Outdoor Program Team — Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana
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Meet the GCNWI Outdoor Program Team!


Hannah “Nacho” Bovard 


Ask me about: General camp questions

Where I'm located in the summer: Camp Butternut Springs

Hannah “Nacho” Bovard has been involved in Girl Scouting for 16 years with an emphasis on camping for 12 of those years. Her camp name is Nacho, chosen as her Program Aide camp name in 7th grade, because she loves nachos.

Her favorite part of camping is being able to learn new things all the time whether it is about nature, a new art project, or different ways to teach outdoor skills. She loves singing camp songs and her top three favorites are the Three Bears Rap, Harmony, and Auntie Monica.

The life skills that Nacho has gained from camp are perseverance, trust, time management, and teamwork. To Nacho, camping means that she can be herself without judgement and create lasting bonds with her peers.

Sam "Hershey's" Clements


Ask me about: General camp questions

Where I'm located in the summer: Camp Greene Wood

Samantha "Hershey's" Clements has been a Girl Scout for the past 18 years and is currently registered as a lifetime member. Her love of camping and outdoors started with camping with her family and spending summers at day camp. Hershey's has been going to Camp Greene Wood as a camper, CIT, staff member, program leader, and adult volunteer since 2005. 

Hershey's favorite part of camping is connecting with nature and fellow campers. She believes camp is a place where people can try new things and get their hands dirty with new and old friends. Hershey's also loves singing around the campfire. Her favorite song is "Piney Wood Hills," and she will gladly sing it with you whenever you ask.

To Hershey's, camp is a place where you can be yourself and make friendships and memories to last a lifetime. Come on out and join us to see what she means!

Carolina "Hurricane" Franco


Ask me about: Food service, menus, and dietary needs or restrictions

Where I'm located in the Summer: All camp locations

Carolina "Hurricane" Franco joined the seasonal team for Girl Scouts GCNWI in the summer of 2018 as the food service manager for Camp Pokanoka and joined the Outdoor Program Team in March 2019 as the full-time Food Services Coordinator. What Carolina lacks in Girl Scout background, she makes up for by her passion and belief that every girl should get an opportunity to be involved in camp regardless of food restrictions.

Carolina graduated from Northern Illinois University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition/Dietetics with a minor in Public Health. In 2016, she received her Certified Dietary Management license from the Association of Nutrition Foodservice Professionals (ANFP). In addition, she is a certified ServSafe Instructor/Proctor through the National Restaurant Association. As of January 2020, she will have trained all full-time outdoor program staff as ServSafe Food Managers and, also, in Food Allergen Awareness.

Although Carolina loves the outdoors (which she takes advantage of fully by living just minutes from Starved Rock State Park), being responsible for meals she must hang back from all the fun activities her coworkers offers our Girl Scouts. If you are looking for her, you'll either find her working hard in the kitchen, shopping for food, or teaching food services skills to our staff. She is passionate about the work she does so feel free to reach out to her about any food related questions you may have.


Margaret “Strike” Gawlik 


Ask me about: Camp Juniper Knoll

Where I'm located in the Summer: Camp Juniper Knoll

Margaret "Strike" Gawlik has been a member of Girl Scouts for more than 20 years and has spent many of them at Girl Scout camp, or camping around the country with her family.

Before becoming the summer camp director at Juniper Knoll in 2018, she spent time there as a Unit Counselor, Waterfront Director, Program Director, and Assistant Director.  Being out on the lake will always be on the list of her favorite things to do at camp. 

Another of Margaret's favorite things about camp is getting the chance to teach girls new outdoor skills and see them grow.  She believes camp is a unique and exciting place where girls can have life-changing experiences as they explore nature, test their creativity, develop lifelong leadership skills, and create lasting friendships. Outside of camping, Margaret loves bowling, which is how she got her camp name.

Maria "Coqui" Hamann


Ask me about: Custom camping programs and Camp River Trails

Where I'm located in the Summer: Camp River Trails

Maria "Coqui" Hamann has been a Girl Scout since she was in the 2nd grade. She earned her Silver Award and has been an active lifetime member since she graduated high school. She has an elementary education degree.

Coqui has spent more summers at Girl Scout camp as a camper, counselor, and director that not. She is a mother of three daughters that also have spent more summers at camp than not. She has experience being a homesick camper herself and uses strategies learned at camp, in education, as a mom to help girls find success away from home.

One of her favorite parts of camp is building a program that gets girls and adults outdoors to experience nature and make memories. She is an advocate for the 21st Century Soft Skills campers and adults practice during every adventure and hopes that every camper will one day be able to say, "This one time at Girl Scout...!"


Kara “Caribou” Kastenholz 


Ask me about: Day camp and Vernon Hills Day Camp

Where I'm located in the Summer: All camp locations

Kara “Caribou” Kastenholz has been a Girl Scout for the past 20 years, but has loved camping for as long as she can remember. Traveling to numerous National Parks and going on camping trips with family and friends really helped shape her into the camp lover she is today.

Though it is hard for her to pick just one part of camping that she loves the most, she would have to say singing around the campfire and connecting with nature are among her top favorites. She has said that being a part of the camp community is being a part of so much more. The memories and friendships that are made at camp are ones that last a lifetime and helped to mold her into a creative, loving, and well-rounded adult.

Though the camp activities are always a blast, Caribou can’t help but smile when campers share their love for the outdoors with her and others. A piece of advice she has for campers is to come to camp ready to step out of your comfort zone, try new things, and make memories that you’ll look back on fondly for years to come. 

