Meet Our Team

Chris Getoor

Chris Getoor - Executive Director

Chris has had the great fortune of leading Strong Wings for the past 16 years. A graduate of St. Joseph’s College, he studied history, English, and secondary education. Among other positions in education, Chris taught Spanish and ecology at the Nantucket New School prior to his tenure at Strong Wings.

An accomplished surfer, bowhunter, gardener, outdoorsman, jiu jitsu practitioner and adventure enthusiast, he has a true passion for sharing his love for nature, challenge, and adventure with people of all ages. He and his wife have a home on the property and his sons are diehard campers. Fostering the growth of this amazing organization is his life’s work and he could not be more grateful for the opportunity to lead such an amazing staff.

Claire Winship

Claire Winship - Director of Programs

Claire started her Strong Wings journey as a bike camper in 1996. After graduating from Warren Wilson College with a B. A in Environmental Studies, she returned home to Nantucket and to Strong Wings in 2011 to work as a group leader. Claire accepted a year-round position in 2012 and has been in her current role since 2014. Often the first point of contact for new families and campers, we are grateful for the warmth and joy she brings to every conversation. A talented administrator and a gifted, caring educator; Claire is an invaluable member of our team and family.

Andrew Trott-Kielawa

Andrew Trott-Kielawa - Director of Operations / Aquatics Director

Andrew "TK" started his journey with the organization years ago as a camper and group leader. Following his graduation from college in 2017, he took on a year-round position with Strong Wings that has since evolved into the Director of Operations / Aquatics Director. TK is an avid surfer, shellfisherman, and outdoor enthusiast with a passion for working with children.

He takes great joy in helping campers experience the island's beauty through outdoor education. TK’s expertise in aquatics is backed by certifications in lifeguarding, first aid, AED, and water safety instruction from the American Red Cross as well as experience coaching the Nantucket High School swim team. Presently, he is furthering his education as an MBA candidate at the University of Massachusetts - Amherst. TK maintains a healthy balance of fun and safety to ensure that everyone has a positive waterfront experience.

Scott Tanch

Scott Tanch - Activities Coordinator

Scott has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Vermont and is about to complete his master’s in the same field. Scott is a former camper and group leader. This is his 12th year on staff and 4th as a key member of the administrative team.

In addition to handling all things logistics, Scott enjoys working with campers in the garden and greenhouse and is the primary care person for our ever-growing flock of chickens and turkeys.

Leslie Branigan

Leslie Branigan - Director of Leadership / Assistant Aquatics Director

During the school year, Leslie teaches at Tabor Academy in Marion, MA. She and her kids (10,13, and 16) countdown the days to her summers with Strong Wings, where a dynamic staff works hard to bring out the best in each one of our campers.

She and her husband have observed in their own children, just a week at Strong Wings can be more empowering and impactful than their entire school year. Leslie brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her with us and we are all grateful for her many gifts.

Miranda Celine - Youth Leadership Director

Miranda Celine (Mo) - Youth Leadership Director

Miranda (Mo) is so excited to return to Strong Wings! Mo is a psychology graduate from the University of Glasgow who splits their time between working with a forensic research group at Boston College and traveling the world working with animals. This will be their fourth summer on Nantucket and they can’t wait to get back to their passions: outdoor education, biking, and beaches!

Dalilah Degen

Dalilah Degen - Early Camp Coordinator

Dalilah (Dee) is so excited to return for a fourth summer at Strong Wings! Dee spent a year teaching PE and after-school programming at Nantucket New School before traveling to Thailand to work in animal conservation. They studied music and dance in New York City and in their free time they love to bike, swim, and read.

Clare O’Connell

Clare O’Connell - Early Camp Coordinator

Clare spent her first full summer on Nantucket as a Strong Wings group leader in 2021. After graduating from Hobart and William Smith Colleges with a BA in Environmental Studies and Sociology in May 2023, Clare moved to Nantucket full time to run the Strong Wings Afterschool Adventure Program. Throughout this year she has also worked as a substitute teacher at the New School and is excited to return to Strong Wings for her second summer. Originally from Charlottesville, Virginia, Clare loves spending time outdoors, at the beach, with friends, and reading a good book.

Luke Gumpert - Group Leader

Luke Gumpert Esq.- Group Leader

Luke is from Naples, FL. He attended Florida State University for undergrad and law school. He has been a Strong Wings group leader for ten summers and carries a wealth of institutional knowledge and genuine passion for the Strong Wings mission. Luke enjoys surfing, spending time with family and friends, and investing in the lives of young people. Luke can be found in the water or on the bike path at 5:15 am with Chris every morning. They haven’t missed a “dawn patrol” in seven years!

