El Ranchito Camp Director
Justine joined the El Ranchito tradition in 2016 as Nature Discovery Camp Director. She has a life-long love for camp, beginning as a Girl Scout while growing up in palmetto forests of the gulf coast of Florida. Her favorite thing about camp is the relationships that form while dedicating time to appreciating nature as a community. Over the years her own experiences at camp have resulted in beautiful friendships and invaluable personal growth.
For over decade Justine has been working in the field of experiential education. This includes guiding young people on study abroad trips in Latin America and Europe, outdoor education adventures in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and hands-on workforce development training in the Austin community. She has a degree in International Affairs and Spanish from Florida State University and is a certified Special Education teacher. Her approach to creating and implementing nature education is to make activities as inclusive, engaging and enriching as possible. Believing there is so much potential to grow while stretching one’s comfort zone, Justine likes to encourage new things and first steps. She brings a strong intention to make camp a safe and fun experience for everyone.
Conservation Corps Director
Adam joined the El Ranchito staff in 2011 as a Nature Discovery camp counselor and has served as a CC crew leader and NDC assistant director during his tenure at camp. Many of the 2019 returning crew members have known Adam since they were in 4th or 5th grade. Adam’s career in education includes two years as a bilingual tutor with Literacy First and four years as a bilingual classroom teacher. He has an incredible ability to bring people together and to teach youth how to collaborate with joy.
Growing up, Adam traveled extensively in the US with his parents and five siblings. In addition to teaching school, he is a community activist, musician, and accomplished nature photographer. One thing Adam loves about El Ranchito is the high ratio of staff to campers (5 to 1) that gives staff the maximum opportunity for mentoring campers.
This summer, Conservation Corps will be working on a stream restoration project that will have a significant impact on our future campsite. Corps members will have a chance to learn about sustainable building practices and work with several professionals in the field of landscape design.
Conservation Corps Project Coordinator
Nature Discovery Camp Director
Addie cultivated her connection to the natural world while spending summers with her grandparents, riding horses, fishing, gardening, building tree houses, and romping around the countryside under the Louisiana sun. Her love and passion of food is also deeply rooted in those summers, harvesting fresh summer cucumbers and cantaloupe and watching her beloved grandmother cook her favorite comfort foods.
She began her academic journey at Austin Community College as a general studies major, then ventured into the study of American Sign Language, ultimately earning a degree in Environmental Science. While obtaining this degree, she became deeply fascinated with Texas geology and hopes to pursue another degree in the study of rocks.
Addie’s enthusiasm for growing and preparing food served her well when she relocated to Austin nine years ago, where she quickly became an active member in the local food movement. Through her work at farmers’ markets and cultivating her own vegetables with friends and members of the community, she is able to bring a bounty of fresh and sustainable food to El Ranchito’s table.
Becca Harkelroad, RN BSN
A School Nurse for Lake Travis Middle School, Becca also brings camp nurse experience along with her to El Ranchito.
Having grown up in a nature-loving family, Becca started camping and hiking as an adult with her husband when they moved to New Mexico. Her favorite places to backpack are in Colorado and the Texas Hill Country.
Becca is passionate about introducing young people, who may not otherwise get the opportunity, to nature, the outdoors, and conservation.