Nature Camp Staff

Sarah Strew


Lead Nature Camp & Adult Programs

Sarah has been the Lead for Nature Camp and Adult Programs at the Vermont Institute of Natural Science since 2014. Sarah feels deeply connected to VINS, and its camp program specifically, as she can recall being a VINS camper when the organization was at its original site in Woodstock, Vermont

During college, Sarah spent summers as a counselor and backpacking instructor at an overnight camp in Fairlee, returning eventually to manage the Camp-craft department. For four years, she moved between Big Sky, Montana, where she taught skiing, and Hartford, Vermont, where she held various positions with VINS as a Lead Counselor for VINS Nature Camp and also as an Environmental Education Intern, providing educational programs at the VINS Nature Center as well as handling and training the raptors.

Prior to stepping into her current position, Sarah was involved with various educational efforts in the Upper Valley. She earned her MS in Environmental Studies from Antioch University New England where she concentrated in Education. Sara loves living in the Upper Valley and the lifestyle it affords her. She is an outdoor enthusiast and enjoys skiing and snowshoeing in the winter, gardening in the summer, and hiking with her dogs all year round.

Julie Kozak


Nature Camp Assistant

Julie has her BS in Wildlife from Unity College in Maine and her M.Ed. in Elementary Education from Antioch University New England.

She has held a variety of jobs in the fields of wildlife and education ranging from working as a vulture nest biologist in the Golan Heights of Israel, to working in Ohio and Massachusetts as an outdoor field educator. She has worked as an environmental youth developer in the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic, as well as a classroom teacher in Maine and Vermont. Julie joined the VINS Nature Camp community in 2016 as a Lead Nature Camp Instructor.  Since 2017, Julie has been the VINS Nature Camp Assistant.

Julie currently works as the  Climate Coordinator at Waterville Elementary School during the school year. She is excited to return to VINS as the Nature Camp Assistant to work not only with our campers and staff but also with the adolescents in VINS’ L-I-T program.  

Julie enjoys non-fiction books, cooking, birding, being in the outdoors, letter writing, and connecting with people of all ages and all walks of life.

Alex Arcone


Lead Nature Camp Instructor

Alex is very excited to be working at VINS Nature Camp this summer! During the school year, Alex works at Richmond Middle School in Hanover, NH, as an Educational Assistant, where he helps middle schoolers with their writing and reading.

Alex absolutely love insects, spiders, and reptiles of all sorts. He has studied these critters and kept them as pets since he was in 6th grade. Alex looks forward to helping kids learn about these wonderful creatures (and other ones as well) who share our planet.

Grace King


Lead Nature Camp Instructor

Grace is very excited to be joining VINS this summer for her first year of Nature Camp! Grace is a recent graduate of the University of Vermont with a B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology. While in college, she focused on nature-based education and spent her summers working with kids outside and helping develop nature-centric curriculum for schools in Cleveland, Ohio.

Growing up down the street from the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and spending each summer at Girl Scout Camp in the park sparked her interest in science and the natural world. Her hope is to one day work in a National Park leading educational programming. She enjoys hiking, birding, cooking, and spending time with her pets at home.



Lead Nature Camp Instructor

Molly lives in Brattleboro, Vermont, and is a Biology major at Umass Amherst. They have worked with middle school students at after school programs and as a counselor-in-training with the Vermont Wilderness School. Molly grew up spending most of their time outside in the woods and is fascinated with wildlife. They hope to work closely with animals once they graduate. Molly enjoys being outside in nature and loves to be around water. They spend a lot of time reading and singing, and looks forward to their first summer working at VINS!

Caleb Callaway


Nature Camp Instructor

Caleb is a VINS person through and through! Once a camper himself, a Leader-In-Training for many summers, he now steps into his first summer as an instructor. He loves learning about all of the natural world and sharing that knowledge with everyone around him.

Caleb is currently a student at the Rhode Island School of Design; if you ask him to draw you, he probably won’t - but he might. When not in school, Caleb spends as much time in the woods as possible, and loves canoeing, backpacking, rock climbing, skiing, and exploring.