Dr. Rani Rey

Dr. Rani Dey - Group Leader

Rani has been a Strong Wings mainstay for 16 years. Originally from New Hampshire, she spent summers on Nantucket and began attending camp at age 8.. Rani was a camper until she was eligible to become a CIT at 15, and spent her undergraduate summers as a group leader. She is graduating from medical school at the Vilnius University in Lithuania this spring and we are so grateful she has made time to spend one more season with us before she begins what we know will be a successful career in medicine.

Gerry Holmes

Gerry Holmes - Group Leader

Gerry is a Nantucket native with over 15 years of experience practicing primitive survival skills as a profession and hobby. He graduated from Sterling College in Vermont with a B.A. in Outdoor Education and went on to work at several therapeutic outdoor programs including a wilderness therapy program and a boarding school. He is an avid forager, hiker and martial artist and has been working as an ESL teacher for four years both on and off the island. This will be his fifth summer working at Strong Wings. He lives on Nantucket with his wife Laura and dog Blueberry.

Sydney Ryder

Sydney Ryder - Group Leader

Sydney was born and raised on Nantucket and is a graduate of Nantucket High School. She is a rising senior at the University of Miami and is double majoring in ecosystem science and policy as well as art. Sydney is a former camper and this will be her sixth year working at Strong Wings. She likes going to the beach and spending time with her friends and family.

Liam Cuddy - Group Leader

Liam Cuddy - Group Leader

Liam is from the North Shore of Boston and studies education at UMass Lowell. He is a former camper and CIT. This will be his eleventh year on the staff. Liam is passionate about health and fitness, a wide range of sports, biking of course, and is a lover of fine food. He loves spending time with his family and friends and lives for his time at Strong Wings. He has the biggest heart of anyone you will meet and is going to make an amazing teacher.

Elizabeth Giroux

Elizabeth Giroux - Group Leader

Liz is 21 years old, and is from Cave Creek, AZ. This year Liz will be starting her junior year at Emmanuel College in Boston. Liz grew up coming to the island in the summers and is a former camper and CIT. She is very excited to start her fourth summer as a group leader! Liz loves working with children and spending her free time biking around the island with her friends and family. You’ll never see Liz without a smile on her face.

Jack Cooney - Group Leader

Jack Cooney - Group Leader

Jack is from Philadelphia, PA, and has spent every summer on Nantucket. He will be a Junior at the University of Miami this upcoming fall and is majoring in marine biology. Jack was a Strong Wings camper for nine years, spent a year as a CIT, and this will be his third year as a group leader. He enjoys scuba diving, mountain biking, travel, and skiing. He’s also an accomplished blacksmith!

Jakobe Stevens

Jakobe Stevens - Group Leader

Jakobe was born and raised in Arizona. He is pursuing a degree in biology at Mesa College and will be transferring to The University of Arizona to further his education in the field of neuroscience. Jakobe loves all things outdoors whether it may be biking, surfing, hiking, running, climbing, or snowboarding - just to name a few. He also enjoys vegan cooking, reading, meditation and gardening. Jakobe has grown up vacationing on Nantucket with his family. This will be his sixth year as a group leader. He can also do a standing backflip on command! If you see him around, don’t hesitate to say hello.

Payton Koch

Payton Koch - Group Leader

Payton Koch is a graduate of New Canaan High School and a rising sophomore at Chapman University in Orange, CA. She is studying environmental science. She was a camper at Strong Wings for eight years and has worked as a CIT for two. This will be her third year as a group leader. Payton enjoys competitive dance, lifting, and learning new things like surfing! She has spent every summer on Nantucket for the past 16 years, and Strong Wings has been an incredible experience that brings her back every year!

Alex Pruchnic

Alex Pruchnic - Group Leader

Mesa, AZ is Alex’s stomping ground. He currently attends the University of Arizona in Tucson and is graduating this year. Alex is majoring in education and minoring in English with the hopes of teaching high school English in the near future. Summer 2024 will be his third year as a group leader and he is ecstatic to see familiar faces and new campers. He enjoys staying active in the gym, running, biking, and just about anything that keeps his body in motion. That said, he also enjoys his leisure time by playing board games, watching movies and reading.

Lilla Sharman

Lilla Sharman - Group Leader

Lilla was born and raised on Nantucket and currently attends Salve Regina University where she is majoring in social work. She loves to swim, spend time with friends, and travel. She has worked at Strong Wings for four years as a group leader and was a CIT and camper for many years before that. She is so excited to be returning this year!

