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  • Writer's pictureRiley Ellis

Meet the Faces Behind Camp Firwood: A Glimpse at our Dedicated Leadership Staff in 2024

Updated: May 19

Behind the curtains of Camp Firwood, our leadership team is hard at work, year-round, making preparations for the summer.

The faces behind Camp Firwood have vibrant, exciting personalities and are uniquely creative in their own way. So without further ado, we are proud to present our Camp Firwood leadership staff:

Camp Director: Jon (Gonzo) Hansen

Jon, camp-name Gonzo, is a seasoned Camp Firwood veteran. Some say Gonzo is still a camper, riding the never-ending wave of his first week at summer camp when he was just ten years old.

From his choice of clothing, unlimited energy, and overuse of the phrases "Yeah brah!" or "Let's get shreddy!" you too might mistake Gonzo for being a camper. Yet, behind the stoke, there is a creative ingenuity at work –– almost like a mad scientist.

"I hope to see Camp Firwood become a hub of spiritual development in the Pacific Northwest for young adults," Gonzo says, dreaming about the future, "God is doing great things here with high school and college kids. It is really exciting to see."

John Hansen smiles against white background

Administration: Lainie (Miss Frizzle) Ford

Lainie, camp-name Miss Frizzle, has been involved with camp ministry for several years. Originally from Portland, Miss. Frizzle served at multiple summer camps in both Oregon, California, and Costa Rica before coming to Bellingham.

Miss. Frizzle enjoys watching sports and movies during her free time, but her work always takes priority. Of her quirks, her love for learning languages is a fan-favorite. Studying foreign alphabets proves mind-numbing for most, but for Miss. Frizzle, it's a daily pass time.

"Camp Firwood has so much potential," she says, "and I am really excited to be a part of it. I am excited to see how this ministry begins to grow more and more."

Lainey Ford smiles against white background

Assistant Camp Director Intern: Autumn (Pa-chew Pa-chew) Ellis

Autumn, camp-name Pa-chew Pa-chew, started her journey with the Firs when she was in high school, first working at Fircreek Day Camp before moving to Camp Firwood later on. She has spent three summers at Camp Firwood and is now interning as the Assistant Camp Director.

While Pa-chew remains no-nonsense when it comes to leadership, she also loves having fun behind a boat, on the slopes of Mt. Baker, or enjoying a simple hike with her friends and family.

"I'm excited to see how new people interact with camp," she says, "and seeing how God works with those who've never been to camp before."

Autumn Ellis smiles in front of Lake Whatcom

Leadership Intern: Jonathan (CHillionaire) Henry

Jonathan, camp-name Chillionaire, proves himself as the only person on staff capable of matching Gonzo's energy. From both his positions as a young adult leader at The River (My Church's young adult group) and Leadership Intern at Camp Firwood, he holds a renowned hype-man reputation.

Chillionaire could tell you a story about paint drying and somehow make it riveting. Channeling this energy, he brings much-needed enthusiasm, encouragement, and creativity to the Camp Firwood leadership team.

"God is providing changes to Camp Firwood where change is needed," he says. "To think about how God is doing the work to grow and maintain Camp Firwood -- that takes the stress out of things."

Johnathan Henry smiles in front of Lake Whatcom

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