Jade Cooke

This is the third year Jade is making the approximately 700,000-hour journey from Cape Town to California, knowing that another summer at Farm Camp makes every minute of stale aeroplane air worthwhile. In her ‘real’ life she is a professional (read: penniless) writer and editor, covering everything from fashion and travel to the reasons why Buffy the Vampire Slayer is still a supremely relevant series. In her spare time, she likes to eat all the carbs, listen to true-crime podcasts and Insta-stalk the BBC’s Benjamin Zand. Things Jade is looking forward to at camp this year include getting to know a fresh crop of campers and counsellors, being reunited with old friends, and reconnecting with the farm and forest – all while wearing factor 70 sunscreen.

Madeline Munsey:

Maddie is coming from the south. She was born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina. She is so excited to be a counselor at Farm Camp and experience all of the fun adventures this summer! She is currently at Wake Tech to earn her Bachelor’s in Science with plans to transfer to NC State University, to major in Nutrition/Exercise Science. In her free time, she enjoys going on nature walks, canoeing, the beach, cooking, tennis, volleyball, and concerts. Her best memories from childhood are going to the state fair and jet skiing, rope swinging off docks and being flung off a tube at Lake Gaston.

Emma Ambler:

Emma is beyond excited to reunite with beautiful Farm Camp after she was a camper there back in her middle school days. Originally from the Bay Area, she is finishing up her first year at Scripps College in sunny Southern California, where she intends to major in environmental policy with an English minor. In her free time she loves to read, write, play guitar, and play with the pups at her local animal shelter. A big animal lover, she cannot wait to dive into farm chores this summer!! One of her favorite memories from childhood is going camping in Mt Shasta with her fifth grade class and drinking water right out of a spring.

Jamie Symens:

Jamie is from charming Heron Lake, Minnesota and can hardly wait to spend her first summer at camp! Jamie is a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota. Earning an Elementary Education degree, she is returning to Graduate school in the fall to obtain a masters degree in Elementary Education. A few of her passions include traveling, agriculture, and sports. She spent some time is Israel over Christmas break and is excited to experience the beautiful redwood forests of California! Some of her favorite childhood memories include participating in sports and showing livestock (goat, horse, beef cows) at county fairs. Jamie is beyond thrilled to spend her summer under the stars, making it her best summer yet!

Julianne Skarda:

Juliann grew up in Iowa City, Iowa, but has spent the past four years studying biology and environmental science at St. Olaf College in Minnesota. She enjoys traveling, cooking, outdoor adventures, dancing, animals, and growing food. This past year, she took a break from the midwest and spent a semester in Australia learning about marine biology, ecology, and how bad she is at surfing.Going to camp was always the highlight of her summers as a child and she has fond memories of learning to cook over the campfire and meeting new friends. She is incredibly excited to spend her first summer at Farm Camp!

Emily Simpson:

Emily was born and raised in a small town in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California, but has been living in Minnesota for the last four years as she pursued a degree in environmental studies from St. Olaf College. Emily is finishing up her last semester of college, and is planning on celebrating her graduation by returning to camp for her third summer! She is so excited to live alongside the redwoods again, and spend another summer doing all her favorite things: hiking, making arts and crafts, living in a tent, spending time with wonderful people, and eating great food! Most of Emily's favorite childhood memories involve spending time outside with her family, which ranges from catching fireflies for the first time to climbing Half Dome in the rain. These experiences instilled a love of the outdoors in Emily, which is why she's so excited to be back at Farm Camp and spend her time in nature creating more great memories!

Alexandra Adler:

Alex is from Massachusetts, she took last year off from studying nutrition to serve in New Haven, Connecticut with FoodCorps. In New Haven she taught kids about where food comes from, and got them involved in their own school gardens. Alex also organized after school cooking classes for the kids to gain confidence in the kitchen! Alex has a passion for exploring the world and all the wonders it has to offer. She enjoys indoor rock climbing, hiking, biking and yoga. She has a passion for a variety of music, art, and photography. Alex is beyond excited for this new adventure with the wonderful people of Farm Camp!

