SFYouth

Summer Camp – Girls Counselor Staff

Kathryn Aarons KATHRYN AARONS – SAN FRANCISCO, CA

Imagine the most excitement you have ever felt–now multiply that by a million–and double it…..that is still not as excited as Kathryn is to be returning to the ranch!!! Kathryn has spent the past four summers as a camper at St. Nick’s, and CANNOT WAIT to spend this one as a counselor!  She was born and raised in the Bay Area (GO GIANTS!), and proud to call Holy Trinity, San Francisco her home parish. She is currently pursuing a BA in English Studies at CSU Chico (Go Wildcats!).  Kathryn is passionate about theatre, Disney, baseball, crafting, food, singing, and above all, her Orthodox faith. She has been a counselor for Holy Trinity’s Faith & Fun Camp for the past 2 years, and is BEYOND STOKED to be one at St. Nick’s!  She looks forward to meeting all of the incredible campers, and growing with them in the Orthodox faith. Get excited, because summer is not only back, but it’s going to be LEGEN-(…wait for it…)-DARY!

 

Melissa Alexiou (2)MELISSA ALEXIOU – RENO, NV

Melissa has been a camper for the past 7 years at St. Nicholas ranch and could not be more excited to be serving the metropolis this summer as a first-year counselor. She is about to start her Sophomore year at the University of Nevada Reno majoring in Pre-Nursing. She hopes one day to become a pediatric oncology nurse. She is currently employed at the University day care and loves spending her day with the kids there! Melissa has been involved with the church since she can remember. From Sunday school, to GOYA, to greek dancing, volunteering and now teaching Sunday school at her parish in Reno, Nevada. IN her free time, Melissa volunteers at St. Mary’s hospital in Reno and loves to dance, go on hikes and be outdoors! Melissa feel so incredibly blessed to be able to spend her summer at St. Nicholas ranch and cant wait for all the amazing memories and moments to be made!

Themie THEMIE BEKIARIS – SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

An “Aussie” from Sydney, Australia, Themie is very excited for her first visit to the USA , and her first experience of Summer camp at St Nicholas Ranch! As a social worker in aged care, Themie enjoys the wisdom (and many laughs) shared by her elderly clients. She loves the ocean and hanging out by the beach in summer, but mostly for her nothing beats having a few laughs with good company (and good food!). Themie looks forward to being a part of such a special opportunity at Summer camp, and in meeting you all there!!

 

ElysePictureELYSE BUFFENBARGER – BROOKLINE, MA

A graduate of Kalamazoo College, Elyse loves working with students of all ages. She has worked everywhere from universities to children’s museums to inner-city elementary schools and loved every minute of it. The two most beautiful days of her life were April 24th and May 1st, 2011, when she joined the Orthodox Church and married her best friend, Bryce, who will be a senior at Holy Cross this fall.  When she’s not knitting socks, reading about sea otters, or debating theology with Bryce (which is most of the time), she loves to explore Boston on foot. Elyse spent many happy summers at camp in her home state of Michigan, and is so excited to help the next generation make memories of their own. Working at the Metropolis of San Francisco summer camp is her dream come true!

 

Isabella CalpakisISABELLA CALPAKIS -CHARLOTTE, NC

As a junior Levine Scholar at UNC Charlotte, Isabella spent most of 2015 studying abroad in Cyprus and South Africa and fell in love with traveling. Having been a camper at Camp St. Paul when she was younger, she is absolutely thrilled to be serving as a staff member this summer at St. Nicholas Ranch. After Camp St. Paul and CrossRoad, she believes that growing in your faith with others will lead you to lifelong friendships. When she’s not behind the camera, reading, traveling, or playing with her yellow lab, she usually keeps busy as a director on the Executive Board for her university’s Charlotte Dance Marathon, and leads her campus’ OCF as co-founder. She hopes camp will hold a special place in your heart after this summer!!

