We build confidence, resilience, and community for transgender & gender-variant youth and their families through camp experiences.

Camp Aranu'tiq of Harbor Camps' Year-Round Staff

All camp programs are directed by Nick Teich, LCSW, the Founder and CEO of Camp Aranu'tiq & Harbor Camps. Nick has believed in the life-changing power of camp since he began his days as a summer camper in 1993. He now has 11 years experience in leading and running camps. Besides working year-round to prepare for and run Aranu'tiq's programs, Nick is also a PhD candidate at Brandeis University and authored Transgender 101: A Simple Guide to a Complex Issue  (Columbia University Press). He has a deep personal interest in helping transgender youth to be themselves. He lives in the Boston area with his wife, Erika, their baby daughter Rebecca, and their two dogs, all of whom join him at camp in the summer.

Eric Knudsen, Associate Director of Operations for Harbor Camps, began as a volunteer at Camp Aranu'tiq in 2011. Eric has a background in public health, and for the three years prior to joining our team, he worked in HIV prevention. When not at camp, Eric enjoys traveling, cooking, writing, and art. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and social welfare from the University of Connecticut. Eric works on camp preparations, fundraising, staff/volunteer hiring, and many other areas. He currently makes his home in Boston and spends the summer at our New Hampshire camp.
Steve Jaeger is the Head of Facilities/Camp Ranger for Harbor Camps' New Hampshire property. Steve has been a camp ranger for 15 years, six of which have been on our current property with the previous owners. He has worked for the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts. Steve is an avid fisherman and enjoys all outdoor activities. He and his wife Lisa live on site year-round. He has three grown children, Josh, Aly, and Brandon. Steve feels strongly that camp is something all children deserve to experience.

Camp Aranu'tiq's Summer Leadership Staff

Julie Lipson, MA, MT-BC, has been an assistant camp director with Aranu'tiq since its inception, and is now the director of our California summer camp. She has experience as a life-long camper, counselor, songleader, and teacher. She has worked with communities for more than 11 years, leading music, movement, drumming, and team-building experiences for children of all ages and adults. Julie is a music therapist and currently lives in Philadelphia.
Melissa MacNish, LMHC, has been an assistant camp director with Aranu'tiq since its inception. She is a mental health counselor in private practice in Boston and much of her clinical work is focused on supporting transgender & gender-variant youth and their families. Melissa is a consultant for Greater Boston PFLAG and  collaborates with parents to run support groups for parents of transgender children. She is dedicated to creating safe spaces for youth of all gender identities. 
Marissa Peifer, Psy.D., has been an assistant camp director with Aranu'tiq since its inception. Marissa is a psychologist practicing in Boston. She has worked clinically with transgender youth and their families and has published on supporting families through transition. She loves being a part of Camp Aranu'tiq!

Honorary Board

Chaz Bono is an activist, author, and is the transgender son of Cher and the late Sonny Bono. He lives in West Hollywood, California.

Norman Spack, M.D., is senior associate in pediatric endocrinology at Boston Children's Hospital and is the co-director of its Gender Management Service. He is a worldwide leader in the endocrine treatment of transgender children.

Ralph Vetters, M.D., is a pediatrician who serves as the medical director at the Sidney Borum Jr. Health Center in Boston. Dr. Vetters specializes in working with transgender and gender-variant adolescents.

Our History

Aranu'tiq was founded in 2009 by Nick Teich, who dreamed of a safe & fun place for youth who felt like they might not fit in at other camps because of their gender and/or who wanted to be with others like them. We launched our first summer week in New England in 2010 with 41 campers. We now have our very own camp in New Hampshire! We have our flagship summer camps in NH & CA as well as leadership programs for older teens and weekend family camps, serving 500 campers over the course of one year.
Camp Aranu'tiq is a program of Harbor Camps. More information on Harbor Camps is in our FAQ (click "more: FAQ" on navigation at the top of the page).

Board of Directors
of Harbor Camps

Executive Committee:

Nick Teich, Julie Lipson, Morgan Darby, Melissa MacNish, Marissa Peifer

(see left)

Development & Progress Committee:

Bob Ditter, M.Ed., LCSW, is a camp professional as well as a child & family therapist in Boston. He is a nationally recognized trainer and consultant for organizations that work with young people. He has visited over 600 summer camps in the United States, has spoken about camp on many national television programs, and has authored four books for camp professionals and 14 training DVDs.

Morgan Darby, M.A., M.A.T., has been an assistant camp director with Aranu'tiq since its inception. Her work primarily focuses on supporting the programming and outreach efforts. She has relocated to Oakland, CA from Boston, MA, where she worked as an educator and youth basketball coach. Morgan remains active on the Education Fund board of directors for MassEquality, an LGBT statewide grassroots advocacy organization. She holds an M.A. in gender and cultural studies and a M.A.T. from Simmons College.