Nina Sonneborn:

Nina is from Highland Park, IL. She was a camper herself for many years, and is super excited to return to camp for her second summer on staff! Nina studies Mathematics and Computer Science at Middlebury College in Vermont, and in her free time she enjoys hiking, backpacking and skiing through the beautiful Green Mountains. She has endless happy memories of milking the goats and cows, strumming along on her guitar to morning singing, swimming in the lake, and cooking over the campfire. She can't wait to get back to old and new faces in the happy little place we call Farm Camp!

Bryony Williamson:

Bryony is from a small rural village in the middle of the countryside in Dorset, England and is extremely excited to be spending her first summer at camp. She is currently at University in Bristol studying to become a primary school teacher and she absolutely loves it. Some of her favourite pastimes include going to the theatre, reading, skiing and exploring new things. Bryony’s childhood was full of adventures like climbing up mountains and sailing around in her family’s boat. She is beyond grateful to be welcomed into the camp community and is thrilled to be travelling to America for the first time ever.

Jessie Newton:

Jessie is from Melbourne, Australia but grew up in regional Victoria on the family farm. She has fond childhood memories of playing with the farm animals and building butterfly enclosures. Jessie has spent the last two years completing a double degree in Graphic Design. Throughout her studies she has realised her passion for creativity, education and making a positive impact on the world. This has lead to her being involved with building initiatives around helping regional kids build aspiration as well as creating a bedding solution program for indigenous kids in the Northern Territory. Jessie is ecstatic to join the crew and go back to her farming roots for her first ever Summer Camp this year at Farm Camp

Clare Sullivan:

Clare is from southwest Florida and is very excited for her first summer at camp! She attends school in Florida as an Environmental Science student. Clare rides for her school’s equestrian team. Her favorite horse at the team's barn is a Quarter Horse named Pistol. When she isn’t riding horses, Clare spends as much time at the beach as she can. Her favorite childhood memories are planning birthday parties for her Golden Retriever dog, McTavish. Clare can’t wait for all the fun and laughter that a summer at Farm Camp has to offer!

Rory Thomson:

Rory is returning for a third summer at Farm Camp and has never been more excited! He's looking forward to re-living the PFC experience all over again. Rory is from a small town near Glasgow, Scotland and has been working in the film and TV industry, on the show Outlander, as a stagehand/carpenter trainee and hopes to advance within the industry. In his free time, he enjoys traveling the world, meeting new people, cooking and eating good food, keeping physically fit, taking photos of beautiful scenery, playing guitar, listening to music, skate/snowboarding and spending time with his family and dog. His favourite childhood memory is riding on an elephant in Thailand. Farm Camp has played a big part in Rory's life and he can't wait to be part of the community again.

Paulina Salzman:

Paulina is beyond excited to be returning to Farm Camp for a third summer spent in the woods surrounded by the best staff and campers on the planet! Paulina is from Arlington, Texas and is a recent graduate of Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas getting degrees in Political Science and Global Studies with a minor in Arabic. Since leaving camp last summer, Paulina has spent time travelling and has most recently spent the last six months living and travelling throughout Scotland. When not at camp, Paulina enjoys soaking up the sun, lounging in her hammock, spending time with loved ones, and cooking healthy and tasty meals! Her fondest childhood memory consists of summers spent at her family’s beach house in Delaware. Paulina is looking forward to spending another wonderful summer outdoors creating even more Farm Camp memories.

