Rent Camp Nawakwa

Camp Fire Inland Southern California Staff

Johnny McLaughlin

Johnny McLaughlin serves as the Executive Director of Camping Services and is primary based out of Camp Nawakwa, close to Angelus Oaks in California.  He joins Camp Fire with over twenty years of residential & day camp experience.  

Johnny has worked for the YMCA both in New Jersey and Colorado coming up through ranks from Camp Counselor to that of Director of Camping Services.  He also spent time working for the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco as the Camp Director for their resident camp. He left the Boys & Girls Club Camp to put together Camp Yellow Ribbon, a day & resident camp based in San Diego for children who had at least one parent deployed to an oversea war zone. Prior to coming to Camp Fire he worked for a start up nonprofit managing their campus facility in Northern California, doubling the capacity and moving the operation from seasonal to year round. Over the course of his career he has worked with a multitude of special need populations, these include Diabetics, Emotionally & Developmentally challenged, AIDs Camp programs, Burn Survivors, Deaf & Hard of Hearing, Asthma Camps as well as working with wide selection of individual campers with allergies & intolerances to specific foods. 
He received an Associate Degree in Communication Studies from West of Scotland University and also graduated from Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, Scotland with a B.A. in Applied Consumer Studies.
After he graduated from the University he served a term as Student Association University President, where he had the opportunity to meet the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh.  After leaving secondary school he served in the Royal Highland Fusiliers as an infantryman. Recently in 2012, he was honored by the Rotary Club of Portola and received the "Service Above Self" award. Johnny has also served as a regional American Camp Association board member.
He is an avid outdoors person; he camps, hikes and snow boards whenever he has the opportunity.  He loves to ride his motorcycle. When he moved to California from the East coast, he spent twenty-eight days on the road driving his motorcycle along the back roads of the country.  He also passionately follows Glasgow Celtic Football Club, a Scottish soccer club, whenever he flies back to Scotland to visit family and friends he tries to time his trip around Celtic home games.     


Sandra Rutherford

Sandra is Executive Director of Council Services and volunteers her time as an accreditation visitor with American Camp Association.  She is a founding member and treasurer of ExecNet, a group of local executive directors that has raised over $550,000 collectively in the past 3 years to build capacity in our organizations.  She serves on the Healthy Rancho Cucamonga steering committee that promotes healthy eating for the youth in our community.  In the past she has served as a team captain for the Police and Fire games, has volunteered at the Riverside Safe House for teens, and volunteered at Santa Claus Inc. in Ontario.

She was honored the Venturist of the year from her Venture Club peers and in 2007 she was nominated Woman of the Year for the National Association of Women Business Owners Inland Empire Chapter.

Sandra was first employed with Camp Fire Inland Southern California in 1999 as the Executive Director.  Her volunteer and community involvement was catalyst that brought her to the organization.  Sandra has lived her entire life in the Inland Empire and is also an alumnus of Camp Fire Inland Southern California.  She participated in the council’s Blue Bird program back in the early 70’s.

Over the years, her community involvement has included several board of director positions, including Vice President of the Montclair Chamber of Commerce, Charter President of the Venture Club of the Inland Valley, Pacific Region Secretary for Venture Club of the Americas, and board member for Neighborhood Partnership of Montclair.

She has her associate’s degree from Chaffey College in Liberal Arts and her bachelors from University of La Verne in Organizational Management.  She was on the dean’s list and graduated with departmental honors.

Melissa Ettman

Melissa Ettman serves as Camp Program Director for Camp Fire’s Camp Nawakwa. She joins Camp Fire after 2 years of National Service with AmeriCorps. 
After leaving her hometown in Upstate New York, Melissa graduated from Seattle University in 2011 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Photography. While there Melissa taught high school and middle school students how to use digital storytelling to confront challenges in their community in Seattle, Washington and Cape Town, South Africa for the non-profit Bridges to Understanding. 
She developed a passion for service growing up an active member of the Girl Scouts and 4-H. As a college freshmen she went to Tijuana Mexico to build houses with a non-profit community development organization, Esperanza International. Continuing to work for affordable housing, Melissa signed up to pedal her bicycle (Mr. Ed) across the country with Bike & Build. She worked to raise both money and awareness for affordable housing organizations, all from the seat of her bike.
A year of National Service with AmeriCorps NCCC brought her to Camp Nawakwa in the Summer of 2013. Camp life brings together Melissa’s love of the outdoors, high energy environments, and working with kids.


Sophia Meza

Sophia Meza is the Executive Assistant at Camp Fire Inland Southern California.  She has been with the council since 2004.  In this position she performs a variety of duties, as the assistant to the Executive Director, as the full charge bookkeeper, camp reservation specialist, and HR coordinator. 

