Meet the Frenchwoods Staff
We travel across the country and around the world in search of the finest staff available. Each counselor is personally interviewed and a background check is conducted. Most of our key staff have been with French Woods for over ten years and are well qualified in their specialty and in camping.
Ron Schaefer (Owner) 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.
Beth Schaefer (Owner) 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 American Camping Association (ACA) member and served the association as an ACA Visitor, maintaining the standards of the ACA in local accredited camps for several years.
Isaac Baumfeld, (Director), 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.
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.
Anne Mcalexander is completing her M.F.A. in Directing at Ohio University where she has directed Cabaret, Failure a Love Story, Stop Kiss, and the world-premiere of Vessel . Anne has served as Associate Artistic Director at Summer Repertory Theatre Festival in Northern California, directing and choreographing shows including 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. Choreography credits with SRT include 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. This fall, Anne will be joining the faculty at the University of Kentucky as an Assistant Professor of Musical Theatre.
Michael Knauf has many years of experience in the visual and technical arts, both as an artist and as an instructor. He is running the Video, Computer, and Visual Arts departments. During the winter months, Michael is responsible for our website and marketing efforts.
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Try French Woods for a weekend
Or a Week
Or for teens, try our Sister Program
for Two Weeks:
The French Woods Sports and Arts Center offers 2 week individual choice programs for teens in sports, arts and technology
French Woods also has a sports intensive sister camp
Kutsher's Sports Academy offers an individual choice sports program with a long history of excellence