Hadar Karni:

Born in Israel and raised in the beautiful state of Colorado, Dara is absolutely thrilled to be coming back to camp for her second summer. She can not wait to be running around the redwoods with all the amazing kiddos and staff of Farm Camp. Since leaving camp last summer, she spent a few weeks traveling with fellow counselors before taking off to adventure around South East Asia for two months. One of the best moments of this adventure was getting to play in the mud with a family of elephants! Dara is hopping to further her experience in the medical field with hopes to pursue a position working special needs children. When Dara is not off traveling or playing with elephants, you can find her with he nose in a book, soaking up the sunshine and having random dance parties. Dara is eager to get back into the rhythm of camp and can't wait to be back with the amazing community and of course the goats.

Anika Dearman:

Anika is from San Francisco, CA and is incredibly excited for her third summer at camp! She currently attends California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo as an Animal Science major with a minor in Equine Science. Needless to say, she loves all animals, horses in particular, and has spent the past year learning all she can about the horse industry, from riding and teaching riding lessons to training racehorses and going to the Kentucky Derby! One of her favorite childhood memories is of living and working on a farm in Minnesota for a few weeks. She loved the sense of pride and responsibility that came with taking care of the plants and animals and making sure there was food on the table. That memory of the experience and the feelings that came with it is what drew her to Farm Camp in the first place, and it is with that memory in mind that she eagerly looks forward to another amazing summer at camp!

Bryony Boyd:

Bryony is from near Belfast in Northern Ireland and is currently studying Biology at university hoping one day to be scientist. Bryony is an enthusiastic outdoors person, who loves hiking and being around animals. She is a keen equestrian who loves spending time with horses and has been riding for over 12 years now. This is Bryony’s first summer at Farm Camp and her first time in America! She is super excited to spend the summer making great memories with great people (and ponies!)

Benjamin Elfont:

Benny is from Weston, Florida and is ecstatic to spend his first summer at Farm Camp. For the past couple years, Benny has attended New York University as an undergraduate student studying philosophy, mathematics, and economics. At school, he participates in the Madrigal Singers, an a cappella choir comprised of 16 singers, and plays on the club lacrosse team. In his free time, he enjoys reading, strolling through New York’s parks, playing guitar and ukulele, writing, listening to music, and hanging out with his friends and pet hamster, Mousse. His favorite childhood memories come from his time spent at Broward Arts Camp, a summer day camp he attended for four consecutive summers. It was there that he fostered his love of singing and music that he still carries with him today.

Delaney Reece:

With a love for all types of music, it is no wonder Delaney Reece calls Nashville, TN home. Delaney is a dreamer and a creator. She enjoys times with her family, calligraphy and trying new experiences. Delaney is a Junior at the University of Tennessee Knoxville where she is studying Public Relations and Business. While at school, she teaches new students how to transition into life on campus. Delaney also works with a local company to share the mission of many nonprofit organizations throughout East Tennessee. Delaney has a passion for others and is excited for a summer at Farm Camp. Some of her favorite memories from childhood were at summer camps, and she is extremely excited to make new memories this summer in California!

Luke Matthews:

Luke is from Lawrence, Kansas and although he loves the natural beauty of his home state, he is very excited to be spending his third summer at camp in California. He just graduated from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. Luke loves spending time outside, including climbing trees, playing soccer, going on hikes, and catching and cuddling all the animals. Luke also loves music, and morning singing is often his favorite part of the day. He is very excited to be returning and looks forward to many gulch hikes and campfires this summer.

Lea Mutter:

Traveling the country with Trixie the van and her German Shepherd pup, Maverick, is how Lea enjoys spending her time these days. She is on a mission to spread joy one state at a time. She started this adventure after a year of school at The University of Louisville. Lea desires to educate children by teaching them to chase after their passions. She enjoys spending time outdoors, photography and making other people smile. Flowers, nature and fresh air rejuvenate her soul and inspire her to strive to make every day the best day yet. As a young girl, Lea enjoyed going to summer camps, and is excited to make every day great this summer at Farm Camp!