Will Johnston

Will Johnston - Group Leader

Will is from Charlottesville, VA and a graduate of University of Richmond where he studied leadership studies and entrepreneurship. This will be his third summer at Strong Wings, and he’s stoked to be back! Will has grown up visiting the island each summer and has countless fond memories of friends and family and can’t wait to make more this summer! Will loves going on runs, exercising, spending time outdoors and doing anything active!

Mamta Katarina

Mamta Katarina - Group Leader

Mamta is from New Hampshire and will be a Freshman at UHN. (She has just spent a year abroad in Spain learning the language and working in a bio-engineering lab.) She was a former camper and this will be her third year as a group leader. Mamta is the younger sister of Dr.Rani Dey, one of Strong Wings’ most beloved group leaders. Mamta enjoys writing, drawing, swimming, tennis, and helping others. She is positive, creative, motivated, has loads of energy, and is excited about the summer and the beach.

Dylan Miller - Group Leader

Dylan Miller - Group Leader

Dylan was born and raised on Nantucket. He is a rising senior at Plymouth State University, where he is studying tourism management & policy. Dylan began his love for Strong Wings at age six and continued as a camper for the next seven years. He enjoys fishing, biking, boating, skiing, and hiking. Dylan is looking forward to his third year as a group leader.

Letitia Casperson

Letitia Casperson - Group Leader

Letitia is from New York City, and she is a rising junior at Union College where she is studying computer science. Letitia has come to Nantucket every summer, and enjoys biking and going to the beach. This is Letitia’s third summer working for Strong Wings. She enjoys going skiing and hiking in her free time at school and hanging out with friends.

Tyler Grodsky

Tyler Grodsky - Group Leader

Tyler is from Longmeadow, MA and is a rising junior at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL. Tyler has been coming to Nantucket for his whole life and has been a camper at Strong Wings since he was five. He loves to surf, ski, and be outside. Tyler is returning because of how much he enjoys the sense of community at Strong Wings, and seeing the kids go home happy and exhausted after a long day of exploration and learning.

Rowan Drant

Rowan Drant - Group Leader

Rowan is a rising senior at Sidwell Friends School in Washington, DC. He was a CIT for two summers and a group leader last year. He has spent time on Nantucket for his whole life. Rowan plays on his school’s football and tennis teams along with being a baseball coach on the weekends. He loves being a be part of the Strong Wings community and looks forward to his second year on the staff!

Marisa Britt

Marisa Britt - Group Leader

Marisa is from Springfield, MA and is a junior studying nursing at her local college. This will be her third year working for Strong Wings and she is super excited to come back! She has had a passion for working with kids ever since teaching children’s dance classes when she was in high school. In her free time she enjoys reading, dancing, fitness, and creating art.

Jeremey Caspe

Jeremy Caspe - Group Leader

JJeremy was born and raised on Nantucket and is a rising sophomore at the University of Rhode Island, where he studies secondary education and plays football. He is a former camper and this will be his second summer as a group leader. During the school year Jeremy is always found on the sports field or doing something outside with friends. He is very excited to start his second year as a group leader.

Taylor Barberio

Taylor Barberio - Group Leader

Taylor is from Guilford CT, and summers on Nantucket every year. She played tennis, basketball, volleyball, softball and soccer during her younger school years. She is a freshman at the University of Southern California where she is majoring in Business of Cinematic Arts. Camp was an important part of her childhood and where she found her passion for acting. Since then, her interests have included songwriting, improv and screenwriting. Taylor is beyond excited to be part of Strong Wings again and to give her campers a memorable summer.

Cody Grodsky

Cody Grodsky - Group Leader

Cody is a rising sophomore at UC Boulder, where he studies business. Cody likes to skateboard, play volleyball, and ski. Cody has been with Strong Wings since he was five years old, and it is his second year as a group leader. Cody has liked Strong Wings as both a camper and staff member, because it has brought numerous friends and fun times into his summer.

Samantha Funkhouser

Samantha Funkhouser - Group Leader

Sam is from Richmond, VA and is a rising senior at the University of Virginia. She is on the pre-med track and is majoring in kinesiology. In her free time, Sam enjoys running, playing field hockey, baking, and traveling. Sam has visited Nantucket every summer since she was born and is excited to explore the island with campers this summer.

Harrison Cribbins

Harrison Cribbins - Group Leader

Harrison is from Toronto, Canada, and is a senior at Upper Canada College. He was a Strong Wings camper for eight years and a CIT for two. This will be his twelfth year at Strong Wings and his second as a group leader. He enjoys surfing, biking, swimming, and fishing in the summer and skiing and snowboarding in the winter. Harrison is looking forward to spending another summer with the camp.

