Camp Wayne has been owned and directed by the Corpuel family since 1952. Now in our third generation, we are extremely proud of the traditions and spirit that thousands of campers and staff have experienced as part of our greater camp family.
Our Directors, Josh, Joe, and Carrie, have over 60 years of combined camp experience! I guess you can say that “We LOVE camp.” From pre-camp preparations to day-to-day program management during the summer we personally ensure that summers at Camp Wayne provide each and every camper with memories to last a lifetime. Actively participating in the excitement right alongside our campers is the highlight of each summer. In fact, our campers usually start to wonder what bunk we’re in!
Josh Corpuel: As a third generation Camp Director, Josh has lived and breathed camp since his days as a camper through his years as a counselor and Sports Director to his current role as Director of Camp Wayne. Josh’s grandparents, Jules and Belma Corpuel, became the owners and directors of Camp Wayne in 1952 and it has been part of the family ever since. Josh is proud to follow in the footsteps of his grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles. His passion for ensuring campers have a transformative camp experience and create memories that will last a lifetime is central to every decision he makes. He had the experience of being a camper himself, so he understands what matters most not only from the vantage point of his campers, but also his staff. Following his camper years, which started in 1980, Josh played several different roles, working on the support staff team, as a counselor and a Hockey Director. In his current role as Director, Josh is involved in all pre-camp preparations and in the day-to-day operation during the camp season. He is driven by the goal of creating a summer home for children where they will develop lasting friendships and learn invaluable life skills. He understands that creating that opportunity takes a special partnership with his camp families to ensure they have the utmost confidence while their child is away and can feel at ease knowing their child is having the best camp experience.
Joe LeRea has been working at Camp Wayne since 1992. He has worked as a Basketball Counselor, Group Leader, and in his current capacity as Head Counselor. It was through his friendship with his then high school Principal, Morty Damesek, who brought him to Camp Wayne in 1992. He loved camp so much that he switched his focus from speech communication, with a minor in coaching, to education allowing him to be part of the camp experience every summer. His love for camp and children brought him back to camp in 2010 with his family. His wife Erica also works at camp and his two children, Jacob and Ava, are campers who live 10 for 2. Joe lives in Plainview, Long Island and has been a second grade teacher since 1997. He has a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Syracuse University, a Master’s degree in Education from Long Island University, and a Master’s degree in Supervision and Administration from Touro University. Joe is an avid sports fan, especially when it comes to the Boston Celtics, Syracuse sports, and New York Rangers.
Carrie Muhlstein: Before returning to Camp Wayne for Boys in 2018, Carrie Muhlstein spent many summers as a camper, CIT, “shack girl,” counselor and group leader at Camp Wayne for Girls. Her two boys, Lucas and Caleb, are double third-generation Wayners. Carrie is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, with more than 15 years of experience working with children and families in a variety of healthcare settings. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Master’s degree in Social Work from Columbia University. Carrie has always considered Camp Wayne her home away from home, and her goal is for all campers to feel that way, too.
Chris Burnett has been working at Camp Wayne since 1994. He has worked as a Sailing Counselor, Group Leader, Special Activities Director, and in his current capacity as Head Counselor. He loved camp so much that he switched his focus from business to education, allowing him to be part of the camp experience every summer. When not at camp, Chris lives in Southern California where he has been a fourth and fifth grade teacher for the Los Alamitos School District since 1998. He has a Bachelor’s of Business Administration degree from the University of San Diego and a Master’s degree in Education from Pepperdine University. Chris enjoys surfing and sailing in the waters off Southern California as well as snowboarding in the local mountains.
Rudy Williams joined our staff in 2007 as Lacrosse Director. In addition he has been a Group Leader, and now fulfills his current role as Head Counselor for our oldest campers. Rudy graduated with a Bachelors in Health and Physical Education from Greensboro College and has a Masters degree in Physical Education from the University of South Florida. He is currently a physical education teacher in South Florida where he is also a Varsity Lacrosse coach. His love for children and camp life are the reasons he continues to remain part of the Camp Wayne family.
Andrew “Groo” Groothuis has been with Camp Wayne since 1980 when he started as a camper. Groo has seen camp through virtually every lens, and yet every summer he learns something new and exciting that keeps him coming back for more. After several years in the movie business, Groo decided that teaching was his calling. He currently hails from Coral Springs, Florida, where he teaches 11th grade US History and coaches Football, Basketball, Baseball and Lacrosse. In his current position as Head Counselor of the LIT program, he oversees the day to day program for our LITs.
Shira Hammer started working at Camp Wayne in the summer of 2016, when her sons, Leo and Owen, started as campers. Her daughter Lola began Camp Wayne for Girls in the summer of 2015. During the school year, Shira is an Occupational Therapist in her local public school system, as well as treating children privately in their homes for the past 16 years. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Inclusive Education from Syracuse University and a Masters degree in Occupational Therapy from New York University. Shira lives in Bryn Mawr, PA with her 3 children. In her free time she loves to spend time with family and watch her children play sports.
Shari Bowes has been teaching elementary school children since 2002 and is currently in the Lynbrook School District. She always knew she wanted to extend her experience working with children to the summer camp environment, having attended camp herself. Shari, her husband, Brian (Athletic Director), and sons, Matthew and Ryan, joined the Camp Wayne family in 2017. She feels fortunate to make an impact on children, not only in a school setting but at Camp Wayne as well. Shari is the Girls Varsity and Junior High Tennis Coach in her district. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Champlain College, a Masters degree in Physical Education from Hofstra University and a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Educational Administration from Hofstra University. In her free time, she enjoys snowboarding, tennis, running, traveling to warm places, and spending time with her family.
Area Directors and Counselors
As experienced Directors, we recognize that hiring a caring and mature staff is the most essential component to a successful summer. After all, two of the most important reasons campers return to camp year after year are their camp friends and counselors!
Over the years, we have assembled an outstanding group of high school, college and professional coaches to oversee and direct our programs. These directors, who have dedicated their lives to working with children, are assisted by a well-qualified counselor staff. All of our counselors have strong backgrounds in their specialty areas, in addition to a passion for working with children. From Arts & Crafts to the athletic fields, our exceptional staff builds a solid foundation and a respect for each activity.
Our campers are fortunate to share the camp experience with counselors from all over the world, a majority coming from the United States and Canada. Counselors must have completed at least one year of college or university in order to be considered. Campers, who have participated in our Counselor In Training (CIT) and Leader In Training (LIT) programs, will be considered for a counselor position following their senior year of high school.