Directors and Support Staff

Directors and Support Staff

Skylake Leadership

  • Jeff

    Jeff Portnoy

    Co-Owner and Co-Director

    Jeff graduated from U.C. Berkeley (’69) and the University of Santa Clara Law School (’72). He has been involved with Skylake since 1984, first as a parent when his daughters began to attend Skylake as campers, and then as the owner/director since 1995. Jeff resides in Marin County with his wife Bonnie during the off season.

    Jeff has three primary goals as the director:

    1. Every child is safe both physically and emotionally in their camp experience

    2. Every child experiences the simple and pure joy of a true summer camp experience

    3. Every child returns home happier and more confident

  • ADRIENNE PORTNOY-DURGIN

    Adrienne Portnoy-Durgin

    Co-Director

    Adrienne Portnoy-Durgin has lived, breathed, and dreamed Skylake most of her life. She first attended Skylake as a 9 year old camper and spent the next 15 summers at Skylake as Camper, CILT, Jr. Staff, Counselor and CILT Director. After graduating from the University of Arizona, Adrienne relocated to Lake Tahoe where she focused on a career in Special Events and Hotel Sales & Marketing. In 2010, Adrienne returned to Skylake as the Assistant Director and now loves calling Camp her full time career and passion in life as Co-Director. When Skylake is not in session, Adrienne and her husband Mark, live in Truckee, Ca where they are raising their three sons, Jacob, Miles and Asher.

  • Jessica Portnoy-Sonka

    Jessica Portnoy

    Administrative Director

    Jessica Portnoy Sonka spent her first magical summer at Skylake as Chickadee in 1985. She hopped on the bus at age 7 for an adventure that turned into 10 incredible summers as a Camper and CILT, followed by 5 more summers as Jr. Staff, Counselor, Girls Head Counselor and Kitchen Manager. Jessica graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a degree in Anthropology, and went on to earn her Master of Business Administration from the University of Nevada, Reno. After dedicating many years contributing to the success of some great non-profit organizations, Jessica felt a yearning to return to Skylake full time in 2016. She lives in beautiful North Lake Tahoe with her husband Matthew, son Noah, and daughter Morgan.

  • Lyle Plantz

    Lyle Plantz

    Summer Dinner Chef and Winter Site Manager

    Lyle joined the Skylake team in 1996 as a High School Student looking for a summer job.  He fell in love with the kitchen responsibilities and was privileged to work with many qualified chefs.  Lyle worked his way up the ladder from a dishwasher, to cooks assistant, to lunch chef and is now our dinner chef.  He is not only a great chef, but a fun personality in the kitchen who motivates the entire kitchen staff.  Lyle's mom Ellie was also working in the kitchen in those early years.  Lyle has also learned the construction business from his dad.  Many years ago, Lyle began to assist our on-site construction contractor, Carl Jackson.  Carl and Lyle rebuilt just about every part of this camp over the last 15 years.  Lyle is our consistent presence in camp 12 months of the year and is a cherished member of the Skylake team.  "Cookie, Cookie, listen while we sing to you…"

  • Jon Moore

    Jon Moore

    Assistant Director

    Jon Moore first came to Skylake in 1971. His intimate knowledge of all that is Skylake comes from over 25 seasons as a camper, a counselor and a director. He did his undergraduate studies at Pomona College and earned a master's degree in physical education from California State University - Fullerton. He currently lives in Alameda, California, with his wife, Beth, and two daughters, Emma and Abby.

     

Culinary

  • Mary Christopher

    Kitchen Manager

    Mary Christopher graduated from Cal State Northridge with a BA in Early Childhood Education. Mary continued her education at Fresno State in a Masters Program and taught in the public school system for 25 years. 

    Mary's culinary experience started at Narrow Guage Restaurant located near the entrance to Yosemite.  Here she handled responsibility in the Pantry Station before becoming a sous chef. In 2010, Mary joined Skylake and has managed the kitchen since 2013. Mary enjoys the challenge of teaching a new group of kitchen assistants each summer the skills necessary to serve almost 1000 meals a day. 

    Mary's off seasons are filled with travel, camping, gardening and being with her grandchildren.

  • Johnny Christopher

    Specialty Chef

    Johnny started his culinary journey at one of the most prestigious culinary schools, Johnson & Wales.  He traveled and worked across the southern US cooking in Florida, Tennessee, and New Mexico, before settling into the Bass Lake area.  Johnny was the chef at Mountain House Restaurant and most recently at Erna's Eldererry House.  Johnny has been working as the Specialty Chef at Skylake for five years.

    During the off season Johnny enjoys camping, fishing and working as a private chef.  He is enjoying teaching his grandson culinary techniques and recipes.  

Summer Leadership

  • Riley Riordan

    Riley Riordan

    Office and Leadership

    Riley Riordan will be returning for her 6th year on staff and 8th Skylake summer! The last 2 years, Riley has been working as the Assistant Women’s Soccer Coach at Chico State. After the hard year we all have had individually, she is ready to ensure summer 2021 is everything everyone needs and more! Riley is excited to help lead the summer into a safe, healthy, inclusive, and memorable experience for all campers and staff. Riley looks forward to taking on new leadership tasks with both PM Director and COVID compliance roles as we welcome new and familiar faces!

