Westminster Woods Staff
Change is always a constant at The Woods, and with the departure of Sheila Denton after 33 years, this certainly is a time of transformation for all of us here. Fortunately, the staff and board that are in place 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!
After 33 years of devoted service, Sheila Denton has moved on from her role as Executive Director of Westminster Woods to the next great chapter of her life. Sheila will forever be known for her tireless passion, graceful presence, and spirit-filled leadership. Her commitment – to Christian camping, to relational ministry, and to the call to care for Creation – has left its mark on every aspect of what happens at this sacred sanctuary we call The Woods. To Sheila, we offer our deepest gratitude and our best wishes for great joy.
Chris moved from Southern California to Sonoma County in 1981 to attend Sonoma State University, where he received his BA degree in Commercial Recreation. For the last 27 years, Chris has owned a full service construction company. In his volunteer life, Chris has spent many fun times working with youth and adults; the highlight has been leading annual building mission trips in Mexico. He loves working with people of all ages and diverse backgrounds. He has a true love of the outdoors, and spends much of his free time riding the back roads of Sonoma County on his bicycle. Chris met his wife Liz while on a bike trip to the Grand Canyon and has been married for 31 years. Together, they have two adult daughters, Allison and Monika, who have caught the travelling bug and spend much time outside of the U.S. They attended many summer camps at Westminster Woods and have fond memories of their camp experience.
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 is currently earning her master's degree focusing on community-based conservation and global leadership. Her studies have taken her to Tanzania, Belize, and Borneo but, she is excited to call Sonoma County home.
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.
Raised in a family that boasts a number of Presbyterian clergy and musicians Chris is consequently a musician who has spent fifteen years working with youth and young adults in the church. Chris was a camper at Westminster Woods and was on Summer staff prior to returning to Co-Direct in 2011 with his wife Aimee. Chris worked for eight years at CPC, first as a volunteer, then as Youth Director and Contemporary Worship Leader before attending Berklee College of Music in Boston where he graduated summa cum laude.
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.
Martha hails from Southern Louisiana, the “Bayou State”, and is a graduate of Louisiana State University. She relocated to California in 1985 to pursue a career in Business Management, and later Real Estate Finance and Accounting. Her love of nature landed her a gig at The Woods as Staff Accountant in 2010. Martha’s hobbies include cycling, kayaking, yoga, pilates, hiking, and gardening. She also enjoys playing music and spent many years playing venues in Los Angeles as well as touring the U.S. She now resides in Cazadero with her husband, daughter, 2 dogs, 1 cat, and a horse.
As coordinator of Guest Services, Tonie has a passion for working with a diverse population and spending time getting to know our guests. Prior to her current role, Tonie served as the Summer Camp Registrar from 2008-2010. Missing camp culture and in response to a new opportunity, Tonie returned in 2013. In her spare time, Tonie enjoys running and competing in local races.
Kim is from Northern Minnesota where she loved to dog sled and sail. She has a bachelor's degree in Geology with a minor in Limnology. She has also lived in Iceland while doing geological field studies. She now calls Forestville her home along with husband Karl and their two dogs, Jasper and Siouxsie.
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.
Tony has a passion for the Ministry at Westminster Woods where he has played a crucial part as Buildings and Grounds Supervisor for over 17 years. Tony is very active at Spring Hills Community Church where he plays softball. He has two daughters with his wife Teresa.
Lupe oversees the Housekeeping Department, making sure camp is always looking its best. She has been with Westminster Woods for over 10 years.
Mark previously worked at the Woods from 2005-2009, and is excited to be back. He handles a variety of duties, from processing donations to managing our website and coordinating communications/marketing activiities. Mark lives with his family in Sebastopol, and loves hiking and commuting by bike as often as he can.
Karen is the face with a smile that you meet at the front desk in our main office. Karen is also our registrar for Summer Camp and other programs. Previously, Karen was a Waldorf early childhood educator -- she founded two preschools in Napa and Sebastopol. She also works alongside her husband running a residentail construction company. In her spare time, she leads introductions to The Landmark Forum for Landmark Education, and enjoys time with her family.