Meet our Summer Camp Directors
Jack "Chip" Ellena Jr. & Jody “Mamma”
Jack “Chip” Ellena Jr. is the son of Mountain Meadow Ranch founders Jack and Jacquie Ellena. Chip and his wife Jody have served as camp directors since 1989. Chip grew up here at Mountain Meadow. He holds a B.A. degree in Fine Arts. It is his goal to daily get around to every child in camp and see how everyone is doing. Jody is the perfect match & complement as the camp Mom. She is Director of T.L.C.(Tender Love for Campers) and as a mother of three can readily relate to all aspects of a young person’s time away from home, both from the camper’s and the parent’s point of view.
Mountain Meadow Ranch is home for Chip & Jody and summer camp is their life. Both work directly with the campers on a daily basis and are totally involved in every aspect of camp life. Mountain Meadow Ranch is a full-time, year-round operation and Chip and Jody have dedicated their lives to young people and the camps success. For them, it is their life mission.
Sarah “Joy” Ellena
The 3rd generation of Ellenas are now becoming actively involved in camp operations. Joy currently serves as Assistant Director and is in contact with all our camp families throughout the year. She wears many hats, and like her parents also takes a special interest in looking after the needs of the campers each day. Joy is studying early childhood development at South Puget Sound Community College in Washington State, and enjoys being a nanny.
Staff & Program Directors
Katherine Ellena-Whitestone & Brandon Whitestone
3rd Generation Katherine and her husband Brandon are our new staff and program directors. Katherine is passionate about camp. She was born and raised in camp and knows all the in and outs of camp having come up through the ranks serving in all aspects of camp life from camper to camp counselor and now as camp director. Katherine is responsible for the renewed current successes of both our AjYapekanbe Servant Leadership Philosophy and our Camp Shepherding Program. With her schooling background in massage therapy it is a beautiful pare in working with people and care of children. Brandon was born and raised locally. With his background developing youth leadership with young people, studying youth ministries at Masters College and then as apprentice to become a master builder, Brandon is an ideal addition to the MMR Team serving both as Co-Staff Director and Ranch Manager. Kat and B as they are known around camp are passionate about and devoted to serving kids and to promoting the Mountain Meadow Mission.
Bre’s adventure with MMR started when she was just a wee camper at the age of 11. She fell in love with camp and her parents fell in love with watching her come back every summer with wonderful memories, a positive attitude, and greater confidence. Looking back at Bre's time as a camper and a counselor, we are able to see the true impact being apart of camp can have on a young person’s life and she loves providing the same experience for our campers. Her role as a director is to help hire the best of the best when it comes to counselors, oversee our horse program, and ensure that the day-to-day happenings of camp are lived to the full. This will be Bre’s 12th summer at MMR and all of the magic of being in an untainted, wholesome environment is still very much alive.
Chris joined Mountain Meadow Ranch as a counselor back in 1987. The camping industry and his dedication to serving young people is his career. Chris is also a credentialed teacher. As Director/Administrator, Chris wears many hats, but his favorite is coordinating “special event (game show) nights” for the summer camp family each session.
Founders - Mentors
Jack and Jacquie Ellena established Mountain Meadow Ranch in 1956 shortly after Jack's graduation from UCLA while playing football for the then Los Angeles Rams. Jack and Jacquie’s dream became a reality as they provided a camp and ranch-life experience for boys and girls. Striving for excellence has been the goal of Mountain Meadow Ranch since the beginning. Today we enjoy the reputation of being one of the finest California summer camps in America.