Cheri "Diamond" Kirkpatrick


Ask me about: Archery

Where I'm located in the Summer: All camp locations

Cheri "Diamond" Kirkpatrick has been a Girl Scout for the past 20 years, serving as her daughter's troop leaders for 12 years. Diamond has held various positions at the Service Unit and Council level. She has been awarded the Thanks Badge and is currently registered as a lifetime member.

Diamond began her archery journey when her daughter's troop was in 4th grade and wanted to learn how to shoot. She is a USA Archery Level 3 NTS instructor/coach, a JOAD coach at two local archery clubs, and a USA Archery and NFAA archery judge.

You can find Diamond out on our archery ranges maintaining the equipment, teaching archery certification classes, and supporting staff and volunteers while they facilitate archery. She loves watching a girl's confidence grow as their arrow hits the target for the first time. When a girl stands taller, with a big smile on her face, saying "Yes, I can do this!": that's what it's all about!


Sam “Freddie” Lucheck 


Ask me about: Camp Butternut Springs

Where I'm located in the Summer: Camp Butternut Springs

Sam “Freddie” Lucheck is right at home at camp, with over 20 years of camping experience as a camper, counselor, trip leader, and program director. This will be her 7th summer as a camp director and working for our Girl Scout council full-time as an Outdoor Program Manager.

Having grown up a Girl Scout and a camper, Sam went on to graduate with a bachelor's degree in Outdoor Education and Business from Northland College. Sam enjoys sharing her knowledge of environmental stewardship and backcountry camp skills with campers of all ages.

Sam enjoys the full range of camp activities and experiences, making it impossible for her to pick just one favorite and often can be found joining in on the fun (especially when it comes to singing "Pink Pajamas"). She believes that camp is a place where you can discover new things about yourself while empowering others to do the same.


Vanessa “Venus” Matravers 


Ask me about: General camp questions

Where I'm located in the Summer: All camp locations

Vanessa "Venus" Matravers has been a Girl Scout for the past 21 years and is a lifetime member of the Girl Scouts.

Vanessa chose her camp name when she first started on staff by getting inspiration from the Goddess Venus who was born from water according to Roman mythology. She deemed this a fitting name as she was one of the lifeguards on staff.

Her favorite part of camping is building campfires and singing songs near them. Ask for her favorite song, "Mohawker," if you ever want a long, but fun, song to sing-along to! Camp to her means challenging yourself and coming out a stronger person. Venus applies this to her personal life with her recreational weightlifting. She can’t wait to see strong girls (physically and mentally) out at camp!


Kary “Kanga” Roorda 


Ask me about: Camp Palos day camp

Where I'm located in the Summer: Camp Palos

Kary “Kanga” Roorda has been a Girl Scout since she was four years old and has stuck with the program ever since. She even earned her Gold Award in High School.

She has been coming to camp all her life and loves every part of it!  When she became a teacher and realized that she would have summers off she decided to spend her time at camp giving girls the wonderful experience that she had growing up. 

Kanga believes that camp gives girls a place to be themselves and have fun while they are there.  Her favorite part about camp is walking around the units getting to hear and see all the fun the girls are having, and then jumping in and playing with them while she is there.  

Shannon "Disappearing Turtle" Ross


Ask me about: General camp questions

Where I'm located in the Summer: All camp locations

Shannon "Disappearing Turtle" Ross joined Girl Scouts at age six as a Brownie and is now a lifetime member. Shannon is also a Gold Award Girl Scout.

Shannon's camp experience includes many years attending YMCA day camps and Troop camp at Camp Butternut Springs for more than 10 years. While in college, Shannon worked for GSMWLP as a counselor, lifeguard, business manager, assistant director, and camp director.

One of Shannon's favorite things to do in nature is relaxing in a canoe or kayak on the lake on a sunny day. Shannon's favorite thing about camp is the organized chaos; there's always so many things going on at once, it's hard not to find fun and new adventures everywhere you look!


Lauren “Sprout” Somogyi 


Ask me about: Camp Greene Wood day camp

Where I'm located in the Summer: Camp Greene Wood

Lauren “Sprout” Somogyi has been in Girl Scouts for 21 years. She started as a Daisy and is currently registered as a lifetime member.

Sprout’s love for the outdoors began at a young age. Throughout her childhood, her grandparents would take her and her family on vacations that were based on exploring the outdoors. Sprout has fond memories hiking through the woods, discovering unique rock formations, and searching for hidden waterfalls. These vacations helped her develop an appreciation for the environment and a love for being outdoors.

Throughout her years as a Girl Scout, she attended Girl Scout day and resident camp each summer. These weeks at camp helped her learn valuable skills, such as teamwork, self-perseverance, and independence. Camping and being outdoors, especially with the Girl Scouts, is an important part of Sprout’s life. This is a place where she feels confident to be herself and share her love for the environment with others.

All in all, Sprout hopes to provide positive and fun experiences for girls in the outdoors, so they can develop their own connection and appreciation for the environment around them. 


Katie “Katmandu” Young 


Ask me about: General camp questions and Camp Pokanoka

Where I'm located in the Summer: All camp locations

Katie “Katmandu” Young (you can call her “Kat” for short) has been a Girl Scout since she was a 6-year-old Daisy, and was camping even before that! She loves camp because it is a place where people can be the best versions of themselves, try new things, and make lasting connections with other people—and she wants everyone to have a chance to try it!

One of her favorite special moments was when a group came to camp one spring weekend, and one of the girls was scared of water. With the support of her friends and troop volunteers, she got the courage to try out canoeing—and by the end, was even willing to try paddling. To top it off, it was her birthday, and was able to mark turning 10 years old with a moment where she was truly courageous!