Zayanne Thompson

Executive Manager

Zayanne merged a background in education and her love of the environment into 26 years at the YMCA of San Diego, now serving as the Executive Manager at YMCA Camp Surf. After earning a degree in Environmental Biology at UCSB, Zayanne worked for the National Park Service, the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, YMCA Camp Jones Gulch, and I Love a Clean San Diego before returning to school for a Teaching Credential and Master’s Degree in Education from SDSU. Zayanne was the Outdoor Education Director at YMCA Camp Marston from 1993-98. She moved back to the beach and Camp Surf in 1999 where she lives with her husband Mark, their son Keaton, and many animal friends (dog, cats, parrot, and chickens)! Zayanne enjoys gardening, volunteering, anything outdoors.

Chelsey Ayers

Summer & Day Camp Director

Chelsey was born and raised on the west coast growing up with a love for nature, the outdoors and camp. She comes to us with extensive experience both with the Y and in the camping field. And she is no stranger to Camp Surf, she has served here as our Castaway Coordinator and in other leadership roles including crafts, photographer, and teen leadership. Chelsey is a strong believer in the power of camp and also has a passion for staff development. Her volunteer work with the American Camp Association has been focused on developing young professionals with an interest in camping as a career. Outside of camp she enjoys her 3 hilarious children and wonderful husband as well as reading, running, hiking & camping, running, sunset surfs, going on adventures with her family and collecting quotes.

Clay Jones

Outdoor Education Director

Clay came to YMCA Camp Surf from Australia in 2002 and has been hooked on camp ever since! His journey started as a lifeguard/counselor and worked as a coordinator for a few years. Clay left camp to lifeguard with the California State Parks and then returned to Australia to complete his Education Degree. When the time was right he returned to become the new Waterfront/Castaways Director in 2013! He is currently putting his degree to work by serving as the Outdoor Education Director. Clay spends his spare time surfing, taking photos, hiking and running around camp with his family.

Kyle Millard

Groups "Castaways" Director

Kyle Millard was born and raised in Virginia Beach, Virginia and moved to San Diego to pursue a career in education. He began working for the Y as an Outdoor Education Instructor and Lifeguard at Camp Surf where he fulfilled his passion in working with kids. Kyle was promoted into the Groups & Waterfront Director role in charge of supervising the lifeguards at Camp Surf and making sure the kids are having a fun and safe experience at the beach as well as coordinating all user group retreats. In his spare time Kyle loves to work out, surf, and hang out with friends.

Joseph Breedlove

Food Service Director

Joseph is a San Diego native and grew up right here in the South Bay. He started his Y career at Camp Surf in the kitchen back in 2005. Since then he has worked in the front office, the camp store, at the South Bay Family Y and now Joe is back leading the kitchen team at Camp Surf! From an early age Joe has loved to cook. His grandfather once told him, “find someone to pay you to do something you love and you will never work a day in your life.” Joe followed that advice and went to culinary school. He has worked as a Chef at local hotels, in the Gaslamp District, and for Sodexo, the worlds largest food service provider. Joe loves to garden, read, and spend time with his his wonderful son JJ.

Steve Morris

Director of Development and Alumni Relations

Steve is a native San Diegan and grew up surfing nearby beach breaks. Although new to his role as our Director of Development, he has held a myriad of unique camp positions consisting of but not limited to naturalist, lifeguard, adventure trip leader, bus driver, travel camp coordinator, and most recently Outdoor Education Program Director here at Camp Surf. Steve loves the outdoors and is passionate about sharing our Y Camp story with anyone who will listen! You can most likely find him surfing or bike riding on the weekends or networking and finding new ways to engage our alumni. Steve is excited to be a part of our outstanding team and hopes to see you at one of our 3 camps this season!

Mark Carrick

Maintenance Director

Mark has been working at camp since 2002. Over the course of the past nine years, Mark has held different maintenance positions and has ultimately reached his current position as Maintenance Director. Mark’s high level of workmanship and expertise in the arts has contributed to a unique touch in several areas of camp. Mark is very artistic and loves to work and show his talents in different mediums, from murals to ceramics and decoupage. Mark has recently challenged himself to learn Spanish and clearly needs much more practice, pero está aprendiendo un poco más cada día!

Jess Kennedy

Director of Administration

Jess has been so busy running the camp office she hasn't had a chance to update her bio.  But trust us...she's awesome!

Vanessa Penick

Office Administrator

Vanessa is a kid at heart with over 15 years of experience working, volunteering, fundraising, coaching, and creating memories for kids and their families. Born and raised in SoCal, Vanessa pursued her Bachelor’s degree at Cal State University, Fullerton where she was involved with the Ronald McDonald House Charities, and volunteered as a Camp Counselor for underprivileged children. Throughout her experiences, Vanessa embarked on an amazing journey working for Disney Cruise Line in Youth Activities. After two years of traveling while creating magical moments with kids at sea, she wanted to pursue it here on land. Vanessa started working for the Y in 2017 and absolutely loves being a part of an organization that helps children achieve their best self and prepare them for bigger, brighter lives down the road. When not engaging with kids, Vanessa loves to go to Disneyland, attend concerts, and BBQ with family and friends!

Michael Nicoloff

Program Coordinator

Michael grew up in Imperial Beach, a block away from camp, surfing and playing beach volleyball on the daily. He joined the YMCA Camp Surf team in 2011 as a summer camp counselor where he absolutely found his calling. After a couple of years as a camp counselor and outdoor education instructor, Michael joined the support team as year-round unit leader. Although you could find him all around camp, Michael’s main focus became day camp and community outreach. With Michael so invested in the community he grew up in, both Day Camp and Community Outreach were a perfect fit. Michael is now a program coordinator where he oversees outdoor education, resident camp, day camp, and community outreach. When Michael isn’t busy empowering the future leaders of today, you can find him playing disc golf in Balboa Park, at a local sporting event, in the ocean, or exploring the wonderful world around us!