Leadership Team

Jan Peneston: Executive Director

Jan Peneston is the Executive Director Camp Talooli.  Formerly, Jan Peneston was the full-time Camp Director at Camp Talooli for over 20 years.  In 2019, Jan was recognized by the American Camp Association (ACA) as the National Honor Award Recipient for her many years of service to Camp Talooli, camping in Upstate NY, as well as to the national organization of ACA. This will be Jan's 36th year working at Camp Talooli!

Kelly Peneston: Camp Director

Kelly Peneston is the Camp Director at Camp Talooli.  Formerly, Kelly was the Asssistant Camp Director, Boating Director and grew up at Camp Talooli as both a camper and a overnight counselor.  She is also on the Local Council of Leaders of the Upstate NY section of the American Camp Association. Kelly is a graduate of Hobart and William Smith Colleges and has a Master's Degree in Education from UMass Amherst. Kelly is trained as a School Psychologist.

Pam Southworth: Administrative Assistant/Bookeeper

Pam grew up at Camp Talooli as a camper, CIT, and Camp Fire club member. She previously worked as both a camp counselor and Waterfront Director, and was also a member of our volunteer Board of Directors. For the past several years, Pam has worked in our camp office. Her three children also attend Camp Talooli throughout the summer.

Jeff Peneston:  Director of Educational Programs

Jeff Peneston is the Program Director at Camp Talooli and has held this position and many others at Camp Talooli for over 30 years.  Jeff has been an invaluable resource at Camp Talooli and is well known by campers and staff for his vast knowledge and ability to hold large crowds captive. In 2011 Jeff was named the New York State Teacher of the Year and in 2009 he spent a few months on board the Swedish Icebreaker Oden, helping to do research during the ship's voyage through Antarctica. Jeff recently retired from teaching Earth Science for the Liverpool School District and has started working for Camp Talooli in the "off-season" to develop year-round programming. 

Crystal Peneston: Assistant Camp Director - Program Specialist

In her role as an Assistant Camp Director, Crystal supervises our program and counseling staff and provides administrative assistance in the office. As a certified WSI, she also delivers swim lessons to our Pre-K campers. Previously, Crystal worked as a the Nature Director, as well as a Day and Resident Camp Counselor. She was also a camper and CIT at Talooli for many summers.  Crystal graduated from SUNY Brockport with degrees in Inclusive Childhood Education, Psychology and Creative Writing. She also has a Master's Degree in Curriculum from SUNY Oswego. Crystal currently works for the Liverpool School District as a Special Education teacher.

Rachel Arnold: Assistant Camp Director - Youth Development Specialist

In her role as an Assistant Camp Director, Rachel oversees our Integration and Pre-K Day Camp Programs. She provdes individual support to counselors and campers, and she helps to mentor and evaluate our CIT 3s. Previously, Rachel worked as a day camp counselor and the Pre-K Program Director. She was also a camper and CIT at Talooli for many summers.  Rachel is currently studying Psychology at LeMoyne College.

Matthew Peneston:  Program Director

Matthew Peneston is an Assistant Program Director at Camp Talooli.  In his role at Camp, Matthew helps to design and oversee our weekly themes and campwide activities. He also provides evening first aid support. Matthew has been on staff for more than 15 years and has also grown up at Camp Talooli in various positions such as Waterfront Director, lifeguard and day camp counselor.  Matthew is a certified EMT and teaching assistant.

Chad Ventre:  Waterfront Director

We are excited to have Chad returning to Camp Talooli this summer as the Waterfront Director! After taking a year off for an internship, he is pumped to be able to come back and reconnect with our campers and staff. Chad previously attended Camp as a camper, CIT, and worked as a counselor/lifeguard. Chad graduates this May from the University of Arizona with a degree in engineering.

Kate Bateman: Art Director

Kate grew up at Camp Talooli as a camper and CIT. After working as a counselor for four summers, she started working as our Art Director last summer. She is excited to be stepping bacj into the role of Art Director this summer, bringing lots of new ideas for crafts and art activities. Kate currently attends Marywood University and is studying education, with a focus on Family and Consumer Sciences.

Karissa Shepard: CIT Director

Along with Brian, Karissa will be a CIT Director this summer. Together they will teach and lead our counselors-in-training, as they progress through this 3-year program. Karissa began attending Camp Talooli as a camper, completed our CIT program, and worked as a counselor for several summers before stepping into the role of CIT Instructor last summer. Karissa currently attends LeMoyne College, where she studies Psychology.

Brian Lawler: CIT Director

Brian began attending Camp Talooli 14 years ago! After many years of attending camp as a camper, CIT, and counselor, Brian joined our CIT instructor team last year. He is excited to return this summer to train the next generation of Talooli leaders. Brian is a student at Canisius College and is majoring in Human Services.

AJ Mesa: Boating Director

AJ is excited to return as our Boating Director this summer. AJ attended Camp Talooli for many summers as both a camper and CIT. Before becoming our Boating Director, AJ was a day/overnight counselor as well as a lifeguard. AJ is excited to share his love of camp with new campers this summer. He is currently studying at OCC.