The 2019 Staff

Katrina Bitar has served in youth ministry for more than 20 years. This will be her 17th year serving as the Director for Camp St. Nicholas. Katrina graduated St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary in 2009 and, since then, has been the Program Director for YES (Youth Equipped to Serve).  Both YES and Camp St. Nicholas have given her countless opportunities to create and lead thriving communities in Christ.  She feels blessed to serve the most inspiring campers alongside a staff of true servants.

Michelle Nicola is the Assistant Director at Camp St. Nicholas and could not be more grateful to be back serving for another summer.  During the other 11 months of the year, Michelle is teaching 8th grade history.  Michelle lives and works in the Bay Area. She loves to spend her time soaking in all the best of the bay from trekking up to Tahoe, to hikes in the rolling hills, eating all the yummy food! Michelle is so ready to be at camp with our amazing 2019 staff and campers.  It is the greatest joy of her life to serve and be a member of this community. 

Elle Lengyel-Leahu (Media Director) is from Orange County, CA and just graduated cosmetology school to become a hairstylist. Elle has attended Camp St. Nick's since she was seven years old and is beyond excited to fulfill her dream of being on staff. Elle has been involved with Teen SOYO as well as Project Mexico, Sacred Music and Special Olympics. Elle wants to be on staff because she loves camp and wants to help create the same lifetime memories for campers that she was given. Elle is excited to have a fun summer...she can PICTURE it now!!

Jack Corbin is so excited to be the morning program director this year at camp. Jack has been a counselor for 3 years now and is so pumped for his new role this summer. Jack recently graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a degree in Human Resource Management. Jack loves to play golf, watch sports, and sleep on his free time. He is most excited to see all of the campers in morning program learning from their amazing teachers! He can’t wait to see everyone and have the best summer ever! 

Matthew Soot (Afternoon Program Director) is finishing his senior year at Western Oregon University, where he will graduate with a BS in Exercise Science. He has travelled from Oregon every summer since he was seven to be a part of the loving community that is nurtured at Camp Saint Nicholas. After graduating high school in 2014, he has been fortunate enough to serve on staff each summer since. Matthew wants to keep coming back to the place that gave him his best childhood memories and his dearest friends in hopes of providing other campers with the same joy and love he experienced while at camp! GO CHARGERS!

Paul Rodriguez-Anter is our Evening Program Activities Director this summer! He is very excited to see old faces and meet new ones at camp this year! Paul is from Orange County, CA. He is going into his Sophomore year at USC. He is 20 years old and has been attending camp since he was 7 years old. He is majoring in Religious Studies on a pre-medical track. His favorite thing about camp is SYSCO! (And having fun and making memories with all the campers and staff members). Paul loves surfing and swimming in his free time. He is very excited to go to camp, make memories, and build new relationships with you all this summer!   

Mary Pettygrove (Head Counselor) is going into her senior year at University of Southern California where she studies Choral Music (not to be confused with coral, the thing you find in the ocean). Some of Mary's favorite things include: hanging out with her two adorable God children, cuddling with her cat, running, eating any kind of soup, going to the thrift store to buy funky clothes, and reading! Mary has grown up going to Camp St. Nicholas, and this will be her fifth summer on staff! She is so excited be in community with campers and staff alike, all while sharing the love of Christ in the beautiful creation He has given us!

Marcus Kinan can't wait to come back for his 17th summer at Camp St. Nicholas! He spent 12 years as a camper, 3 years as a counselor, and is now going into his second year as head counselor. He recently graduated from Wichita State University with his Bachelors in Entrepreneurship and is excited to move back to Orange County after two years in Kansas. Marcus loves to play golf and basketball with his cousins and friends, eat In-N-Out, and go to the beach. He is mostly looking forward to furthering his already great relationships with campers and staff this summer and of course play in the Camper v Counselor Two Towers game!

Lucas Ajalat is an 18-year-old born and raised in southern California. He played football and lacrosse in high school, and is entering college this year with a major in philosophy. He has two little sisters and a puppy named Stewie, all three of whom he loves very much. This summer will be Lucas' twelfth at camp, and his first time as a counselor!! He's really, really excited to serve, meet all the campers, and be a part of this amazing community for the summer. Oh, and he can't WAIT to be named MVP of the camper-counselor Two Towers game. Stay on the lookout.

