Meet Our Camp Staff

KIDS for the BAY Environmental Educators LOVE leading our Summer Camp!

Our Camp Leaders are year-round KIDS for the BAY Educators who teach our school-based programs in local elementary schools, lead nature-based field trips and provide professional development in environmental science education for classroom teachers during the school year. Additional Camp Leaders also join us each summer. KIDS for the BAY’s Camp Leaders are all college graduates and have multiple years of experience teaching environmental education in various settings. We also hire several Summer Camp Assistant Leaders each summer. Please click here for current positions open.

The summer months provide the opportunity for KIDS for the BAY Educators to do what they love the most — be in the outdoors with children! Please read below to learn about each of our amazing Camp Staff members for summer 2021, and to find out why they love what they do.

Camp Staff 2022

MANDI BILLINGE
KIDS for the BAY Executive Director/Founder

“I am very excited for the 21st year of our KIDS for the BAY Summer Camp in the 30th Anniversary year of KIDS for the BAY! We have a wonderful camp team of experienced and capable staff who are passionate about teaching environmental education to children and having fun in nature with our campers. I can’t wait to see our campers learning, playing, exploring and becoming inspired environmentalists with our great team this summer!”

Mandi founded KIDS for the BAY and has directed program and organization development for the past thirty years. Mandi was originally a classroom teacher in an inner-city London school and a Summer Camp Counselor at Camp Mendocino with the San Francisco Boys and Girls Club. She founded KIDS for the BAY to bring environmental education to all children, especially those who would not otherwise have this opportunity. Mandi has a Bachelor of Science Honors Degree in Biology from Hull University, England, specializing in freshwater and estuarine ecology, a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from Leeds University, England and the Development Director’s Certificate from the University of San Francisco. Mandi loves being a mom to her three children, and exploring in nature with her family. She also enjoys dancing, reading, cooking and going on hiking adventures.


SHAY HART
KIDS for the BAY Education Manager

“I am very excited for another year of KIDS for the BAY Summer Camp! We have an amazing team of passionate and dedicated environmental educators and I can’t wait to spend the summer working alongside them. I am also excited to see the smiling faces of new and returning campers and their families!”

Shay grew up exploring the natural world on vacations with her family, and this is where her commitment to the environment began. She is excited to share her passion for environmental education with the KIDS for the BAY community, manage and teach our school-based programs, lead our program staff team and manage Summer Camp operations. Before joining KIDS for the BAY, Shay lived and taught environmental education in many places, including Florida, Nevada, and Indiana. She has a Masters Degree in Environmental Education, and an undergraduate degree in Biology. Some of Shay’s favorite projects involve bringing students into nature and guiding them as they explore the beautiful places the outdoors has to offer. Shay’s other interests include nature photography and bird watching!


COREY CHAN
KIDS for the BAY Program Manager/Environmental Educator

“As a native to the East Bay, it is one of my favorite places to explore with young learners. I love guiding others in nature, helping them slow down to observe and notice things in our surroundings and deepen our connection with the more-than-human-world all around us. I look forward to supporting more nature connection moments this summer.”

Corey was born and raised in and around the San Francisco Bay Area, and is passionate about sharing its natural wonders, and helping others develop a deeper connection with the environment around them. Corey worked as a Summer Camp Leader with KIDS for the BAY in 2018, and is excited to now be a Program Manager. Her start in environmental education began over 15 years ago in Santa Cruz while working towards her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Environmental Studies. She has since worked throughout California teaching hands-on experiential science to young learners in various ecosystems. Corey also has a Single-Subject Teaching Credential and has taught Life Science, Biology, and Marine Biology at the high school level. She is a Certified California Naturalist and Nature and Forest Therapy Guide. In her spare time, Corey enjoys wandering local trails, cooking and eating delicious plant-based meals, nature journaling, and playing with her furry family members!


YVETTE DIAZ SAMAYOA
KIDS for the BAY Program Manager/Environmental Educator

“I am really looking forward to seeing the excitement in the children’s eyes from being outside in nature! I am also looking forward to exploring with our campers because they will teach me just as much as I will teach them!”

Yvette loves working with KIDS for the BAY and sharing her love for environmental education with students and the community. She was born and raised in the East San Francisco Bay Area and is thrilled to do her part to give back to her community. Yvette has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Environmental Studies from California State University Monterey Bay. She gained experience teaching youth of all ages about the importance of environmental stewardship in her internships with Solano and Napa Resource Conservation Districts. Yvette is passionate about environmental education and about taking care of her community, which is why KIDS for the BAY is the perfect fit for her. Yvette is bilingual in English and Spanish. In her free time, she loves to play with her dogs, paint, and bake desserts.


ALIX MARTIN

KIDS for the BAY Summer Camp Manager/Environmental Educator                                                                           

“I am so excited to spend this summer outdoors with our campers! Seeing the children light up with excitement when we discover new things is my favorite, and I love hearing all of their amazing ideas and nature observations.”

Alix is so excited to share her love for nature and the outdoors with children in her work with KIDS for the BAY. She grew up in the South Bay and loves giving back to the Bay Area community and helping to protect the San Francisco Bay watershed. Alix received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Studies from University of California Santa Barbara, with a focus in marine and tropical biology, including conducting her own shark research projects. Throughout her undergraduate studies Alix taught environmental education to early childhood through middle school students. She believes that the strongest solutions to environmental problems include inspiring young people to become stewards of the environment, and she is looking forward to spending time outside in nature with students, teachers and families. In her spare time, Alix likes to surf, take care of her houseplants, read, and go on hikes!


