Outpost is run by a team of child development professionals who work hard to provide programs of the highest quality. Our Senior Directors each have responsibility for one of our camp programs, closely collaborating with the owners/directors. Assistant Directors work with and receive training from the Senior Directors, coaching the counselors and working closely with campers each and every day. A professional psychologist and developmental expert provides technical support and consultation for our entire team. Meet them below:
Kelly Jones, Ph.D.
Executive Director/Day Camp Director
Dr. Kelly Jones is the Executive Director and Day Camp Director of Outpost Summer Camps and oversees operations of both our Summer and After School Programs. The summer of 2020 will be Kelly’s 11th summer at Outpost. Prior to becoming Executive Director, Kelly supported camp by providing consultation on camper issues that emerged during the summer, training our program staff in skills and techniques that will support all our campers, and supervising staff.
Dr. Kelly recently served as Director of the FRIENDS Social Skills Program, a unique after-school program for children who have a difficult time navigating challenging social situations and making and keeping friends. She has worked as a licensed clinical psychologist, therapist, and researcher respectively at several hospitals throughout the county including Palomar Behavioral Health, the VA Hospital, and Rady Children’s Hospital. Dr. Kelly also maintains a private practice and is active in many professional camp and psychological associations, including the American Camp Association the Western Association of Independent Camps, as a speaker and trainer.
Dr. Kelly is a graduate of the University of San Diego, and holds a Doctorate in clinical psychology from Fuller Graduate School of Psychology in Pasadena, CA. She lives in Poway with her husband Stuart and their five children, sharing responsibility for getting them to all their activities including Outpost every summer!
Sending your camper to Outpost means becoming part of a family business fully focused on the development of your child through both “old-fashioned” and innovative camp programming. Please read Kelly and Stuart’s welcome letter for new camp families.
Stuart Jones is President of Outpost Summer Camps and oversees the business end of the organization. He has been involved with summer camps his entire life as a camper, counselor and director, and in 2001 followed a life long dream by moving to San Diego and launching Outpost Summer Camps, celebrating its 19th summer in 2020.
Stuart is a frequent speaker and staff trainer at both local and national American Camp Association (ACA) conferences, leading sessions on camp management and child development. He also works closely with local preschools and elementary schools, leading trainings for teachers and support staff on best practices on playground and classroom behavior management, and providing talks for parents on a variety of child-related subjects.
Stuart is a founding partner and CEO of Acorn Evaluation, Inc., providing outcomes research and consulting services for organizations that serve families with children ages 0-5 (visit Stuart’s LinkedIn page). He previously worked with the San Diego County Office of Education and the First 5 San Diego Quality Preschool Initiative, the Poway Unified School District to train supervisors of their Extended Student Services (ESS) programs, and with Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego as a Senior Research Associate, supporting Health and Development programs countywide. Stuart is a graduate of UC San Diego and has a Master’s degree in Developmental Psychology. He and his wife Kelly live in Poway with their five children aged 18, 17, 14, 8, and 5 – all of whom are also involved in camp as either campers or staff!
Sending your camper to Outpost means becoming part of a family business fully focused on the development of your child through both traditional and innovative camp programming. Please read Stuart and Kelly’s welcome letter for new camp families.
Summer Camps Director
Elizabeth Ewing is our Summer Camps Director, returning for her 14th summer at Outpost in 2020. She is responsible for the overall operations of all of Outpost’s summer programs, making sure that all the “moving parts” are running smoothly and safely. Elizabeth has a degree in History from the University of California San Diego, is a certified lifeguard and rock climbing instructor, and is highly experienced in facilitating outdoor adventure programs for both elementary and middle school children. She holds her California teaching credential in secondary education from California State University Long Beach and during the school year teaches English Language Arts to middle school students in San Diego at EJE Academies.
Administrative Director, After School Camp Director
Marina Knize is the Administrative Director and After School Camps Director, returning for her 16th summer at Outpost in 2020. Marina has years of experience working with the youngest girls day camp group through the oldest Senior Outpost group, as a Junior Counselor, Senior Counselor, and Specialist. She previously served as Day Camp Assistant Director and Senior Outpost Director prior to assuming a full time, year round role as Administrative Director. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Miami, is a First Aid and CPR Instructor and a Visitor and Volunteer with the American Camp Association. Marina is the Director of our Innovations Academy After School Camp, and is responsible for our enrollment, staffing, and marketing each season.
Senior Outpost Director, After School Camp Director
Sam Townley is our Senior Outpost Director and has worked at Outpost since 2013, returning for her 8th summer in 2020. She participated in teen camp leadership programs when she was younger, and was a camp counselor at Rawhide Ranch for two years prior to coming to Outpost. She was a Senior Outpost Senior Counselor in 2013, and an Assistant Director from 2014-16, then serving as Director for the last several summers. Sam is a graduate of Colorado State University with a major in Equine Science, a minor in Business Administration. She also holds a life guarding certification, is a First Aid and CPR Instructor and a Visitor with the American Camp Association. During the school year Sam works full time, year round for Outpost as on-site Director of Outpost After School Camp at Innovations Academy in Scripps Ranch, and assisting Marina with enrollment, staffing and marketing.
Pre Camp Director
Jae Crabtree is the Outpost Pre Camp Director, returning for her 8th summer at Outpost in 2020. She previously served Outpost as Pre Camp Assistant Director and a Pre Camp Senior Counselor. Jae graduated from Whittier College with a degree in Political Science and holds her Single Subject Teaching Credential from SDSU. She has worked with children for most of her life as a camp counselor, swim instructor, water polo coach, and instructional aid. Currently, she teaches at Scripps Ranch High School. She also coaches for Pacific Polo and is the head coach for the women’s water polo team at Scripps Ranch High School.
Day Camp Assistant Director
Taylor Albizati is a Day Camp Assistant Director in her fifth summer at Outpost, and she is in charge of our youngest day campers entering kindergarten and 1st grade. She has been a senior counselor for three years as well as a junior counselor and after school camp counselor for two years. Taylor hopes to become an elementary school teacher and is majoring in Psychology and minoring in Education at UC Santa Barbara. During the school year, Taylor holds several volunteer positions including working in elementary school classrooms and playgrounds. She is also a research assistant at the Koegel Autism Center at UCSB where she volunteers as a language therapy clinician for toddlers with autism.
Day Camp Assistant Director
Rodney Tompkins is a Day Camp Assistant Director returning for his fourth summer at Outpost . He works primarily with our campers entering 1st and 2nd. Rodney has served as a Senior Counselor for the previous three summers. He will graduate from the University of California, Davis in June with his Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a Biology Emphasis. In Davis, he conducts research in the Mind-Emotion Development Lab as well as the Teen Experiences, Emotions, and Neurodevelopment Lab at the UC Davis Center for Mind and Brain. During the upcoming academic year, Rodney will continue researching developmental psychology on the East Coast and apply to Psychology Ph.D. programs.
Day Camp Assistant Director
Haley Malenchini is a Day Camp Assistant Director returning for her third summer at Outpost and second summer on the director team in charge of middle elementary-aged campers entering 2nd and 3rd grade. Haley has also been an After School Camp Director and Senior Counselor. Haley has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education from San Diego State University. She is currently in graduate school at SDSU working toward getting her multiple subject teaching credential. During the school year, Haley is a 4th grade student teacher at Rancho Elementary School in Spring Valley.
Day Camp Assistant Director
Tyler Waller is a Day Camp Assistant Director returning for his sixth summer at Outpost. He primarily works with the oldest day campers entering 4th and 5th grade. Tyler has previously served as a senior counselor at Outpost for two years, a junior counselor for three years, and has spent several years working at Outpost After School Camp. Tyler hopes to become a 5th grade teacher in the near future. He attends Washington State University majoring in Elementary Education with an endorsement in English Language Learning. Throughout the school year, Tyler works as a student teacher in local classrooms around Pullman, WA and has held leadership positions in various school organizations.
Pre Camp Assistant Director
Emily Nielsen is our Pre Camp Assisstant Director. This is her 5th summer at Outpost, where she has previously served as the Activities Coordinator in 2015 and 2016, and Clubhouse Coordinator in 2017 and 2018. She graduated from the University if Wyoming with a dual degree in English and Secondary Education and holds her 7-12 teaching license. During the school year she teaches English and Drama at Pahrump Valley High School in Nevada.
Office Assistant Director
Kari Anderson is the Office Assistant Director, returning for her 5th summer at Outpost in 2020. She previously served Outpost as Office Coordinator for three summers. Kari graduated from PLNU with a Master’s in Teaching Degree and has her Education Specialist Teaching Credential. She has worked with children for many years as a specialized math instructor, after school staff, math tutor, and instructional aide. Currently, Kari serves as a special education resource teacher at Carlton Hills Elementary School in the Santee School District.
Adria O’Donnell, Psy.D.
Director Team Consultant, Behavioral Expert
Dr. Adria O’Donnell is a licensed clinical psychologist practicing in San Diego and returns to the Outpost team for her 7th summer in 2020. She brings many skills to our camp staff as a trainer, behavioral consultant, and developmental expert. For the past 20 years she has worked with children and adolescents with a specialization in teen and pre-teen girls, and maintains a full-time private practice in Carmel Valley.
Dr. Adria previously worked at Excelsior Academy, a small private school for learning disabled children 8-18 and at New Bridge Academy in Poway, California. Before she received her doctorate, she cut her teeth working with kids as the Assistant Director for Tom Sawyer Camps Inc., in Pasadena. Dr. Adria earned her Bachelor’s Degree at the University of San Diego in Communication and Hispanic Studies, attended the University of Granada, Spain, and earned her Doctorate from the California School of Professional Psychology, San Diego. Visit her professional website here.