By Baylee & Emily
We like to call them “Camp Professional”. Which, I suppose, means they’re really just professional campers.
These people are unique. They have the maturity to run a large summer program with impeccable skill, but you also might find them riding tricycles through a church building. They wear suits, don nametags, answer to board members and yet part of the job includes climbing rock walls and learning the dance moves to the campiest of songs. You shouldn’t be surprised if two minutes after leading a group through high-level training and development courses, the speaker is suddenly wearing a pie tin full of whipped cream.
That’s the definition of “Camp Professional.”
So who are these people and why do they want to run summer camps? Most of them attended camp as children or worked at a camp in their high school or college years. There’s just something about playing hard, working hard, serving your community and the adventure of it all that gets into your bones. They have a servant’s heart, a leader’s gifts, and a work ethic that’s above and beyond. Their capacity to be 100% about people and 100% about organization means just one thing: they’re running at 200% all summer long.
You can meet all the individual people and read their bios on our website at campskylark.com/team, but let’s take a minute to walk through more details about their specific roles at Skylark.
Stan Dobbs is our founder and CEO. He also founded two other organizations, Apartment Life and Lionheart Children’s Academy. With a huge heart for families, all of his “Stanistries” have building community and providing for needs at their core.
Jake Collins “The Prez” serves as President of Camp Skylark. Under his leadership, Skylark is now entering its fourth summer and the foundation he’s building will create a scalable organization able to grow to other cities and states in future years. The vision is BIG for Skylark and Jake is fearlessly guiding his team towards the many years ahead.
Josh Fortney is the Director of Programs and Partnerships. Everything that we cook up for the summer when it comes to fun activities, Bible Studies, our SIGMA reading program, the X-Tours and pretty much everything else is under his purview. He also leads the cooperative partnerships with the local churches that host our daytime camp alongside us and helps us contract with and foster collaboration between teams.
Our People Team department has 2 shining stars with our Chief People Officer, Ashley Sink, and HR Partner, Baylee Blankenship. They both work hard to help recruit, train, and develop full-time and summer staff. They make compliance look effortless and create an atmosphere that Skylark staff can thrive in.
Sarah Craft is the newest kid on the block. She’s the VP of Operations and the term “Master Calendar” will never be the same. As Skylark continues to grow, her specific gifts of leadership and capacity to streamline the inner workings of Skylark’s organization will make us ready for launch as we continue to add more camps for kids. First in Dallas, then the WORLD…. MWAHAHAHAHA (not so evil laugh).
Elliott Dobbs is our Director of Operations. Everything from software development to X-Tours rotations operates smoothly and efficiently because he is a logistical wiz. Data analytics and operational safety make his heart sing. Nothing gets done around here without Elliott.
Kelley Grace Flournoy is Skylark’s Administrative Director. She’s the glue that holds it all together and keeps staff and camper families on track to be ready for summer youth camp! All of registration and parent communications come through Kelley Grace. She also oversees the training and leadership of each campsite’s DOD (Director of Details summer staffer). Her very favorite part of the job is processing financial aid. Connecting qualifying families with financial aid provided by our generous donors and church partners is her passion!
Emily Gentiles is the Director of Marketing. Everything that has a logo on it goes through her! All printed materials, banners, websites, Google ads, annual growth strategy and ISD collaboration is her jam. She also loves SWAG! Swag builds the excitement and increases loyalty to the legacy Skylark is creating by offering products kids can purchase at the camp store during the summer and all year long on the Skylark Swag online store. You probably need some swag.
Heather Weathers knows how to raise money! If you received financial aid during your weeks of camp, just know that Heather was a huge part of that. Our generous donors and church partners give sacrificially to ensure our campers have the opportunity to experience camp at Skylark regardless of their financial situation. Heather’s role as VP of Development oversees fundraising and donor relations so we can continue to do one of our favorite things: make camp even more accessible!
William Garrison is our Area Director and he’s been at Skylark since day 1! Spending his first 3 summers as camp director at Hillcrest in Cedar Hill, he’s been a vital part of the development of Skylark’s program. Now he leads the team of camp directors that lead each camp site all summer long.
Speaking of camp directors, the true HEROES of Skylark are our wonderful camp directors! Brent Buell at CityBridge in Plano, Hannah Garcia at TCAL in Mansfield, Jacob Shellum at Cottonwood Creek in Allen, and Karis Childres at Irving Bible Church are exceptional people and the life of our organization. Each campsite depends on their leadership and experience to make Skylark everything it is for our camper families. They work tirelessly all summer to steer the ship at each site, keep the program running smoothly and ensure campers are having the time of their lives in a safe and exciting environment. They ARE Skylark and they are heroes!
Read more about our staff on our website at campskylark.com/team.