Sam Stone:

Sam is delighted to be returning to Northern California this summer after having an awesome first year experience with the Farm Camp family. He is from Stratford-upon-Avon, England and recently graduated from the University of Bristol reading Economics. Since camp last summer Sam has been doing a fair bit of travelling, first road tripping around the West Coast with fellow counsellors, interrailing around Europe and then visiting the sights of South Asia with friends. Sam has a very keen interest in a variety of sports including soccer and football, and away from the sports field he’s a lover of music and enjoys hanging out with his friends and family.

Mitja Rupnik:

Mitja is from Slovenia, a small but beautiful country in Europe. He is a college student who just started studying Media Communications at the University of Maribor. In his spare time he loves to make short films and animations about people, events and just life in general. When he's not behind the camera, he enjoys spending time in front of crowds of young people talking and preaching about film production and web development. His hobbies include mountain biking, running, climbing and professional animal petting. This will be his first year as a camp counselor at Farm Camp and his first time travelling overseas.

Megan Schmiesing:

Megan is from Mountain View, California and could not be more excited to be spending her first summer at camp. She is a first year at UC Santa Barbara where she is studying history and environmental science. She enjoys learning to surf, going for hikes, and taking walks on the beach in the hopes of seeing some dogs. Some of Megan's favorite memories growing up are from the ski trips and summer vacations she spent in Mammoth with all of her family.

Garry Lynch:

Garry lynch is from Cork in the south of Ireland. Born and raised on a dairy farm, he had the pleasure of sharing his knowledge at Farm Camp last summer, and Is very excited to be returning for another year! In the last year Garry has been studying science, teaching in university, and doing voluntary work in local youth groups and shelters. Some of his interests include playing guitar, nature walks, hiking and working with animals. His favourite childhood memory is building forts out of straw and hay and making time capsules with his brother and cousins.

Amber Tracy:

Amber Tracy is from Petaluma, California and couldn't be more excited to be spending a second magical summer at Farm Camp! In the last year Amber has continued her education in Equine (horse) Science as well as Environmental Science. She is also working with her mentor Sher and learning about training horses. Her hobbies include horseback riding, vaulting (gymnastics on horseback), photography, writing and hiking. One of her favorite childhood memories was when she was 5 and she got to go to Disneyland with just her mom and stayed in the Disneyland hotel. Best Day Ever! Amber can't wait to get back into the redwoods and the camp atmosphere.

William Dry:

Will is from Cape Town, South Africa and is very excited to be joining Farm Camp for the first time. He grew up on a farm near the small town of Knysna, but has spent the last five years in Cape Town, completing high school. Will is now enjoying a gap year, trying to gain some life experience and travel the world. He enjoys math and science and is interested in studying computer programming next year. He also enjoys outdoor activities, such as hiking and camping, as well as socializing and meeting new people in his free time. His favorite childhood memories are of building tree houses with his older brother on the farm. Will is looking forward to experiencing a different farm and experiencing American culture.

Sara De Roy:

Sara is originally from Bellingham, Washington. She just finished her first year of studies at Oberlin College in Ohio. She LOVES everything related to cooking, farming, and nutrition and can't wait to work as a cook this summer - a longtime dream of hers. She first came to Northern California to attend a semester school last spring, and fell in love with the place. When she's not cooking for her co-op or studying chemistry, you can find her working at a nearby organic farm, running, doing yoga, throwing pottery, and contra dancing. Her favorite childhood memories involve playing with her beloved dog, Jesse.

Kirstyn Gudknecht:

Kirstyn is so grateful to be returning this summer to the most magical place on earth! Originally from the Philadelphia area, Kirstyn has had many homes and is sure to have many more as she follows her curiosity around the country! She loves sleeping under the stars, climbing things, backpacking, biking, reading, writing, slacklining, and trying anything new! Kirstyn helped watch over the farm last fall after camp ended, and has spent the rest of the year working as a children's librarian back east. She can't wait to get back to gulch hikes and barn dances, and to meet the new members of our Farm Camp family!

