Board & Staff

The board of Campfire! 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


2016 Staff

Director – Marise DeVisser a.k.a. Zazu

Hi everyone! This year I have the privilege of serving as DIRECTOR at Campfire. My camp name is Zazu. I chose it because it is the name of the colourful bird in The Lion King, and he has always been one of my favourite characters. In addition to that, Zazu is simply fun to say. Besides, how often do you get to have a name with two z’s in it?

As the director, I have to make sure that camp is running smoothly every week. I have to find chaplains for every week, for instance. I also have to check that the other staff are doing their jobs, and I will be making sure that they have everything they need to do their jobs well. With such a great staff working with me, I’m sure that whoever comes to camp will have a blast!  I also have the fun job of greeting anyone who comes to camp. If you are planning to come, I’ll be sure to meet you!

I am looking forward to the summer at Campfire for many reasons. To mention a few, I look forward to meeting campers, counsellors, cooks, chaplains, parents and visitors. I look forward to working with the staff. I look forward to the campfires, starry nights, glow in the dark sticks, camp games, and camp songs. But the most exciting thing for me is that we get to sing praises to God’s name, while enjoying His creation and (re)learning about Him during chapel and devotions. What a privilege to spend the summer in this way!

Throughout the rest of the year, I am a Grade 5 teacher at Rehoboth Christian School in Copetown. I am also a bus captain at City Kidz during their third session. When I am not working or at City Kidz, I like exploring waterfalls in and around Hamilton, and I enjoy reading true stories about people in different times, places and especially cultures.


Assistant Director – Cody Swaving – a.k.a. Ori

Oh hey! I’m Ori and I’m the ASSISTANT DIRECTOR at Campfire! That means I get to help Zazu run camp, and what a joy that is! Ori means “my light” and comes from Psalm 27, “The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?” Ori is also the name of the young and scholarly dwarf in the Hobbit, and the Dwarves have always been my favourite race.

When I’m not at Campfire, and besides being busy counting down the days until I get to go back, I’m in Hamilton studying to be a minister at the Canadian Reformed Theological Seminary. I also serve with the Roots Team and help organize events for Reformed youth to attend throughout the year. These events serve as excellent counsellor recruiting grounds for Campfire! It is truly a blessing to see similar faces from Roots events at Campfire and vice versa.

I’m really looking forward to serving at Campfire this summer, and I’m especially eager to seeing you there, whether as a camper or counselor or visitor or as whatever God has called you to be at Campfire! I’m looking forward most to ambushing campers, singing God’s praises, living under the discipline of His grace, telling and listening to stories, and watching fellow believers grow in faith. It’s a wonderful blessing to be at Campfire, and I can’t wait to see you there!


Head Counsellor – Arjaan a.k.a Bonsai

Hello! My name is Arjaan De Visser (Bonsai) and I am very excited to be returning to camp this summer as HEAD COUNSELLOR. My role on staff is to recruit and support counsellors as they come to camp, as well as helping with program.

I am currently in my third year of a Commerce degree at McMaster University, with a focus in accounting. During my free time I enjoy playing sports and spending time with family and friends.

Last summer at camp was an amazing experience for me, and it was a real blessing to have served with the staff. This year I again look forward to serving campers and counsellors, as well as enjoying time with the other staff. While I love everything about camp, I particularly enjoy the food (not a joke), singing, fun in the forest, Wasaga, and spending time with campers, counsellors, and staff. I also look forward to seeing many familiar faces this summer!


Assistant Head Counsellor – Ethan Burns a.k.a Goomba

My name is Ethan Burns and I will be on staff for the first time this year as ASSISTANT HEAD COUNSELLOR. I have chosen the camp name Goomba because I enjoy a good ol’ game of super Mario three and found out the mushrooms are called goomba’s, I enjoyed the way it sounded so it will now be my name for numerous months!

I have officially finished my Bachelors of Religious Education with the focus of Counselling from Emmanuel Bible College. I know that my education will be helpful throughout my time at Campfire! I have learned a lot about God and how with him many wondrous things will happen and I cannot wait to see what he will do this summer.

Looking back at all the years of campfire I have always admired how the staff have been able to create such an amazing environment for everyone who attended camp both for counsellors and campers. I am very excited to be a part of creating this fun environment. I am also looking forward to meeting so many new people and working with other fantastic staff members.


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

I am very excited to be serving at Campfire once again this summer! This year I have the honour of taking up the position as the PROGRAM DIRECTOR!  I will be returning this summer with the name Kiyo. which comes from the Japanese word Kiyoko. Translated Kiyoko means “meets the world with happiness.” I always make it my goal at camp and in everyday life to be happy, and spread the joy and love of Christ to those around me.

