SFYouth

Summer Camp – Boys Counselor Staff

george anagnostopoulosGEORGE ANAGNOSTOPOULOS – SAN BERNARDINO, CA

George Anagnostopoulos was born and raised in the small town of Highland, California. As a member of Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church, he has been an active altar boy, greek dancer, Young Adults member and Oratorical speaker. He is currently a sophomore studying Business Administration at the University of Southern California. On his free time George loves to run track and spend time with his four younger siblings. He is super excited to be returning as a counselor and help bring summer back! 

GEORGE BRYANTGEORGE BRYANT – BROOKLINE, MA

George Bryant is honored to be one of your camp counselors this summer at St. Nicholas Ranch. He grew up in Buford, GA, went to prep school in New Hampshire, and spent the past few years completing both his Hellenic College undergraduate and my Holy Cross (MTS) graduate degree. He wants to show the younger generation, using practical applications, the beauty and love that God seeks to impart to us in sincere, honest communion. Christ is at the center of everything he does, and He has blessed his life in ways he is only beginning to understand. Coming to camp is his response to His love, and he can’t wait to share his experiences with you all. He loves to play guitar and sing, sketching with charcoal and pencil in the early morning, and especially, learning how to give to friends and ‘enemies’ without expecting a gift returned.

 

BrycePictureBRYCE BUFFENGARGER – BROOKLINE, MA

Bryce is finishing his third year of seminary at Hellenic College Holy Cross. Having grown up in an evangelical household, he discovered the Orthodox Church when he met Orthodox ethicist Tristram Englehardt at a philosophy conference, and was eventually chrismated Vasileios in 2009. He will celebrate his seventh Pascha and the fifth anniversary of his wedding to his best friend, Elyse, this May 1st. When not studying, he tries to spend as much time as possible deepening his relationships with his wife and his future clergy brothers. This usually involves coffee and board games, two things he enjoys very much. While this is the first year that Bryce will be working at St. Nicholas Ranch, it comes on the heels of his second year as a staff member at the Crossroad Summer Institute at Holy Cross. He is super excited to be a part of the St. Nick’s crew this summer!

 

RON BURKHARDRON BURKHARD – FRESNO, CA

Ron Burkhard joins us from Fresno California where he has been working as the Pastoral Assistant and Youth Director at St. George Greek Orthodox Church since graduating from Holy Cross Seminary in 2014. Ron is passionate about serving the church, especially through camp programs, and missionary work. His life goals include being a long term missionary and hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. He enjoys the mountains, canyons, forests, and everything outdoors. In his spare time he is likely to be found exploring, making fire with two sticks, foraging for edible plants in the woods, and any number of “Ron things”. Ron lives for summer and can’t wait to spend it with all the amazing campers and staff that make the Metropolis of San Francisco the awesome place it is!

 

tony cairoANTHONY CAIRO – SAN FRANCISCO, CA

Anthony Cairo is stoked to be one of your camp counselors this year! He grew up at Holy Cross, Belmont, and he is now a faithful volunteer of Holy Trinity Church, SF, where he helps at First Friday events, Sunday School, and Faith and Fun Camp. Anthony is the Peets Coffee and Tea barista champion and makes the most delicious cafe known to the greater northern hemisphere. Anthony is a Kinesiology major at San Francisco State, and health and fitness are great passions of his. In his free time, Anthony loves trying new food, losing at Injustice to his girlfriend, and watching Impractical Jokers. Anthony also loves spending time with Rocky, his prize-winning dog, who he has trained to sit, dance, do taxes, and make loukoumades. Have you ever seen a small dog make loukoumades? Well let me assure you, it is quite the sight. Anthony also loves to laugh and is a widely-acclaimed pun master. No joke too big or too small, Anthony’s heard them all. Anthony can’t wait to see you all at camp this year!

 

Steven CallasSTEVEN CALLAS – SAN FRANCISCO, CA

Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Steven has been a part of the Orthodox church all of his life. He has been attending services at Holy Trinity of San Francisco since he was 8 years old and still returns there when he is home on break from school. Steven was active in his church community and worked as a counselor at Holy Trinity’s Faith and Fun Camp. While this will be Steven’s first year as a counselor at St. Nicholas Ranch, he is no stranger to this great summer camp as he was a camper at St. Nick’s for 7 years. Steven attends the United States Military Academy at West Point and is currently majoring in Nuclear Engineering. He regularly goes to the St. Nicholas chapel for Greek Orthodox services. While he is a sports fan for most of the bay area sports teams, he would much rather get his hands dirty and be a part of the action. Steven feels blessed to have this opportunity of being a counselor for the greatest camp on God’s green earth and cannot wait for the summer to start!!! As one of the greatest bros would say: “This summer is going to be legen…wait for it…dary!”