Lizzie Slocum

Lizzie Slocum - Group Leader

Lizzie is from Houston, TX and is a rising junior at the University of Texas. She is majoring in special education. Living in Connecticut for a few years, she had the chance to visit Nantucket and is so excited to be back! This will be her second year working with Strong Wings. She loves being with her family, friends and dogs. In her free time, she enjoys doing anything outside such as reading, swimming, running, being on the beach - you name it! She can't wait to see everyone and spend the summer with campers and friends.

Libby Stockton

Libby Stockton - Group Leader

Libby is a rising junior at Providence College. She was born and raised in Summit, NJ, and has loved spending past summers on Nantucket. She plays club field hockey at Providence, has an energetic personality, and is excited to have fun and meet new families and friends through Strong Wings. She has spent time as a mother's helper in her hometown, giving private and small group field hockey lessons, and loves working with kids. She loves to spend her free time hanging out with her friends and family and going for long walks or runs around her neighborhood.

Jack Dewalt

Jack Dewalt - Group Leader

Jack is from Richmond, VA. He is a recent graduate of Penn State University where he studied criminology. This will be his second year at Strong Wings and he is excited to make lots of new memories. In his spare time he loves to read, mountain bike, long board and run. Jack is looking forward to working with everyone at Strong Wings again.

Dan Salon

Dan Salon - Group Leader

Dan was born and raised in Hingham, MA and has spent his summers vacationing on Nantucket. He is a rising junior at the University of Colorado Boulder and is studying film. This is Dan's second summer at Strong Wings, and he is very excited to be part of the Strong Wings team again. Dan spends his free time climbing and skiing, but when he's away from the mountains you can find him on the beach and spending time with his dog Bella.

Luke Clark

Luke Clarke - Group Leader

Luke was born on Nantucket and attended Brewster Academy in New Hampshire. He will be studying international business and affairs at Northeastern University in the fall. Luke was a camper at Strong Wings for seven years, and this is his second year as a group leader. He loves taking his group single-tracking and exploring the island's rugged terrain. Luke is excited to return and hopes for another exciting and fun summer.


Julian Borg - Group Leader

Julian is from Toronto, Canada. He is in his final year of high school at Royal St. George’s College and headed to University of Western Ontario in the fall. He hopes to study law one day. Julian likes biking, hunting, and cars. Julian came to Strong Wings as a 10 year old camper and fell in love with the camp. He was a CIT last summer and looks forward to sharing the fun of Strong Wings with campers as a counsellor this summer.

Christopher Johnston

Christopher Johnston - Group Leader

Chris is from Charlottesville, VA and is a rising sophomore at James Madison University, majoring in Finance. Chris has grown up visiting Nantucket each summer and has made countless memories on the island. He enjoys biking, fishing, and anything on the water. This is his first summer as a group leader at Strong Wings and he can't wait to start his first year!

Bailee Volzke

Bailee Volzke - Group Leader

Bailee is from Lincoln, NE. She just graduated high school this past December. Her plans for the future are to become a full time travel photographer. Bailee grew up visiting family on Nantucket during the summers and loved every moment. Bailee is excited to be working with campers and making new friends during her first year with Strong Wings. She has spent her time as a chiropractic technician, floral designer, and photographer on weekends. In her free time she loves time with friends, bonfires on Friday nights, playing her guitar, going for drives with her sister blaring their favorite songs, and hanging out with her dogs!

Samuel Zweck

Samuel Zweck - Group Leader

Samuel is from Plano, TX and is entering his senior year of high school at Plano West Senior High. Sam has hopes to go to medical school. He has been coming to Strong Wings since he was six years old as a camper, has been a CIT for the past two years,This will be his first year as a group leader. During his free time Sam can be found playing volleyball, basketball, working out, or spending time with friends.

Emerson Milne

Davis Bachner - Group Leader

Davis Bachner is a junior at Hopkins High School in New Haven, Connecticut. He has been a camper for many years and a CIT for the past two seasons. Davis holds certifications as an EMT and lifeguard. He loves art, spending time outdoors, or anything active. He is excited to be back this summer.

Emerson Milne

Emerson Milne

Emerson was born and raised on Nantucket. She is a rising junior at The University of Vermont studying exercise science and is on the pre-physical therapy track. This is Emerson’s first summer with Strong Wings, and she couldn’t be more excited! In her free time, Emerson enjoys baking, hiking, skiing, and playing soccer.

