Benjamin Hunt Wan
CTT 09-11, 13
Spending my summers from age 10-14 at Treetops, I made lifelong friends and memories sailing on Round Lake, climbing at the Crag, hiking a ton of miles, and turning baseball bats in the woodshop. But what really made it so special was the invaluable sense of freedom and community it gives kids for seven weeks every summer. Not only does it award truly unique experiences, but the atmosphere one lives in at Camp teaches an understanding and appreciation for our natural environment better than any trip you might take, book you might read, or film you might watch. When I graduated college in 2021, rather than taking a job in consulting I chose to try my hand at starting a business and founded a compost collection service right outside of New York City. I might have never even known what compost was without Treetops.
CTT staff 65–02
Mildred was a nature counselor at Camp Treetops for almost 40 years. A small woman with a big presence, whenever Mildred spoke, everyone listened. She had an intense curiosity about the world that was wildly infectious. Mildred held a Master of Zoology degree from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and, as Treetops naturalist, her foraging trips were hugely popular. She entranced campers with her profound knowledge of wild edibles and the wonders of the natural world. On visitors’ weekends, Mildred could always be found in the nature room, surrounded by children, cooking blueberry fritters to share with parents and friends. As a mentor, Mildred taught us that if you want to learn something new—to see the world afresh—go out into nature with a child.
Dr. Richard Rockefeller
CTT 58-59, NCS 63, Trustee 73-76
Richard’s affection for this place dates to his childhood. He spent the summers of 1958 and 1959 at Camp Treetops before attending North Country School from 1960 to 1963. His service to NCS and Treetops continued from 1973 to 1976 with his tenure as trustee, and he has been a steadfast and generous benefactor for decades. In recent years, though, his commitment grew even deeper, with increased personal involvement in the life of Camp and School.
In October 2013, Richard sat alongside Bill McKibben and Tom Steyer as a panelist on the climate change symposium presented by North Country School and Camp Treetops in New York City. In an evening filled with memorable lines and insightful observations, several people commented afterwards that Richard’s remarks on the effects of large-scale population trauma had been of most interest. Richard spoke as he has on other occasions, choking up with obvious emotion, about the enduring impact on his 14-year-old psyche of watching the sun set behind Round Lake at Camp Treetops, his Lake Hill “epiphany,” as he called it that day, referring to the sunset’s astonishing natural beauty and the expanding sense that he was part of it.
CTT 01-07, 14-21, NCS staff 21-present
Returning to Treetops as an adult and working for six summers, I’ve had the privilege of passing along my love of the arts to the next generation, to help children find their favorite craft—the one that allows them to express themselves and puts them in a meditative state. For the past couple of years, I have been the head of the ceramics program for Senior Camp and I just love watching campers discover how much fun it is to use their hands to build and create. Here I am, using my skills, many of which can be traced back to my time as a camper, and helping to create the atmosphere that encouraged a young me to explore what Camp Treetops and the arts have to offer.
CTT 49-50, staff 53, 55-59, 61-63
Treetops shaped my life more than any other thing. The values I learned there, all the wisdom of Treetops starting with Helen and Uncle Doug, and Leo and Walter—the experience of the outdoors, the commitment to being an environmentalist and to organic gardening. Treetops is a complete way of life.
In March of 2011, Lanie was inducted into the Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame. Her accomplishments fill a long paragraph: everything from being president of the Parks and Recreation Council of Anchorage to founder of the downtown Anchorage Saturday market to serving on the Board of Directors of the ACLU. She was appointed by Governor Hammond to serve on the State Growth Policy Council and the State Investment Advisory Board (which drew up the legislation creating the Permanent Fund). Governor Knowles appointed her to be a member of the TRAAK (Trails and Recreation Access for Alaska) Board. In her professional life she was executive director of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Anchorage from 1990-2005.
CTT staff 04-06, 08, 16-19, 22-present
From my first days at Camp, it was clear that the place, the community, the ethos was for me. I had a place and purpose there. Treetops has continued to be a huge part of my life ever since; it has provided a trajectory for my career, started me on the path of becoming an educator, as well as bestowing me with a far-reaching and long-enduring family of Camp friends, and so much more. Camp is a gift. I’m so grateful to be a member of this community. In 2022, I was thrilled and honored to take on the role of camp director from our beloved and longstanding Treetops Director Karen Culpepper.