Nick is excited to hand the reins of Harbor Camps over to Umut Dursun in 2022 while Nick stays at camp to support Umut. Nick started Camp Aranu’tiq in 2009, and its overarching organization, Harbor Camps, in 2014. Beginning in 1993, Nick was a camper, counselor-in-training (CIT), bunk counselor, and member of the leadership team at a camp in Maine. He has over a dozen years experience running camps. Nick works year-round on all facets of Harbor Camps. He holds a PhD in social policy from Brandeis University and a master’s degree in social work from Boston College. In 2012 he authored Transgender 101: A Simple Guide to a Complex Issue. As a member of the community, he has a deep personal interest in helping transgender youth to be themselves. In the “off-season,” Nick lives in the Boston area with his wife, Erika, and their young children Rebecca and Brooke. You can reach Nick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ruth joined Harbor Camps in 2010 as a volunteer and fell in love with the camp culture and community. Prior to joining Harbor Camps year-round in 2019, she worked in development, donor relations, and in-kind donations for eight years in New York City with the Empire State Pride Agenda, Coalition for the Homeless and most recently, City Harvest. She lives outside Boston and enjoys volunteering and crafting. During the summer, she lives at camp and spends time fundraising and speaking to camp families year-round, helping our camps to happen (and grow!). You can reach Ruth at email@example.com.
Danny joined Camp Aranu’tiq as a volunteer in 2012 at its camp in California. They joined the Leadership team in 2015 and became the Director of Staffing in 2021. They have always loved spending time outside and using nature as a setting for community building. Their past work has been in environmental education and animal care. Year round, Danny works to support the staff of Harbor Camps, ensuring that we have an awesome team of role models for our campers each summer. When not at camp, Danny lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with their partner Sara and their rabbit (Chewie) and dogs (Reydog and Ruthie). You can reach Danny at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steve has been with Harbor Camps since 2014. Steve has been a camp ranger for over 15 years, six of which were 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 at camp year-round, where he manages all 116 acres and our ongoing projects on the property. He has three grown children, Josh, Aly, and Brandon, and several grandchildren. Steve feels strongly that camp is something all children deserve to experience.
Our assistant directors have been integral parts of Camp Aranu’tiq since its founding in 2009.
Julie Lipson, MA, MT-BC, has been an assistant camp director with Aranu’tiq since its inception. Julie comes to this work with experience leading music, movement, drumming, and team-building for children of all ages and adults. Julie is a board-certified music therapist, and specializes in working with the queer community. Julie owns Inner Rhythms Music and Therapy Center in Philadelphia.
Melissa MacNish, LMHC, has been an assistant camp director with Aranu’tiq since its inception. She is a licensed mental health counselor in private practice in Boston and much of her clinical work is focused on supporting transgender & gender-expansive youth and their families. Melissa recently launched SAYFTEE (Supporting Alternative Youth and Families through Education and Empowerment), which is committed to running programing for LGBTQI youth and families in the Boston area. Melissa is a consultant for Greater Boston PFLAG and a trainer for Maebright Group.
Marissa Peifer, Psy.D., is an assistant camp director “emeritus” with Aranu’tiq. She continues to be an active part of camp behind the scenes and on site as much as possible. She believes that camp can be a magical and powerful force in the development of youth. Marissa is a licensed psychologist practicing in Boston. She has worked clinically with transgender youth and their families and has published on supporting families through transition. Marissa and her family live in the suburbs of Boston. She has two children.
Our leadership team members:
Our advisory board members:
"Thank you for the incredible family camp last weekend. Our heads are still spinning from all the deep and honest conversations and the new friendships we made." V.M., Aranu'tiq Family Camper