Nature Camp Staff

Sarah Strew

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 camp and also as an Environmental Education Intern, providing educational programs at the 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. Sarah 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

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 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 worked as the VINS Nature Camp Assistant.

Julie currently works as a lead teacher in a combined preschool/kindergarten classroom at the Mountain Village 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.  

Outside of teaching Julie enjoys non-fiction books, cooking, spontaneous adventures, being in the outdoors, letter writing, her flock of ducks, and the company of fun people of any age.

Matthew Kelly

MATTHEW KELLY

Lead Nature Camp Instructor

Matthew graduated from Colby-Sawyer College with a degree in Biology. His time at a liberal arts college allowed him to grow as a student and as a scientist, honing his ability to communicate complex ideas in ways that are both engaging and easy to understand. Matthew is passionate about animals and the unique ways they adapt to their environments – and he could talk about birds all day. He is excited to inspire a new generation of scientists and animal lovers, and to spend the summer with the birds at VINS.

Mikayla Weinzierl

Mikayla Weinzierl

Lead Nature Camp Instructor

Mikayla is currently a senior at the University of Vermont, studying Political Science. She was born and raised in Bellows Falls, Vermont. This will be her first time as a camp counselor, though she attended many summer camps herself and has been an active member of her community theater and outreach programs. When not studying, Mikayla enjoys listening to music, needle felting, and road trips.

Mikayla is so excited to join the VINS team and build a close-knit camp community. She looks forward to this summer and all the adventures to be had at VINS Nature Camp!

Spencer Wilkins

SPENCER WILKINS

Lead Nature Camp Instructor

Spencer graduated from Bowdoin College as an English major with a concentration in creative writing. He has worked with kids in camps and schools alike. Friends describe him as having “English teacher energy.” Energy, Spencer will realize, as a teaching assistant at the University of Iowa in the fall. He is an MFA candidate at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, specializing in nonfiction.

Spencer likes maple pastries, the scent of lavender (but not the color), and simple books written by difficult people. Outside workshop tables, he is often on a trail with binoculars strung around his neck. In Maine, he likes to spot sandpipers, great blue herons, and, on lucky days, swooping ospreys. Spencer is brimming with excitement to join VINS this summer and create a fun and invigorating camp experience!

Grace King

GRACE KING

Lead Raptor Camp Instructor

Grace is very excited to be joining VINS this summer for her second year of Nature Camp! Grace graduated from 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. Since, she has been living in the Upper Valley working as a nature-based preschool teacher and as a nanny. She’s currently working towards a Master’s in Communication and Public Relations as a way to tie her passion for the outdoors with public outreach and non-profit work.

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, skiing, and spending time with her pets at home.

Perri Haga

PERRI HAGA

Raptor Camp Instructor

Perri is from Columbus, Ohio. She is currently a junior at Lipscomb University in Tennessee studying Molecular Biology. The past two summers, Perri has worked as the Bird Information, Research and Data Intern at Warner Parks in Nashville doing research on two barn swallow colonies that live there. That’s taught her so much about bird nesting and migration and she was so pumped to share that with folks at the park! Perri has been volunteering in children’s ministry since middle school, and most recently has loved working with kids through Nashville Inner City Ministry. In her free time, she likes making crafts with repurposed material and going on hikes with her roommate! Perri is super looking forward to seeing the new plants and animals (and people) in Vermont!

Tom Boger-Hawkins

Tom Boger-Hawkins

Nature Camp Instructor

Tom is a rising sophomore at the University of Vermont majoring in music production and jazz voice. He’s originally from Connecticut but moved to Quechee, Vermont in early 2020. This will be Tom’s first time working with VINS and since moving to the area he’s enjoyed visiting all the animals that are housed there. Tom loves animals and in his free time tries to befriend the chipmunks that live around his house – to varying levels of success – as well as doing anything involving music or skateboarding. Tom is excited for this summer at VINS and can’t wait to get to know everybody!

Ian Chamberlain

Ian Chamberlain

Nature Camp Instructor

Ian is from Amesbury, Massachusetts and is currently a junior majoring in global environmental studies at Clark University in Massachusetts. This will be Ian’s second time as a camp counselor having previously worked at Saltaire summer camp on Long Island, New York. Ian’s interest and love for animals and nature started at a young age, when the National Audubon Society’s New England field guide became his standard entertainment for any long car ride. Since he was 12 years old, Ian has periodically volunteered at the Wild Bird Fund in New York City.

In his free time, Ian enjoys sewing clothing, stress-free nature observation, and playing ball with his dog. He is excited to join the VINS team and looks forward to the new people and birds he will meet!

Kelsey Herold

Kelsey Herold

Nature Camp Instructor

Kelsey is very excited to join VINS Nature Camp! She is from Londonderry, NH and is currently pursuing a bachelors in Wildlife & Conservation biology at the University of New Hampshire. Kelsey has always had a passion for animals and the environment and has worked in dog daycares through high school and in college. In her free time she enjoys going on hikes with her dog, Bella. They have been hiking buddies since 2014. Kelsey is thrilled to share her passion for nature with campers this summer!