Rachel and Jamie Chadwin, Owners & Co-Directors
Rachel and Jamie Chadwin have spent the greater part of their lives at overnight camp as campers, counselors, athletic/program directors, assistant directors, and now Co-Directors. They each bring a wealth of knowledge, experience, and enthusiasm to Camp Mah-Kee-Nac.
Jamie and Rachel began dating as camp counselors, graduated college, eventually married, and returned to camp together to pursue not only a career but the most meaningful life for their family.
Rachel, in addition to some years of teaching middle school, has been involved in camping for the greater part of her career. Working in traditional, specialty, and academic camps, Rachel has partnered with families all over the world to provide children with the best summer experiences.
Outside of working at camp for many years in the summers, Jamie also brings over twenty years of coaching experience (college, high school, international basketball) and sixteen years of elementary school teaching experience to Mah-Kee-Nac.
Together, they have a deep understanding of the meaning of camp in a child’s life, and a belief that partnering with parents is the foundation for 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, Pennsylvania just outside of Philadelphia with their three daughters(!), Paige and Reese (twins, 15 yrs) and Shay (10 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 residential life at camp, staff recruitment, staff training, program development, IT, and facilities and has terrific relationships with campers, parents, and staff.
Kevin lives in the beautiful Berkshires (lucky!) all year round with his wife Rebecca (General Manager at the exquisite 33 Main in Lenox), their two sons, Fletcher and Turner who are now official Mah-Kee-Nac campers!
Emily Sussman, Assistant Director
The strong sense of community at Camp Mah-Kee-Nac is both created and cultivated by our staff members. Rachel, Jamie, Kevin & Emily 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 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 and teachers, assisted by more than 100 skilled counselors, many of whom are young teachers or students majoring in education or another child-related field. All counselors are hired to coach or teach in a particular area to ensure that MKN campers receive the most specialized instruction.
The people at Camp Mah-Kee-Nac have always been the foundation of its honorable 90 years of camp excellence.
Our team of chefs, cooks, and kitchen staff is led by the incomparable Chef Paul Forde!
We are extremely lucky that Chef Paul can take four months of his year to join us at camp. Born in Brooklyn, NYC but later moved to North Carolina, where he attended high school and college.
Chef Paul graduated with a degree in computer networking and networking programming with a minor in culinary arts, where he quickly learned that food service and the culinary world was his true calling. From country clubs to hospitals, he has worked his way up from prep cook to Sous-chef at St. John’s university in Queens, NY, and now head Chef at Camp Mah-Kee-Nac for the second year running!
We safely accommodate children and staff with all types of allergies and dietary restrictions including but not limited to egg, dairy, soy, sesame, wheat, fish and shellfish (none served at camp), gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan. Staff or parents with children who require special diets are strongly encouraged to contact Rachel Chadwin to discuss their options and plan. Rachel works closely with Chef Paul and our Sous-chef to make sure that each child is safely and comfortably taken care of.
Our Program and Operations
Jess and Robert bring many years of teaching, coaching, and camping experience to Camp Mah-Kee-Nac. They both have served as counselors, athletic directors, and program directors in their camp careers. Jess grew up a camper, spending many summers of her childhood at a coed overnight camp in Pennsylvania. Collectively, their experiences in the camping world allow them to truly appreciate and understand the benefits of camp for each camper.
Both Jess and Robert are Administrators, Teachers and Coaches at The Pingry School in Basking Ridge, NJ.
Currently, Jess is a teacher, the Health Department Chair, JV Girls’ Soccer Coach, & JV Girls Lacrosse Coach at The Pingry School. Jess has been a Teacher and Coach for 15 years. She taught Physical Education and Health to all grades K-12 and coached at the middle school, upper school, college, and international levels.
Robert is the Upper School Dear of Student Life at The Pingry School and is the Head Coach of the Varsity Girls’ Basketball team. Robert started his career as a History Teacher, Varsity Basketball Coach, and Athletic Director in Warrenton, OR.
Jess and Robert met while working as camp counselors and married a few years later. Working closely together at both camp and school, they appreciate and value family and are committed to instilling that value throughout the camp community. Jess graduated with a B.S. in Kinesiology from Temple University where she also played Division 1 Lacrosse. Jess holds an M.S. in Education from Gwynedd Mercy University. Robert has a B.A. in History from Northwest Christian University where he played Varsity Basketball. Rob also holds an M.E. in Secondary Education from Grand Canyon University and an M.S in Educational Administration from Fort Hays State University. Jess and Robert live in Pottersville, NJ with their soon-to-be MKN boys, Grayson (4 years old) and Charlie (3 years old).
Billy is returning to Camp MKN for his second summer this year. Born and raised in New Jersey, he spent 10 of his boyhood summers away from home at camps in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. Since before college and even after, Billy has worked in the Food, Beverage, and Hospitality industry educating thousands of students of the craft along the way. He loves learning, people, food, and the great outdoors! Billy has two daughters that attend and love our sister camp, Camp Danbee. He is so thrilled to once again share his talents with MKN campers and staff and is driven to have an extraordinary summer.