Directors & Staff

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Gary, Barbara & Steve Bloom

A Family Affair! For sixty-five years, the Bloom family has been dedicated to enriching children’s lives through the camp experience. Gary and Steve were raised on the Playland campus and as we like to say… we have camp in our blood! Our family is incredibly excited to share our summers with you!

Walter and Pearl Bloom founded Camp Playland in 1957. Pearl and Walter’s son Gary has been the owner/director along with his wife, Barbara, for the past forty-five years. Steve Bloom, Gary and Barbara’s son, joined his parents in 2011 as Playland’s third generation of Blooms.  Steve holds a M.Ed. from Columbia University’s Klingenstein Center and an M.S. in Camp Leadership from Touro University.

Our staff is comprised of one hundred and seventy five teachers, college and high school students. Staff members are selected for their maturity, ability, experience and sincere love for children. Each group of twelve to sixteen children is led by a senior counselor and several junior counselors. The senior and junior counselors stay with the campers all day and escort the group to the different activities. Specialists plan the program. Group counselors participate at the activities creating a teaching ratio of one staff member for every four campers. Many of our counselors are Camp Playland alumni and we have a high rate of returning counselors each year. This enhances the feeling of a camp family.

Kathy Lopes

kathy-lopesDirector

Kathy Lopes has been a member of our staff for over 30 years. Kathy works at Playland year round as Director of Playland Preschool and Camp Playland. Fun fact: Kathy is the most wonderful baker!

Matt Dudics

matt-dudicsDirector and Facilities Manager

Matt Dudics came to Playland as a camper at the age of five and has now worked for Playland for 20 years. Matt works at Playland year round as Director and Facilities Manager. Fun fact: Matt’s favorite hamburger is from Shake Shack.

Vivi Torres

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Pre-K Division Leader

Vivi is from Costa Rica! She has worked at Playland for 9 summers and her daughters, Camilla and Caterina, come to camp with her. Vivi is a Head Teacher at Playland Preschool. Fun fact: Vivi has represented Costa Rica in various Olympic events and holds the current record on the 200m back-stroke!

Rachel Cuesta

Kindergarten Division Leader

This is Rachel’s 2nd year at Playland.  She has been at camp her whole life as a camper, counselor and division leader.  Rachel’s two sons will be coming to camp with her. During the year she is a preschool teacher in Stamford. Fun fact: Rachel has a vegetable garden at home!

Kimmy Loop

Lower Camp Division Leader

As someone who was a Playland camper and counselor for many years, Kimmy LOVES Playland! Kimmy is a Nursery school teacher in Stamford, CT and is working for her Master’s degree in elementary education. Fun fact: Kimmy dances to at least one song each day to make sure that she is always smiling and spreading positivity!

Ariel Keiser

Lower Camp Division Leader

This is Ariel’s 5th summer at Playland! During the school year she is a teacher in Greenwich, CT. She has a passion for teaching. Ariel is enthusiastic, nurturing, and caring.  Fun Fact: Ariel has traveled to all 50 states!

Lou DeProfio

Upper Camp & Senior Camp Division Leader
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Lou has worked at Playland for 22 summers!  Lou previously has worked at the Playland pond. Lou’s son and daughter, Louie & Julia, come to camp with him. Lou is a teacher in the Fairfield Public School System. Fun Fact: Lou’s wife is a veterinary technician!

Eva Gach

Upper Camp Division Leader

This will be Eva’s 3rd summer at Camp Playland, but her 22nd year in camping! During the school year, Eva is a high school history teacher. Fun fact: her favorite president is Abraham Lincoln!

Jon Zajdel

 Aquatics Director

Jon Zajdel directs the Playland Pools. He has been at Playland every summer since he was 14 years old and on the pool staff for 13 years.  Jon was a collegiate swimmer at Ithaca College.  Jon is receiving his Masters in Education from Sacred Heart University. Fun Fact: Jon loves Jazz!

Matt Turek

matt-turekAthletics Director

Matt Turek heads Playland Athletics and has a talented team of physical education teachers. He has been at Playland for 11 summers. Matt is a teacher in Waterbury. Fun fact: Matt played lacrosse in college!