Board & Staff

The board of eleeeampfire! is passionate about vision, good governance, and leading a successful team. Directors meet once monthly or as required. (Sorry no pics yet …)

2016 Board of Directors

Jerry Vink – Chair
Peter Vlaar – Vice-Chair
Sue Buist – Secretary
Ryan VanHof – Treasurer
Cornelius Boersma –  Summer Camp Liaison
Brenda VanGrootheest – Property Liaison
Josh Sieders – PR Liaison
Erica Heerema – Fundraising Liaison
James Schulenberg – Policy


2017 Staff

Director – Marise DeVisser a.k.a. Zazu

MariseHi everyone! My name is Marise de Visser and I again have the privilege of serving as DIRECTOR at Campfire this summer. At Camp, you can call me Zazu.

As the director, I have to make sure that Camp is running smoothly every week. I try to ensure that the rest of staff have everything they need in order to do their work well. I also get to meet everyone who comes to visit camp. This is one of my favorite parts of the job, and if you are planning to come, I’d be happy meet you!

I am looking forward to the summer at Campfire for many reasons. I love Camp for its people – campers, volunteers, fellow staff members – and for its property – the trees, the stars, the pool, etc. Most of all though, I love Camp because we get to sing praises to our Lord God and learn more about Him every day. He is always good, and His love does not run dry. Daily chapel is a special time, and I love that we get to sing praises to our God throughout the day.  What a privilege to spend the summer in this way!

During the rest of the year, I teach students in grade five at Rehoboth Christian School in Copetown. In my free time I enjoy being outside, especially to explore waterfalls, hikes and neighbourhoods in Hamilton. I also enjoy the – ehem – occasional visit to Dairy Queen with my housemates.


Assistant Director – Rob Bonefaas – a.k.a. Olaf

RobHi! My name is Rob Bonefaas (Olaf). I live in Winnipeg with my wife Diane and four children, Jeanette (8), Audrey (6), Stuart (4), and Simeon (2). God has given us the desires of our heart, and so much more!

I have been teaching at Immanuel Christian School in Winnipeg for 6 years.  As Orff music specialist I have the privilege of teaching music to grades 1-12 through singing, playing, and movement. I also teach grade 7 ELA and grade 8 Social Studies and Reformed Studies. In April 2018 I hope to graduate from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Education. I blame being busy with teaching and studying as the cause of my graying hairs.

I had no idea how difficult it would be to decide on a camp name. There were a few music related ideas and some related to my favorite comic characters from Asterix and Obelix. Nothing really stuck until I asked my band students and someone suggested “Olaf!”… “Yeah, your nose matches!” (I should not have asked for their reasoning).

Besides similar physical appearance I chose Olaf because where I come from we often have snow and ice on the ground till May (it’s called WINTERpeg for a reason). Also, summers in Ontario are much more humid than in Manitoba and so I might just meld into a puddle.

In the movie Frozen, Olaf is the snowman which Anna and Elsa built together as kids. To me Olaf represents innocent love and joy. Where there is true love and joy there can be no fear in life. It is my hope and prayer that I can bring Christ’s love and joy to the kids at Campfire as ASSISTANT DIRECTOR! And that I will be reminded in the difficult times of the love and joy we have in Jesus Christ. At the same time I look forward to being built-up by the kids and that I can see the humour in the kids-state-the-obvious kinds of ways.


Head Counsellor – Emily Wildeboer a.k.a Remy

View More:! My name is Emily Wildeboer, but you can call me Remy! I chose this name for camp because Remy (from Ratatouille) loves food almost as much as I do. Also, Ratatouille is just super fun to say but it’s too long! This year I am joining the staff as HEAD COUNSELLOR! That means my job is to recruit, train and support all of the wonderful counsellors who volunteer their time to come to Campfire!

Currently I am studying psychology at Western University in London, Ontario, with hopes of pursuing a career in children’s mental health. Learning about God’s magnificent creation of us human beings is such an incredible and eye-opening opportunity that shows just how powerful and amazing He is! There are so many little, tiny details about us that He completely planned out- it’s incredible! When I’m not studying, I’m usually spending time with my family, especially my 5 adorable nephews and nieces.