 

Anastasia ChaffeeANASTASIA CHAFFEE – BAKERSFIELD, CA

Anastasia Chaffee, (aka Evan, aka BatNurse) hails from the great city of Bakersfield CA and the even greater parish of St. George GOC, Bako branch. Her life revolves her schoolwork and church life, and she is GREATLY anticipating graduating nursing school this December and starting her career as an ER/ critical care nurse. In her limited “spare time” (that term is used loosely as she never actually has spare time) Evan enjoys teaching skills at the local college’s EMT courses, learning everything she can about the incredibly intricate machine that is the human body, and obtaining knowledge about the inextinguishable battalions of Orthodoxy that are the SAINTS! She’s pretty obsessed with saints. Also, she is the incredibly proud aunt & godmother of the cutest and most precious little female specimen of a human, and is awaiting the arrival of her SECOND neph-child in April (Yes. She is THAT aunt). Most of all though, she is looking forward to making her last summer at St. Nick’s be the best one yet! Here we go summer… LET’S DO THIS!!!!


Elefteria Contoravdis (1)ELEFTERIA CONTORAVDIS – TUCSON, AZ

Elefteria Contoravdis was born and raised in the beautiful city of Seattle, Washington. She is currently a senior at the University of Arizona, where she is majoring in Psychology and minoring in Care, Health and Society. After graduating in May, Elefteria will be going back to school in the fall to purse a nursing degree. Elefteria grew up attending St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox church and is still involved in YAL and Greek dance. She enjoys taking naps, eating, trying to perfect the foam to coffee ratio in frappes, binge watching Netflix shows, cooking and screen shotting snapchats. Hopefully she will not be mistaken a camper this year, but she is so excited to be back at the ranch for the second time as a counselor! SUMMER IS BACK!

 

 

Genny Duran GENNY DURAN – SAN FRANCISCO, CA

Words fall short of being able to describe how incredibly excited Genevieve is to return to St. Nicholas Ranch for another summer as a counselor. 359 days are too long to be away from the ranch and one another’s company. In the past year, Genevieve has continued her academic studies at Santa Clara University. More importantly, she has grown spiritually through the interactions with her Goyans, Sunday Schoolers, and all of the wonderful and amazing people at Holy Trinity in San Francisco. In her spare time, when she is not at Holy Trinity or Santa Clara, Genevieve loves being with her dog, Daisy, and her family, baking elaborate cakes, reading books about the faith, interpretive dancing to Disney songs, and playing just about any sport under the sun, but soccer does holds a special place in her heart. Genevieve looks forward to growing in her faith with her campers and fellow children of God most of all this summer as we strive to become more Christ-like.


LucyDuran
LUCY DURAN – SAN FRANCISCO, CA

Lucy Duran grew up at St. Nicholas Church in Diamond Heights, SF. Now, she is blessed to call herself a member of Holy Trinity, SF! Lucy is a proud pre-K/K Sunday school teacher, helps with First Friday, and Faith and Fun Camp. People say she has a voice of an angel, possibly a combination of Beyonce and Snow White. She is an English major and Theology minor at the University of Santa Clara, where she also serves as the OCF chapter president. Her other hobbies are musical theater, sports, watching Will Ferrell movies, playing with her dog, Barnaby, and listening to music. Fun fact: Lucy can talk for hours about any genre of music and can name 80’s hair metal bands alphabetically. Her life dream is to be on the Price is Right and Family Feud. This is her first year at St. Nick’s Ranch and she is extremely excited to be part of it!

 

dinaAMANDA DINA FIELDS – SAN JOSE, CA

Amanda Dina Fields moved from Northridge, CA to San Jose in 2011 to pursue a music degree from Santa Clara University.  She currently teaches music and gives guitar, piano and ukulele lessons at different locations in San Jose.  While she loves working with children, she also has a passion for radio and has her own show at KSCU called Rock Around the Clock.  (Tune in Wednesdays 6-8pm!)  When she’s not working, Amanda enjoys yoga, books, puzzles, Greek dancing, and collecting vinyls and cassettes.  As she loves anything to do with music, she particularly has a passion for church music.  She is head of the youth music program of St. Nicholas in San Jose and is currently taking a class in Byzantine Chant.  Amanda has worked at St. Sophia Camp in Los Angeles as a counselor and a staff member and also attended camp at St. Nicholas Ranch when she was younger.  Amanda is super excited for camp this year and is looking forward to sharing her love of the Orthodox faith and its traditions with her campers.  Just as her counselors did when she was a camper, Amanda’s goal is to make sure every child there comes home from camp with amazing memories and a yearning to live a life filled with Christ and His love.

