Board & Staff

The board of campfire! is passionate about vision, good governance, and leading a successful team. Directors meet once monthly or as required.

2016 Board of Directors

Jerry Vink – Co- Chair, Policy
Peter Vlaar – Co-Chair
Deb Alkema – Secretary
Ryan VanHof – Treasurer
Cornelius Boersma –  Summer Camp Liaison
Brenda VanGrootheest – Property Liaison
Jay Hart – PR Liaison
Erica Heerema – Fundraising Liaison


2018 Staff

Director – Marise DeVisser a.k.a. Zazu

Hi 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 – and the chaplains – have everything they need in order to do their work well. I also get to meet everyone who visits. 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 grade two students at Heritage Christian School in Jordan, ON. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family and being outside, especially to explore waterfalls, the lakeside and other walking trails.

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

Rob Bonefaas“Hi, I’m Olaf and I like warm (side) hugs!” At the time of writing it’s a balmy -27 Celcius with beautiful clear skies and glistening snow here in WINTERpeg. I am excited to serve for a second season as Assistant Director. Last year thankfully proved that I won’t melt “In Summer”.

I look at my job as assistant director as caretaker. As caretaker I ensure that everyone is having a good time and that staff, counselors, campers and volunteers all get along. I also make sure that all the cleaning supplies are ready for service ops and that the materials for cabin devos are ready to go. Most importantly I work together with staff, counselors, campers and volunteers in praising God in everyhting  we do.

My wife Diane and I have four children, Jeanette (9), Audrey (7), Stuart (5), and Simeon (3). God has given us the desires of our heart, and so much more! When I’m not at Campf!re I work as a teacher at Immanuel Christian School in Winnipeg. Since I’m the music teacher I get to sing, dance and play every day with the students. Lord willing I will graduate from the University of Manitoba this May with a Bachelor of Education. My family and I look forward to next year when I am not taking courses and will only be teaching full-time.

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 campers and that I will be reminded in the difficult times of the love and joy we have in Jesus Christ. We decided to serve another year because “Some people are worth melting for.”

Head Counsellor – Emily Wildeboer a.k.a Remy

Emily Wildeboer

Hey there! I’m Emily Wildeboer, but at Campfire I go by Remy! Actually, you may hear me being called Remy, Rems, Remelemidingdong, Remster… any will do! I chose this name for camp because Remy (from Ratatouille) loves food almost as much as I do. This year I am returning to staff as the Head Counsellor! That means I get to recruit, train and support all of the wonderful counsellors who volunteer their time to come to Campfire!

When I’m not at camp, you can find me playing with my 5 adorable nieces and nephews, or with my head in a book, studying. I am currently studying psychology at Western University in London, Ontario, about to go into my third year. 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!

My favourite thing about Campfire is all of the incredible people who make it such a special place. It is so amazing to see how God works in and through everyone at camp. I’m excited to see how God uses me this summer to be a light to the world and spread His love to all! I’m especially looking forward to singing in chapel and around the campfires, playing lots of fun games, crafts, swimming, floating in the pool with my dragoaty (dragon floaty), Herb (as seen in my picture) and praising God in His wonderful creation! Hope to see you there!

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

Kevin Wattel

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 again this year! I could not be more excited to get this opportunity to work at Campfire again!! Just like last year, my camp name will be JAIRO [ JÝ-ŘÖW ] 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 decided to take a sabbatical from camp and attended Western University for Classical Studies. During the week I like get out and attended student ministry, Bible studies and meeting with friends. Honestly, if you’re in need of a friend just call me up and we’ll hang out. I’m also very excited to work with my baby brother this summer and show him the ropes of Camp. 🙂

There’s pretty much nothing I don’t like about Camp. I love the outdoors, I love dressing up like a tree and being an equestrian horse trainer, 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

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

Josina Bouwman

Hey! My name is Josina Bouwman and I’m so excited to be coming back to camp this summer as the Program Director! My camp name is Presto – a musical term that means “at a quick tempo.” I chose this name because it matches the energy and fun of running the program! At camp it is easy to be quick with a laugh and a smile.

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. I’m currently studying social psychology at McMaster University.  I love music, big words, big sweaters, and tea.

There are so many joys that come from serving and loving all of the people who came to camp, and joys that come from seeing them serve and love others. 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 counsellors!  I love staring up at the stars while standing around the campfire. I love being silly and crazy, and singing in chapel.