 

AlexALEXANDER ELIADES – DUNLAP, CA

Alexander Eliades is in his first year as a seminarian at Holy Cross and is loving it! He’s hitting the half-decade mark of being a counselor and he knows this year is going to be better than ever (if that’s even possible)! Born and raised in the North Bay, and attending Nativity of Christ in Novato growing up, he finished his undergrad in History at UC Davis in 2014, traveled abroad and worked for a year, and is loving learning more about the Church at Holy Cross! If you can’t find him in the classroom or chapel, he’ll usually be on the basketball court or doing other such athletic activities (or watching the Celtics at the Gahhhden or the Sawx Fenway). He can’t wait to have a crazy fun summer and help in bringing us all closer together and to Christ! Also, has anyone seen the ravioli?….

 

ari gockelARI GOCKEL – TUCSON, AZ

Ari was born in Cleveland, Ohio.  When he was six, he and his family moved to Yuma, Arizona, where the closest Orthodox Church was and is St. George in Palm Desert, CA—170 miles away.  Since graduating from the University of Arizona in Tucson with a degree in philosophy, he has been happy to spend most of his free time at St. Demetrios volunteering in the Parish council, the choir, the altar, as a teacher in Sunday school, and most recently, he was hired as St. Demetrios’ first Youth Coordinator.  As part of his ministry at St. Demetrios you’ll hear him say, “Glory to God,” to just about anything, and he’ll tell you to say it too.  He is excited to serve his community and the faith and is earnest to contribute his time and talent at the Metropolis Sumer Camp to cultivate the youth of the faith into devout, present, and loving members of the church militant; to take camp back into the world.

 

JAKOB HOWELLJACOB HOWELL – SAN DIEGO, CA

Originally from San Jose California, Jacob Howell now lives in San Diego, where he attends Saint Katherine College. On weekends he serves as an acolyte at St. Anthony Antiochian church in down town San Diego, while the rest of the week brews coffee for a living. After college he plans to go to seminary at Holy Cross. He enjoyed growing up going to multiple orthodox summer camps, he highlights winning the archery challenge for his team, singing, and dancing with his fellow campers as his favorite times attending camp. Since then he has enjoyed going to different young adult retreats, growing in the faith along the way. He is very excited to be joining summer camp as a counselor for the first time! and can wait to bring laughter with his plethora of voice impressions!

 

NIKO KNIKO KOUMONTZIS – PHOENIX, AZ

Originally from the streets of Hershey, Pennsylvania, Nikos Koumontzis is a new addition to St. Nick’s Summer Camp this year. The oldest of six boys, Nikos has been “counseling” since his brothers came into the picture. The Koumontzis family currently resides in Arizona and have been members of the Greek Orthodox community there for the last ten years. Nikos attends the University of Southern California where he is earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Cinematic Arts. Outside of the classroom, Nikos is a student-athlete at USC as well as a member of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. Having been a part of GOYA, Greek Dance, and other summer camps for nearly his whole life, Nikos is excited to be a part of the counseling team this summer!

 

NondaNONDA KOZAS – SAN JOSE, CA

Nonda has been a part of St. Nicks both as a camper and as a counselor. He is a graduate of Santa Clara University and is currently working in construction management in the Bay Area. Being in construction he often dreams of building a church dedicated to his namesake, Saint Epaminondas, with the help of a team of other Orthodox men also named Epaminondas. This church will be on top of a mountain in the greater Lake Tahoe area which is a phenomenal location that nonda(the camp counselor, not saint) enjoys to visit frequently with his family. If you are interested in the building of this church, camp, or Orthodoxy in general please make sure to be at Saint Nicholas ranch this summer. In the words of the holy Saint Epaminondas “WELCOME TO THE RANCH”.

 


latzen_devon_profile_imageDEVON LATZEN – SAN FRANCISCO, CA

Devon is excited to jump into another year of Summer Camp! There is nothing like day after day of prayer, singing, swimming and sunshine to help you realize that life is good. Being a quiet, bookish kid growing up, he speaks fluent introvert, but he loves every single summer camp adventure that comes his way. His greatest camp dream is to one day have tyrannosaurus rex jousting battles. He realizes that significant advances in cloning technology will need to develop first, but his Battle-saurus club will continue to meet every Thursday until the day arrives. More than anything else, he hopes that each camper walks away with a stronger relationships, and a lifelong habit of prayer and growing closer to God. Camp shows us the real world, we have to make sure we don’t forget it!