 

Lia ForakisLIA FORAKIS – LONG BEACH, CA

Lia Forakis, born and raised in Modesto,CA now living in Long Beach and attending long beach CA city college is studying Vocal Performance and Theater, Lia hopes to one day be on Broadway! Lia is currently the choir director at Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary  in Long Beach CA and is loving it! Lia has  a crazy wild and fun personality PS you can always find her having a good time with a smile on her face. Lia enjoys hanging out with friends on the weekend, and playing music such as the guitar, going on long bike rides on the beach, and loves finding awesome hole in the wall Mexican food, she is  always up for an adventure to travel endless miles wherever that may be. Lia  is super stoked to be a counselor for the first time at St.Nicholas Ranch. An can’t wait to meet y’all this summer and start making memories, summer camp 2016 here I come, PS keep smiling!

 

NIKI KATSIOTIS – NORTHRIDGE, CANiki Katsiotis

Niki is a sophomore at College of the Canyons studying to be a nurse that takes care of kids. Niki grew up in Santa Clarita, California, attending Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Northridge. She has been active in youth groups, sunday school and dance. Niki has danced for Saint Nicholas since 2nd grades and has assisted with the younger dance groups for 5 years. Niki’s also enjoys listening to country music, country line dancing, and hanging out with her friends. She attended Saint Nicholas Ranch from 6th grade until she graduated from high school. She is super excited to be able to be a first year counselor to share the special experiences that she has enjoyed at the Ranch and make some more memories this summer.

 

TiffTIFFANY KOSTUROS – MALIBU, CA

 Tiffany, tiff, tiffy, theophania, whatever you wanna call her is so excited for camp.. she keeps doing back flips, and doesn’t even know how to!! Nevertheless, she has the fondest memories growing up near her yiayia and papou, aunts and uncles, while chasing her cousins around during coffee hour after church, or around the gymnasium after her dad would coach the Holy Trinity basketball church team. Her mom is a real life angel. She is a greek school dropout, but she is poli poli determined to become fluent before camp starts…Currently she is pursuing her masters in psychology to one day be able to read peoples minds. If she could have a mediocre superpower it would be to either speed read, or..not lose her train of thought. If she could have a legitimate superpower it would EASILY be to fly. Some of her favorite foods include gushers, pizza lunchables, and her yiayia’s fasolia made with the veggies from her papous garden. Tiff grew up with two best friends who have known her ever since she was born…her brothers. She wants to thank them for teaching her everything she knows, such as laughter and happiness, and to not care about getting dirt underneath your finger nails. She would also like to thank the academy for giving her this GIFT of being a camp counselor at Saint Nicholas Ranch!!!!! She can’t wait to tackle hug her campers and finish their leftovers after each meal. Until then, she is praying for you and can’t wait to SEE YOU SOON!!!! 

 

Eleni Mavro ELENI MAVROLEFTEROS – SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

Eleni is from Sydney, Australia and is ridiculously excited to be attending and counselling at the 2016 St.Nicholas Ranch Summer Camp! She has heard so many wonderful things about the camp, from both the cousellors and campers and cannot wait to be surrounded by such energy, love and dedication centered around our Lord. Eleni is in her second year of university studying Physiotherapy. She loves ballet, Greek dancing and all kinds of dance, food, singing, chanting, watching movies and having fun with family and friends. So excited and looking forward to meeting everyone!!

 

marie mazareMARIE MAZARE – FRESNO, CA

Meet Marie from Fresno, CA! She has been a long time camper at Saint Nicholas Ranch and is BEYOND excited for her first summer on staff! A recent graduate from UC Davis, she loves to learn and grow, especially when it comes to her faith. Marie loves her Romanian roots: speaking the language, cooking the food, and doing all things Romanian. She finds much joy in working with the youth, painting, camping, Greek dancing, singing, and walking her precious mini schnauzer. In addition to her interests, her life goals include going to graduate school, serving God in the church, and becoming YOUR camp counselor at the Metropolis of San Francisco Summer Camp!!! 

