Nikki Bryant, Director of Youth Programs
Nikki knew she wanted to work for a summer camp at age 8 when she first began going to camp. It was a love that has developed into 20 years of summer camp experience. Originally from Texas, she worked on a Masters in Psychology at the University of Texas in Arlington. Her research focus was on bullying behaviors and social skill in adolescents. Having a passion for working with youth outdoors, she moved to Santa Cruz and began work in Outdoor Education at the Web Of Life Field School. Life as a Teacher/Naturalist was amazing but her natural talent for organization led to Management. After Nikki first came to Hidden Villa in 2005 as a program head, she joined our year round staff in 2007. She became an American Camp Association (ACA) visitor in 2010 and has led Hidden Villa through three accreditation years. When not organizing summer camp, Nikki enjoys rock climbing, hiking with her dog Summit and the creative art of cooking.
Ke'ili Deal, Camp Director
Ke’ili has been a Hidden Villa enthusiast since she was 8 years old. Starting in Resident Camp, becoming a counselor in training, and then spending five years as a seasonal staff member, she developed a passion for the social and environmental justice mission that Hidden Villa Summer Camp shares with youth. After becoming a full-time staff member at Hidden Villa in 2015, Ke'ili has continued to prioritize this mission by working to provide quality programming for a diverse group of campers and staff. In 2016, Ke'ili joined the California School Age Consortium's (CalSAC) trainer network and began providing training for other organizations around the San Francisco Bay Area. She also became an American Camp Association Visitor and a volunteer facilitator for Kara's Youth and Family grief support services. She has been thrilled to continue her own educational as a fellow in CalSAC's 2016 Leadership Development Institute for Emerging Leaders of Color.
Leslie Luck, Youth Programs Operations Manager
Leslie joined Hidden Villa Summer Camp staff in February, 2014. With over twenty years of administrative and events planning experience, she enjoys managing the nuts and bolts of the Youth Programs department. As a Certified Professional Coach, her true passion is supporting others in their personal growth. Hidden Villa is the perfect place for youth to stretch their ideas and identities. They discover more about their true selves and gain a deeper understanding of those around them through their time in nature and their discussions around social justice issues. Supporting programs at Hidden Villa is a natural extension of Leslie's values and provides her an opportunity to work with camp families, train seasonal staff, and be a part of a supportive team within the Hidden Villa community.
Maranda Chung, Youth Development Manager
Maranda grew up in a small town in Maine and earned her Environmental Studies degree from Skidmore College in upstate New York. While at Skidmore, she conducted research to analyze local food systems and studied abroad in Tanzania, India, New Zealand, and Mexico. For the past 5 years, Maranda has led experiential education programs all over the Bay Area, including redwood hikes, marine science excursions, and cooking classes. In 2013, she founded a school garden in San Jose where she taught science and nutrition to over 600 students. She is thrilled to join the Hidden Villa team and support programs that inspire curiosity, community, and stewardship. When she's not working with youth, her hobbies include hosting potlucks and performing with her folk band.
Our counselors are extraordinarily committed people who reflect the diversity of our camp participants. We intentionally hire staff who can create an inclusive, fun environment that promote a sense of belonging. Our staff members participate in an intense hands-on training on working with youth in developmentally appropriate ways; encouraging respect for all, ways to address and prevent bullying and creating an emotionally as well as physically safe environment. Additionally camp staff are certified in CPR & First Aid. We love working with youth and take our responsibility seriously.
Ke'ili, Nikki and Leslie