God works in amazing ways through camp, answering prayers, speaking through chaplains, working faith in little hearts, strengthening it in older hearts; in the giggles, the tears, the songs of praise, and through the constant prayers we bring to him. I am so excited to be part of his work at camp this summer, see you there!

Assistant Program Director – Emma Koning a.k.a. Niko

Emma KoningHello everyone! My name is Emma Koning, but you at camp you can call me Niko! Niko means smile, in Japanese, which is the reason I chose this name. Smiling reflects a person’s attitude, and as Christians that have a Savior who loves us, we should always be smiling!:)  Campfire! is an amazing place to be surrounded by Christ’s love, and I am unbelievably psyched to serve on camp staff this summer. My role is Assistant Program Director, which means I get to make sure you’re all having the time of your lives while at camp!

When I’m not at camp you can find me doing a multitude of things, such as taking care of flowers, improvising on the piano or spending time with my cats; Demetrius and Oden. I have an obsession for tea, all things warm, ice cream, and the rain. I love all things science related, and am super pumped to attend Brock University this September as a first-year nursing student.

Campfire! is a place that is so full of love and passion for Christ, and I can’t wait to be part of this ministry. There’s something so amazing about people coming alive in Christ and being able to witness this at camp is one of the coolest things ever. Whether it’s the laughter during group games, singing at chapel, food frenzies during meals or quiet devotion around the campfire, Christ is constantly being displayed in the lives of everyone. I honestly can’t think of anything I don’t like about Campfire! but the friendships made are one of my favorites. What better way to spend a week of your summer than making tons of new friends and getting to know your Savior better?! I can’t wait for camp this summer, and am super excited to meet all of you!!!:)

Assistant Program Director – Mark Wattel a.k.a. FIEVEL

Mark WattelHey everyone, my name is Mark Wattel and I am super excited to be serving on staff as Assistant Program Director!! The camp name I have chosen for this summer is ‘FIEVEL’. My inspiration came from the little mouse starring in the legendary, ‘An American Tail’ and its sequel ‘Fievel Goes West’: Fievel Mousekewitz. He was my childhood hero, while his courage and character still inspire me today. Digging a little deeper, Fievel also derives from Greek origin, meaning light, or shining.

One thing that you may want to know about me is that I love fun. This works out pretty well because Campfire is the place where I always have the most fun! Whether playing games, singing in chapel, or hanging out with campers and counsellors, I love to spread joy and laughter. I also love the outdoors, music, coffee, and balancing things on my nose (upon special request).

Currently I reside in the Kerwood, and am the younger sibling of JAIRO. I am in school for Architecture, and keep a fun-filled schedule spending time with friends and family when I can! I enjoy trying out new things whether it be food, games, or tasks, and never say no to a family trip!

Much work and effort goes into camp, and it is an absolute honour to be able to contribute to that by being part of Staff this Summer! It’s a wonderful experience to be able to be involved in a place like Campfire where the central focus is to Glorify God in all our words and works. I look forward to all the great times to be had this summer with campers, counsellors, staff, and everyone else! Hope to see you there!

Head Cook – Jess Broersma a.k.a. chazaq

Jess BroersmaHi! My name is Jessica Broersma, but you can call me chazaq! Chazaq is the Hebrew word being to be strengthened.  I choose this name because I think that camp will strengthen me both as an individual person and as a Christian.  This year I am super excited to be joining the staff as Head Cook!!!

When I am not at camp, I have the privilege of being a teacher’s assistant to two kindergarten classes at John Calvin School in Smithville.  I also am an assistant at L’arche Hamilton, a group home for adults with disabilities.  Both of these jobs combined keep me very busy though in my spare time I love spending time with my nieces and nephews.  I love to play soccer and to read a good book!

Camp has been a part of me for as long as I can remember.  There is so much that I love about being at camp.  I love the feeling that you get when you drive down the driveway, the feeling of serenity and peace.  I love being able to look up at the sky and see all the stars at night reminding me how great is our God.  I love the singing around the campfire, the Bibles open and the eagerness to learn more about our God.  But what I really love is being in the kitchen with all of the cooks.  If you have never been in the kitchen at camp, you are missing out.  It’s an experience that is difficult to put into words but one that has been an immense blessing each time that I have been a cook.