 

christina McDonoughCHRISTINA MCDONOUGH – FRESNO, CA

Christina is was born and raised in Fresno, CA and has been a camper for 4 years. Christina currently attends California State University Monterey Bay, and is majoring in Kinesiology. She is super outgoing and always has a smile on her face. She loves being outdoors and exploring new things. Christina absolutely loves her church and the community that surrounds it, it has brought her so many opportunities to meet new people and expand her faith. Camp was always the highlight of her summer as a camper, and she is beyond excited to now transition into becoming a consoler.

 

 

 

 nicole merrittNICOLE MERRITT – CONCORD, CA

Nicole aka Chef is stoked to return as a second year counselor at camp! She is a native from St. Demetrious in Concord. She graduated from culinary school in hopes of owning her own restaurant one day! Now she is working for a super awesome job that she loves and when she isn’t traveling for her job, you can see her going on many adventures from hikes to road trips! Nicole really enjoys the outdoors and what Gods creations have to offer. She loves volunteering at her parish and helping out in anyway she can! She enjoys lending a hand cooking for any function at church and helping the children grow in their faith. Nicole can’t wait for another phenomenal summer!!

 

Nicole's HeadshotNICOLE NASSER – SAN FRANCISCO, CA

Nicole Nasser was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She attends Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in San Francisco, where she is involved in various ministries and loves to help out in whatever capacity when she’s home from college. She is currently a Junior at Santa Clara University, where she views her studies in Psychology, Religious Studies, and Children, Family and Society as an opportunity to learn about how God made us—from our minds, to our hearts.  She hopes to use her education in Psychology and Theology to help others. A dance enthusiast, avid reader, lover of all sports and outdoors, and most importantly, a disciple of Christ, she is looking forward to engaging with the campers and counselors at St. Nicholas Ranch! She is so grateful for the wisdom, community, and ministries the Orthodox Church provides, and she is very excited to serve as a camp counselor at St. Nicholas Ranch for the first time this summer!! See you all at camp! God Bless!

 

katerina nicolopoulos KATERINA NICOLOPOULOS – SCOTTSDALE, AZ

Katerina Nicolopoulos was born and raised in the sunny city of Scottsdale, Arizona. She’s going into her sophomore year at Arizona State University (Go Sundevils!) where she is majoring in Psychology and minoring in Child Life. She grew up attending Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in Scottsdale and Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Phoenix where she’s been involved in GOYA, Greek dance, and FDF! Some of her first and favorite camp memories came from being involved in Camp Agape, All Saints Camp, and Vacation Bible School as both a camper and counselor for several years as well as attending Ionian Village. Katerina loves to sing, whether it be to the radio or to church hymns and camp songs. Some of her other hobbies include hiking AZ’s beautiful mountains, cooking & baking, then eating, cheering on the Sundevils at games, and spending time with her friends and family! This will be Katerina’s first time at St. Nicks ranch and she’s so excited to meet everyone and have an amazing summer together!

 

jordanJORDAN NORMOYLE – MODESTO, CA

Jordan Normoyle was born and raised in Modesto, CA, leaving the central valley behind to venture to Cal Poly SLO for four years…only to return back home following her recent graduation. Upon realizing that her degree in Anthropology and Geography was not going to make job hunting easy, she decided to put her brain to good use, working as an academic tutor, with duties ranging from reading to rambunctious rugrats to teaching Pre-Calculus to high schoolers. When not torturing herself with math homework and vowel sounds, Jordan enjoys filling her time adding points to her Starbucks gold card, tree-hugging, obsessing over the daily puzzler newspaper page, chasing sunsets (and her dog when she escapes from the yard), picking up litter, eating Thin Mints, and racking up memories per gallon on her lovely travel companion, Sydney the Subaru…always en route to visit one of the many beautiful friends she has met through St Nicks! Jordan will be spending the first half of her summer south of the border in Rosarito, interning, building homes, and seeing life from a new lens at St. Innocent Orphanage with Project Mexico. Jordan is beyond ecstatic and grateful to spend her fourth summer at the ranch and for all of you to experience the love and warmth that camp will bring! See y’all soon!!!!