Daria Gundermann


Nature Camp Instructor

Daria is a rising sophomore at the University of Virginia and studying towards a major in biology and a minor in computer science. Daria loves animals and has the pleasure of interacting with a small zoo at home: a parrot, a dog, two cats, and two guinea pigs. In her spare time, she loves to boulder outdoors, competitively rock-climb, sketch, write fiction, and teach herself guitar and drums.

Daria enjoys teaching and working with kids – perhaps the result of having two younger siblings often in tow. From biology labs to chess and card clubs, she loves connecting and working with groups pursuing a common interest. Ever since Daria was little, the outdoors has fascinated her, and she is very excited to teach about the natural world outside while learning about the unique passions of each camper.



Nature Camp Instructor

Eamon was born in Berkeley, California but raised in New Hampshire since the age of two. He will be attending Grinnell College in Iowa starting this fall, and majoring in a to be determined STEM field (likely computer science, math, physics or biology). When not in school, Eamon spends his time playing ultimate frisbee, participating in math competitions, making smores and taking 6 hour naps. He loves camping and long walks while listening to bird calls.

Eamon’s favorite bird is the Harris’s hawk, favorite movie is either Shrek or The Princess Bride and favorite rainy day activity is playing far too much chess. First attending VINS camp as a camper around 12 years ago and volunteering as a Leader-In-Training for the past four, Eamon has seen VINS camp from almost every angle. Eamon is looking forward to returning for his second summer as a Nature Camp Instructor.

Falon Cote


Raptor Camp Instructor

Falon is a Vermont native from the Northeast Kingdom. She is a current senior at Paul Smith’s College, located in the Adirondack Park of New York, studying towards a major in Fisheries and Wildlife: Wildlife Concentration and a minor in Botany. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, soccer, kayaking, birding, and playing with her dog, Maple.

Falon enjoys educating her friends and family about what she has learned while at college and looks forward to doing the same while inspiring and sharing her love for nature with those at VINS.

Rachel Oswald


Raptor Camp Instructor

Rachel is new to VINS and the state of Vermont. Born and raised in the Midwest, Rachel discovered her passion for the environment through her studies at the University of Northern Iowa. After receiving her BA in Biology, she spent two years in Green Iowa AmeriCorps where she focused on developing her skills in environmental education and on the importance of volunteering in her local community.

Rachel gained experience with raptors while working two seasons as an environmental educator at the Camp McDowell Environmental Center in Alabama. She is excited to continue working with birds and explore the wonders of Vermont’s natural spaces with campers this summer.

Madison Alderman


Wilderness Camp Instructor

Madison is a born and raised Vermonter. She grew up playing in the woods and exploring nature throughout her life. Madison discovered her passion for education and science during her time at Castleton University. While earning her BS in Biology, Madison worked as a tutor and a teacher’s assistant for several courses in Castleton’s Natural Sciences Department. The past 2 years, her Herpetology and Tropical Biodiversity courses took her to Costa Rica, where she hiked throughout the rainforest finding and studying a variety of animals.

Madison spends the majority of her free time learning and studying. She continues to work on a 3-year ongoing trail camera project capturing the wildlife in Rutland County. She practices macro-photography by discovering and identifying insects, moths, butterflies, and spiders. This summer, Madison looks forward to sharing her passion and excitement with the campers and hopes to teach them something new while boosting their love for nature and wildlife.

Michael Buyaskas


Wilderness Camp Instructor

Mike has spent a good amount of time in Vermont and the Northeast but is new to VINS. Born and raised in upstate New York, Mike discovered his passion for wildlife and the great outdoors at a young age. He quickly realized that he wanted a career that would allow him to pursue those loves and share his knowledge with others. He attended the University of Maine, earning an undergraduate degree in Wildlife Ecology. After graduating, Mike gained experience in wildlife research moving to Washington state to work on a wolf-cougar study but realized his true calling was in educating and inspiring others and decided to shift to environmental education.

Mike loves to spend the majority of his free time backpacking, hiking, running, and doing any sort of physical exercise or outdoor activity. He has spent a great deal of time in the backcountry and looks forward to spending a summer in Vermont at VINS, where he can share his knowledge and experience with all of our campers!