ABE ROKHSAR (he/him)
I’ve been part of the Monkey Business community for a long time, as a camper and youth leader, and I am thrilled to be able to give kids the great experience I have had at MBC! I love playing games of all sorts with the campers, from board games to card games, and even games of dodgeball. I am very excited to see you all at camp!
ALYSSA HAMMOND (she/her)
I’m back! I met Heather and Stacy in 1998 when I started teaching at Step One School. As I recall, they were just starting Monkey Business then. We share the common love of learning through play which was fostered at Step One School. I taught preschool for years before graduating to teach elementary school. I’ve had the pleasure of being with Monkey Business Camp every few years. First I was a Counselor and then Site Director. Years after that, I was the parent of a counselor. Recently, I visited as a storyteller. I’ve been developing stories over the years and I look forward to sharing them with your camper(s). I love that young camper energy, and I enjoy hearing all the stories they tell. Last year was the first year in decades that I was not teaching young children. My own children are teenagers now, nearly ready for college. So, now I’m back to play, listen, and learn.
Hey monkeys! I am Anya Prussin. I love playing tennis, reading, and simply having fun. I have been going to Monkey Business for 10 years as a camper, junior leader and now a counselor. I love Monkey Business because the environment is so friendly and the kids are amazing. I love working with kids because they teach me to think more creatively and be silly. I have so many good memories of Monkey Business and I can’t wait to have another amazing summer. I look forward to meeting new campers, as well as seeing campers I’ve met in the past. I hope everyone has a fantastic summer!
I’ve been at Monkey Business Camp on and off since 2004 and couldn’t be more excited to be back. I grew up in the Bay Area and recently moved back, after living in New York for the past six years where I was acting, making music, working as a teaching artist, and completing my master’s in Applied Theatre at the City University of New York. I am a very high-energy person always doing my best to match or top the energy of the kids. Monkey Business is a great place to work, full of positive energy and good people. GO MONKEY BUSINESS!!!
ANAI BROWN (she/her)
Hello! I started out as a CIT (counselor in training) in 2019, eventually worked my way up to being a JC (junior counselor), and I am now happy to be a staff member! I love spending time with the kids from songs, to games, and other activities. Outside of camp I enjoy spending my time doing music. I also enjoy traveling and being outdoors!
What is up Monkey Business?! My name is Ben and I’ve been part of Monkey Business Camp since I was a little kid. Now I’m returning as a regular counselor and I get to have fun with the kids, play, and I even get paid for it! I am luck and thankful to have traveled all over the world. I’ve been to Mexico, Costa Rica, the Galapagos Islands, Paris, London, and Amsterdam. I love traveling and seeing new cultures so I’m very open minded. I’m active, love to run around and have fun! I love music, writing songs and stories. I am very much into including everyone and making sure everyone has fun. I got that pep in my step, and kids sure are the best!
BRITTANY JENKINS (she/her)
Hello MBC Family! It’s Brittany here. I’ve been with MBC since 2018, starting as a Group Leader, and here I am now serving as a Site Director! I am an educator at heart! I’ve worked with every school age group, including adults. I come from the beautiful city of Compton, CA, and left to attend UC Davis. Since graduating, I relocated to the Bay Area where I have become bountifully involved in youth development and post grade school matriculation. Camp is a place where I let my hair down and just have fun. I love to laugh, salsa dance, and most importantly, create a safe environment for your children to come to! I’m happy to be a part of the budding lives. Thanks for trusting us!
I am so excited to be on staff at Monkey Business Camp! I came to visit San Francisco and worked at both Tilden and Girls on the Go camps in 2012 and fell in love with the place and the people – and now I am back! I said goodbye to my London home after I graduated in June 2019, and I can’t wait for more adventures we will go on together. I love swimming and hiking, trying new foods and improv acting.
