Jason grew up at Kitaki spending time at camp every year from the time he was 5 years old (and a member of the father son "Y-Guides" program). Born in Georgia he promptly moved to Lincoln when he was 3 and has called Lincoln home ever since. Jason loves music and enjoys trying to learn instruments. He plays guitar, banjo and ukulele and has been known to mess around on mandolin, dulcimer, djembe, kalimbas, harmonicas and more. He is an amateur wood worker and has built furniture, a mountain dulcimer, and a few cigar box guitars.
Jason graduated in 2003 with a B.S. in Psychology and a minor in History from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. After graduation he became a Program Director at Kitaki, focusing on the camper experience. Sticking around camp long after his plan to "do this for a couple of years" has expired; Jason became the Associate Executive Director of Kitaki, and was named Executive Director in 2009. Jason is a member of Lincoln East Rotary Club where he has served as club president in 2014-2015. Within the broader Summer Camp movement, Jason chaired the Mid America Camping Conference in 2011 and currently is a member of the Diversity, Inclusion and Global Committee of YMCA of the USA's Overnight Camp Cabinet. Jason has also been a volunteer American Camp Association Standards Visitor since 2012.
Jason lives in Lincoln with Caspian, the "polar bear" that kids talk about seeing at camp (he's a dog). Caspian is a Great Pyrenees adopted in 2018 from a rescue shelter. He is a big ball of white fur that loves to go on walks around Kitaki and say hi to all the campers. Jason has three brothers who all grew up in Lincoln and have their own Kitaki experiences.
Jason’s favorite thing about Kitaki is seeing kids grow over years and years as they attend camp, many of whom eventually work at Kitaki. The growth in a child that can be seen in one week at Kitaki is incredible, but to witness those changes and growth compounded year after year is unforgettable. Plus, it gives him a chance to play guitar, take photos, walk his dog, be outside and call it work. Who wouldn't enjoy that?
You can also see Jason talking about why camp is important through his Ignite Lincoln Talk.