The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their own dreams.
If (for some strange reason) you could only consider one factor in your choice of camps, you should look at the camp’s staff. Their qualifications and experience will dictate the quality of care and instruction a camper will get, as well as the level of safety which can be maintained.
We are fortunate to have a highly experienced group of counselors, many of whom return year after year (the average counselor has been here four to five years). The average age is about 25. The youngest is 18, and through a year of college. Most young counselors will have been campers with us in previous years. The overall camper-to-counselor ratio (not including maintenance, kitchen, secretarial, etc.) is about four to one, which gives us a superb opportunity for individual attention.
Camp is a community of people who live, work and play together, and this is one of its greatest assets. Most counselors live in a cabin with four to six campers and teach an activity during activity periods. (Some counselors who are out of camp on trips a great deal do not have cabins.) The camp experience is one wherein adults have ample time to spend with youngsters, time to develop meaningful relationships, to talk, to listen, and to teach.
Green Cove was founded by Frank Bell, Sr. (Chief). Francis Cake and Chief’s daughter, Pat, directed the program during the early years. Calla (Mrs. Frank Bell, Sr.) took over in ’52 and was in charge until 1980. Her daughter Nancy then directed Green Cove for 41 years until 2020. Nancy’s niece, Calla Bell Williamson, is now the Director of Green Cove.
Calla is the third generation of the Bell family to run Green Cove, after her aunt Nancy Bell and grandmother Calla Bell. She was a camper and cabin counselor for 10 years of childhood and young adulthood. After taking some years away to explore the world outside of Tuxedo, Calla came back starting in 2012 to work at camp as a Line Head, Head of Riding, and Associate Director. She feels passionate about what Green Cove does for girls and young women, especially how it provides space for them to explore the unknown and feel confidence in themselves while being supported by a strong community. Calla is married to Nathan Williamson, and they have two boys, Tucker and Elliot. Her passion is the horses while her boys mostly enjoy paddling and mountain biking!
Our Assistant Director is Ev Schwartz, who moved to North Carolina and joined our full time staff in 2019. Originally from Alexandria, VA, Ev grew up going to camp in the mountains of Virginia. She graduated from Virginia Tech in 2016 with a BA in Political Science and a BA in Economics. After graduation, Ev was pursuing a Masters degree in Political Science when her love of outdoor education was rekindled. From there she worked for camps as a Head counselor, Head of outdoor living skills, and an outdoor learning center instructor. Ev is an avid believer in the potential of outdoor education to bring about positive camper outcomes, as well as the power of a small community of dedicated women to make a real difference in the world. In the summer she coordinates with activities to make sure programs run smoothly and trips are rewarding and safe. In Fall, winter, and spring, Ev travels to recruit campers and works hard to assemble the best staff team possible. Ev lives at camp with her dog Eddy and spends her free time hiking, climbing, caving, and doing just about anything to be outside!
Our Year-Round Program Director is Megan Worley Coaplen. She is a native to Asheville, NC and grew up attending Camp Green Cove for many summers and worked on riding staff. Megan attended UNC-Greensboro and earned a degree in Human Development and Family Studies. In 2012 Megan received her Master’s Degree in School Counseling from Western Carolina University and went on to work with students for the last 8 years in the high school setting. She believes strongly in camp and the opportunities for growth that girls can gain from their time here. During the year Megan will help with everything from communication with campers and parents to hiring staff. She will help to build a program that meets the needs of the youngest camper to the oldest. Megan is married to Caleb Coaplen (Mondamin alumnae) and has two boys, Everett and Grant. They like to spend as much time outdoors enjoying all the mountains of Western North Carolina has to offer.
Barb Heck, has been a part of the Green Cove team for over 20 years, most recently as our Head of Swimming in June Camp, and Middler Linehead in Main camp. She is a second generation Green Cove girl, and has also worked at the barn as a groom and a riding instructor. Barb took some time off from camp to raise her two girls, but came back as soon as they were old enough to attend. She currently is a PE teacher and lives in the Atlanta area with her husband (whom she met at camp) and her daughters.
Barbara “Little” Weaver, has been a Program Director for 7 summers, most recently for Main Camp, but been a Green Cove girl since the 60s. After retiring from working in the corporate world for nearly 30 years, Little decided to “fill her time” by coming back to camp for a summer. That summer actually helped launch her into her second career, as she then became a certified elementary school teacher. Little lives in New Orleans during the rest of the year, where she teaches 3rd grade.
Elizabeth “E” Turner, is our Program Director for June camp. E was also a long time camper/staffer and returned to Green Cove in 2015 after taking a few years off. Originally from North Carolina, E did spend her college years up north, getting Masters in Social Work. She now lives in Winston-Salem with her husband and two daughters, who are both Green Cove campers and is a school psychologist.
Kim Alvare, grew up coming to camp with her sisters, while her mom was the camp nurse. She was on staff as a swim instructor and as a line head in the past, and has now taken over the role of Program Director for August camp. When not camp, Kim lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and three daughters. She studied Piano performance in college and now does private piano lessons in her area. Her oldest daughters are now campers at Green Cove.
Lorett Swank, was here for her 7th summer as Main Camp’s Head of Swimming. Lorett is a Licensed Professional Counselor and currently works at Southeastern LA University as an instructor and advisor. She recently completed her PhD in Education Leadership, at LSU and is excited to be done with school! When not shuttling her daughter, Julie, between sports practices, she and her husband love to spend time in the outdoors.
Maryemma Pennington, has worked at Green Cove for nearly 20 years. She spent a few summers teaching tennis before finding her true calling as our Head of Nature in June camp. When not at camp, Maryemma lives in Statesboro, GA, in a little cabin the woods. She loves to go camping with her dog, Oscar, who also comes to camp. She was a preschool teacher’s assistant for several years, before retiring to spend more time in the garden!