Linda English Pipkin, a former Waldemar camper and Marsha’s only sister moved to Hunt from Houston, TX with her husband John in 2009, at which time she became part of our year-round staff. She has four children: Elizabeth "Liz" Pohl, Laura Kramer, Catherine Pickens, and son Stan Pipkin, all of whom have worked in some capacity for Camp Waldemar. Linda's degree from Lamar University in Elementary Education was a primer for her life's engagements. Once her children were grown, she returned to the classroom officially. She taught at Ascension Episcopal School in Houston from 1991 to 1995, and was promoted to Head of School in 1995, educating as a leader until her retirement 14 years later. Linda has made a life time commitment to education, and firmly believes that camp is a vital component in building a child’s confidence, curiosity, and quest to be a fully-actualized human. Linda is also a Mentor at the Hunt School and is a member of the Hunt School Board and has most recently been elected the President of the School Board. Her commitment to Excellence in Education and her conscientious leadership is a daily asset to everyone at Camp Waldemar!
A graduate from Texas State University, with a degree in Education, Robin Harrel began working in the business office at Waldemar in 2007 for Teak Elmore. She left her teaching job of six years when she heard there was an opening at Waldemar for an office assistant. Since 2009, Robin has taken on a much larger role as our Office Administrative Manager. She takes care of registering every camper and counselor as well as many other tasks. She updates the waiting list and talks to the parents and the Representatives and assists Marsha and GA. Sometimes we joke that she is the "keeper of all things."
Robin Rector Harrel is no stranger to the saddle so she fits right in at a camp with 100 head of horses. She participated in barrel racing and cutting horse competitions all her youth and married into a Nationally acclaimed cutting horse family. Her immediate family includes husband Lance Harrel, daughter Lexi(pictured with Robin and who has been attending Waldemar for 8 summers) and Blue Jeans the miniature Australian Shepherd.
Katie Blount Garza is a multi generational Waldemar camper from Longview, TX. Her grandmother, Eva Jean Finch Blount, rode the train to camp from Longview back in the 40's and went on to be Waldemar's Longview Rep for many years after her camping days. She passed it down to Katie's mother, Lyn who worked hard get our Longview wait list to grow stronger. Katie's great aunt Linda Falvey attended Waldemar in the 50's and then send her daughter Linda Rowland to carry on family tradition. Katie's sister, JaneAnne and cousins Macon and Charlotte Blount, also enjoyed their 8 year run of memorable camper days, going up be counselors and sponsors.
Having made such strong bonds here at camp, it was important for Katie to continue helping others find lasting friendships while experiencing new things at Waldemar. She sponsored alongside the best teacher, Joyce Jordan, for several years. Katie told Meg one day that she wanted to be just like Joyce and come every summer, and maybe work here the rest of her life when she was old enough to get a "real job." Katie's wishes came true as she joined the year-round staff at Camp Waldemar in the summer of 2008. This smart and beautiful "social butterfly" / "happy camper" is a perfect fit to keep staff retention strong in addition to reaching out to prospective counselors with talent and skill as well as enthusiasm and direction.
After graduating from LSU with a Marketing & Business Degree, she joined us as our Head of Recruitment and hires over 200 staff per summer. She spends a lot of time in the spring interviewing counselor applicants at schools around Texas, the surrounding states and out of the country. She strives to hire the most qualified counselors for our Waldemar program!
Katie proved dreams do come true when she had the perfect wedding at Waldemar in Fall of 2016, to Austinite Seve Garza. Katie and Seve and welcomed a precious baby boy, Rudy II, on January 1, 2019. The Garza family, including Gumbo the golden-doodle, resides in Austin during our off season months and moves to camp during summer camp.
Caroline Key is originally from Tyler, TX, but she is very familiar to this area after attending Camp Waldemar for 7 summers. After her Hilltopper year, she was on staff as a counselor and then a sponsor. She graduated from Kerrville's Schreiner University in 2003 with a degree in Exercise Science. After graduating, she followed her passion in camping by being hired in leadership positions at other camps in the Hill Country and Central Texas, in addition to working for the American Camp Association.
Caroline has literally lived and breathed camping since she was a little girl. She and her mother, Martha Malone Key, love sharing stories of their Waldemar days and her daughter Annie is on the wait list, in hopes that she will carry on the love for camp like the two of them did. Caroline helps keep the Tyler list healthy along with our Rep and all her folks back home.
When a full time position became available at Camp Waldemar in the Fall of 2013, the Elmore family welcomed Caroline aboard and she says she feels like she is back at home.
There is something to be said about true camp experience because Caroline is super resourceful, has a great sense of humor and is fearless when it comes to putting on a variety of hats at camp such as the following:
Ordering/maintaining All-Stars and medals, inventorying activity supplies , managing equipment needs and helps with camp programming for the upcoming season.
In addition to the above, she is Waldemar's program coordinator and Tribal Sponsor consultant, VP of class scheduling and registration. When she escapes the office, she can be found on the softball field if she's not making a trip to Gibson's for Marsha :) She has a true gift of making people laugh. If you've met her, you'd know that about her.
Caroline married Marla Coffee and they have a precious and active little girl named Annie Malone Key. The family resides in Hunt,TX.