In 2013 I graduated from Niagara College with a diploma in Early Childhood Education. Soon after I was hired by the public school board of Niagara and served there for two years before I took up an Early Childhood Education job at Grace Christian School in Burlington. I work in both of the Kindergarten classes at Grace, and love my job oh so much! When I’m not working at camp or at Grace, I am either spending time with my friends, my two handsome nephews, or my family.

There are so many things that I look forward to when I think about the summer of 2016. I look forward to hearing the giggles of children ring throughout the property. I can’t wait for singing and opening the Word of God around the campfire. I look forward to chapel times, spending time in the Bible and watching the kids praise God with their mouths and with a variety of instruments. I am excited for crazy meal times and getting everyone amped about service ops. I look forward to those “WOW” moments when God has really touched someone’s heart and you are able to see them grow. I am excited for circle prayers, wrap sessions and the parachute on Spouts week. I guess you can say I look forward to just about everything at camp. Can’t wait to see you there!!!


Assistant Program Director – Taylor Riemersma a.k.a. Vivo

My name is Taylor Riemersma and I am excited to be joining Campfire Staff as ASSISTANT PROGRAM DIRECTOR. This summer I will be known as “Vivo” (pronounced VEEvo) which any musicians (or Italians) will know as a term for “lively”. I chose this name because I am known to be a lively person – I’ve been told I have a unique, loud laugh that lets people know I am around. This summer I hope to use my energy and enthusiasm to serve at camp! I also am a music lover and piano teacher so its fitting that I name myself with a music theory term.

Currently, I’m wrapping up a degree in Psychology and Social Development Studies at the University of Waterloo. I recently found out I was accepted into the Master’s program in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Western Ontario (Yay!) so I’ll be continuing my studies in London this fall. When I’m not studying, you’ll find me playing music. I enjoy making up my own tunes and if I’m not at the piano or guitar, you’ll find me reading the book, “How to Write Better Lyrics” in a local coffee shop. My other hobbies include eating and talking…a lot!

At camp, I’m most looking forward to meeting all the different campers every week, being outside and enjoying God’s beautiful creation in the summertime, having an excuse to be kind of crazy and make people laugh, growing closer with staff, singing songs around the campfire and seeing God work in camper’s hearts as they grow closer to Him.


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

IMG_5581 (1)Hey there! My name is Olivia Veldkamp and I am extremely excited to be serving 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 third 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, acting silly, playing games, watching others grow in their faith as well as grow in my own, 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

Hello! My name is Medicx. Did you know that there is actually a silent and invisible ‘q!’ in there too? It’s between the ‘d’ and ‘i’. I just realized I had been keeping it a secret this whole time! Oops.

I am a Registered NURSE and on my holidays from Camp I work at McMaster Children’s Hospital in Hamilton. I work with kids who have to be admitted to hospital for all sorts of things medical and surgical. 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 a fancy BandAid!

There is so much that I love about Camp! I love the chapel stories, song singing, star gazing, frog catching, leech salting, BandAid applying, book reading, playing capture the princess and parachute games, and seeing everyone’s fantastic forts in the forest. There’s also a whole lot more but come to camp and you can see it for yourself!


Head Cook – Grace Korvemaker – a.k.a. Maple

Hi! My name is Grace Korvemaker, and I am from the beautiful little town of Wyoming, ON. I will be returning to Campfire this year as the HEAD COOK. I currently work at a greenhouse, and I love it! My future plans are to go to South Sudan in September for 3 months to teach at a mission school there.

My camp name is Maple. I chose this name because when you yell it through the walkie talkie, it sounds significantly like the word “flagpole”. I have long admired the stability and stature of the flagpole at Campfire, and I wanted to have a name that would sound similar to this mighty post. (But not too similar so as not to be too obvious to the average bystander).

I love camp! It’s a fantastic place for kids, volunteers and staff. We get to learn about God and His word, sing to Him and have fun together. I love seeing the volunteers who show love to the difficult kids over and over again, and watching the kids change as the week goes on. I also love seeing the pure delight on the kids’ faces as they play on the splash pad and in the pool. I love sitting around the campfire, and losing my voice on the bus. I love trying hard to learn the kids’ names, and eating with a different cabin pack at each meal. I love getting to know staff and coming to recognize their strengths as the summer goes on. And I really love being away from the business of life, and just getting to focus on showing the kids who God is. We serve a great God! God is good. All the time!