MIKAYLA MARTIN
KIDS for the BAY Communications Manager/Environmental Educator

“I’m excited to join Summer Camp this year and explore our different outdoor locations! We are so lucky to be surrounded by an array of diverse flora and fauna here in the Bay Area. I look forward to highlighting the unique biodiversity of Northern California’s Mediterranean climate and to teaching the children the importance of conservation and environmental stewardship. I am excited to make special memories with the campers, have fun in the sun, and learn outdoors!”

Mikayla is a Berkeley native and thrilled to work at KIDS for the BAY. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Geography, Environment, and Planning from Sonoma State University. Mikayla developed a passion for sustainability, environmental stewardship, and food security during her time in college, and she continues to use her skills to improve the community around her. Mikayla is excited to be part of the KIDS for the BAY Summer Camp and apply her  background in environmental education to this unique experience. Outside of the office, Mikayla enjoys checking out local farmer’s markets, trying new vegan restaurants, and starting art projects!


MAX SWINDERMAN
Summer Camp Leader/Environmental Educator

“I am very excited to work with kids who are ready to explore in nature this summer! I believe that now more than ever, it is crucial that we teach our campers the importance of sustainability, as well as the wonder of the various ecosystems that make the Bay Area so special. In times where technology can take over too much of our free time, showing our campers the ecological beauty of our environment will only lead to curiosity and hopefully will inspire our campers to become the environmental stewards that we need in our world!”

Max is beyond excited to share all his experience with nature and to inspire campers to learn about the importance of the environment in all our lives. He is very eager to share the “learn by doing” motto of Cal Poly, where he is currently studying Environmental Management, and to contribute to countless informative, and most of all fun, environmental experiences for campers. As a Bay Area native growing up in Alameda, Max loves the different and unique environments that surround the San Francisco Bay, and cannot wait to explore them with the campers. While working on his Bachelors of Science Degree in San Luis Obispo, Max has been lucky enough to explore beaches, hills, and mountain ranges to study plants, go rock climbing and  skiing, and explore in nature as much as possible! We are thrilled to have Max back on our team for his second year as a Summer Camp Leader/Environmental Educator with KIDS for the BAY!


YULISSA ESPEJO
Summer Camp Leader/Environmental Educator

“I am super excited to be back at KIDS for the BAY! I am so happy to welcome new and old faces this summer to teach them all about the beauty of our environment. Growing up in the East Bay, I have experienced some of the most beautiful places that there is to explore, and I can’t wait to show it all to our campers!”

Yulissa has been teaching in summer camps and schools for the past four years, including as a Summer Camp Leader with KIDS for the BAY last summer. She loves to teach young children about everything from nature to science, to simply having fun! She believes there is always something new to learn as well as to teach. Yulissa is a graduate of the University of California, Merced with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. She is working towards pursuing a Master’s Degree in education. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, nature and the outdoors have always been a part of Yulissa’s life and experiences. She enjoys going to beaches and lakes, and especially enjoys exploring new areas. Yulissa can’t wait to lead groups of campers in exploring the beautiful Bay Area, and to teach them to love and enjoy it as much as she does! Fun fact, Yulissa is bilingual in Spanish & English. We are thrilled to have Yulissa back on our team for her second year as a Summer Camp Leader/Environmental Educator with KIDS for the BAY!


HANNAH HAAS
Summer Camp Assistant Leader/Environmental Educator

“I am so excited to work with KIDS for the BAY this summer because I believe that experiencing all that nature has to offer is the most important part of growing up! There is nothing I enjoy more than spending time outdoors, and I can’t wait to share this passion with our amazing campers!”

Hannah is very excited to join KIDS for the BAY and learn more about the Bay Area’s natural environment. She is about to start her fourth and final year at University of California Berkeley as a Conservation and Resource Studies major, and is looking forward to using all she has learned in order to help educate young kids about environmental protection. Hannah grew up in San Luis Obispo and spent all of her time outside as a kid, which fueled her passion for environmentalism. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, surfing, yoga, cooking, and drawing. She spent last semester studying tropical biology and conservation in Costa Rica, during which she gained extensive knowledge about biodiversity. Hannah is thrilled to be able to continue learning this summer among young environmentalists in one of her favorite places in the world!


OLIVIA BRUCE
Summer Camp Assistant Leader/Environmental Educator

“Growing up, a strong sense of curiosity and an appetite for adventure led me to spend every summer outdoors playing by the beach, climbing mountains, and swimming in the local creek. The joy and excitement of being outdoors is what fuels my environmental stewardship today. I am excited to foster similar experiences this summer with the many incredible KIDS for the BAY campers!”

Olivia (Liv) studies Environmental Studies at Lewis and Clark College in Portland Oregon. She combines her artistic background with her love and fascination of the natural world, and creates short films for the environmental studies program at her school. Liv is very curious about effective environmental and science communication and she is excited to teach campers about the environment this summer and see nature through their curious and clever perspectives. Liv also has experience working in camps for the past few summers, teaching children performing arts.


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