Our Staff

Bud and Isabelle Brown, Founders

Friendly Pines Camp was founded in 1941 by Bud and Isabelle, better known as “Uncle Bud” and “Brownie” around camp. The camp has grown tremendously since their first camping trip here with their children and several of their little friends, and now stands as a monument to their life’s work. Three generations of Arizona youngsters have benefited from their inspiration and devotion.


Bebe May, Owner and Senior Director

bebe-and-jackBebe Brown May now carries on the family traditions that she and her late husband, Jack May, so carefully nurtured since assuming the ownership of the camp from her father and mother back in the early 1960’s. Jack was a Certified Camp Director (ACA), and brought to Friendly Pines a business background of over 20 years; an education in one of England’s finest schools, and four years active duty as a fighter pilot in the Royal Air Force. With Bebe, the daughter of Uncle Bud and Brownie, and a former teacher and counselor (M.A., Arizona State University) fluent in Spanish (M.I.M., Arizona Graduate School of International Management) as senior director, every phase of the camp operation receives her scrupulous personal attention. Rosemary (May) Taylor, as well as Christopher May, M.D. and his wife Barbara, remain involved in promotional and other activities. The fourth generation is represented by Chris and Barb’s daughter and son, Megan and Nicholas, as well as Rosemary’s two boys, Colin and Brock.

Kevin Nissen, Director

KevinKevin was a first-year counselor at Friendly Pines in 1978. He returned each summer thereafter until he graduated from Arizona State University. After half a dozen years of being a high school English teacher, Kevin returned to Friendly Pines with his family during the summer breaks. He eventually was hired as our year-round director in 1990. Kevin works with all phases of camp management where he offers his creativity, energy, and sense of humor.


Megan May, Program & Rental Director

Camp is truly in Megan’s blood. Starting at age 5, Megan enjoyed 10 summers as a camper before becoming a CIT and then an Assistant Counselor. In 2011, Megan was the Co-Head of the PhotoJournalism activity and the camp photographer. After graduating from the University of Arizona in 2014, Megan rejoined the FPC staff in 2015 as one of the Assistant Program Directors. In the fall of 2016, she became a year-round staff member and took on the two roles of Program and Rental Director. As Program Director, Megan is in charge of hiring summer staff and developing meaningful programming for camp. As Rental Director, she has the responsibility of caring for all of our off-season rental groups. As the great-granddaughter of Uncle Bud & Brownie, Megan is also a fourth generation family member of Friendly Pines camp.

Lacey Stone, Equestrian Director
imagesLacey has been working within the Friendly Pines Camp riding program since 2012. In 2015 she took over our summer riding program. Lacey is responsible for training our staff, overseeing the lessons, and monitoring the health of our nearly 60 horses in the summer. Lacey is originally from Virginia.




Peter Kearns, Challenge Course Director

imagesPeter was actually a camper at Friendly Pines Camp in the 90’s. A graduate of Prescott College, Peter became the head of our Challenge Program in 2014. A skilled climber and outdoorsman, Peter shares his knowledge with our challenge staff. He is responsible for their training and evaluates their performance. Peter also provides a challenge experience and outdoor education classes for our many visiting school groups in the non-summer season.


David Wangerin, Director of Food Service

IMGP8612David is originally from Minnesota and is a tenacious Twins fan. He relocated to Arizona and has been heading up the kitchen efforts of Friendly Pines Camp since 2000. David spends many long hours making sure that the kitchen is running smoothly and everyone is well-fed with delicious, wholesome food. Our food is one of our greatest attractions at Friendly Pines, and it is because of David’s hard work and determination.




Tracy Nissen and Carmen Stevens, Registrar and Bookkeeper

imagesTracy has long history with Friendly Pines Camp. She has served as the bookkeeper, she taught pet farm and jewelry, and has worked in the summer camp office for several years. In 2015 she took over the Registrar’s duties with the retirement of Sharron Goligoski.  Carmen began her time with Friendly Pines Camp in 1998 as a part-time office assistant. She is now our full-time Bookkeeper, and spends much of her time managing accounts. Carmen is a recent first-time grandparent, and hopes little Larissa will be able to join us soon.



Stever Speirs, Javier Gonzalez, Chad Newcomb, Maintenance

IMGP2417Stever and Javier are camp’s resident maintenance men. They are always ready and willing to get their hands dirty with any projects or improvements around camp. Stever has worked for camp for the last five years, but was preceded by his father who worked for camp during the ‘90s. Both of Stever’s children attended Friendly Pines Camp, and his daughter even met her husband here. Stever is proud to have his oldest granddaughter at camp in the summer. Javier has been at Friendly Pines since 2003, and we quickly recognized his woodworking talents. Among many other things, Javier can be credited with the creation of a new totem pole displayed in the center of camp. Chad Newcomb is our most recent addition to the maintenance team. Chad has impressed us all with his careful, quality work.


Julie Bartylla, Housekeeping and Support Staff

imagesJulie has been working full time at Friendly Pines Camp since 2012. Julie is tasked with the huge job of keeping the camp clean, keeping the flowers blooming, and working on office tasks from time to time.