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Who We Are

Joe Harris, Director

Joe is the nephew of Riverlea founder Betsy Umstead and has been the director of Riverlea since 2001. Joe worked as a counselor during Camp Riverlea’s first summer and has remained involved ever since. He holds a BA and MAT from Emory University and a MPA from Georgia State University and began his career as a teacher. Along with directing Riverlea, Joe is now an investment adviser in Atlanta, where he lives with his wife Fran during the school year. Joe is an avid golfer and started Riverlea’s golf program.

Amy Harris, Business Director


Amy Harris-Ambrosio is the great-niece of Camp Riverlea’s founder, Betsy Umstead. Amy attended Camp Riverlea from 5 to 12-years-old, was an Orc (Counselor in Training), and a counselor. She has a BA from Emory University and a Masters in Social Work from the University of Georgia. When she is not helping families at Camp Riverlea, she is a mom to her 2-year-old daughter and works part-time as a Sales Administrator at a home building company. Amy is bilingual in Spanish and enjoys spending time in nature and practicing yoga.

Ben Harris*, Program Director

Ben is a Durham native and first went to Riverlea when he was six years old. Ben has a long history with Riverlea: he was camper for seven years, an Orc for one, a counselor for seven more, Assistant Program Director in 2014, and has been Program Director since 2015. This is Ben’s 22nd summer at camp. In addition to his deep love for Riverlea, Ben brings to camp a multidisciplinary academic background and more than 10 years experience working with kids of all ages in various contexts and capacities (and countries!). Outside of camp, he works as a teacher, tutor, and academic coach with elementary, middle, and high school students; does qualitative data analysis and coding; and also does chainsaw, tree removal, and regenerative forestry work. Away from work, Ben is a college sports fan and loves to cook. *Not related to Joe or Amy.

Rachel Allen, Program Director

Rachel is returning for her fourth summer at Camp Riverlea and her second year as a Program Director.  Previously, she served as a tennis/golf counselor in 2014 and 2015. Rachel graduated from UNC-Wilmington with a B.S. in Environmental Science and a Master’s of Arts in Teaching in Secondary Science. She is a certified teacher in North Carolina for middle and high school science as well as middle school math. During the school year, Rachel is a middle school science teacher in Jacksonville, NC. Prior to becoming a full-time teacher, she was a museum and environmental educator in Wilmington. In her spare time, she enjoys going to the beach, reading, discussing how to improve the public education system, cooking, and spending time with friends. 

Sloane Walker, Volunteer Manager/Assistant Program Director

Sloane graduated this spring from the University of South Carolina with a degree in Early Childhood Education. She returns to camp for her 11th summer and first as volunteer manager/assistant program director. In the fall she will teach first grade in Columbia, SC, fulfilling her dream job of hanging out with kids all day long. Sloane enjoys cross-stitching, reading, and eating pickle chips. She loves plastic lawn flamingoes and her favorite part of camp is watching campers experience the magic ring ceremony for the first time. 

Ellie Dilworth, Volunteer Manager/Assistant Program Director

Ellie is a rising third year at the University of Virginia majoring in Global Sustainability and Poetry. At Riverlea since she was a dobber, Ellie is excited for her first summer as volunteer manager/assistant program director. Her favorite parts of camp are singing camp songs slightly off-key and june bugs. An aspiring farmer and park ranger, Ellie used to dream of running her own hot dog stand. She loves matchbox cars, women’s soccer, and pimento cheese.  

Counselors

Nearly 40 well-qualified and energetic young people serve as counselors each summer. They are passionate about working with children, sharing their skills and knowledge, connecting with the campers, and making them feel special. Many counselors are former campers and Orcs who work at Riverlea for multiple summers, and many more are new to camp and bring with them exciting new ideas, interests, and talents. All staff members participate in pre-summer online training and a week-long orientation and training session before the start of camp. We are lucky to have such a diverse and dedicated group of counselors!

Interested in joining the Riverlea team? Check out our employment and volunteer opportunities!



A camp tradition for Durham area children

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