CAMP CALIFORNIA TEAM
Each summer Camp California brings together a wonderful team of counselors and staff to give your child the best possible summer camp experience. The majority of our cabin counselors are Native English Speaking from the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Many of our counselors and staff are also fluent in: Croatian, Czech, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Russian and Spanish. Our counselors are also highly skilled and experienced in the many activities we offer at Camp California as well as previous experience in youth development and supervision.
Mike “Higgy” Higginbotham is originally from Santa Cruz, California has been a part of the traditional “American Style” summer camping experience since the age of 5 as a camper, counselor, Head Counselor, Program Director and Director. In 1992 Mike’s experiences in the summer camp industry expanded to the international recruitment arena. Mike spent the next 15 years as International Country Director in the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa recruiting young men and women to travel to the United States each summer to experience being a camp counselor at one of the over 10,000 summer camps in the United States. In 2003 “Camp California in Croatia” was to be the first American Style summer camp in Europe and Mike or “Higgy” as thousands of children from around the world know him, has had the privilege of being the Director of Camp California since its first summer. Since 2003, Camp California has hosted over 8000 children from over 60 countries around the world to experience what Mike believes is one of the best opportunities a child can have growing up. Mike spends a part of his year catching waves in South Africa and California and his summers at Camp California in Croatia.
Maja Antonic is our Operations Director and has been involved with Camp California since summer 2005. Maja’s main focus is on streamlining operations and admissions to provide the highest level of service and exceptional customer care for our families. Maja is also responsible for the marketing and general day to day operations of the office in Croatia. Maja is from Rijeka in Croatia and spends a part of her year in California and South Africa.
Anita Torbarina is proudly from Debeljak, a small town near Zadar, Croatia and has been our Admissions Manager since summer 2015. She is responsible for guiding families through the application process, holds the answers to all your questions and is an expert in taking things from zero to awesome. Anita loves the outdoors and in her free time can mostly be found hiking through forests, climbing mountains and sleeping under the stars.
Conor Caheny is back for his 5th year at Camp California and has been everything from cabin counselor/activity instructor, boys unit leader and in charge of program at Resident Camp. Conor is looking forward to a new challenge this summer by being in charge of our Teen Adventure Program. He is our very own wee leprechaun from the emerald island of Ireland. Conor has just recently finished up in university with a degree in Sport & Business. From this degree has has learned and achieved many valuable qualifications ranging from becoming a qualified lifeguard, first aid qualification, level 1 swim teacher, child protection courses, disability inclusion and the list goes on. Conor is currently working as a badminton and tennis coach back home and he also helps in leading mental health awareness workshops which aim to promote positive mental health through sport. Conor is also the head coach for the Shuttle Stars badminton club which are in preparation for the special olympics! Some of his many silly and whacky random talents include a mean funky chicken, Camp California record of kicking himself in the head 81 times in a minutes which we highly recommend you don’t try and various duck noises which he likes to use to scare people. Conor can’t wait to see you all around camp for another amazing Summer!
Patrick Mooney is 22 years old, coming from Kelowna, BC, on the west coast of Canada. He grew up on a mountain in a small ski community, going to school by bike, sled or skiing. Patrick has been skiing since he was two years old, almost longer than he has been walking. He enjoys all water activities, specifically sailing and swimming. Patrick is currently obtaining an undergraduate at the University of British Columbia, he loves history and theatre. Pat is back for his third summer at Camp Cal and will down at the waterfront making sure you all have a safe and fun time on the Adriatic.
Anna will be joining Camp California for her second summer and will be down at our waterfront overseeing the sailing programs. She grew up in a the English countryside and is currently studying Sport and Exercise Medical Science at Exeter University. Anna has sailed since a child and takes part in hockey, tennis, and athletics at university. Anna is a keen traveller, having previously volunteered in Swaziland with a sport charity and visited much of South America.
Gabrielle is 22 and from Madison, Wisconsin, USA! She is studying at the University of Wisconsin- Madison. Where she is majoring in Rehabilitation Psychology and minoring in Sociology. While being a full time student she has been working at Wisconsin Early Autism Project as a therapist, helping find the early signs of autism, under the age of two. She has found the love of traveling when she studied abroad in Australia. She loves to run and explore the outdoors! Gabbie is back again for her second summer and will be in the Keep Well Cabin again this summer as “Camp Mum”
Kimberley is returning for her second summer at Camp California and is so excited to be our Unit Leader for younger girls this year. All the way from Christchurch, New Zealand, Kimberley has a degree in primary school teaching and is currently completing a Graduate Diploma in Marketing. Back home, she has coached swimming, gymnastics, surf-lifesaving and dance and been both a pool and surf lifeguard. She has also been a Residential Assistant for university students and an activity-leader at an English language school in the United Kingdom. Kimberley cannot wait to get back to Croatia for another summer filled with camp songs, lip synchs, the Adriatic Sea and friends from around the world.