CHRISTINE TURBITT (she/her)
Hello to everyone in the Monkey Business Family! I have been working with children for the past 25 years and have a teaching degree in elementary education. I LOVE being outdoors, especially hiking and exploring in the forest. I spent my youth climbing trees, catching frogs, building forts, and enjoying the wonders and beauty the woods had to offer, and I like sharing that same passion for nature with children. Some of my other interests are organic gardening, cooking, disc golf, singing, listening to music, camping, and being with friends.
Hello Everyone! So excited to be on the Monkey Business Team-since 2017!
I connected through Soul Shoppe where I serve as Head Peacemaker Trainer, coaching 3rd-5th graders in peer-peer conflict resolution, in Bay Area elementary schools. Originally from Santa Barbara, I grew up in music, theater and dance, and was in love with my magical summer camps. I attended Sarah Lawrence College in NY, finished up at UCSB, and since then have lived in Northern India, working with young Tibetan refugees, and in the Bay Area working with kids in numerous settings. I love working with kids of all ages! In my spare moments these days, I can be found in the yoga studio, or meditating in the sun, teaching voice, performing with my band, and recording my second album. Monkey Business rock band, anyone? We’re going to have so much fun. I can hardly wait for camp with you all!
I’m grateful to be a part of the Monkey Business Camp staff since 2009. I’ve worked as a park ranger, farmer, teacher, counselor and mentor for over 20 years, recently as Youth Leadership Director for The Mosaic Project. Currently I facilitate a kids mindfulness play group on the peninsula and lead a teen sangha in Oakland. I’m excited about another joyful, peaceful and inspiring summer spent with the Monkey Business community in Tilden Park.
Ever since I started going to monkey business as a little munchkin, I’ve loved the camp. I was a Counselor in Training at Monkey Business Camp and was a Junior Counselor at Boys on the Go, and I am excited to take more of a leadership role in the camp. Working with kids is one of the most entertaining and rewarding things in my life. I learn more, be it gross or funny, from the kids than from anyone else. Among other things, I love music, movies, running, and the great outdoors. I’m a fluent Spanish speaker. I’ll see you at camp!
My name is Elina and I’m a new banana slug heading off to UC Santa Cruz, where I’m planning to stay close to the ocean and study history or anthropology. I grew up in Berkeley speaking three languages- English, Swedish (fluent), and Finnish (intermediate), and am taking advanced French in school. Previously I’ve worked at outdoor school programs with Berkeley Unified 5th graders and taught at my former dance studio. I love gardening, long laughs, going on beach adventures with friends, and hanging out with kids. I’m also a big reader and am always on the hunt for my next favorite book. I’m super excited to be working at such an awesome camp and I can’t wait to meet everyone.
EMILY SHEPPARD (she/her)
Hi friends! My name is Emily and I grew up LOVING the camp-life in Tilden park. I discovered my passion for youth engagement and outdoor recreation when I began teaching swim lessons as a teen at the El Cerrito Community Center in 2011. A few years down the line and now my specialty is connecting youth with nature and each other. My degree in Sustainability and Geology helps me break down science in a fun and digestible way. Additionally, my experience teaching outdoor education at Walker Creek Ranch, Adventure Playground and the Shorebird Nature Center has helped me learn so much from the land, people and our plant and animal friends. My simple pleasures include basking in dappled sunlight, swimming, and hanging with friends on trail or in a park. I am thrilled to play, learn and share wonder with youth and staff at Monkey Business Camp!
My first day of work with Heather and Stacy at Monkey Business Camp was in April 2003. I have been contributing my administrative and technical skills for the past decade to the dream of these two visionary women. I am the person behind the screen – working to get our registration organized, our website to provide clear information and our marketing to catch your eye! Since living in Berkeley, I have moved to NYC to continue my professional dance career: choreographing, teaching, performing and producing work throughout the country (most recently at Bates College in Maine and Juneau Dance Unlimited in Juneau, Alaska). When you get an email at 3am, it’s usually from me (working in a different time zone!). Monkey Business Camp is a thriving community of campers, parents and staff who encourage expression and inspire creativity. I am honored to be a part of its longevity, its integral role in children’s lives and the community it fosters in Berkeley.