 

nick lionasNICK LIONAS – MICHIGAN

Nick lives in Michigan with his wife, Amanda and two year old son, Scotty where he is the Pastoral Assistant at St. John the Baptist. Previously, he was the Young Adult Ministries Coordinator for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and has also worked for OCF. Nick has gone to the Metropolis of Detroit Summer Camp every summer since he was seven, spending almost 60 weeks of his life there (more than an entire year).  He is a graduate and big fan of Michigan State, Go Green! He has his MDiv from Holy Cross and loves the Detroit Tigers. Mostly, he’s excited to bring his Midwest aaaaccent to the West Coast.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stefan_Metrakos HeadshotSTEFAN METRAKOS – SAN FRANCISCO, CA

Stefan Metrakos is ready for summer. Are you? He has been busy preparing his mind, body, and soul for the approaching three life-changing weeks of Summer Camp! Stefan’s training for Camp this year has included copious amounts of Thai food, long walks on the beach, hikes, French kickboxing, satisfying hugs, parish retreats, cougar wrestling, 3000+ miles of road trips, approximately 100 burritos, great naps, hog taming, cozy blankets, warm fires, extreme Netflixing, new friendships, and countless Church services.

Stefan, a PK, loves being a California transplant from South Carolina and calls Holy Trinity Church of San Francisco his home. Raised at Orthodox Christian retreats and summer camps, Stefan owes his fondest memories and closest friends to Summer Camp at St. Nicholas Ranch. Stefan, an intern and supporter of Project Mexico and St. Innocent Orphanage splits his summers between the two life-changing ministries! This year will mark Stefan’s 13th summer of involvement with Orthodox Christian Camps and 9th with St. Nicholas Ranch. He can’t wait to share adventures with you this summer!!!

 

DimitriDIMITRIOS NICHOLAS – OAHU, HAWAII

Paddling all the way from island of Oahu – Hawai’i, Dimitrios travels from the land of paradise to the camp of paradise. He is a student at the University of Hawaii studying Mechanical Engineering and would like to one day work on aircrafts and also fly them as a fighter pilot. Born in Okinawa, Japan and raised in Mililani, Hawaii, Dimitrios is a Greek/Japanese/Chinese island boy who loves to soak in the sun skateboarding, longboarding, surfing, hiking, beaching, eating and cruising. While not basking in the sun, he loves to stay inside to play his instruments (bouzouki, ukulele, guitar), play his games and work on his new found passion of woodworking (Yes, he wants to be Ron Swanson when he grows up). He is also a co-teacher of the high school Sunday school class and absolutely loves to Greek dance. Netflix is his bane as he will sit for days watching a new series eating nothing but spam musubis and chocolate.

Lucky for him, he was brought into the summer camp world as a freshman and has went every year since then. The first year truly opened his eyes to the orthodox faith and thus was the start of his his spiritual journey. He gives thanks to the god, the  camp, and all his past counsellors for helping along his path and he feels it is about time he gives back whatever he can,  to help guide, teach or mentor the youth towards their path to righteousness just as his counsellors did for him. Get ready Saint nicks for some Aloha Spirit!

PAPPADEMOSCHRISTOS PAPPADEMOS – ELK GROVE, CA

From humble beginnings, Christo Pappademos was born to a priest and presvytera in Elk Grove, California.  Growing up as an altar boy and football player helped mold Christo into the manga he is today.  After high school, Christo moved down to San Diego where he graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in Political Science while attending the Saint Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church.

After college Christo went on many job interviews but decided to leave the business and political world behind to pursue a different calling; the priesthood. Christo is now in his third year at the Holy Cross Seminary in Brookline, Massachusetts and looks forward to one day serving the Church as a priest like his dad does in Elk Grove and like his great-grandfather did in Greece.

Christo has worked both the Saint Nicholas and Ionian Village Summer Camps and can’t wait to finally return to St. Nick’s this summer to work with the kids he will one day be serving after he graduates the Seminary.

 

peter passarisPETER PASSARIS – NOVATO, CA

Peter Passaris is coming back to camp! Peter has been both a counselor and camper for many years and can’t wait to see all the campers this coming 2016 summer! Most exciting thing that has happened to Peter is that about 1 year ago he married a beautiful girl named Maria (who is also going to be a counselor at camp this year). Peter works as a chemical engineer and likes most extreme sports. Believe it or not, this photo shows Peter’s normal response to life… hahaha See you all soon!!!

 

ATHANATHAN SARRIS-HAIGH – SAN FRANCISCO, CA

Athan was born and raised in the foggy yet beautiful sunset district in San Francisco, California! He graduated from Saint Mary’s College of California (Go Gaels!) with a major in Business Marketing and minor in Theology and Religious Studies.

After his three month hiatus exploring around Europe, Athan has now joined forces with his pops to take over the business world. Man bun strong and half a year into the business industry, Athan come to the conclusion that oil prices are still too high, Slurpee’s are extremely overpriced, and “I saw a kitten eating chicken in the kitchen” is extremely entertaining to say.