Grace Bahbah is from Orange, CA and currently lives in San Diego where she attends school at the University of California, San Diego. She is a second year student and a Biology major hoping to fulfill a career in healthcare. Grace is super involved around campus and also in the Orthodox Church. She has served on Teen SOYO board and was a counselor at Camp St. Nicholas last summer too! Grace can’t wait to see all of the excited campers again and have her priority be writing bombers with campers instead of essays for school. Yay summer! 

Mark Bshara was born in Syria, but he moved to Los Angeles, California 5 years ago. He attends Los Angeles Valley College, majoring in biology, and planning to go to dental school in the future. When he moved to the USA, he did not know anyone but it was through camp that he was not only able to meet new friends, but grow in his faith. He has been attending camp for 4 years and is ecstatic to finally be a counselor. He can't wait to meet new people, inspire others, spread love, and serve at the place that was his first home in California.

Sophia Cisneros is finishing EMT school and planning to transfer to nursing school this fall. She is from Southern California and has grown up going to Camp St. Nicholas. Sophia is so excited to be a returning for her last summer as a counselor. She can't wait to be apart of the camp community and is looking forward to dress up for dances and having drop talks with her cabins. Her goal is to make Camp St. Nick's a second home for each camper who comes to stay.

Wadeed Fakhoury is from Springfield, Virginia studying Mechanical Engineering at George Mason University. He works at Wegmans (as seen in the great production The Office). He enjoys large glasses of orthodoxy with a side fellowship. He cannot wait to see all of you again, enjoying interpretive dance and consuming large amounts of goldfish. 

Camille Fortuin is from Bonsall in San Diego County. She is graduating high school this year and is going to attend Palomar College next fall. After having been a camper for many years and CIT last summer, Camille is beyond excited to be a counselor this year. Camp St. Nicholas has an extra special place in her heart, and she cannot wait to serve this beautiful community! 

Johnny Gebara is from the small town of Gilbert, Arizona and currently goes to Arizona State University as a third year Computer Science major with an emphasis on Software Engineering and is working as a Dutch Bros Broista. He has been involved with SOYO and YES, and has also been going to Camp St. Nicholas since he was 13. In his free time, he loves watching movies, making facemasks, thrift shopping, cooking, drawing/painting, and throwing one-man spontaneous dance parties. Johnny is excited to be a counselor at Camp St. Nick’s to learn more about God, make more unforgettable memories, and incredible friendships! He hopes to make his campers constantly laugh and always have fun, while teaching them all the lessons past counselors have taught him.

Nayla Gebara is from Gilbert, Arizona about to enter her junior year at Arizona State University!  She is a medical studies major in hopes of fulfilling her dream to be a  pediatrician. In her free time she loves to hike, travel, eat, sleep, and binge watch any show featuring Gordon Ramsay. It's important to note that she loves the beach but sadly they don't have one in Arizona. She has been involved in SOYO and attending CSN since she was 13 years old and is SO stoked to be a counselor this summer. She wants to take this opportunity to give her campers what her previous (amazing) counselors gave to her. Camp has given her a “home away from home” and friendships that will last for eternity. She can't wait to meet all the beautiful campers and build new relationships, spread love, and of course create memories that will be cherished forever. 

Amira Katrib, born and raised in New Jersey, just wrapped up her second year studying Biology at Montclair State University. Amira loves working as an EMT whenever she has the chance. She's quick on her feet and ready for anything and everything. She loves to make people laugh, and you can always catch her smiling. She's been a camper at AV for several years and loves the camp atmosphere. She's returning for a second year as a camp counselor here at Camp St. Nicholas. She loves the community and wonderful vibes that the camp holds. She can't wait to see you all this summer! 

Adam King has finished up his senior year of high school at Providence, a small school in Santa Barbara, California. Adam has been attending Camp St. Nicholas for 10 years and can't wait to be a counselor. He is most looking forward to having a great time hanging out with all the campers and also dominating in the camper-counselor Two Towers game.