Hi everyone! My name is Gemma and I have been spending my summers at Monkey Business Camp since I was four years old. Since then, I have come to camp almost every summer, first as a camper, then a CIT, a JC, and now a counselor! I love spending my time outside hiking, camping, and going to the beach. I also love playing with my pets, cooking, and playing games. I am super excited to have the opportunity to spend time at camp with all of you, see you there!
Hi, my name is Grace Velasquez and I am excited to be a part of Monkey Business Camp this summer! A little about myself. I was born and raised in San Diego, California. At a young age, I knew that I wanted to work in education. I love working with children as teaching is my passion. After I graduated from college, I was accepted to the credential program at California State University, San Marcos. I graduated with my credential in May 2009. After a year of substitute teaching, I happily accepted my first job teaching third grade at an elementary school in Fallbrook, CA. For three summers, I worked for Mira Costa College For Kids as a lead counselor. Last July, I made the move up north to the Bay Area! I currently teach 2nd/3rd grade at an elementary school in Concord, CA. I love my new life here! In my spare time, you’ll most likely find me trying a new restaurant or exploring San Francisco. I look forward to the summer and getting to know all of you!
I’ve been part of the Monkey Business community since 2005 when I started attending as a kindergartner. I have moved up the ranks from being a camper to a CIT, then to a JC, and now finally being lucky enough to take on the responsibility of being a counselor. I love everything from mountain biking and hiking, to playing baseball and volleyball, to playing music. Growing up in the Bay Area has given me so many experiences and so much valuable knowledge I know I would not have gotten elsewhere, and I hope I will be able to share some of it with my campers. I am looking forward to bringing my energy to camp and topping the fun that we had at past camps! I can’t wait to see all of you there!
ISAAC SATZMAN (he/him)
Hello! I’ve been attending Monkey Business for over 10 years as a camper, a Counselor in Training, a Junior Counselor, and now a Counselor. I love this camp and the community centered around it. My favorite activity at camp is passing down all the stories I first heard as a young camper. I have memories of eating lunch while counselors told stories from the magical worlds at the end of bowling lanes, to the wonderful creatures of Little Farm. I also love playing games like dodgeball, and banana tag with campers as well as hiking and other nature activities. Music is a big part of my life and I’ve spent time touring Europe playing at jazz festivals. I look forward to working at Monkey Business Camp and connecting with all the campers!
I am a long time friend of Monkey Business, I first worked with Heather and Stacy back in 2003. Since then I was a teacher in the Oakland Unified School District for 6 years and once I moved to Santa Cruz became a sand sculptor and professional face painter (I am available for birthdays or other events-contact office for my info). I am a poet and musician and love to surf and go on adventures. I am also a nanny to a sweet 2 year old girl.
Hi there! My name is Joy this will be my first summer at MBC and I am looking forward to all the good times! I have worked with children before through the Mosaic Project. I look forward to spreading the peace! I am a graduate of Castro Valley High School where i was in the drama program and lead singer of a band. I will be going into my first year of college soon studying international relations. I can speak, read and write in French and hope to visit France one day! Can’t wait to meet you all monkeys!
KIRA DULANEY (she/her)
I was the Administrative Assistant/Registrar for Monkey Business Camp starting in 2010 and may sub when needed. I also taught craft projects like felting and embroidery at camp, and it was always so great to spend some time with the campers and look forward to continuing to do that at future camps! My passion is fiber art (knitting, crochet, sewing, weaving, felting, spinning, embroidery . . . ), and I have a business, Kira K Designs, designing knitting and crochet patterns. I teach fiber arts in the after-school program at MLK Middle School in Berkeley, and at yarn stores around the Bay Area! I also love to cook, and my wife and I love to have friends over for dinner parties!