  • Matt Wallock photo

    Matt Wallock

    Head Boys Counselor

    Matt got his first taste of Skylake magic as a Bobcat camper in 2006. Now, 15 years later, he's looking forward to his 11th summer at camp and 3rd as Head Boys Counselor. A second-generation Skylaker, Matt grew up in Santa Barbara, graduated from Wesleyan University in 2018, and currently lives in Oakland. He's passionate about fostering a fun, inclusive camp culture and making sure Boys Camp runs smoothly. He's also passionate about sunrise SUPs, pizzadillas, and pickleball. Outside of camp, Matt works as a music journalist, but he's always fantasizing about his next trip to Bass Lake.

  • Alyssa Goldberg photo

    Alyssa Goldberg

    Head Girls Counselor

    Alyssa Goldberg has been proud to call Skylake her “happy place” since her first summer as a camper in 2008. Alyssa was a counselor at Skylake in 2016 and cannot wait to return to camp as Head Girls Counselor for Summer 2021! Alyssa graduated from Syracuse University in 2019 with a degree in Television & Film, and has since resided in her hometown of Los Angeles, where she has worked in the entertainment industry. Alyssa’s goal is to create a supportive environment where both campers and staff alike have the opportunity to learn, grow, explore, and be the best versions of themselves. She is so grateful for the opportunity to partake in another summer of new adventures and pure Skylake bliss!

  • Ally Thoits photo

    Ally Thoits

    Waterfront Director

    Ally Thoits is a 2020 Graduate of UC Davis, and has recently been working in performing arts and art museum studies. She plans to continue her education at UT Austin to pursue her masters degree. Ally began her Skylake journey as a second-generation chickadee in 2007. This will be Ally’s 12th summer at Skylake and her third year on staff. She is thrilled to be back for her first year on the administration team as waterfront director. Ally aims to create a safe, positive and inclusive environment on the waterfront and is thrilled to return for another summer of Skylake magic! 

  • Andre LeDe

    CILT Leader

    André LeDé is a spring 2021 graduate from Baylor University in Waco, Texas with a BA in Corporate Communications. André’s first summer at Skylake was in 2018 where he shined as a Chipmunk counselor. Then in 2019, he took on the lead role of Head Ropes watching over the safety of his Ropes team and making sure all campers felt the magic of the Ropes Course throughout the entire summer. He will be returning this summer for a 3rd time, to lead our CILT Program and contribute even more to camp. Outside of camp, André loves to cook, create fun engineering projects and spend time with his dog, Columbus! André is so excited for his new role and to feel the magic of Skylake for another summer. He is looking forward to becoming a strong role model for our CILT’s, beginning new friendships with the rest of the staff, and creating more memories to last a lifetime with his Skylake family!

  • Alyssa LeDe

    Office Assistant

    Alyssa LeDé is a spring 2018 graduate from the University of Oregon with a BA in Communication Disorders and Sciences. She is also a soon-to-be spring 2022 graduate from Grand Canyon University, in Arizona with a Masters's in Elementary Childhood Education. Alyssa grew up in Temecula, California, and now resides in the heart of New York City where she teaches First Grade. Alyssa first joined the Skylake magic in 2017 as the on-site Nanny, then transitioned to a Counselor towards the end of summer in 2019. She will be joining us this summer in the Office and is so excited for this new role at Skylake coming back for a 4th summer! In her spare time, Alyssa loves to travel, exercise, cook, read, and explore every part of New York. She can’t wait to see this new side of camp, form positive relationships with campers and their families, make new memories and be absolutely present for every single day of this upcoming, unforgettable summer!

  • Sophia Scherr photo

    Sophia Scherr

    Head Lifeguard

     

    Sophia grew up in Marin County and always loved going to Yosemite as a kid. She started her Skylake adventure at 9 years old where her love for the outdoors grew and flourished. After 7 years as a camper, Sophia spent 3 years on staff doing activities such as Tennis, Kayaking, and Water Sports. Being able to share the Skylake magic with old and new campers brought her so much joy as a counselor. Now on her 11th summer, she is excited to take on a new role as Head Lifeguard. Sophia graduated from Chico State with a degree in Communication Studies and can’t wait to continue her education doing her MBA in London next spring.

Counselors

Skylake will have 65 counselors this summer. Counselors are required to have obtained their Lifeguarding, First Aid, and CPR certifications. In addition all staff attend 6 days of on-site staff training immediately preceding the arrival of the campers. Skylake counselors have both the responsibility of being cabin counselors for the 32 cabins and for running a specific activity. Our Trips Counselors additionally are required to have Wilderness First Aid Certifications. All of the Skylake counselors are college students or who have already graduated. The hiring process includes interviews, reference checks, and full criminal background checks.