Sophia was born and raised in the Bay Area. Her skills are extensive with experience in accounting, bookkeeping, and customer service.  Sophia is a graduate of Control Data Institute, and has worked for major corporations such as McKesson Corporation, Amdahl Corporation, and Chevron, in the Bay Area and Silicon Valley,

Sophia is the co-founder of New Covenant Christian Center in the city of Rancho Cucamonga, where her husband serves as Senior Pastor.  There she serves on the worship team as a worship leader along with her children PJ (drummer), and Lauren (guitar player/singer).

Her hobbies include hiking, boogie boarding, swimming and going to the gym, where she recently took up her first ever boxing lessons. In January she completed her first 5K at the Ontario Mills Run, and hopes to complete an 8K and 10K, and even a half marathon in the future. 
Sophia is the proud mother of P.J. and Lauren, and has been married to the love of her life, Peter, since 1990.


Faith Shipp
Faith Shipp is Camp Nawakwa's nurse during the summer months.  She joins Campfire with over 25 years of teaching experience and also 30 years of being a Registered Nurse. Her nursing work experience includes school nursing, VA Hospital Charge Nurse, Home Health Care and Nursing Plan Consultant.

Faith received her Registered Nurse training, with a Bachelors of Science, at Pacific Union College.  She also completed her California Teacher training at University of Redlands.  Her latest training is from the American Red Cross.  She is a qualified CPR and First Aid instructor for local teachers, students and, yes,  our staff at Camp Nawakwa. 

During the school year, when she is not at camp, she teaches workshops to parents & teachers.  She is on the Redlands Day Nursery Board and produces their regular Newsletter.   She is also an Educational Consultant for the Redlands District.  She also has written over 100 childrens' books...many can be found on Amazon Kindle. She taught Drama for fifteen years, and wrote numerous original plays which were produced by students.  She was also a choir co-director and yearbook coordinator.

She has developed over 50 different characters which she uses to teach children important concepts.  A few of these are:  Betsy Bathroom who teaches kids to flush, wash hands and all needed toiletry skills,  Dr. Science who teaches valuable science facts, Singing Lady who sings directions....and  lots more. 

During the summer Faith conducts a health check for each camper at the beginning of the camp week.  She is available at all times for everyone at Camp Nawakwa.  Faith sleeps in the infirmary each night...and hopes for the best but is prepared for the mishaps along the way.  Soooooo.....this summer if you see an energetic lady with a weird's Mama Opo (Faith's camp name) making sure all her kids are happy, safe and healthy!

Jim Shipp
Jim Shipp is Camp Nawakwa’s Lead Instructor.  He has twenty-five years of experience as a Credentialed Teacher in local schools. 
Jim taught primary grades in the San Bernardino City Unified School District for twelve years, teaching in four city schools.  He continued his public school career in the Redlands School District, teaching thirteen years at Bryn Mawr Elementary School, while also serving as the site coordinator for their Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) program.  While teaching full-time, he also taught classes in music, computer science, gardening and video production.  He taught after-school classes and produced a student variety show and numerous student dramatic productions for twelve years.  His teaching of local history led him to involvement in historic preservation and conservation.  He has been honored as Outstanding Teacher for the Redlands Unified School District, and as “Teacher of the Year” twice by the Loma Linda Chamber of Commerce. 
He currently chairs the Loma Linda Historical Commission and is president of the Loma Linda Parks and Historical Society.  Prior to his career in teaching, he was pastor of three churches in North Dakota and two in Southern California.
Jim’s academic credits include a Bachelor’s Degree from Pacific Union College, a Master’s Degree from Loma Linda University, and a graduate teaching certificate program from the University of Redlands.
Jim’s work experiences include a construction internship during college, work as a mechanic and welder, member of the folk group Shippwrecked, sound and lighting director for numerous school and community programs.  He has restored old cars, motorcycles and houses.  He and his sons moved and restored a Victorian farmhouse in 2007.  He authored the book Loma Linda, published by Arcadia Publishing in 2005, and has conducted local history tours and lectures since 1999.  He was a radio DJ in the 1980s, and co-hosted a weekly radio program during his college years.
Jim went to summer camp several times as a child, hiked and camped in the local mountains as a young adult, and served as an Assistant Director at Northern Lights Camp at Lake Metigoshe in North Dakota.  His passion for outdoor learning includes developing science hikes in the South Hills Preserve in Loma Linda. He leads hikes for school children and community members.  He has been part of Camp Nawakwa’s staff since 2012, teaching Drama and supporting the other camp instructors.
Jim is married to Faith Shipp, Nawakwa’s camp nurse.  Jim and Faith have three grown sons who all love nature and the outdoors.