Hi all! I’ve been coming to camp since 2010 with my younger brother Neruda, and I’ve found great joy in being a youth leader which I started as soon as I could, to now being on staff! I enjoy reading, writing, spending time with my dog, and working with young children! Looking forward to a great session!
MADDIE LEW (she/her)
Hi there! My name is Maddie and I am a Bay Area native and lover of the outdoors. This will be my first year working at MBC, but I attended camp as a child many summers ago! I am a huge proponent in integrating children and nature, along with the many benefits it brings in connecting them with the natural world. I discovered my passion for working with children when I started to teach swim lessons at the El Cerrito Community Center. There, I found my calling to pursue a path in education. I am a recent graduate from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa where I received my BEd and credential in Elementary Education. In my free time, you can find me surfing, going for a swim, hiking, cooking, soaking up the rays, or surrounding myself with the people I love. I am beyond excited to be part of such an amazing team and can’t wait to get to know all of you!
Hello there! I am a Bay Area native and have spent the last 6 years co-directing the afterschool program at Prospect Sierra School. I have also spent the last 4 years working at Happy Baby Small School and I thoroughly enjoy hanging out with children and having fun. I am currently enrolled at Cal State Eastbay and am working towards my Bachelor’s degree hoping one day to become a teacher. This will be my first summer with the Monkey Business Camp and I look forward to plenty of good times and lots of laughter.
Marcus Liefert has been around Monkey Business since he was first a counselor in 2005. Summer Camp always makes him feel at home. He has worked and played with kids of all ages in a variety of settings around the Bay Area, including at The Mosaic Project, the Exploratorium, and several elementary schools. In his other life, he recently graduated with a Masters in Divinity from the Graduate Theological Union and is pursuing ordination as a Unitarian Universalist minister.
Hi! One of my favorite memories of Monkey Business Camp is coming back from a day of cheese-tasting only to tell my mom: “I can’t live without Brie!” Now, I’m dairy-free, but still support all the wonders MBC offers. I grew up on the trailhead to Wildcat Canyon and went camping every summer in Point Reyes. Natural spaces have always been a refuge for me, and I hope to share that love with y’all. For 8 years, I taught and managed swim lessons at the El Cerrito pool. I adore the Bay, graduated from Cal, and am now getting my Masters in Creative Writing. I can’t wait to explore and create memories with you!
MILES DE ROSA
I am a long-time member (all the way since 2005!) of the Monkey Business family and am really excited to get back to camp this summer. Last summer was my first summer since I was three that I was not involved with Monkey Business in some way and I really missed it. I love sports and music and really look forward to all the fun to be had this year.
What’s up Monkey Business! My name is Miles Kelekian. I grew up and lived in Berkeley for eighteen years before moving off to Washington, DC, for college where I am in my second year at The George Washington University. I’ve been at Monkey Business for a total of 11 years – 3 as a camper, 3 as a counselor in training, 3 as a junior counselor, and had an amazing time two summers ago in my second year as a full counselor. Monkey Business was a huge part of my childhood and gave me a place I was happy to call home each summer. When I am not studying and reading for school, I enjoy playing sports, spending time with my friends, and adventuring in the outdoors. I love meeting new people and learning more about their lives and ideas. I always have a blast hanging out with campers every year and I’m looking forward to another awesome-packed session at Monkey Business Camp!
Hey! I’m so excited to be part of the awesome Monkey Business staff this year. I’ve been attending Monkey Business for as long as I can remember and it has been a huge part of my life. I’m currently heading into my senior year at Berkeley High School. Outside of that I love theater and music, and I’m stoked to have fun this summer.
