Westminster Woods Staff
Change is always a constant at The Woods, and the staff and board are all deeply committed to the continued growth and success of our programs, and to the goal of ensuring a positive experience for every person, young and not-so-young, who crosses our bridge. The future of this sacred sanctuary we call The Woods is filled with opportunity!
Chris was chosen to be The Woods' new Executive Director in 2014, having already served on an interim basis for a year. Aside from his duties at Westminster Woods, Chris serves as Ruling Commissioned Elder for The Presbyterian Church of the Roses in Santa Rosa, and has owned his own full-service construction company for the last 28 years. He moved from Southern California to Sonoma County in 1981 to attend Sonoma State University, where he received his BA degree in Commercial Recreation. Chris has a true love of the outdoors, and spends much of his free time riding the back roads of Sonoma County on his bicycle. He met his wife Liz while on a bike trip to the Grand Canyon and the two have been married for 32 years. Together, they have two adult daughters, Allison and Monika, who have many fond memories of their experiences attending camp at The Woods.
Bec Detrich is a leader in the field of Environmental Education. Prior to joining Westminster Woods, Bec led the Field Science program at NatureBridge, Golden Gate. Additionally, she has worked within the field of environmental education in Yosemite, on Catalina, throughout the East Coast as well as in Australia. In her time she has developed marine science and climate change programing, led teacher trainings, developed stewardship projects within the National Parks and built collaborative relationships with a variety of private and public organizations. Bec holds a bachelor's degree from Willamette University where she majored in Environmental Science and a master's degree in Biology focusing on community-based conservation and global leadership from Miami University. Bec is an active member in the Sonoma Environmental Education Collaborative and was named a 2015 Grosvenor Teacher Fellow by National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions.
Aimee Studer grew up just 15 minutes down the road in the outskirts of Santa Rosa. She has a bachelors degree from California State University, Sacramento. Previously the Junior High Youth Director and the College Director at Carmichael Presbyterian Church, Aimee has always had a passion for youth ministry. Aimee has been involved with Westminster Woods for many years, first as a High School camper, summer staffer and year-round staff. She returned in 2011 to Co-Direct Ministries along side husband Chris Studer.
Chris Studer has worked in the church for over twenty years, in ministry leadership with youth and young adults, and as a contemporary worship music director. Chris attended Westminster Woods as a summer camper and later served for five summers on Summer Staff. In 2011 he returned as Co-Director of Ministries with his wife, Aimee. Chris is a pianist and singer from Sacramento California. After earning an A.A. degree and certificate in jazz studies from American River College he attended Berklee College of Music where he graduated summa cum laude with a B.M. in piano performance.
Tonie coordinates reservations and logistics for our Guest Groups, as well as managing our Housekeeping and Aquatics departments. She has a passion for working with a diverse population and spending time getting to know and being of service to our guests. In her spare time, Tonie enjoys running and competing in local races.
Gayle has been creating healthy, great tasting food for Westminster Woods for over 15 years. Born with a spatula in her hand, Gayle has worked backstage creating food for entertainers such as Ray Charles and BB King. Her vision of having an outdoor classroom and garden has come to life with the help of the Center for Nature and Christian Sprituality. Her hobbies include cruising farmer's markets, botanical gardens and continuing her education in health and food connections.
Jessica originally joined the Challenge Course team in the spring of 2008 as a facilitator. Since that time she has enthusiastically dived into the challenge course/adventure industry (sometimes literally, with a parachute) and finds great fulfillment in working outdoors, with diverse groups of humans, and helping people face their fears. As a certified Massage Therapist and Nutritional Educator she has a passion for healing and a holistic life approach, and views the challenge course as an effective platform to facilitate psychological and emotional growth. When she's not busy influencing people to do ridiculous, scary, or comfort-zone-expanding things, you can find her on dance floors, in her sewing studio, doing her own ridiculous and scary things in front of a video camera, giving really good high-fives, or basking in the sun. Her superhero power is her valiant ability to make up outrageous but potentially believable information on the fly, and if she were a kitchen appliance she'd be a blender.
'Lion' has been involved in camps since he was very little, first attending boy scout and church camps back in Ohio. He starting working at Chief Logan Reservation, the greatest boy scout camp in the world, as soon as he was sixteen. Since then, he has helped run programs for Ohio University's Teens on Campus, the Coloma Outdoor Discovery School, Point Reyes Summer Camp, the Outdoor School at Rancho Alegre and now Westminster Woods. Seth has worked as a Teacher Naturalist and Environmental Education Coordinator at The Woods and is now our School Programs Manager, assuring that things run smoothly and that students and teachers alike have a fantastic experience while they're here.
Tony has a passion for the Ministry at Westminster Woods where he has played a crucial part as Buildings and Grounds Supervisor for over 20 years. Tony is very active at Spring Hills Community Church where he plays softball. He has two daughters with his wife Teresa.
Lupe leads the Housekeeping staff, making sure camp is always looking its best. She has been with Westminster Woods for over 15 years.
Mark grew up in Michigan, and has decades of camp and nonprofit experience. He handles a variety of duties at The Woods, from coordinating communications/marketing functions to managing our IT network. Mark loves hiking the California hills by himself or with his family.
Danielle is the Logistics Coordinator for our School Programs department. She attended California State University of San Bernardino and earned a bachelor's degree in Human Services. After working in office administration and customer service for over ten years, Danielle made "the best decision of her life" and relocated to Sonoma County. When she's not at The Woods, Danielle enjoys family time the most -- camping, road trips, art projects and growing organic vegetables and plants are just some of her favorite pastimes. As the proud daughter of two public school educators, Danielle is excited to work with teachers to coordinate fun and educational experiences.
Tabitha grew up as a camp kid in the southeastern US -- her dad was the camp director and her mom was the camp cook. She is very happy to find herself on the opposite side of the country, working in a camp setting once again. She graduated with an anthropology degree from Toccoa Falls College in Georgia, and then later from nursing school. She and her husband, Phillip, who works in construction, spent several years travelling back and forth across the country until they made Sonoma County their home in 2014. She feels very fortunate to live surrounded by redwood trees and the ocean and loves to hike and explore the outdoors. She loves nature photography, playing the ukulele, crocheting small stuffed animals, and Woobie, her Pomeranian.