Cecilia Degen-Portnoy

Cecilia Degen-Portnoy - Group Leader

Cecilia grew up in the town of Stoneham MA, alongside her four older siblings. Although currently a Junior in high school, Cecilia is getting her associates degree at Middlesex Community College through her schools dual-enrollment program. This is Cecilia's first summer at Strong ings as a group leader, following her two older siblings footsteps! Cecilia enjoys horseback riding, sewing, reading, writing, and yoga in her free time! She is so absolutely excited to be a part of the team this summer!

Michael Gundersdorf

Michael Gundersdorf - Group Leader

Michael was raised in Mesa, AZ, but has spent the last four years studying and playing football at SaInt Xavier University in Chicago, IL. He will graduate with a degree in exercise science in May of 2024, with intent to pursue a strength and conditioning coach position one day. This will be Michael's first summer at Strong Wings. His hobbies include reading, playing golf, and snowboarding.

Sophie Sessions

Sophie Sessions - Group Leader

Sophie is from North Granby, CT . She will be graduating with a Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education and Youth Development from Plymouth State University this May. Sophie has spent some time over the summers on the island but will begin her first summer at Strong Wings this June. Sophie likes the beach, animals, her two pet bunnies, and loves spending time with friends.

Viola Swartout

Viola Swartout - Group Leader

Viola is from Lake Forest, IL, and is a student at Wake Forest University where she studies finance. This will be her first summer at Strong Wings, and she is excited to make memories! Viola loves spending time with friends and family, being on the water, watching F1, traveling, and is always ready for the next adventure! She can’t wait to spend her first summer on Nantucket.

Kaylyn John Zenksy

Kaylyn John Zenksy - Group Leader

Kaylyn is from Pittsfield, NH and attends Keene State College. Kaylyn is a rising junior studying early childhood development with a minor in studio art. She finds her passion in life by working with young children and helping them to foster a love of learning. This will be her first summer as a group leader with Strong Wings. She loves being outside, hiking and exploring new places with her friends and family. She also enjoys hobbies such as traveling, kayaking, baking, theater, reading, and painting!

Teddy Hubble

Teddy Hubble - Group Leader

Teddy grew up in New York City and currently lives in Riverside, CT . He is currently a senior at Greenwich High School and will be deciding on a college to attend next year soon. Teddy loves the outdoors, skiing, cars, and staying active. This will be his first year as a group leader after two years of being a CIT and many more as a camper. He has loved being part of the Strong Wings community and looks forward to finally being a group leader this summer!

Ally Weedon

Ally Weedon - Group Leader

Ally Weedon is from Whitinsville, MA, and will be a rising freshman at Ole Miss this fall, where she will be majoring in nursing. Ally has been coming to Nantucket for her whole life. This is her first summer working for Strong Wings as she has worked as a Nantucket Beach Lifeguard for the past two summers. Ally enjoys working out, playing volleyball and tennis, and walking her dogs. She is passionate about working with children and is looking forward to meeting all the campers and staff this summer.

Alex Zisa

Alex Zisa - Group Leader

Alex is from Westchester, NY, but has lived in Boston, Madrid, and Paris in the past year. She is pre-med, studying Biology and Spanish at Suffolk University and will be a senior in the fall. Summer 2024 will be her third at Strong Wings and she’s excited to be seeing new and returning faces! When she’s not studying, Alex is a yoga teacher and a bookworm and enjoys baking bread and all things nature. She’s so happy to be returning to the Strong Wings family this summer!

James Sabet

James Sabet - Group Leader

James is from Boston, Massachusetts and is a rising freshman at Washington University in St. Louis and planning on studying computer science. He has been coming to Strong Wings for a while as a camper and as a CIT for one year. He loves being outdoors whether it be hiking, rock climbing, sports, or biking! While he was gone for a year he is really excited to be coming back and working with everyone.

Abby Nix

Abby Nix - Group Leader

Abby is from Houston, Texas and is a rising Senior at the University of Texas in Austin. She enjoys being around kids by babysitting, nannying or working at a special needs camp in Texas! This will be her first year working at Strong Wings and her first time up north. She can not wait to see Nantucket and meet everyone. She is excited and eager to diligently serve the kids while looking forward to working alongside everyone.

Merrick Brannigan

Merrick Brannigan - Group Leader

Merrick is a former island resident who is entering his junior year at Tabor Academy. He is a former camper and CIT at Strong Wings, and this will be his second year as a counselor. He is a passionate singer, songwriter, and guitarist-- he especially loves singalongs with campers. At camp, discovering new places on Nantucket is always a highlight. Merrick is so excited to be working at Strong Wings this summer!