Hey there, my name is Miriam and I am so excited to be part of the Girls on the Go team for a fifth summer! A little bit about me: I was raised in Southern California but grew up going to overnight camp in the beautiful Napa Valley. Making so many Bay Area friends at camp, I was inspired to attend UC Santa Cruz for undergrad and make Berkeley my new home! With so much love for camp and summer, I like to spend the whole year working with young people and having fun. In the non-summer months, I work with the wonderful people at Classroom Matters, helping students achieve their highest goals in school through tutoring and after care. I also recently completed a master’s degree in counseling psychology at the Wright Institute. Woo-hoo! Otherwise I can be found dancing, working on arts and crafts, or cooking up some tasty gluten free snacks. Let the summer fun begin!
Hello everyone, my name is Natalie (on the right in this photo) and I’m excited to spend another summer at Monkey Business Camp! I was a youth leader for several years and I’m back for my fourth year as a counselor. I am currently studying social work at Humboldt State University. I love the outdoors, and the fact that I get to spend my summer at Tilden Park is awesome. I think kids teach adults a lot about how to have fun. I’m looking forward to reading books and playing monkey ball this
I was born in Boston, Massachusetts and moved to Berkeley at the age of 2. I have a dog named Chancho. I go to Berkeley high school, and one of my favorite classes is graphic design where I enjoy designing posters and rebranding different logos. I ride for the Berkeley high mountain bike team, and I played soccer for a long time. I remember going to Monkey Business at a very young age. I will never forget the amazing and fun memories I shared with my fellow campers. One of my earliest memories was playing Monkey Ball at Lake Anza with all the counselors and campers and after that, we had fruit and popsicles. I will never forget that day! I was a junior counselor at Boys on the Go and I am so excited to be on staff now. I can’t wait to see you there!
OLLIE ROKHSAR (they/them)
Hi all! My name is Ollie and I use they/them pronouns! I’m so grateful to be part of the monkey business staff team. I started in around 2009 as a
camper and “graduated” to being a youth leader and now I’m a staff member which is such an honor! I love spending time with my dog, Mochi, running, listening to music, and doing art! I currently speak minimal amounts of Japanese and Hebrew. I am a college student in New York and am very excited to come home for breaks and work at Monkey Business!
I started as a camper at Monkey Business Camp when I was about 7, and then joined Girls on the Go at age 9, before becoming a youth leader and then staff member in 2017. Looking back on my camper years, I remember admiring my mentoring counselors and thinking about how one day I wanted to be just like them. Making others smile because of a silly story, inspiring creativity with crafts, or leading a field game full of excitement are some of the things that inspire me. I’m super excited to be joining camp again, and getting to know all the new campers as well as connect with those who will be returning. Also, I am a beginner in French language.
Hello! My name is Quetzal Francois and I am thrilled to be part of the Girls On The Go team this year. I was raised between the gorgeous mountains of New Mexico and the diverse city life of Paris. The bay area stole my heart when I was visiting 5 years ago and I haven’t left since then. During the school year, I teach sixth graders in OUSD and older teens about health, consent and healthy relationships. I love it! I will also be attending the gender studies program at UC Berkeley this fall. The rest of my time, I am usually found hiking, trying out new acroyoga poses, dancing, reading, playing on a trapeze, or planning my next trip. I am looking forward to a sunshine and adventure filled summer, spent with wonderful kids as they develop new skills and discover new passions.
Hello everyone! I’m so excited for Monkey Business Camp! I recently graduated from CSU Sacramento with two music degrees and currently teach trumpet lessons and co-own a vegan body care/apothecary company. I have spent the last 8 summers teaching music at Donner Mine Music Camp and Cazadero Performing Arts Camp. I just moved to the Bay Area and can’t wait for a fun and inspirational summer working (and playing!) in Tilden Park.
Hi! My name is Ruby (on the very left of this photo at camp). I’m excited to be on staff this summer. I have previously been a CIT and JC. I live in San Francisco (I win award for longest commute ever), and attend high school at Drew school. I love singing, dancing and playing sports, especially basketball and badminton. I am also fluent in Chinese and I hope to travel to China in the future. I love being outside in beautiful Tilden Park, playing and running around with the kids. I can’t wait to meet all you returning and new monkeys!
