2021 Summer Staff
2019 Summer Staff
Meet Our Leadership Team
Brad Cripe -Executive Director
- Hometown: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Lived and worked in 3 states and 4 different countries!
- Degree or experience:
Bachelors in Recreation Management-Emphasis on Children and Adult programs
21 years in the industry
- Favorite past experience working with young people:
Over the course of 20+ years I have found that each year is its own experience with laughter, smiles, and learning opportunities. When you see the sparkle in a camper’s eye because they discovered something new about themselves or nature–I feel accomplished knowing that I helped provide the opportunity that allowed such a discovery.
- What you like about working for LGFAA:
The Campers!! The staff!! The culture that we have created of being an inclusive, understanding program that is able to help all of our participants no matter where they are in life. I appreciate the autonomy to be able to do what is RIGHT for our campers and staff. This models the attitude that we want our campers to adhere to throughout the entire agency.
- Future Plans:
My plans for the future include growing the LGFAA! Id like to be able to serve more amazing kids, while having programs and a facility that our campers can be proud of. Keep watching… there are big things to come.
- Random facts:
I love Rock Climbing, Hiking, Camping, and having adventures! Hobbies also include building cars and Starwars. When I was a counselor my Camp name was “TOAD” and I still have Toad decorations all over my office!
George Pascoulis – Camp Director / Associate Executive LGFAA
- Hometown: London, England
- Degree or experience: Bachelors in Sport & Exercise Science with a focus on sports psychology. Completed a dissertation exploring the impacts of physical activity on the behavior of primary school children. Lucky enough to have spent my summers at HHC since 2015 and ecstatic to be here full-time working on taking our program to the next level.
- Favorite past experience working with young people: There is no doubt that my favorite experience is when our campers step off the bus and see you have returned for another summer. The mutual joy in that moment, especially if you remember their name, is unmatched. You can see, in that moment, that they know we care for them as much as they love camp.
- What you like about working for LGFAA: This is a difficult one to keep short! Firstly, the no-brainer here is the kids – that’s why we’re all here! Continuing to provide and opportunity for young people to discover the depth of their abilities is a burning passion. Secondly, I absolutely love working with a team of people who are as motivated by our mission as I am. I’m surrounded by individuals who inspire everyday and as a team we have full belief that we can provide an unmatchable experience. We have lots of room to grow nd we certainly have a team that wants to take full advantage of that!
- Future Plans: To do everything in my power to help the LGFAA continue to build on the service and experience we provide. Additionally, to be able to create more opportunities that will facilitate growth within our organization. It’s a very exciting time to be part of this dynamic team and I will proceed with intent to continue the positive incline we are currently riding.
- Random fact: Thanks to In Vitro Fertilization, I am what they call a ‘time-lapse twin’ which means my twin brother is years older than I am! I’m also an avid sports fan and will talk for days about it, especially my soccer team, Arsenal.
Adriana Miranda – HHC Community Outreach / Registrar
- Hometown: Woodstock, Illinois
- Degree or experience: I graduated from Western Illinois University with a Bachelors in Social Work and minored in Spanish. I was blessed with a life-changing experience in my junior year of undergrad and started as a camp counselor. It was hard for me to stay away from HHC after an AMAZING summer and I returned the following two summers as the Waterfront Director. After graduation, I continued to work with the ELITE Teen Program and I’m now a part of HHC full time! As I said, IT’S HARD TO STAY AWAY!!
- Favorite past experience working with young people: I loved being the head “Mermaid” (Waterfront Director) as we call our lifeguards at HHC. Being able to assist campers to conquer fears of the lake, teaching them how to swim, to joining them on their first ever boat ride. Seeing those gigantic smiles and hearing their laughs really brought tears to my eyes and are memories engraved in my heart.
- What you like about working for LGFAA: I really enjoy working with children. I am a huge fan of our mission. I love that I am surrounded by hardworking individuals who want to make a difference. Some of the most AMAZING souls I have ever met!
- Future Plans: I want to continue to assist with everything I can to change the life of our campers and ELITES. I want to help as many children as possible. I plan on networking and continuing to grow in my new role. In my personal life, I plan on furthering my education and traveling the world.
- Random facts: On my free time, I love to go out on hikes and love to go swimming as well as laying out and tanning as much as possible. I love competitive sports and play in a soccer league for self-care. I love being able to spend time with my loved ones and I’m a huge fan of anything TIE-DYE!
Mark Feldman – O.W.L.S. Director – Associate Director LGFAA
Hometown: Buffalo Grove, Illinois
- Degree or experience: I have a Bachelors in Outdoor Recreation Leadership and Management from George Williams College of Aurora University. I have had 7 years in the industry. I am also a certified Challenge Course Manager as well as a Red Cross Life Guard.
Favorite past experience working with young people: I absolutely LOVE seeing people do something for their first time. Whether it is learning to throw a ball, getting to ride a boat, catch a fish, or fly down the zipline. The look on their face and the feeling of joy that they have is infectious and facilitates the same reaction in myself.
What you like about working for LGFAA: Creating connections with people from all walks of life is incredible. Interacting with staff, participants, donors, volunteers, and community members keep things exciting and fun. When I go home at the end of the day and ask myself “Did you have fun today?” 99 out of 100 days the answer is “YES.”
Future Plans: I am hard at work improving my leadership and management skills so I can set my self up to become a well rounded executive director in the future.
Random fact: I am a rabid fisherman! In the past I spent 4 years working at Bass Pro Shops as the de facto Master-Guru of Marine Electronics. If you need anything fishing or boating related I am the man to go to!
Gary “Big Dog” Cwidak -Keeper of the Flame & Guest Appearance Facilitator
- Hometown: South Bend, Indiana
- Degree or experience:
Undergraduate Degree Indiana University – BA in Psychology
Graduate Degree: University of Wisconsin Whitewater – MS in Counselor Education
- Favorite past experience working with young people:
Working with ten 8th grade boys who had every difficult label the school could put on them. We co-created an amazing, heartfelt experience that left the school counselor and me in tears of joy by the end.
- What you like about working for OWLS:
Professional staff, high quality programming, and diverse clientele.
- Future Plans (post-OWLS):
What? Big Dog leave OWLS? Shame on you! ½ way there semi-retired
- Random fact:
The nickname “Big Dog” not only reflects my nature, but after a day of bicycling, I really smell like a big dog.
OWLS Staff ACCT Certifications
Mark Feldman Level II Challenge Course Manager (CCM)
Big Dog Level II; Challenge Course Manager (CCM)
Deb Fritz Level II; Challenge Course Manager (CCM)