Important Staff Biographies

So many of our senior staff have spent decades at French Woods, here are a few of the faces you'll run into at camp...

Ron Schaefer has spent his entire life in camping and is responsible for the development of French Woods’ unique individualized program over the past fourty six years. He has a background as a music teacher for the New York City public schools and and a musical theater college instructor at the New World School of the Arts in Miami, FL.

50 years at camp

Beth Schaefer holds a BFA in Theater and has taken one summer away from camp in her entire life. She has played a myriad of roles at French Woods from Head Counselor to Director of Theater and Staff Director. While she continues to direct theatrical productions at camp, she strives to maintain the quality of staff at camp as a whole. She is an a member of the Catskill Camp Association, the NY State Camp Directors Association, the ACA, the Camp Directors Round Table, Daughters in Summer Camp, and the NY State Childrens Camp Safety Group with AMSkier.

30 years at camp

Isaac Baumfeld, was a guidance counselor in the New York City school system. He worked with both at risk students as well as honors students throughout his career. Isaac has developed programs in mediation and negotiation and trained Principals, Assistant Principals and students in these skills. He has been active as a coach in high school basketball and baseball during his tenure with the New York City Department of Education. Isaac has been involved with French Woods for thirty-five years.

35 years at camp

Brian Worsdale, Artistic Director and Conductor Brian Worsdale has been on the faculty of French Woods since 1994. During the summer months, Brian leads the symphony orchestra, conducts numerous musical productions and oversees one of the largest comprehensive music programs in the country. Brian studied conducting with Jonathan Strasser of The Manhattan School of Music and trombone with David Finlayson of The New York Philharmonic. He has continued his conducting studies with Anthony Maiello of George Mason University. Brian currently serves on the faculty of The Manhattan School of Music Precollege Division and is the founder and conductor of The ISO Symphonic Band and is the interim Music Director of The InterSchool Orchestras of New York. As an educator he taught in public and private schools in NYC and maintains an active schedule as a conductor and clinician for District, County and State Festivals as well as abroad. Founder of the acclaimed ISO Symphonic Band, Brian now resides in Pittsburgh, PA where he is music director and conductor of The Three Rivers Young Peoples Orchestras.

Artistic Director
25 years at camp

Rose Robinson Runs our Program Office

Program Director
10 years at camp

Errick Nnko Runs our office

Office Manager
20 years at camp

Ashleigh Merlino has spent over a decade as both a circus performer and instructor. She has trained all over the world and was even a part of the Florida State University Flying High Circus where she specialized in Spanish Web and Triple Trapeze. 

Head of Circus
10 years at camp

Larry Denburg Larry Denburg has been performing professionally for more than forty years. He likes to say that he’s “probably forgotten more magic than most people ever learn!”
As much as he loves performing, he REALLY loves teaching and sharing his knowledge with others. Larry is a gifted teacher; he excels at breaking down complex ideas and concepts, presenting them in an easily accessible fashion. He’s particularly proud of the fact that several of his staff (and campers!) have gone on to have careers in magic. Larry is frequently called upon as a consultant to provide magic and special effects for theatrical productions.
He currently serves as President of the oldest magic club in the country, where his peers awarded him "Magician of the Year". He’s a five-time winner of the "Best in State" award. The Magician’s Alliance of the Eastern States honored him with their "Best Manipulation Act” trophy.
Larry is a founding member of the “Canned Laughter” Comedy Improv Troupe, and brings a lightning quick wit to every performance. His endless energy and enthusiasm capture the attention and imagination of his audiences.
He teaches that magic happens in the minds of the spectators… and it's our job as performers to put that sense of mystery and wonder into their heads.

Head of Magic
20 years at camp

Anne Mcalexander Anne McAlexander is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Musical Theatre at the University of Kentucky, where she most recently directed and choreographed Cabaret and teaches all levels of Musical Theatre Dance and Acting Technique Anne has an M.F.A. in Directing from Ohio University where she directed Cabaret, Failure a Love Story, Stop Kiss, and the world-premiere of Vessel and Stitched with a Sickle and a Hammer. Anne has served as Associate Artistic Director at Summer Repertory Theatre Festival in Northern California, (directing/choreography credits: West Side Story, Clybourne Park, Nice Work if You Can Get It, Tartuffe, Jeffrey Hatcher’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and Forever Plaid, Chicago, Merrily We Roll Along, South Pacific, La Cage Aux Folles, 9 to 5, The Wedding Singer, Hairspray, The Full Monty, and Mame). Other directing and choreography credits include Parade (Boston University), Ragtime (Fiddlehead Theatre, Boston), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Belmont University, TN), Damn Yankees (SUNY Fredonia). Anne was the choral, theater, and dance instructor at Tuxedo Park School in Tuxedo Park, New York, taught in several New York City area schools as a teaching artist with Wingspan Arts, and has choreographed at various high schools in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. She has spent ten summers at French Woods Festival, choreographing dozens of productions over the years. Performance credits include A Chorus Line (Cassie), Sweet Charity (Charity), Beauty and the Beast, Guys and Dolls, and Chicago.

Head of Theater and Dance
10 years at camp

Would you like to know more?

Call or email us to talk to a camp director... 
(607) 637-8400 /


199 Bouchoux Brook Rd
Hancock, NY 13783


Phone: (607) 637-8400
Fax: (845) 827 0302

Winter Office

PO box 770100
Coral Springs, FL 33077