Meet Kawaga’s Expert Instructors

Dear Kawaga Families,

Hello and hope this email finds you well and getting excited for Kawaga’s 110th consecutive Camping Season! We’re just a few weeks away from being together again, and our team is full speed ahead finalizing preparations for another amazing camping season.

As you know, over the past few years, Kawaga has made significant investments in our physical facilities, including our new Mess Hall, Paddle Tennis and Pickleball facility, cabins, sports fields, and courts. These enhancements are ongoing, making Kawaga’s facility second to none.

This year, we’re continuing investing in people and programs, to grow our team of specialty instructors. We’re excited to welcome back four talented, experienced instructors and senior staff members:

  • Denise Murphy, Director of Rackets
  • Phil Beans, Sports Performance Specialist (Phil’s Drills)
  • Andy Freeman, ‘81 CIT, Director of Swim Instruction
  • Josh Schottenstein, Pottery Specialist

And, we’re excited to announce the hiring of two additional programmatic specialists to our team:

  • Daniel Golub, Basketball Specialist
  • Will Jeffery, Water-Skiing and Wakeboarding Specialist

Below is a brief bio on each of them as we look forward to having them on the Shores and advancing our instructional programming for our campers.

Denise Murphy is the Director of Rackets and our offseason Kawaga Paddle program. In addition to being an outstanding teacher, Denise is passionate about working with kids and making a difference in their lives through experiences in sports. After a decorated collegiate-career where she was an All-American at Penn State University, Denise went into coaching and has achieved extraordinary success. She has coached four state-champion high-school tennis teams in Illinois and has been nominated for the National High-School Coach of the Year Award. Additionally, Denise is a nationally-ranked paddle tennis player. We are privileged to have Denise continue to build our rackets program and teach these lifesports to our campers.

Phil Beans will again lead our Sports Performance initiative and provide further value to our Athletics Program. For those of you who have returning campers this summer, you probably heard all about our Modern Athlete program and Phil’s Drills. Phil, and his engaging personality, inspires our campers as he teaches them to have the skills, confidence, and desire to be physically active for life.

Andy Freeman, an ‘81 CIT, returns to Kawaga this Summer as our Director of Swim Instruction. He’s a Masters Swim Coach for two high-level clubs in Boulder, CO. His responsibilities will include: managing our Red Cross Certified Instructional Swim Program, Red Cross Lifeguard Training, Instructional Swimming, and overall water safety protocols.

Josh Schottenstein returns as a Pottery Specialist. A former Kawaga camper, Josh is a skilled instructor with a particular passion for using pottery as a tool to help those in need of emotional-health support. Josh recently opened a new gallery and studio, Adamah Ceramics, in his hometown of Columbus, OH. Pottery Club was a huge hit last Summer and we look forward to building on that this year.

Daniel Golub is an experienced basketball teacher, player, and coach. After success as a collegiate-level player, Daniel received interest from professional clubs and earned the opportunity to play most recently in Israel with coaches from the Maccabi Tel-Aviv franchise. Daniel has coached multiple boys and girls travel basketball programs in both suburban-Chicago and New York City. We are looking forward to seeing Daniel’s excellent teaching and playmaking ability on The Omni this Summer.

Will Jeffery is no stranger to Kawaga or the Minocqua area, and will help bring our water-ski program to new and exciting levels this Summer. After leading The Min-Aqua-Bats ski team and show for many years, Will and his family recently moved to the Northwoods. His intricate knowledge of skiing and wakeboarding, innovative teaching techniques, and engaging personality will make Miracle Dock the place to be this Summer once again.

As we build towards an amazing summer, Kawagas’ 110th, we’re privileged to again have an incredible staff return rate: more than 85% of our cabin counselors will be coming back home to Kawaga! Most importantly, these individuals represent the most dedicated group of camp counselors in the country. Together, with our senior instructors and our leadership group, our team will assure that Kawaga’s campers have the best summer of their lives as they learn and grow in big and meaningful ways.

Be Kawaga!

Ben Fisher

Ty and Lauren Simpson