“It is a community, that represents the closest thing I have found to what friendship, education, family and life should be; an unapologetic embrace of the adventure and potential of everyday.” – Greg, Tennis Director (2016)
Walter Synalovski, Director
Joining Mah-Kee-Nac in 2010, Walter brings more than 30 years of experience working with children, including 25 years as a camp director. He believes the most integral part of Mah-Kee-Nac is being able to take care of every camper one at a time. The Mah-Kee-Nac family is one Walter has been proud to lead and is excited to co-direct camp this summer with Rachel & Jamie Chadwin.
Rachel and Jamie Chadwin, Co-Directors
Rachel and Jamie Chadwin are thrilled to be a part the Mah-Kee-Nac family! They have spent the greater part of their lives at overnight camp (as campers, counselors, athletic/program directors, and assistant directors), and are excited to continue that tradition as co-directors of Camp Mah-Kee-Nac.
On her first day of camp as an eight-year-old, Rachel knew that camp was a place she’d call home for a long, long time. She spent fourteen summers at her all girls Pennsylvania camp as a camper, counselor, and finally athletic director. She even met Jamie there when she was a counselor.
Jamie also grew up at camp, and worked as a counselor and assistant athletic director at a well-regarded co-ed camp just down the road. After graduating college and later getting married, Rachel and Jamie returned to Jamie’s camp together for nine more summers. Rachel became the head of girl’s camp and full time Assistant Director. Jamie was the program director at camp during the summer, and worked as a teacher and a coach during the school year. Jamie brings over twenty years of coaching experience (college, high school, international basketball) and sixteen years of elementary school teaching experience to Mah-Kee-Nac.
Jamie and Rachel are very excited to be the directors of Camp Mah-Kee-Nac. They have a deep understanding for the meaning of camp in a child’s life, and a belief that partnering with parents is the foundation to ensuring a child’s ultimate success at camp. Rachel graduated from Denison University in Ohio with a B.A. in Psychology and Physical Education, and Jamie earned a B.A. in Health and Physical Education from the University of Delaware.
The Chadwins reside in Ardmore, PA just outside of Philadelphia with their three girls, Paige and Reese (twins, nine yrs) and Shay (four yrs).
Kevin Lilley, Associate Director
Kevin started at Camp Mah-Kee-Nac in 2002 as the Baseball Director. Kevin felt a warmth at MKN and continued spending his summers as Athletic Director, Program Director and Operations Director until becoming the year-round Assistant Director in 2009 for 7 years. Now as Associate Director, Kevin is involved in staff recruitment, staff training, program development, IT, facilities and has terrific relationships with campers, parents and staff.
Kevin also lives at Camp all-year with his wife Rebecca, two sons and their pup Crumbs.
Lillie Kugler, Assistant Director
The newest member to the MKN team from Chicago, Lillie brings 14 years of camper, counselor and administrative experience from Camp Marimeta in Eagle River, Wisconsin. With a specialty in programming and special events, Lillie knows the ins and outs of camping from many different levels which adds a new, fun and fresh perspective to Mah-Kee-Nac’s leadership team.
The spirit of Camp Mah-Kee-Nac lies in the strong sense of community, created and cultivated by its staff members. The directors, Walter, Kevin and Lillie, see this bond as the most influential takeaway that is shared with campers. MKN’s warm environment builds a sense of safety and encouragement that helps each boy to take healthy risks, develop new interests and make lifelong friends.
With a staff from all over the world, MKN is proud to have on average a 70% staff return rate each summer. This element provides an extra sense of comfort for the boys and allows the Leadership Team to exercise and implement more long-term, in-depth training.
The leaders of all our programs are experienced coaches, assisted by more than 100 skilled counselors, many of which are teachers or students majoring in education or another child related field. All counselors are hired to coach in a particular area to ensure that MKN campers receive specialized instruction.
The people at Camp Mah-Kee-Nac have always been the foundation to its honorable 87 years of camp excellence.