I’m excited to see the ways in which God works in me and uses me to be a light to the world, especially this summer at Campfire. I’m looking forward to meeting all the counsellors and campers, to the campfires in the evening, to singing and dancing in chapel services, and to praising God in His wonderful creation! Can’t wait to see you there!


Assistant Head Counsellor – Kevin Wattel a.k.a JAIRO

Hey hey, my name is Kevin Wattel and I reside in the big town of Kerwood. If you’ve never been there you just have to come and visit and see what everyone is raving about.
I’m taking on the role of ASSISTANT HEAD COUNSELLOR. I could not be more excited to get this opportunity to join the ranks of the staff at Campfire!! I have chosen the name JAIRO [ JÝ-ŘÖW ] as my camp name. JAIRO means “God enlightens” and “One who enlightens”. This sums up my mission this summer. Because of the light God shown in me I want to reflect it to everyone I interact with.

I have always had the highest respect for all the people who make Campfire what it is. The Campfire staff were always the closest our reformed circles got to celebrities. So to be part of the crew is probably the coolest thing I’ll ever been a part of.

There’s pretty much nothing I don’t like about Camp. I love the outdoors, I love the singing and chapel sessions, I love the fellowship and relationships you get to build with other Christians, I even love the food! Most of all though, I love the way in which the Holy Spirit is working in the hearts of those involved to further the Kingdom of God. Campfire is more than a spiritual high. Many of the lessons and Christian life principles I learned years back at camp I still hold close to this day. A common thing I hear from people coming back from camp is that their hearts are full for the Lord. I can’t wait to be a part of that for all those who come to camp this summer.


Program Director – Samantha De Graaf – a.k.a. Kiyo

28631141026_3617823553_oIf I try to imagine a summer without camp, I couldn’t tell you what that looks like. Camp has become such a big part of my life and I am beyond excited to return to camp this summer as the PROGRAM DIRECTOR. I will be returning to camp once again as Kiyo. which has been shortened from the Japanese word Kiyoko, meaning meets the world with happiness. I pray that in each day, wherever the Lord places me, I will be able to meet the world with happiness so that they can see the joy of Salvation that is in me.

When I am not at camp, I am working as an Early Childhood Educator in the two Kindergarten classes at Grace Christian School in the Burlington/ Flamborough area. I began working at Grace after completing the two year E.C.E. course at Niagara College, as well as 2 years working for the District School Board of Niagara. Apart from camp and Kindergarten, I love to spend time with family and friends, and spoil my nephews (because that’s an Aunt’s job of course).

I love everything about camp. There is a certain energy and joy that fills my heart as soon as I step foot on the Campfire property, and an even greater joy as soon as the property is filled with the giggles of children, the sound of praises to God being raised in chapel and at the campfire, and the incessant shouting that seems to happen all day long. I look forward to being loud and obnoxious once again with the megaphone, and being quiet and serene when singing lullabies to the campers before bed. I can’t wait to play with the parachute during Sprouts week, and get water logged while swimming in the pool. But camp wouldn’t be camp without the constant prayer that goes on. Whether it’s during circle prayer, chapel, counsellor devotions, staff meetings, or CPDS, prayer is going on all day at camp, and I look forward to sharing in that with fellow staff, counsellors, campers, cooks, chaplains, and any other volunteer that comes to camp. I cannot wait to share this summer with you. See you there!


Assistant Program Director – Josina Bouwman a.k.a. Presto

FullSizeRenderHey! My name is Josina Bouwman. The word “Presto,” is a musical term that means “at a quick tempo,” (not to be confused with quick temper.) It means to move on the double, and be full of pep. I’m quick with a smile, full of energy, and can whip up a cup of tea in a jiffy. This “quick tempo” is going to help me in my role of ASSISTANT PROGRAM DIRECTOR at Camp this summer, and that’s why I’ve chosen Presto as my camp name!

