Camp Staff & Counselors
2017 Admin Team
2018 Staff coming soon!
Galen Cohen, Camp Director
Galen has been involved with YMA since 1993, when he attended 1st Session as one of the youngest cellists in the program. He remembers that all of the cello parts had to be re-written for him, as it was his first time attempting to play more advanced music. He continued at YMA into his teenage years as a CIT (Counselor in Training) and then as a Counselor. After a brief hiatus, Galen returned as the Director of Student Life for 8 years and was appointed Camp Director in 2015.
Galen holds a B.S. in Education and Social Policy and a Minor in Music from Northwestern University, and a M.A in Counseling Psychology from Boston College. In addition to being Camp Director, Galen works as a Mental Health Therapist, primarily with adolescents and families. Galen is also an active cellist in the Portland music community.
As with most students who attend YMA, the summer program has been life-changing for Galen, and he is thrilled to pass the experience along to new generations of families. At camp, in addition to seeing him run around addressing parent questions, training the Counselor team, helping with facilities issues and supervising the Faculty, he is known to be a beast on the 4-Square Court. However, he sadly admits that he has never won the tournament.
KEVIN JACKSON, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
Bio coming soon!
Katie Benage, Camp Administrator
Katie first attended YMA in 2008 and quickly fell in love with camp. Since then, she spent six years as a choir counselor at Session 1, two years as a Senior Counselor for both sessions, and this summer she is excited to support the admin team during camp! Katie will graduate from Willamette University College of Law this spring and is studying for the July 2017 Bar Exam. She says her favorite part of camp is being surrounded by the wonderful people who have become a second family to her and she can’t wait to see everyone again this summer!
JOELLEN SWEENEY, camp administrator
Joellen Sweeney is a proud YMA alumna and former theatre counselor. After graduating from Willamette University in 2014, Joellen returned to Portland, where she works as an actor and teaching artist. Joellen's performance work has been featured at Third Rail Repertory Theatre, Northwest Children's Theatre, Post5 Theatre, Coho Productions and others; she is also a founding member of Wanderlust Theatre, a performance collective that combines live storytelling with hiking.
Joellen is thrilled to return to YMA in 2017 for another incredible summer of music, art and community! See you on the Quad!
ted gold, Technical Director
Bio coming soon!
JAYCE Tappert, CAMP NURSE
Jayce came to YMA as a teen dancer in 1993. She then went on to be a counselor until 1997. As a young woman, YMA left an indelible mark on Jayce's heart and she longed for the day she could return!
After nursing school she went on to marry her amazing, always supportive husband Peter and together they have three children. She then got the opportunity to return to camp as camp nurse in 2012. She love-love-loves YMA and all that it brings and is ecstatic to share it with all three of her kiddos this year!
Jayce says being camp nurse is the best job ever!!!! — a little bit of nursing and a lot of just being a mom. Her office often becomes a refuge to those feeling homesick, and she is thankful that campers and faculty alike see her as "Camp Mom" as well as camp nurse.