Chrysanthe CHRYSANTHE PAPPAS – FRESNO, CA

Chrysanthe Pappas has been attending camp for as long as she remembers. She first watched from the sidelines as a priest’s kid getting to visit when her father went up to be a resident priest. She could not become a camper fast enough. This was just as true when she made her transition from being a camper into being a counselor. Aside from being a counselor at Saint Nick’s during the summer, she is attending college at California State University, Fresno pursuing a major in Music, Vocal Performance as well as a chemistry minor. This will be her third year as a camp counselor, and she sincerely expects this year to be EPIC! See you all at camp!

 

georgie ramirez

GEORGIANNA RAMIREZ – CASTRO VALLEY, CA

Georgianna is an active parishioner at Resurrection, Castro Valley. She teaches Greek dance, is a Sunday school teacher and loves to help the Yiayias bake for the Greek festival. She attended St. Nicholas ranch every year she was able as a camper and is humbled to give back to a place that offered her so much. She loves to travel, kayak, attend music festivals and most of all spend time with her awesome orthodox friends glorifying God! She hopes one day to lead a mission trip to a foreign country and help spread knowledge of our faith and spread Gods love all over the world! She is so ready for another great year at St. Nicholas ranch so get ready people! #SUMMERISBACK 

MARIA PASSARIS – SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA maria passaris

Maria Passaris is a Greek from down under. That’s right, Sydney, Australia, mate! Maria recently married Peter Passaris and they are currently living in Novato, California and are parishioners at Nativity of Christ Church. Maria finished her Masters in Architecture and is now working in an architecture firm in the SF Bay Area. She is so excited to be a counselor at St Nicholas Ranch and meet you all!

 

 

 

 

CLAIRE PEARSONCLAIRE PEARSON – IRVINE, CA

Claire is super stoked to be back at Saint Nicholas Ranch as a counselor after attending as a camper for the past five years. Originally from sunny Southern California, this year, Claire moved to the Bay Area to go to the University of California, Berkeley where she is majoring in Theater and Performance Studies and English (Go Bears!). She is actively involved in her OCF at Cal in addition to her musical theater singing group, while attending Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in San Francisco! After attending Ionian Village last summer, and Crossroads the summer before, she is eager to engage in youth ministry to follow in the footsteps of her wonderful counselors before her. SUMMER IS BACK! 

 

 Version 2KATHERINE ROTAS – SACRAMENTO, CA

Katherine is BEYOND thrilled to be back for a third summer at the ranch as a counselor, and tenth summer overall! She’s a firm believer in the power of those rolling Fresno hills and high quality Dunlap sunsets. Raised in Granite Bay, CA all her life, Katherine calls Annunciation, Sacramento her home base, where she was involved in Sunday school, GOYA, and learned to dance a mean kαλαματιανό growing up. During Summer 2016, she will be entering her Senior year at Santa Clara University, where she is pursuing a degree in Business Marketing with a minor in Retail Studies. She has just returned from a semester studying abroad in Milan, Italy, where she learned that a decent proficiency in Greek and an ounce of elementary Italian are all you ~really~ need to successfully get around the Mediterranean in one piece (the rest of Europe is a different story). At school, when she isn’t working on campus or studying in the beautiful SCU library, you can find Katherine hiking various bay area landscapes (San Francisco’s “Lands End” is a beaut), fueling her passion for finding new music, or wandering the aisles of Trader Joe’s in search of some cooking inspiration (because Whole Foods on a college budget just isn’t realistic). She has a passion for the depth of the Orthodox faith coupled with the richness of the Greek culture, and she feels so blessed every day to have been born into the perfect mixture of both. She can’t wait to meet all the new faces..SUMMER IS BACK!

 

lily spirtosLILY SPIRTOS – NORTHRIDGE, CA

Lily Spirtos grew up going to St. Nicholas School and Church in Northridge, CA where she also participated in Sunday School, Greek Dance, GOYA, GOYA basketball, and the oratorical festivals. Lily attends Pepperdine University, majoring in Political Science and Philosophy, and is a member of the Pepperdine Mock Trial team. Her favorite song is “Hey, Soul Sister” by Train and she loves hiking, running, dancing, listening to old music (especially Frank Sinatra) and exploring nature. This will be Lily’s twelfth year back to St. Nicholas Ranch but first year as a camp counselor. She has also attended Ionian Village and the CrossRoad program at Hellenic College Holy Cross. Lily is pumped because SUMMER IS BACK and this year’s going to be epic!!! 

