Our seasonal summer camp staff is a highly trained and professional team of college-aged individuals who are passionate about creating a fun and enriching experience for our campers. Our staff members come from a variety of backgrounds, including philosophy, education, conservation, recreation, and ministry. They are all eager to share their love of Jesus and adventure with our campers.
Our staff members are trained in CPR, first aid, and child safety. They are also trained in a variety of activities, including swimming, hiking, canoeing, and arts and crafts. We are committed to providing a safe and fun environment for our campers, and our staff members are essential to making that happen.
We are proud of our staff members and the work they do each summer. They are the heart of our camp, and we are grateful for their dedication to our campers.
MEET OUR FULL TIME STAFF TEAM
Sean Gundersen is an experienced Camp Director with an extensive background in risk management and camp operations. He is passionate about the camp experience and the transformations seen through summer camp. Sean has both a B.S and M.S in Recreation Management and Administration from Northwest Missouri State University. Sean has 15 years of professional camp experience in the Des Moines Metro and most recently at the Des Moines YMCA Camp, and previously, University of Nebraska – Lincoln. In addition to his professional experience, Sean got his start as a summer camp counselor in adventure programming and waterfront at a private boy’s camp in New Hampshire. When not at camp, Sean enjoys family time with his wife and children, camping, creek stomping, and enjoying a nice campfire.
Guest Experience Manager: Overnight Camp and Hosted Retreats
Mikaela has been involved with Wesley Woods Camp for over 16 years through her time as a camper, Junior Staff and Summer Staff. She has a passion for youth and looks forward to helping them develop a relationship with God while having fun at camp! In her free time, Mikaela enjoys biking, exploring the outdoors, and spending time with her fiancé.
Guest Experience Manager: Day Camp and Guest Services
Asic is from western Nebraska, and attended the University of Nebraska Kearney, where he spent his summers working at the Nebraska 4-H Camps. After college Asic moved to Iowa to pursue a career in camp. In his free time Asic enjoys being outdoors, cooking with friends, or reading a good book.
Equestrian Program Manager
Beth is busy managing the barn and sharing her love and knowledge of horses with others. She has combined her love for horses and her work as a licensed mental health therapist, by practicing Equine Assisted Psychotherapy. Beth is a dual certified Mental Health Counselor and Equine Professional with Natural Lifemanship Institute and is a certified riding instructor with the Certified Horsemanship Association.
Equine Care Coordinator
Nita has been involved in camp over the past 30+ years volunteering and working in many different capacities. Though she enjoys all aspects of camp her heart and passion have always been in working with horses.
Nita is trained as a level 2 Equine Professional with Natural Lifemanship and is part of an Equine Assisted Psychotherapy team. As barn manager she is excited to follow God’s direction in helping develop the horses and the programs.
Her greatest joy is meeting people where they are on their faith journey and watching God work in their lives as He brings healing and change. It is a privilege and a joy to be a part of the barn team and the Wesley Woods Family.
Joanne has served Wesley Woods full time staff since 1995, where she performs bookkeeping, keeping track of the staff, and providing hospitality services. She is married to Eldon Appenzeller and together have four adult children: Lora, Traci, Jennifer, and Brian. Joanne is grandmother to 11+ grandchildren!
Facilities and Grounds Coordinator
John has been full time staff at Wesley Woods for more than 30 years. He has served on Summer Staff, Volunteer Ministry Assistant and Ranch Manager before taking over as Building and Grounds Manager. John is originally from northeast Missouri and is married to Lora Appenzeller. John and Lora are blessed with four children: Andreas, Annaliese, Angelika and Anson.
Food Service Coordinator
After 30 plus years managing in the foodservice industry Rick felt called to return to his roots in the camp kitchen. With experience at three previous camps and several other foodservice operations, Rick brings a passion for tasty food and superior service. He enjoys working with the camp staff team to make Wesley Woods the number one choice for camping and retreats in Central Iowa.
Peggy is a native Iowan who has also lived in California and Illinois. Peggy has been fortunate to have traveled to Spain, Africa and 35 states in the United States. She is blessed to have 3 step-daughters and 2 grandchildren. Peggy loves working with people and brings a servant heart to all the projects she has a hand in at Camp Wesley Woods.