Year Round Staff

Jalisa Danhof


Jalisa came aboard as the Program Director in 2011; was promoted to Assistant Director in 2014; and was named Director in January 2020. She is a leader in the camping field and was the 2017 recipient of the Jack Weiner Leadership Award from the American Camp Association. She has a bachelor’s degree in camp administration from Florida State University. She and her husband Michael were married at Camp in 2014. They live with their two children Calvin and Neva year-round at camp.


Scott Lakin

Associate Director

Scott came to Camp Newaygo as the Community Program Director in 2017 and now leads our program team during summer camp and throughout the year. Scott brings extensive experience from working at a number of camps and youth development organizations across Michigan. He has a Masters degree in Architecture with a focus on community development and youth participatory design processes. Scott is passionate about helping our summer staff develop leadership skills and providing accessible, equitable opportunities to youth. His lab-beagle mix Lola loves living at and exploring camp.

Laura Poeppelmeier

Director of Business and Alumni Relations

Laura came to Camp Newaygo originally in 2002 for her summer internship and worked between 2003-2006 in the following roles: Leader In Training Director, Tripping Director, and Day Camp Director. After Camp, she moved to Virginia and was the Recreation Director for 16 years at Wilderness Presidential Resort where she oversaw all of the amenities, events, and activities on property.  She has her bachelor’s degree in Recreation from Bowling Green State University.  Laura has been bringing her niece and nephews to Mom & Me Camp each summer since 2017 and is very excited to be working back at one of her very favorite places, Camp Newaygo.

Whitney Sparks

Events & Catering Director

Whitney started her career at Camp Newaygo in June 2018, and has already embraced Newaygo county and all it has to offer. Whitney comes to us from Lucy’s Cafe in Grand Rapids, and has experience with The Gilmore Collection and working for Disney World. Whitney holds a degree from the Culinary Institute of Michigan. She and her husband Dave were married at Camp Newaygo in 2021, and their daughter Brooklyn is a proud Camp Newaygo camper.

Jazmine Meyer


Jazmine started her career at Camp Newaygo in 2023. Prior to her role here, she has worked at different seasonal country clubs and resorts in Massachusetts, Florida, and Michigan. Jazmine has even trained under a Michelin Starred Chef. Cooking and baking have always been true passions for Jazmine, but when she isn’t making something delicious to eat, you can find her doing crafts and DIY projects. She and her fiance, Caleb, are excitedly planning their 2024 wedding at Camp Newaygo.


Lilka Espinosa

Summer Camp Program Director, International Trainee


Originally from Toluca, Mexico, Lilka started her career at Camp Newaygo in Summer 2017 as a counselor. She has served as a seasonal leadership staff member and a year-round volunteer at camp. Lilka attended Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México to pursue a degree in Biomedical Engineering but realized her true love is camping and youth development. She is a longtime cheerleader, cheerleading/gymnastics coach and sports enthusiast. Lilka loves everything outdoors, is passionate about human development, social justice and youth education. As an International Trainee, Lilka is excited to be working year-round at Camp Newaygo while sharing her culture and making an impact.

Katie Hoffman

Community Program Director


Katie traveled the U.S. in an RV and found a cute house in White Cloud n 2016 where she then settled with her husband and menagerie of pets. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Katie’s second home is Michigan where she also has family and where her mom was born. She majored in Environmental Studies and received a degree in Integrative Studies from Ferris State University. She loves biology, painting, sculpting, rock hopping, and cereal. Her favorite books to read are non-fiction and biographies from which she always learns something new. She has found her niche in serving and working with her community through working as the Youth Services Librarian at White Cloud Community Library before coming to Camp Newaygo in 2023. At the library, she learned the favorite questions to ask kids are “what’s your favorite color?” and “what’s your favorite dinosaur?” Hers is blue and the brontosaurus respectively.

Liliana Villa

Adventure Program Director 


Liliana, also known as just Lili, started her Camp Newaygo journey in January of 2023. Originally from Chicago, Illinois, she has had her fair share of outdoor adventure. Whether that be almost getting hyperthermia on a canoe trip or bushwhacking while trying to avoid a moose on the trail, she can handle anything thrown her way. She has 2 years of youth adventure trip guiding experience under her belt and can’t wait to pass on that knowledge to any curious minds who want to learn more about the outdoors. She is the 2nd youngest of 8 Kids and has 11 nieces and nephews who she helped raise, so she definitely knows her way around kids. Liliana is excited for the new challenges that she will conquer in this position and is even more excited about what the future at Camp Newaygo has in store.

Jody Hilton

Housekeeping Director


Jody is the youngest of 8 and mother of 3. She moved back to the Howard City area in 2013 and she became a part of a blended family when she married her husband, Rob, gaining 2 bonus daughters. Jody also has a son named Collin who has Autism.  Jody has years of experience working in the healthcare industry and with children. Jody is excited to be a part of the Camp Newaygo family. She is most looking forward to the change of pace that camp offers!

Ryan Boven

Facilities Director

Originally from Fremont, Ryan now lives up near Camp, a short walk away from the main gate. He learned his skills in maintenance from his dad, who operated rental properties while being a teacher in Grant, MI. Prior to working at Camp, Ryan managed facilities for 30+ local rental properties. He and his wife Katie were married at Camp Newaygo in 2012, and their children (Case & Cora) love spending time at camp, especially if it involves treats from Chef Whitney.