Meet the Staff

Carrie Perry

Director

Carrie began her career with Benchmark in 2004 as a program coordinator in the Day Services program.  She was quickly promoted to Assistant Director of Camp Red Cedar and then to Director in 2008.

Education: Perry holds a bachelor’s degree in therapeutic recreation from Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Michigan.  She is a Certified Therapeutic Recreational Specialist (CTRS) and Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH), International and Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) certified horseback riding instructor.

Off the Clock: Perry enjoys time with family, horseback riding, sports and anything outdoorsy.

Personal Theme Song: “The Hope In Everything” – Attaboy


Shelly Detcher

Assistant Director/Human Resource Recruiter

Shelly began her career working with students in special education setting while finishing her undergraduate degree. She joined Camp Red Cedar in 2007 as a Field Supervisor, and quickly rose from seasonal to full-time employment in the Assistant Director role. Detcher prides herself on leading staff by example and is not afraid to get her hands dirty.  She values maintaining employee and camper safety all while having fun in an outdoor setting.

Education: Detcher holds a bachelor’s degree from Purdue University of Fort Wayne and is a certified Red Cross lifeguard and USA Archery Level Two instructor.

Off the Clock: Shelly likes to stay active by hiking, riding horses, and playing volleyball. She also enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

Personal Theme Song: “Cowboy, Take Me Away” – The Dixie Chicks


Theresa Prentice

Facilities Manager

Theresa has been the barn manager and now facility manager at Camp Red Cedar since 2009.  She has owned horses for 25 years and has worked with horses in many different capacities including; trail guide, barn manager of a breeding facility, showing, and now therapy and conventional riding lessons at Camp Red Cedar.  She also brings a wide range of knowledge of horse care and products from working for many years in supply sales.

Education: Studied in commercial art, Indiana University – Purdue University, Fort Wayne

Off the Clock: Prentice enjoys reading, hiking, kayaking, horseback riding and art.

Personal Theme Song: “Free Falling” – Tom Petty


Cyndi Niezer

Riding and Volunteer Program Coordinator

Cyndi is originally from Overland Park, KS and has been in the Fort Wayne area for almost 3 years. Most recently, Cyndi was the Events Manager for a local non-profit. Prior to moving to Fort Wayne, Niezer’s experience ranged from working with children with special needs to event management.

She has 3 human children, 2 of the canine variety and also enjoys keeping bees, working in her yard, and watching her kids play sports.

Education: Attended Baker University in Baldwin, KS

Off the Clock: I enjoy working on projects around our house, playing with our newest family member, Ice, going to the lake with my husband and our 3 kids, keeping bees, cooking new recipes, hanging out the friends around the fire pit and cheering for my kids’ as they participate in various activities.

Personal Theme Song: “Three Little Birds” -Bob Marley


Nathan Smith

Camp Program Coordinator/Office Manager

Nathan is very excited to be back at Camp Red Cedar serving as the Camp Program Coordinator and Office Manager. He is happily married and is a proud father of two

Education: Nathan has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Saint Francis. He has experience in management, leadership, and communication.

Off the Clock: He likes to spend time with his family and participate in outdoor activities.  He also likes to partake in activities at his Church.

Personal Theme Song: “Lead Me” -Sanctus Real


Natalie Kovets

Certified Recreational Therapist (CTRS)

Natalie’s journey with Camp Red Cedar began in 2016, as she worked towards finishing her degree.  She volunteered in the barn, assisting with therapeutic riding lessons. The summer of 2018, she completed an internship as the Activity Coordinator, where she planned, scheduled, and facilitated weekly activities throughout the summer.  After completing her degree, she joined the team as a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS), doing what she is most passionate about – helping individuals of all abilities achieve goals and reach their highest potential, all while having fun.

Education: Natalie attended Indiana Tech, where she received a bachelor’s degree in Recreational Therapy and is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS).

Off the Clock: Natalie enjoys being outdoors, camping, having cookouts, and spending time with family, friends, and her dog (BEST friend), Dory.

Personal Theme Song: Faith Hill “Wild one”


Kayla Wagner

Certified Recreational Therapist (CTRS)

Kayla began working as a Recreational Therapist at Camp Red Cedar in June of 2019. She moved to Fort Wayne from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.  She has been riding horses, taking lessons for 10 years, and competed in barrel racing.

Education: Kayla has a Bachelor’s degree in Recreational Therapy from Slippery Rock University in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. She is a Certified Therapeutic Recreational Specialist (CTRS).

Off the Clock: Kayla enjoys horseback riding, traveling, watching sports, and spending time with her family and friends.

Personal Theme Song: “Stronger” – Kelly Clarkson


Rachel Murphy

Certified PATH Riding Instructor

I grew up close to Hamilton Lake and started riding when I was eight years old on a mean Shetland pony named Baby. She was my first “horse”. My grandparents had Tennessee Walkers which I trail rode throughout my teens. I quit riding when I was in college and only started back last January. I have three kids, four dogs, one horse, and too many hobbies, according to my husband.

Education: I have a BFA from IU focused in Visual Communication and Design, which has lead me to 16 years working in Marketing. I was recently certified through PATH International as a therapeutic riding instructor, which has been a dream since I was a little girl and my cousin rode at CRC for his therapy riding. In general, I am constantly studying Professional Development and Leadership, and believe in being a lifetime learner.

Off the Clock: You can normally find me relaxing with my dogs and a cup of coffee. I enjoy riding my horse, Titan, hanging out with my kids and friends, painting, gardening, remodeling my house, reading and traveling.

Personal Theme Song: Short Skirt Long Jacket by Cake


Colleen Esterline

Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor

Colleen started riding when she was 4 years old, and started taking horseback riding lessons when she was 6. Colleen is the girl who never grew out of her “I love horses” phase! She’s tried it all including; english riding, jumping, western riding, and contesting, and has shown in the Allen county 4-H for 7 years. Colleen became a camp counselor in the summer of 2014, where she started assisting with lessons in all of the Range Rider camps. She has joined the team as a riding instructor in 2015 and received her PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship) certification in the summer of 2016.

Education: Colleen graduated with an applied science degree in agriculture from Ivy Tech in 2016.  She currently works full-time in her area of study.

Off the Clock: Off the clock Colleen loves being outside, spending time at the lake, spending time with family and friends, practicing for barrel shows with Quincy, and trail riding.

Personal Theme Song: “Turn & Burn” – Sam Riggs Band


Rachel Smith

Certified PATH Riding Instructor

Coming soon…

Education:
Off the Clock:
Personal Theme Song:


Mallory Leatherman

Certified PATH Riding Instructor/Field Trip Coordinator

Mallory has been a riding instructor at Camp Red Cedar since 2012. During her years at Indiana University – Purdue University, Fort Wayne (IPFW), she rode on the IPFW equestrian team during college.

Education: Leatherman holds a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Indiana University – Purdue University, Fort Wayne, and has an Indiana teaching license.  In Spring of 2014, Mallory acquired her Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH), International certification.

Off the Clock: Leatherman enjoys spending time outside with her husband and their golden retriever.

Personal Theme Song: “Overcomer” – Mandisa