YMCA Camp Kitaki

Whitney Drahota

Whitney Drahota

Administrative Assistant
wdrahota [at] ymcalincoln.org

Meet Whitney  

What started as a week of camp for a 10th birthday present has turned into a career. Whitney has been a Kitaki camper, SK, summer staff member, summer staff alumna, and now part of the full time team. If you’d like to spot her outside of camp, the best trap will include bumblebees, yoga mats, a cat or dog, and coffee.  

Education and Work Experience

After Whitney’s first summer on staff, she realized outdoor education was the career field for her, so she majored in Environmental Studies and Anthropology, and minored in Environmental Education, Spanish, and Global Studies at the University of Nebraska Lincoln.  Her first job was at the Northeast branch and she was on Summer Staff in 2012 and 2016. After graduating college, she wanted to take a “gap year” and headed to a 9-month internship at Cincinnati Nature Center in Ohio that turned into nearly 2 years of educating youth and adults outdoors, focusing on camp whenever she could. She discovered during her second year how much she enjoyed the behind the scenes parts of camp coordinating by taking on the role of camp coordinator and starting the Spring Break Camp. Upon her return to Nebraska she continued to work behind the scenes on youth and family programs at a nature center before returning to Kitaki.  


Born and raised in Lincoln, Whitney’s family is very excited she’s returned to her hometown. Her cat, Charlie, doesn’t mind where they live as long as there’s a human to cuddle up with and a full food bowl. Whitney takes her responsibilities of unofficial Aunt seriously and is always ready for adventures with her littles. 

Why Kitaki?

Whitney still remembers her first counselor- Alyssa- and knew that week she wanted to work at camp when she grew up. At the time, the goal was just a summer or two on staff. During 2012, she worked with an SK during an interesting week and upon returning to staff in 2016 got to work alongside the former-SK-turned-staff-member and they both remember the growth they gained that week. And that solidified for her the power of summer camp, and she knew it would turn into her long term career. When a behind the scene position opened at Kitaki, it was a natural fit.