One of my favourite things to do is play the piano and strum the occasional chord on the guitar. I typically can’t get enough sunshine but rainy days get me dancing too. Dancing in the rain… Cliché? Okay. However, I can quote the movie Cars forwards and backwards. I’m currently studying humanities at Brock University.  I love music, big words, big sweaters, and tea. (humaniteas 😉 )

I’m stoked to be working at camp this year. I loved camp as a kid, I came to value camp as a counsellor and now I’m looking forward to giving back to camp through working with the program. I hope to keep camp fun, silly, and dare I say magical? for all the campers – Presto!

I love seeing joy and zeal for the gospel come alive in people’s eyes, again or for the first time. I love meeting all the campers and counselors!  I love staring up at the stars while standing around the campfire. I love being loud and crazy, and singing in chapel.

Camp can’t come quickly enough, and I can’t wait to meet lots of you there!


Waterfront Director – Olivia Veldkamp a.k.a. NOVA

Campfire photoHey there! My name is Olivia Veldkamp and I am extremely excited to be returning this summer as WATERFRONT DIRECTOR! While at camp, I will be responding to the name NOVA (always in all-caps). From the latin, NOVA means “new” or “fresh,” just like the water we will be swimming in! I hope to keep it as a reminder that in Christ we are made new, and are eager to show our thankfulness by serving Him.

I am a student at the University of Toronto, studying Environmental Geography, GIS, and Forest Conservation. I will be going into my fourth year this September, where I look forward to learning even more about God’s wonderful creation and how we can be good stewards of it! During the school year, I work part-time as a lifeguard and swim instructor. In my free time I love to read, sing, and (most of all) spend time with family and friends.

I am incredibly thrilled about serving on staff this summer! I am most looking forward to praising God through song, playing games, and showing Christ’s love to all the campers, volunteers, and staff as best I can! I cannot wait to serve at Campfire!, and I hope to see you there!”


Head Nurse – Katelyn Plug – a.k.a. Medicx

CamppicHello! My name is Katelyn. Sometimes people call me Kate but chances are if someone is hollering at me from across a parking lot or through a Walkie-talkie, you’re going to hear any variation of Medicx, Meds, or Medizzle, most often followed by something completely unrelated to what I actually do at camp.

When I’m not at camp I do a few things to keep me busy until I’m at camp again. Most importantly, I’m looking for great sales on Disney BandAids because what’s not to love about fun BandAids at camp?! In my spare time I work at McMaster Children’s Hospital as a Registered Nurse, where I get to work with babies, kids, and teens who are sick or need surgery.  At Camp I have a cooler version of the hospital in a room called the Med Shed which even has a comfy bed for people who aren’t feeling well. Come find me and say hi! I might even give you one of those fancy BandAids (bonus!)!

This will be my fifth year at camp as the HEAD NURSE and I’m so excited!! I love the chapel stories, song singing, star gazing, frog catching, leech salting, BandAid applying (I sense a theme here…), canoeing, and book reading. There’s so much more but come to camp and you can see it for yourself!”


Head Cook – Melissa Ligtenberg – a.k.a. Laeta

MelissaHi! My name is Melissa and I am excited to be serving as HEAD COOK this summer at Campfire! My camp name is Laeta, which in Latin it means happy/joyful/glad! Thinking about this upcoming summer and the adventure that awaits puts pure joy in my heart! Also, how perfect is it that you can say, “See ya, Laeta!” every time we say good-bye! 🙂

I am so excited for this summer! I’m excited to bond with my fellow staffers!  I can’t wait to meet the campers, counselors and cooks that will visit this summer and I’m looking forward to swimming, campfires and singing praises!  I pray that God will bless my time at Campfire this summer and that my love for Him and serving in His Kingdom will continue to grow in new ways!

I studied Interior Decorating in college and decorate weddings and events in my spare time. Daily, I work as a manager within the McDonald’s Corp.

I enjoy volunteering for the GEMS program in my church and snuggling my adopted nieces & nephew! I also love a good cup of coffee, re-decorating my home or making Dairy Queen visits with my room mates!