 

Stephanie & Pals-101STEPHANIE STAMAS – MALIBU, CA

STEPHANIE can be described as Spontaneous, Twinkling, Encouraging, Positive, Happening, Athletic, Nurturing, Isthmus, and Exuberant. She loves singing and dancing (and wishes her life was a musical). She currently works as a middle school Spanish teacher, she teaches the language of love and Spanish all in the same day. She doesn’t believe in homework and gives her students mints on test days. She is ecstatic to be spending her summer at St. Nicholas Ranch. Her middle name is, hello I’m about to make your day much happier, long I know, but she’s got Greek parents…you know how it is. If Steph could be an animal it would be a bee, because she can make honey with the sound of her voice. Also, her eyes sparkle when she sleeps. Steph gets along with everyone but gluten and her best friends Tiff and Andrea may or may not have written this (because her humility kept her from doing such).

 

lindsay stasinisLINDSAY STASINIS – NORTHRIDGE, CA

Hello everyone!! This is Lindsay Stasinis who was raised in Simi Valley, CA. She has been attending church at Saint Nicholas in Northridge all of her life and participated in basketball there for years and loves helping out at the church festival every year. Lindsay curently is a sophomore at Cal State Fullerton and plays for the women’s soccer program there. She attended camp at Saint Nicholas Ranch as a camper for 6 years and is beyond excited to start her first year as a counselor.  Camp is her favorite place in the world and is ready to embark on the spiritual journey that it will provide this summer for 2016!

 

alanisALANIS TZIOUVALAS – SAN BERNARDINO, CA

Alanis Tziouvalas is currently a sophomore at the University of Redlands as a Biology major and Business minor. She has been volunteering at Loma Linda University Medical Center for almost 2 years and has accumulated over 600+ volunteer hours so far. She grew up attending Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church in San Bernardino, CA. She has been an active Young Adults member, Greek dancer, Oratorical speaker, and Greek Dance director. When she’s not studying or volunteering, she loves spending time with her 3 younger sisters, spending time with her friends, listening to music, going to the beach and staying active in church. Her family, friends, school, Orthodox faith, and Greek culture have always been a significant part of her life. After previously coming to St. Nick’s Ranch as a camper and again as a camp counselor for Our Greek Village Immersion Summer Camp, she is very excited to BRING SUMMER BACK to the Metropolis of San Francisco Summer Camp!!!

 

 

JENNY WALTERS.JPGJENNIFER WALTERS – NOVATO, CA

Jennifer, baptised Kassianni, was born and raised in Marin County and attends Nativity of Christ Greek Orthodox Church. During this past year she has assumed position as the choir director of her parish and she is also part of her parish’s dance group, the Minoans. Throughout the Sunday school year she helps teach the children different hymns and she can also be found at Holy Trinity in SF assisting in their youth programs. This May she will receive her associate degree in Economics but has not yet chosen which school she will be transferring to in the fall. In her free time, when she gets bored of doing calculus, she is searching new recipes to try, going to the gym, or hiking. She was a camper for five years at St. Nick’s and is excited to be revisiting for her second year as a counselor because nothing brings her more joy than aiding children with their journey with God. 

 

ZecyANDREA ZECY – LOS ANGELES, CA

This is Andrea’s THIRD year serving at the beauty that is Summer Camp at St. Nicholas Ranch. She denied her heart’s desire to live in California for three years before she can now proudly say she’s here to stay!! Andrea has brought her Midwestern roots west as she moved from Kansas City to Los Angeles in January. She gets so excited for camp that legend has it, she once hyperextended her knee from sheer excitement when the campers arrived…Her lifelong goal is to manufacture canned beets titled “Beets by Dre” while producing an album of rap music replaced with lyrics from church hymns featuring “Welcome to God’s House” by Flo Rida and “I’m Bringing Headscarves Back” by Justin Timberlake. Andrea is a math teacher and enjoys incorporating cross curriculars into her lessons with activities like Geometry Yoga, Algebra Jeopardy, and Rhombus Sandwiches. Andrea is JAZZED for summer 2016 and can’t wait to see what God has in store for this summer!!!!!!

Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco