybody. Judy and Billy bought camp in 1989, and I trekked back across the mountains to become Program Director before heading to Atlanta for the Games. Camp continued to be my real calling, so I came back in the 2000’s to help with the first ACA accreditation.

 

In 2009, the first of my granddaughters, Callie, began her two-year residence in Cedar. Elliott followed in 2011, and I came back to TAW with a wonderful promotion to run the canteen and hand out the mail.  Callie is now a counselor, and Elliott will begin her CIT year in 2021.  And I will still be in the canteen, loving watching our campers grow up from year to year, and hugging my former campers, some of whom are now head staff, and their children. What a ride it’s been!!

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RITA HAMMOND - Head Staff

Hi I am Rita Hammond - I live on Daniel Island in Charleston SC.  I am mom to 3 lovely daughters - Hanna and Erin who are TAW Alumni and Ivey who will be on Hilltop for the first time in 2021.  I also am step-mom to three more amazing girls!  I have been an Area Head Staff for LOTS of years at TAW and am looking forward to another wonderful summer with all of you girls!

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NILLA HESLEY - HEAD STAFF

Hey TAW friends! I'm Nilla Hesley, and I will be joining the Head Staff during 3rd session.  My girls, Catie and Perry, are excited to be returning for their 8th summer.  We live in the Lowcountry of South Carolina and enjoy spending time on the boat, exploring our local rivers and islands.  I have been an educator for 21 years and have taught 4th - 8th grades. I am currently a literacy interventionist, which is my dream job, as I have always been passionate about reading.  We look forward to spending time with our TAW family and friends.

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BROOKS JONES - Head Staff

Welcome camp family! My name is Brooks Jones and you'll see me twice a day, every day (except Sundays), in the canteen along with Miss Arrington in Session 3. I live in Winston-Salem and teach during the school year. I first found out about Camp Ton-A-Wandah in 1984 from Southern Living Magazine, and here's a fun fact: Goofus hired me over the phone! I'm looking forward to trying to learn all your names in the second half of the alphabet, and this year I'll be bringing something new to camp: a ukulele! You may hear me working on some of your favorite camp songs on the deck outside Balsam Cabin. If you do, come on up and sing with me!

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APRIL LARUE - Head Staff

Hey ladies of TAW! I am  April LaRue.  I am a wife to Matthew, mom to Hannah and Madeline, and a science teacher to lots of middle school muffins in Marietta, GA.  This will be my third summer at Camp Tonawandah.  I am very excited to see some returning campers and meet some new ones this summer.  Let the count down begin!

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CAROLINE RALEIGH - Area Head Staff

Hello! My name is Mary Fields Chewning and I am from Spartanburg, SC. I am currently studying Math and German at Wofford College. I will be on Head Staff this summer and can't wait! I attended Camp TAW as a camper for 10 years and then as a counselor for 3 summers. I love to hike and mountain bike! This summer is going to be great!

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CAMERON VIVANCO - Area Head Staff

Hello hello!  My name is Cameron Graham Vivanco, and I was a camper and counselor at TAW in the late 1980s and early 1990s!  I am thrilled to get to be back at camp and know without the shadow of a doubt how important camp is in teaching all sorts of skills for life!  I live in Ecuador, South America with my wonderful husband and three children, and work with a micro-scholarship program called Education=Hope. We help provide for the education of those living in desperate and difficult situations. I can't wait to share TAW with my daughter and all of you!

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CANDY WAUGH - Area Head Staff

Hi! My name is Candy Waugh and I'm from Jacksonville Beach, Florida. I'm a retired school teacher and former business owner. After teaching high school for over 30 years, I retired and moved to the Florida Keys. There I started selling souvenirs at the world-famous Robbie's Marina in Islamorada, FL. Now I'm a full-time grandma and often called "Grandy"!

As a young girl, I attended Camp Ton-A-Wandah. Now I am thrilled that I get to share the Ton-A-Wandah legacy with my granddaughter, Ruby.

I look forward to meeting a new group of wonderful campers this summer!