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Camp Directors & Staff

Meet Our Team

Ellamarie Quimby (she | Her)

Camp Director

Ellamarie Quimby, Camp Director (She/Her/Hers) is overjoyed to return to the Appel Farm community after having served as seasonal camp staff from 2012 through 2017. Most recently, Ella held the position of Director of Residence Life at Interlochen Arts Academy boarding high school in northern Michigan. Ella has taught and worked in a variety of educational spaces for over a decade, including the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC Public Schools, the University of Alaska, and the University of the Arts.

In her youth work, Ella is dedicated to being the kind of advocate that she did not have access to as a teenager. As a queer, mixed, indigenous woman, growing up without many adults who looked and identified as she did was difficult. She has spent time developing an inclusive social-emotional curriculum, training young professionals on serving more diverse populations more effectively, and building individual connections with as many young people as possible. She is committed to both the short and long-term work that will help Appel Farm Arts Camp remain a space of inclusive excellence and a place where every young person can take risks and thrive.

Email Tanner at trushing@appelfarm.org 

​Tanner Rushing (he | Him)

Assistant Camp Director

Tanner Rushing, Assistant Camp Director (He/Him/His) is thrilled to serve the Appel Farm community in this new capacity. Tanner began his career with Appel Farm during the summer of 2018 serving as a bunk counselor and theatre instructor/director, then quickly moving into the role of Head Bunk Counselor. He most recently served as Head of Theatre and Creative Writing for the summers of 2020 and 2021.

Tanner received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Acting from the University of Southern Mississippi where he was able to perform in many of their mainstage productions and summer stock. He began his work with youth while still in college, offering one on one private lessons and coaching for children and young actors.

He is dedicated to Appel Farm’s mission of providing an inclusive and safe environment for kiddos to explore and take artistic risks in a supportive and non-competitive environment. His passion is igniting creativity and confidence in young artists, and he is eager to continue this important work at Appel Farm.

Email Tanner at trushing@appelfarm.org 

​AJ Nichols (he | Him)

Operations Coordinator

AJ Nichols, Camp Operations Director / Facilities Assistant (He/Him/His) is from Salem NJ, and has been a part of the Appel Farm Arts and Music Campus since 2018, where he taught robotics, film, and recording arts, while also assuming the role of Arts + Technology Department Head from 2019-2020. In 2021 he spent most of his time working on camp special events.

AJ started his career working with children at John Fenwick Academy in Salem, NJ, where he was a teacher’s aide in special education classrooms. He has been working full-time with Appel Farm since 2019 and is currently on track to graduate in spring 2022 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Filmmaking from Montclair State University. AJ has worked on various films of all genres both at college and professionally. He has also worked as a DJ which allowed him to get professional experience with music production and sound design. He hopes to one day create his own film production company and work towards a Master in Psychology and host arts retreats worldwide.

Email Tanner at nichols@appelfarm.org 

Appel Farm Staff


Heather Yelle, Interim Executive Director  (She/Her/Hers)
Kristina Hill, Arts Integration & STEAM Education Director  (She/Her/Hers)
Curtis Williams, Community Programs Director
Crystal Eckenroad, Accountant
Tanner Rushing, Administrative Coordinator/Teaching Artist (He/Him/His)
Taylor Charles, Community Programs Director Assistant
Kelly Rich, Administrative Coordinator  (She/Her/Hers)
Donald Nees III, Facilities Caretaker
Donald Nees Jr.,
Landscaping
Susan Miranda
, Technology & Program
Coordinator. (She/Her/Hers)
Danielle Walkden, Food Service Manager

Camp Staff

Appel Farm finds the very best Counselors, Instructors, and Leadership Team members from all over the world to work at camp each summer! So many of our Camp Staff come back year after year. Our staff are at least 20 years old, working toward a college degree, and have experience teaching and working with children. Many of our staff are experienced teaching artists with advanced degrees in their craft.