Elia Lara:

Elia is from Berkeley, CA but has also lived in both Argentina and Mexico, making her fluent in Spanish. This is her 5th year on the farm but first year as a counselor and she’s ecstatic to be returning to provide campers with the same amazing experience she had! Some of her best childhood memories were at camp: riding horses by the beach on the hitch and hike, playing in the water with friends at canoe camp, feeding the baby goats, barn dances and laughing with her unit around the campfire. She currently attends Oberlin College, double majoring in Neuroscience and Studio Art. Her passions include photography, dancing, circus arts, writing, and all visual arts. Elia can’t wait to meet her campers and spend an awesome summer in the redwoods at Farm Camp!

Ashlee Sopher:

Ashlee is from a small town near Birmingham, England. This will be Ashlee's first time at Farm Camp and he is looking forward to the adventure. He studied Acting at the university of Northampton and in the summer of 2015 he graduated with a 2.1 qualification. Since graduating Ashlee has been working as a professional actor in the U.K. on both stage and screen. He is very passionate about Soccer, Video Games, Music, and American TV & Film. Ashlee is looking forward to learning new skills at camp and he can't wait to start the experience of a lifetime.

Kai Alford:

Kai is from a town near London, England and is excited to be spending his first summer at camp. He has spent the last two years as a student at the University of Northampton where he is studying for a degree in Geography. Throughout his childhood, Kai was a boy scout so he is no stranger to the outdoors, whether that be hiking or putting up tents in the pouring rain. He enjoys the outdoors and loves a good hike but is open to whatever other activities camp has to throw at him and can’t wait to be part of the action.

Luke Rolt:

Luke was born in London but now lives in a small town in the north of England. He was a counselor at a camp in North Carolina in 2016 and is very excited to be spending his summer at Farm Camp in 2017! For the past three years, Luke has been studying Computer Science at University and is planning to join the Police in September. He absolutely loves watching and playing soccer as well as skiing, kayaking, camping, mountain climbing and playing around with his dog, Skye. Luke cannot wait to arrive in California and meet his colleagues and campers!

Kiren Kooner:

Kiren was born in Mainburg Germany and moved to the UK on just after her third birthday. She loves traveling to new exciting places and meeting new people! She loves art, MMA, swimming and taking her dog for long walks. Kiren currently lives in Norfolk in the U.K. which has loads of farm land and trees. She is very excited to be joining camp for the first time this year with hopes to gain new skills and create amazing memories.

Jonah Schmidt:

Jonah was born and raised in Ann Arbor Michigan and attends school at Michigan State University. He is in his second year of school studying Sociology, Arts and Humanities and Musical Theatre. When Jonah is not in class or at work he enjoys singing, listening to music, having fun with his friends, trying new foods, exploring parks, hammocking and being in the sun. His favorite childhood memory includes picking out and playing with his adorable dog Teddy. Jonah is very excited to be spending his first summer at Farm Camp and looks forward to meeting everyone!

Aaron McGuigan:

This will be Aarons first year working at Farm Camp and first time to the US. In his home country of Ireland, Aaron is a student of sports science and is loving every minute of it! His particular favorite is helping the kids with their playing and sports curriculum. When Aaron is not in college or teaching sports to kids, he is spending time on other hobbies, such as cooking (more like eating) or simply socializing with his friends. Aarons favorite memory as a child was when he was at summer camp, making life long friends with the campers and counselors. Aaron is looking forward to creating more unforgettable experiences at camp.

Anthony Bailey:

Anthony is from the coastal town of Busselton in Western Australia but spent the first 10 years of life growing up in the north island of New Zealand. Anthony is currently pursuing a gap year trying to experience as much as possible pursuing a role in the Australian Army next year. He enjoys anything related to sport including Rugby, Kayaking, Volleyball etc. He is looking forward to doing anything that brings a smile to the faces of the people around him and can't wait to join the team at Farm camp. He is looking forward to the experiences to come.