Staff Committed to Working with Kids
The spirit and energy you feel at Camp Chi comes from our staff. We personally screen and select our team from hundreds of applicants from across the country and the world. Our staff have diverse backgrounds and interests, but have one thing in common – a never-ending dedication to working with kids.
Our low 1 to 3 staff-to-camper ratio exceeds the recommendation by the American Camp Association (1 to 6) and assures that each camper and cabin group receives individualized attention.
To achieve our goal of providing the highest quality camp experience, we hire two different groups of exceptional staff: specialists with expertise to provide instruction in activities and nurturing counselors who are solely focused on leading cabin groups and providing camper care. Social workers, qualified health staff, professional food service and countless staff behind-the-scenes provide additional support.
Experienced Camp Leadership
Jon Levin, Director
Jon joined the Chi team in 2018. He has been involved in Jewish summer camping for over 40 summers as a camper, counselor, specialist, unit head, Assistant Director, and Director. Jon has worked at 7 Jewish resident camps around the Country. Two summers were at Camp Chi, as Habo Village Leader in the late 80’s and a Seasonal Assistant Director in 2002. Jon, his wife Martha and their 3 dogs reside in Mundelein. They have 3 children and 3 grandchildren. A graduate of Arizona State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Recreation, Jon has spent most of his adult life involved in camping and JCC management and had his own business for several years before returning to camp management and the Camp Chi family.
Kyle Kolling, Assistant Director
Kyle has spent many years at Camp Chi as a camper, counselor, and supervisor. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Theater Education and English from Illinois State University, and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Jewish Non-Profit Business. Kyle is very excited to continue his camp career, and hopes to spend many more summers at Chi. Throughout the year, Kyle also runs camps Chi Town Connection youth group for teens.
Ari Wartell, Assistant Director of Operations
Ari started working in the summer at Camp Chi in 2012 as a Village Leader and then as Program Manager before joining the full-time team in 2014. Originally from Pennsylvania, Ari graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a BFA in Stage Management and Technical Theatre. A lifelong Cubs fan, Ari was thrilled to make Chicago his home and fulfill his dream of working full-time at camp. As the Assistant Director of Operations, Ari ensures all the behind the scenes necessities are running smoothly, from maintaining the facilities to transportation, communication, registration and everything in between.
Natalie Kolling, Operations Coordinator
Natalie is excited to be a part of the Camp Chi Team. She attended Illinois State University where she received a degree in Theater Education, Acting, and English. Natalie spent two summers as the Camp Chi office manager in the summer and was JCC Chicago’s Sports and Recreation Administrator as well. In fact, Natalie is actually a certified lifeguard instructor and trains the Camp Chi aquatics staff each year. As the Operations Coordinator, Natalie is often one of the first points of contact for families, as she processes registrations, camper forms, and manages many other tasks that help to make camp a safe and fun experience!
Jared London, Program Coordinator
Jared, more commonly known as J-Lo around camp, has spent many summers at Chi as a camper, SIT of 14, counselor and village leader. As Program Coordinator, J-Lo is responsible for the planning and implementation of camp-wide programs, both in season and offseason, as well as Chi Town Connection, our youth group for teens. J-Lo’s biggest passion is camp and the surrounding culture. He hopes to spend many more years at the greatest place on earth… Camp Chi!
Jordan Goldberg, Outdoor Adventure Coordinator
Having spent most of his life at Camp Chi, it was only natural that Jordan would end up working year-round for camp. As the Outdoor Adventure Coordinator, Jordan leads the outdoor programming at camp, including PNW and the upcoming Outpost Village. Having fallen in love with the outdoors on PNW, Jordan has since taken countless trips out into nature, both in the US and abroad. After graduating from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a degree in Advertising and Creative Writing, Jordan spent over a year volunteering on a date farm in Israel, and is now bringing his passion for nature, creativity, and the Jewish Community back to Camp Chi.
Jessica Franz, Manager of Business Administration
Jessica is excited to be part of the Camp Chi Team. She is local to the dells area and has been the Guest Service Manager of Wyndham Destinations Wisconsin Dells for the past 5 years but 13 years with the company before joining our team. Jess brings a vast experience in customer service, her role at Wyndham had her supervising 15 associates in her department, where she hired, trained and onboarded and also served as manager on duty for the property. She also assisted other properties throughout the company with questions on programs and training. In her role at Chi, she will coordinate and process all hiring for the Chi, serve as a champion user in the set up and implementation in various databases, handle all invoices and expense tracking and serve as a liaison to our families in the registration and payment process.
Joelle Kelenson, Camp Chi’s Inclusion Coordinator & Keshet’s Director of Recreation
Joelle was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. From a young age, she was passionate about giving back and making a difference in the world. Her career has been spent working in the Jewish community starting at the JCC in Northern Virginia where she was the School Age Services Director. Most recently, Joelle spent six years at Camp Chi as the Associate Director. In this role, she worked alongside Keshet to develop Camp Chi’s approach to camper care. Joelle holds a Master of Social work from Columbia University and Master of Jewish Studies from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.