Meet Our Team
Ari Golub - Camp Laurelwood Director
Ari has grown up in the camping world starting at the age of 4. Ari has been a camper, counselor, Division Head, Assistant Director and Director at various camps. Ari has more than 15 years of professional experience managing children’s and camping programs and services within Jewish communities around the country including serving as Assistant Director for Camp Laurelwood from 2004-2005.
Ari is a graduate of Southern Connecticut State University with a B.S. in Elementary Education and Communications. In 2012 Ari was chosen to serve as a Fellow for the prestigious Jewish Experiential Leadership Institute. As an educator, mentor and leader in the Jewish community, Ari is constantly seeking creative ways to foster a dynamic learning and social environment and to promote high quality programming for children of all ages. He believes the social, recreational and educational experiences children receive at camp are invaluable.
Camp Laurelwood has significant meaning to Ari and his family. Along with having served as Assistant Director for Camp Laurelwood from 2004-2005, Ari has many family and friends who are Camp Laurelwood alumni, including his mother. Ari loves having the ability to share his love of camp with his two children, Peyton & Jordan and his wife, Heather.
Louis Lasko - Assistant Camp Director
Louis brings ten years of summer camp experience to this position. Prior to Laurelwood, Louis served three years as the Director of Day Camp at the Jewish Community Center in Springfield, MA. He also served as the AssistantDirector of Camp O-la-mi and the Director of the Kids Place after school program at the Stamford JCC in Stamford CT. Louis holds a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Elmira College.
Louis was selected as a Merrin Teen Professional Fellow in 2012. He collaborated with members of the Jewish community to develop leadership opportunities for teens. Louis has built his career around creating fun, engaging, and diverse programs for children, which he will continue to implement in his new role at Laurelwood. He will also be responsible for training and supervising camp staff.
As someone who grew up at overnight camp, Louis understands how meaningful and life-changing a great camp experience can be! He can't wait for summer to begin at Camp Laurelwood!
Evelyn Cohen - Director of Community Outreach & Engagement
Now in her 2nd year with Laurelwood, Evelyn continues to work hard to connect our communities back to Laurelwood. You might meet her at your local JCC, synagogue or elsewhere on the road! Evelyn feels that she "grew up" at her local JCC, where she went to camp for several years before becoming a staff member for several years.
Evelyn holds a Bachelor's degree in Sociology from McGill University and a Master's in Psychology - Student Personnel Administration in Higher Education from Springfield College. The former Director of Graduate Admissions at Springfield College, where she worked for ten years, Evelyn is embracing her return to camp life. Evelyn is married ahd has two children who attend Laurelwood.
Laura Pappas - Day Camp Director
Laura Pappas – Day Camp Director
Laura returns this year as Day Camp Director. She brings over 30 years of camp experience. Laura is a graduate of Syracuse University with a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism and Southern CT State University with a master’s degree in Elementary Education. During the school year, Laura teaches religious school and at Merkaz High School for Judaic Studies. She and her husband Kelly are busy raising two teenagers.
For Laura, Camp Laurelwood is a family tradition. She attended with her brothers as a child. This summer she will have her daughter and three nieces at camp.
Ken Yaffe - Boy's Head Counselor
Ken has been involved with Camp Laurelwood as a camper, counselor, division head and Boys’ Head Counselor for 27 years. During the school year, Ken teaches physical education for Walsh Elementary, where he has been for the past 28 years. Ken has coached high school basketball and baseball. Ken continues to come back to Laurelwood year after year because the camp and kids that attend are a huge part of who he is. The friendships he has made at Laurelwood, have lasted a lifetime. Ken has three amazing kids (Benjamin:26, Emily: 23 and Isaac:17) who have all come to Laurelwood. He cannot wait for summer number 27!
Andy Thompson - Division Head
Originally from Naperville, Illinois Andy currently live in Boca Raton, Florida. He is a junior at Florida Gulf Coast University and is studying marketing. Andy enjoys listening to music and playing and watching sports. Camp has been a second home to Andy, a place where he has been able to grow as a person. “Camp has done so much for me, working at Laurelwood this summer gives me the opportunity to give back to camp and give the campers the best summer possible.”
This will be Andy’s tenth summer at Camp Laurelwood!
Craig Barrows - Director of Bonim
Craig started going to Camp Laurelwood 20 years ago as a camper on Boy’s Side. He has held numerous staff positions at camp including waiter, maintenance, counselor, CIT director and Plex Division Head. He took several summers off to go to college at Southern Connecticut State University and to serve in the United States Army where he learned valuable leadership skills which he brings to camp. Currently, Craig heads up the Bonim Travel Program and runs the Camp Laurelwood Retreat Center in the off season. Every year he staffs Birthright programs as an Informal Educator to Israel. His love of camp and travel makes him ideal to help campers make an experience of a lifetime in Costa Rica and to start to transition from camper to young adult, to future counselors at camp.
Matt Neirenberg - Director of Aquatics
Returning for his 26th year, Matt is thrilled to once again head up our Aquatics program and facilities. From 1984-1989 Matt attended Laurelwood as a camper and the worked at camp from 1990-2006 at which time he took some time off to take care of his twin boys, returning to camp in 2015. Through the years, Matt has had various roles at camp, but has been aquatics director for a majority of those years. Matt holds a certificate as a Certified Pool Operator, teach American Red Cross Lifeguarding, CPR, and First Aid as well as swim lessons. Matt holds a bachelor’s degree in Special Education, Masters in Elementary education, and a 6th year degree in school administration and is a a special Education teacher/ PPT Chairperson . Matt also teaches Hebrew school on Sunday’s and sit on the board of Directors for Temple Emanuel of Greater New Haven. “Overnight camping has always been in my blood and I looked forward to coming back.”
Heather Golub - Office Manager/Registrar
Lila Tullock - Health Center Director