Maribel was blessed to grow up at Camp Waldemar as part of the Quinones family. One of her earliest memories is watching the parking field fill up with hundreds of cars on closing weekend. She began assisting in the Camp Store when she was about 14 years old alongside George Anne and Laura Jean Johnson. After receiving her Communications degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2009, she did a brief stint in banking before returning home to Waldemar to become the Camp Store Manager and Buyer. During the summer, her duties consist of making and delivering close to 400 custom care packages, stocking the store, supervising the Camp Store service point girls and opening the store twice a day, 6 days a week. During the rest of the year Maribel enjoys attending trade shows in Dallas and Las Vegas in search of the trendiest items to purchase for the store. When she's not at camp, she resides in the DFW Metroplex with her husband, Armando, and dreams of life on the Guadalupe River.
Laura Pipkin's love for Waldemar began as a camper, attending summers of 1981 to 1984. She returned to manage the Waldemar Bed and Breakfast in the mid-1990's and penned the most recent iteration of the Waldemar Cookbook in 1999, spotlighting the traditions of Waldemar, the recipes of the first Waldemar chefs, Lucille and U.S. Smith, as well as new recipes she developed during her time at Waldemar. She taught Leather and Jewelry 2011- 2013 first term and then accepted the position of Waldemar Chef second term, 2013. She received her Liberal Arts degree from the University of St Thomas in Houston, Texas in 1990 and has appreciated the training in the art of creative thinking. Laura has been guided by her creative voice as well as her interest in health and well being. She worked as an independent jewelry designer, creator of artisan chocolate truffles as well as a Massage Therapist for over 10 years and even taught Second Grade for 2 years. Her current role as executive Chef at Camp Waldemar has been a synthesis of her various interests and experiences. It is a culmination of creative and healthful intentions, built on her love of the traditions of Waldemar and of providing the best and most varied nutrition for the current generations of the Waldemar Family.
Listen to Laura's TEDx Talk from The University of St Thomas, Houston in 2015, titled "Companionship: A Diet for the 21st Century" where she shares her belief that the significance of sharing a meal offers an opportunity to develop a deeper understanding and compassion with one another.
"For millennia, humans have gathered to break bread, finding nourishment and sustenance in not only the food but one another. At her TEDx talk at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas, Laura Pipkin Kramer explores how preparing and sharing a meal with others can enhance personal and community relationships. "
Liz Pipkin Pohl took over the reins in the horseback department right behind Connie Reeves in 1998. She learned from the best and has carried on the rules and traditions that Connie instilled in the girls. With a degree in Animal Science from Texas A&M University, Liz has truly shown the capability of maintaining over 100 horses with feed, shoes, and exercise. During the summer she orchestrates Reeves Riders, Connie's Cowgirls, Quadrille and the Horseshow demonstrations. Since 1990, Liz has been president of the local Polocrosse club and holds a horse clinic for the community. Horses trained under the skillful hands of Liz and Catherine have strengthened our equine program over the years. We've seen the versatility a horse can have in some many avenues.
Phone Number: (830) 238-4821 ext. 257
Catherine Pipkin Pickins, a former 6 year camper, was a Hilltopper in 1986. She has been working for Waldemar ever since. She has taught several campers the art of horseback riding and introduced the polocrosse program to Waldemar after Teak quit teaching the class. Catherine took Polocrosse to a whole new level and several of the campers go home to find daytime on the field. She attended the University of North Texas, following her passion for art. She has had several gallery shows and her work resides at several private residences as well as public institutions. Like her sister Liz, her addiction to horses and horsemanship has kept her working as a true Texas cowgirl right here on "the ranch" as some might call it. She his one tough gal! Catherine was selected by the American Polocrosse Association to form part of the USA team and participated in the first polocrosse world cup in 2003 and again in 2007. As mentioned previously, not only an exceptional rider, Cat is also a very talented artist and baker. She is famous for her Boca Negra dessert and her Angel Biscuits , which are in high demand at Elmore and Pipkin family holiday dinners. Catherine resides in Hunt with her husband Chris and son August.
Elizabet Quinones is the Waldemar photographer and graphic artist. Beginning in 2003, she worked along side George Anne as an assistant photographer. Over time, she took on more projects year-round and was open to camera suggestions from Teak, and has become quite the amazing photographer; we are so fortunate to have her. As"E's" self confidence and skills grew stronger, she became our in- house professional photographer and graphic design artist. She has been contracted to photograph campers, grads, brides, and riders in her spare time. The parents have realized what a gifted 'third-eye' she has and how friendly she is with their girls, and they contact her as if she is part of their family. Elizabet has learned so much and continues to quench her thirst for the factual documentation and history that Waldemar holds. She has taken to heart the Waldemar archives, pouring through old articles of Connie Reeves, antiquated Bulletins and newsletters, Round Ups and War Whoops, and she has not just scanned it, but has read the "Waldemar Story" from the beginning to the end.
It's no surprise that Elizabet received her degree in Graphic Design from Schreiner University in 2012. During the summer you will rarely see her without a camera at her side. Taking pictures during the day and editing at night, it is her mission to capture campers living in the moment. During the summer camp sessions and during our off -season, she pours her heart and soul into Waldemar, just out of compassion for this magical place. You won't find many as dedicated as her.
Noel is our Maintenance Supervisor who oversees building projects and improvements. Noel works hand in hand with Teak. He manages a hard-working staff of 8 men, some who have been with Waldemar for over 30 years. Noel's family has been quite an asset to the camp as well. His wife Tomasa is part of our Housekeeping staff year-round. All four of their children, Maribel, Elizabet, Noel Jr. and Diana have worked at Camp Waldemar. You would be hard pressed to find a more dedicated father and employee than Noel. He is a MACHINE!!!