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 camp leadership at a camp in Maine. He now has over a decade of 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, their toddler Rebecca, and their dog, all of whom join him at camp in New Hampshire for the summer.
Eric began as a volunteer at Camp Aranu’tiq in 2011. He has a background in public health, and for the three years prior to joining our team full-time, 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. All year, Eric works on camp preparations, fundraising, staff/volunteer hiring, and many other areas. He currently makes his home in Boston and of course spends the summers at camp.
Ruth joined Harbor Camps in 2010 as a volunteer and fell in love with the camp culture and community. She has worked in development, donor relations and in-kind donations for the past 8 years in New York City with the Empire State Pride Agenda, Coalition for the Homeless and most recently, City Harvest. She recently moved to upstate New York where she enjoys time with family, volunteering and crafting. During the summer, she lives at camp and spends time fundraising year-round to help make our camps happen (and grow!). She is beyond thrilled to be a part of the Harbor Camps family.
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. 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:
"Last year at camp changed his life. He was like a whole new, confident kid when he came home. He didn’t feel as alone in the world, and he has kept in contact with all his cabin mates." N.D., Aranu'tiq Parent