Meet the Directors

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Steve and Julie Purdum

Steve spent eight years as a camper and eight years on staff before coming to serve as the Executive Director in 1990. A graduate of Lawrence University, Steve was previously an instructor and counselor at the Culver Academies. He is active within the American Camp Association as a standards visitor and has served on the editorial board of Camping Magazine and on the board of the Association of Independent Camps.

Julie grew up in Minnesota and attended residential camps as a child. Julie has degrees from Lawrence University and the College of St. Catherine, where she received her nursing degree. During the summer, Julie serves as the Health Care Director at Mishawaka.

They have two children, Shelby and Harrison who are former campers and have served as part of the Mishawaka staff.

“The idea that I can give back, and provide Mishawaka campers with an experience similar to the one I had as a camper keeps me going.”

Steve Purdum

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Peter Myers


Peter is a longtime Mishawaka camper (10 years) and staff member (6 years) and returns to Camp Mishawaka to serve as a Director after a distinguished career in independent education. Over the course of his career he has served as a humanities instructor, dean of academics, curriculum director and most recently as the interim Head of School of the Upper School at The Santa Catalina school, a boarding and day school in Monterey, CA. He and his wife, Susanna, have two young sons, Owen and James.

“Returning to Mishawaka at this point in my life seems like a natural progression on a journey that I began as a young camper. Some of my fondest memories and deepest friendships were formed as part of my time at Camp Mishawaka and I am excited to return, share Mishawaka with my family, and help create an exceptional experience for campers and staff.”

Peter Myers

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Mary Jane Curran

Girls Camp Director

Mary Jane joined the Mishawaka staff in 1996 and has served as the Girls’ Camp Director since then. She lives in Minneapolis, where she recently retired from teaching at Breck School. Her sons, Murphy and Kevin were Mishawaka campers for many years and now two of her grandkids are campers!

Mary Jane brings a variety of talents and skills to her role as the Girls’ Camp Director, but none more important than her ability to provide young women with a safe, nurturing environment in which to learn and grow.

“There is nothing more rewarding than walking alongside young people as they figure out who they are, why they are special, and where they fit in this big, beautiful world.”

Mary Jane Curran

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Nate Fuller

Boys Camp Director

As a teacher, coach, and camp professional, Nate Fuller brings a wealth of experience to his role as Boys Director. He and his wife, Ellie, live in Mankato, MN, with their 3 sons and dog, Tala. Nate teaches high school history and currently serves as the head golf coach. He had previously served as the head coach of the girls’ hockey team. He is also the head of Project for Teens - a service organization at his school.

Before coming to Mishawaka, Nate served as the waterfront director and activities director for Camp Winaukee, an all-boys camp in New Hampshire. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, Morris.

“I have seen firsthand the benefits of a camp experience for kids, and I enjoy helping Mishawaka campers and staff find their best selves each summer.”

Nate Fuller

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Marly has stepped into the roll of Assistant Girls Camp Director. She joined Camp Mishawaka in 2018 as a cabin counselor and Trip Director. Since then she has taught just about every program area at least once, although her heart still belongs to trips and camping. She teaches high school English in Duluth, MN. Born and raised in Grand Rapids, she loves being able to return to her hometown every summer to share her love of the Northwoods with campers and enjoy Lake Pokegama. Marly has a strong aquatics background, she swam competitively (water polo too), teaches lifeguarding classes and drives the ski boat.

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Cheryl has been working in the office of Camp Mishawaka since 2016. She was came from central Illinois and was recruited to Minnesota during her college days to work at a similar summer camp – and Minnesota stuck! She lives in the woods near Grand Rapids with her husband, Rob, and many pets. She has three young adult children - one in Connecticut and two nearby in Minnesota.

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Jarid posessses the best qualities for a terrific summer camp buildings and grounds manager: knowledgable in a wide-range of “fix it” fields, fun, safety conscious, and best of all… he lives right down the road!

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Counseling Staff

Camp Mishawaka takes great care in selecting its staff. Married couples, veteran teachers and college aged men and women work together to carry on the tradition of “Safety, Health and Happiness.”

Staff members take part in a week long staff training prior to the arrival of the campers. Counselors are trained in first-aid and CPR and many have advanced certification in water safety, sailing, climbing, tripping, horseback riding and canoeing. In recent years, our staff has averaged five years experience at Mishawaka. Camp Mishawaka maintains a 4:1 camper to staff ratio.