Elleney King attends Santa Barbara Community College and is majoring in kinesiology. Her goal is to start an athletic training program at her old high school. She is currently a youth group leader at her church and loves seeing the teens every week. Elleney is very excited to be at camp as a counselor this year and looks forward to all the relationships she will make. 

Natalie Kouri is from Yorba Linda, California. She attends St. Lukes in Garden Grove and  is currently attending Fullerton College, where she is hoping to get a degree in Child Development. She has grown up at camp and ever since the first day on the campgrounds, has called it her second home. Natalie is excited to get to know all the campers and build on friendships that will last a lifetime!

Hi, my name is Nick McGee and I am 21 years old!  I am student and Minor League ice hockey commentator. I love to laugh and joke around. One of my favorite things in the world is being out in the wilderness where it's quiet (sort of ironic given what I do for work). I can't wait to meet all of you this summer!

Gabriella Moussa is from Yorba Linda, California, and is entering her second year at the University of California Riverside studying Cell, Molecular, and Developmental Biology. After she graduates, she aspires to be a compassionate physician so that she may help those who really need it. Gabi has been going to Camp St. Nicholas as a camper for the past 6 years and also served as a CIT last summer. She has loved meeting new people and sharing the greatness of God's love with everyone at camp. She feels so blessed to be a counselor and cannot wait to pray, live and love with all that are coming to camp this summer! 

Josh Nasser hails from the great state of Michigan, so you can tell how thrilled he is to experience some California sun. He's going into his sophomore year in college and plans to study filmmaking. Josh loves watching movies, hanging out with friends, and he never turns down a good Dad Joke. This is his first year at CSN, but he was a camper at the Antiochian Village for nine years, and he is BEYOND pumped to meet all you crazy people and have the greatest summer in history. Come ready to laugh, dance, sing, have fun, and most importantly, grow in the faith! LET'S GOOOO!!!!

Tony Nehme is so excited to return to camp this year! Coming from Phoenix, Tony just wrapped up his second year at Arizona State, pursuing a degree in biology. He has been going to Camp St. Nick's since he was 11, and was a counselor last year. In his spare time, Tony can be found hiking, playing music, and hanging out with friends. He can't wait to come back to camp and see everyone!

Alethia Placencia can't wait to return to CSN as a counselor this summer! She spent one year as a camper and was a counselor last year. She is 19 and is going into her Junior year at the University of Kentucky as a Philosophy major. Alethia is from Pomona CA but while away at school she is a youth leader at her parish as well. She enjoys being with friends and family, staying active,  singing along to her favorite songs, playing with any animal that comes her way, and serving alongside such beautiful people at such a beautiful place! Her summer wouldn't be the same without serving and learning from all of the wonderful campers at St. Nicks!

Nick Safady is from Westlake Village, California. He currently is a student at the University of Oklahoma and is majoring in business. He was a counselor at camp last year and looks forward to doing it again! He also has been on many Yes Trips and was a coach at the Special Olympics sports camp at the Antiochian Village. He wants to be on staff at Camp St.Nick's because he wants to give the experience he got from camp to others. 

Nick Salibi just can't wait to return to Camp St. Nicholas for his 8th year and his 4th year serving as a counselor! He is going into his 4th year of college studying mechanical engineering. Nick can't get enough of the outdoors and enjoys activities such as hiking, playing sports, and enjoying the sun. He is most excited to be back at camp to reunite with the campers he has built relationships with over the years and to build new ones with those he will meet this summer. 

Tatiana (Tati) Speier is most excited to sing Baby Shark the RIGHT way at camp this summer. She is also excited to reconnect with all the lovely campers, plus meet new ones! Currently, Tati is in nursing school at Santa Barbara City College. She is thankful to have summers off to spend time at her second home, CSN. This will be her 3rd year as a counselor and she falls in love with the community more and more each time. Her favorite thing about camp is seeing everyone grow in their faith and love for one another, serving without hesitation.

In Northern Virginia she was born and raised, on the East Coast where she spent most of her days. Jenna Taweel has grown up as a camper at the Antiochian Village and is incredibly excited to serve as a counselor for the second time at Camp St. Nicholas! She recently finished her second year at George Mason University, where she studies kinesiology. Jenna is looking forward to reconnecting with everyone she met last summer and creating new friendships!