SADIE AURORA (she/her)
Hi everyone! Monkey Business camp is one of my favorite communities. I have been part of camp as a camper, a youth leader, and now a counselor since 2019. When I’m at camp, I love greeting new campers at drop off, hiking in Tilden, and helping kids with art projects. When I’m not at camp, I am a student at Smith College.
I’m an Oakland native, though for much of the past 10 years I’ve been on the east coast, where I recently finished up a Masters of Divinity. The highlight of my program, along with lots of fun language study, was my field education: I worked with adult immigrants in the Boston-area ranging in age from 18 to 70 teaching ESOL; and with brilliant youth living on the streets of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where my father grew up, at a drop-in resource center. I find so much meaning in working directly with people of all ages, especially the old and the young, to cultivate strong and healthy relationships to self, other and world.
In my free time (which is precious and rare these days as a new mom!) I love reading and writing nonfiction, hiking in the hills, and playing at my yoga practice. I also really, really enjoy languages and have studied quite a few, though I am most proficient in speaking Amharic and Spanish (roughly intermediate).
Hello everyone! My name is Sarah (on left of this photo) and I am a Berkeley native but studying Anthropology and Latin American Studies at Connecticut College. I have a passion for working with kids and learning about what makes us all different and unique. Monkey Business holds a very special place in my heart and I am so glad to be joining staff again for part of this summer. I am only able to be here for part of the summer because I will be studying in Peru from the end of July to mid December. I can’t wait to meet everyone and have a great summer monkeying around!
Hi everyone. I’m Taylor. I’m an old Monkey Business staff member who is so excited to be back for some end of summer fun. I started working at Monkey Business back in 2002 learning under the mentorship of Stacy and Heather while studying for my Bachelors in Child Development. I used to spend my summers at MBC, then travel and volunteer internationally in the extended off-season. Got my Masters in Peace Education in 2009 and have been doing research and working in Burma most of my time since then. I can’t wait for singing songs, hiking, dancing, swimming, playing games, book of the day, the campers, the staff and all that which makes Monkey Business so special. See you there!
I am excited and happy to be returning to Monkey Business Camp this summer! This will be my 10th year with the MBC family! In 2004 I graduated from UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and minor in women’s studies. I also worked for three years at Prospect Sierra School in El Cerrito as a third grade associate teacher and afterschool assistant. In 2008 I received my teaching credential from SFSU and am pursuing my passion for social justice through education. I have spent the last five years teaching 3rd and 4th grades with the WCCUSD. Prior to teaching, my experience with children includes college volunteer work with campus organizations doing educational outreach, experience as a summer camp counselor in Marin county, and classroom experience as a teachers’ aide. Some of my hobbies and pastimes include dancing, writing, exercising, cooking, camping, arts and crafts, scrapbooking, and digital film/ photography/ music media. I am a Bay Area native and love to immerse myself in the culturally diverse community we have here that is unique and holds a very special place in my heart!
I was born in California, and I’m first generation Syrian on my father’s side. I’ve been going to Monkey Business since I was four years old, meaning that some of my earliest memories are from this camp! I live in Berkeley with my thirteen-year-old cat and one-year-old puppy, which results in a pretty interesting dynamic between them. Some of my interests include writing, traveling, being in nature, and solving problems. I’ve worked at both sleep away and daycare camps before, and love the positive energy that you become part of when working around children. I have five years experience as a camp counselor, and I’m excited to continue spreading positivity at Monkey Business!
ZARA MANN (she/her)
MBC is a special place which fosters love, advocates for creativity, and promotes self-expression. I have attended camp since I was 6 years old and can’t seem to get enough of it! I completed a masters in Biology then worked as an EMT in the East Bay for a year. I spent the last year traveling through South & Central America and now test at a proficient-fluent level of Spanish. I am so excited for this upcoming season of camp!