As a regular attendant at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, Athan values the church community as a second family in his life. He is a die-hard bay area sports fan, growing up with the San Francisco Giants, 49ers, and Golden State Warriors. He loves to play all kinds of sports and finding adventurous spots to hang his hammock. Athan cannot wait to share his enthusiasm and love for Saint Nicholas Ranch this summer!!!!!!!!!!

 

christianCHRISTIAN SISKOS – IRVINE, CA

Christian Siskos is originally from the east coast, more specifically New York City, but now lives in Southern California! He is joining Summer Camp at St. Nicholas Ranch for his second time after an amazing experience with both his cabin and the dedicated staff last year. Christian enjoys conversations, nature walks, and being goofy. He is overjoyed to bring his theological perspective, as a graduate of the seminary, to a fun filled summer. SUMMER IS BACK! 

 

 

 

george sotirasGEORGE SOTIRAS – NOVATO, CA

George Sotiras is extremely excited to be returning to summer camp at St. Nicholas Ranch after being both a camper and counselor he understands the amazing fellowship that is fostered in just one short week at St. Nick’s. Also, he knows how profound a week’s stay at the ranch can have on one’s spiritual maturation. George is currently a Physical Education teacher in Sebastopol, California and graduated from the University of California Berkeley. He is heavily involved with his parish in Novato, the Nativity of Christ Greek Orthodox Church. George loves the outdoors and everything involved with it whether camping in Lake Tahoe, fishing, or skiing, essentially he rather be outside than inside. One final note about George, he’s an avid Cal, Raiders, A’s and Warriors fan so be careful what you say about his teams. He can’t wait for this summer to begin and meet everyone who is going to be involved in the amazing experience that is Summer Camp at St. Nicholas Ranch!

 

kevin taraziKEVIN TARAZI – SACRAMENTO, CA

Kevin Tarazi was born and raised in San Diego, CA, where he attended St George Antiochian Orthodox Church. He also graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in History. Kevin was and remains to be a very active alter server. In 2013 he was elevated to the rank of Sub-Deacon by His Grace Metropolitan Joseph. Currently Kevin is a Youth Coordinator at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Sacramento. Kevin has many years of experience as a camper and councilor, and he is very excited to meet and have fun with all the campers this coming summer

 

 

tsagarisEVAN TSAGARIS – PHOENIX, AZ

Evan is beyond excited to return to the Ranch once again! St. Nicholas Ranch will always be home to him (he lived there for most of his childhood!). Having spent countless summers as both camper and staff at summer camp at the Ranch, he took that experience on the road, and has worked on staff at Camp Saint Paul under the Direct Archdiocesan District, as program director of the vacation Church school, Faith and Fun Camp, for Holy Trinity in San Francisco, and is camp director for All Saints Orthodox Summer Camp for the local parishes in Arizona this year.

Evan is currently living in Arizona as a student at Arizona State University, where he is studying Philosophy and Religion, Psychology, and Secondary Education of English. Aside from his studies, he volunteers as a youth advisor, Sunday school teacher, and Greek folk dance director for Holy Trinity Cathedral in Phoenix. He loves what he does, especially because of the time he gets to spend with the pedia (children)!

Fun facts: Evan used to be platinum blond, learned how to swim before he could walk (probably need to fact check that one), can be caught blaring Greek folk music (bagpipes and the like) while driving, and just downloaded an app called Phoodie, which is a beautiful marriage between Instagram and the hipster approach to gastronomy (a.k.a. you take pictures of your food and share them with people).

 

MATT WALSHMATT WALSH – PHOENIX, AZ

Matt was born in Chicago, Illinois but was raised most his life in Phoenix, Arizona. Last year was Matt’s first time as a counselor, and he had a blast making memories with his campers! Matt is currently a sophomore at Mesa Community College and will hopefully be at ASU in the fall in order to pursue his dream, automotive engineering. Matt grew up in the country and loves all activities outdoors along with working with his hands. He always takes great pride in his work and loves to learn. Matt also loves involving himself in church activities including Greek dance, GOYA and Sons of Pericles.  Summer is coming quick, and he can’t wait to see all of your bright and shinning faces!

 

Nwilk_Profile (1)NIKO WILK – CHARLOTTE, NC

Nicholas Wilk, aka Niko, is stoked to be a part of Camp at St. Nicholas Ranch! He was born and raised in the Jersey Shore where he attended Saint Barbara GOC in Toms River. He is currently a senior at UNC Charlotte, studying architecture, and hopes to study urban planning in graduate school. Having experience from Camp Saint Paul (CT) last summer, he is looking forward to how he will serve God with his fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Having family members of his being part of the Ranch during its humble beginnings, he is stoked to work in a place that is in his roots! He overall loves to have a good time, whether be singing, dancing, or just exploring new territory. 

 

 

Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco