Meet Our Directors

Jay Toporoff

Director

Jay along with his wife Debbie and four children have called Danbee their summer home, since 1991. He has many years of experience working with children and young adults, having worked in college student affairs administration prior to becoming a camp director. Jay received a B.A. from Bentley College in 1978 and earned a Masters in Education and Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study from Springfield College in 1981. He completed his doctoral coursework at Vanderbilt University in the field of Educational Leadership in 1993.

Jay is committed to philanthropic work serving as a founding director of both America’s Camp (for children of 9/11) and Camp Sea Stars North (for the children of Newtown/Sandy Hook).

Mark Toporoff

Director

Mark (Jay’s brother) also joined Danbee in 1991. Mark was a middle school teacher, soccer coach, and camp professional before joining Danbee full-time in 1998. He received his bachelors degree in Environmental Science in 1983 from SUNY ESF-Syracuse. He later received his Masters in School Administration in 1990. Mark serves as Co-Director of Danbee and takes care of all the administrative and programming details including hiring staff, coordinating our special events and trips, and organizing our teaching program. Mark serves on the Board of the Massachusetts Camping Association and is an ACA accreditation visitor.

Jackie Brethel

Associate Director

Jackie began her summer camp experience as a nine year old camper and over time moved through the ranks having most recently having served as an Associate Director within the CampGroup Family of Camps.

Before joining camping on a full-time basis, Jackie was as an elementary school teacher. She loves developing meaningful connections with campers, staff, and parents. Her experience as an educator and longtime camp staff member enable her to help families navigate all aspects of the summer camp experience.

Jackie is a very active volunteer with the American Camp Association. She is a regular member of the Tri State Camp Conference Planning Team and most recently served as Chairperson for the Joe Kruger Youth Development Conference.

When Jackie is not at camp she enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, cooking, baking, knitting and travelling.

Lauren Heydt

Assistant Director

Lauren is our year around Assistant Director. Being a lifelong camper gave Lauren a true passion for camp. As the mother of two camp age children, Lauren knows what a positive influence camp can have on a child. She actively strives to create those same influences for our Danbee girls.

Prior to joining the Danbee Team, Lauren worked for three summers at Camp Ramaquois where she was in charge of taking care of their youngest campers. Wanting to stay involved in camp year round, Lauren spent the last four years working with a well-known camp referral agency giving her an invaluable perspective on the wants and needs of both campers and parents. Her passion for camp is shared by her husband and two children. Lauren knows the value of camp and is always available to assist campers and parents with their camp journey.

Courtney Jordan

Staffing Director

Courtney joined our full time staff team in 2016. She brings with her many years of Danbee experience and a passion for the camp and the campers. Courtney hires the staff during the off-season and serves as our Head Counselor of Campus during the summer.

Courtney champions Danbee’s commitment to “girl power” in her approach to camping. She works to instill confidence by motivating girls to pursue their own passions. Courtney brings a strong sense of togetherness to her role as Head Counselor at Danbee.

Courtney also organized Camp Sea Stars North, the five day trauma-informed summer camp experience for kids from Newtown, CT hosted at Camp Danbee.