Meet the Staff

Leadership Team

YMCA Camp Cosby staff are here to provide you with the best experience possible. Get to know the Camp Cosby Leadership Team.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
STEVE MERIFIELD

After eight years it is wonderful to be back on the shores of Lake Logan Martin at YMCA Camp Cosby!

In my first summer at the wonderful Camp Cosby, I was an international counselor from Melbourne, Australia. This was an experience I will never forget and what led me to take on camping as a professional career. I worked at Cosby from 1997 to 2007 in many different roles including counselor, water ski/wakeboard instructor, lifeguard, waterfront director, activities director, OE instructor, and many more until taking on a full time professional role as the Summer Program Director from 2002 to 2007. In 2007 I took on the Executive Director role at YMCA Camp Piomingo for five years and recently as the Associate/Interim Executive Director for three years with the New York YMCA Camp.

The years I spent at Cosby were instrumental in developing my character, leadership skills, and the person I am today. These traits and more were instilled in me through the YMCA values of Caring, Honesty, Respect, and Responsibility. I was lucky to get to know many campers and staff over the years, some whom I keep in touch with today. While working at camp I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Science from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. I met my very best friends at Cosby and my wonderful wife Erin who experienced Camp Cosby as a camper and staff member. Erin, originally from Dothan AL, graduated from Samford University in Birmingham with a Bachelor’s in Education. She also completed her Master’s degree in Special Education at the University of Louisville. Our family including our daughters, Taylor (5) and Kendall (3), and Tuck (family dog) are thrilled to be starting this next chapter with Cosby. We are blessed to be part of this deeply traditional camp family and look forward to getting to know you and seeing you at camp soon.

YMCA Camp Cosby has been a deep-seated partner with the Birmingham community since 1922 and we are dedicated to strengthening the foundations of the community for the future ahead. I truly believe that YMCA Camp Cosby has the potential to positively change the life of children and adults of all ages that experience the high quality programming we provide. As leaders and mentors of youth and young adults we will strive to continue providing opportunities for all to, live, grow, and thrive in a safe, caring, and fun environment focusing on Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility.

I look forward to leading camp into the bright future that lies ahead. Thank you for the opportunity to introduce myself and my family to you.

In the Cosby Spirit,
Steve Merifield

PROGRAM OPERATIONS DIRECTOR
KAREN KASPRZAK

My career in camp started when I was in 7th grade. That was my first year as a camper and it started like this. “Hey mom and dad, I want to go to camp.” With this response “Why?” I grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin and was as close to nature as you can possibly get, but I had heard that camp was more than hiking and looking at bugs. All of my friends who went to camp spoke about it like it was the best place on earth. I convinced my parents to sign me up for a week of camp and I was hooked. For me as a camper, it was more than the friendships I made and the skills I learned. Camp taught me how to problem solve, helped me gain more self-confidence, walked me through conflict resolution, taught me how to communicate and I learned what it meant to Be 3rd. I fell in love with Camp Phillip and kept going back year after year as camper, counselor and program leader. I worked at camp every summer while I was attending Wisconsin Lutheran College where I obtained BA in Psychology.

In 2007 I married Elliott Kasprzak who also spent all of his summers at Camp Phillip, together we moved to Marquette, MI where Elliott completed his BS in Outdoor Recreation Leadership and Management. This is where I first worked for the YMCA. I was hired as a Youth and Family Coordinator and shortly thereafter was promoted to the After School Program Director. This is where I fell in love with the YMCA. The Ys mission and values seemed to line up exactly with mine and I knew I wanted to continue a career with the Y. Part of this role allowed me to be the assistant director for a few weeks of camp each summer with the after school children. Both of my career passions were realized in these few weeks. I was working for the YMCA at sleepaway camp!
In 2011, Elliott and I left the Y in pursuit of a passion of ours to hike the Appalachian Trail. We backpacked 700 miles of the trail that summer, met amazing people and learned all about Southern hospitality as we walked from Georgia to West Virginia. This trek was monumental in launching Elliott’s career in trip/expedition leading.

Early in 2012 Elliott and I were both brought on at New York YMCA Camp where I served as the McAlister Village Director and he as the Outdoor Adventure Trip Leader and Outdoor Educator. Elliott and I found camp to be our home and loved the experience New York YMCA Camp offered us. As we grew in our profession we longed to be a part of a camp that reflected what we loved about our first camp, Camp Phillip. We found that home at Camp Cosby. Elliott and I are both very excited to be a part of Camp Cosby which is filled with spirit and adventure.

PROGRAM/FOOD SERVICE DIRECTOR
MICHAEL MORRISS

Michael is originally from Talladega County, AL. He moved to San Diego, CA where he attended California Culinary Academy and received his degree. He moved back to Alabama in 2006 to be closer to family and now lives in Talladega with his wife Karen and their three sons Amante, Kyle, and JP. Michael started at Camp Cosby in April 2008 as the Food Service Director and has added many roles in his years at Camp Cosby. He is currently the Program Director of the Outdoor Education Program, Group Camping, and Food Services.

OFFICE REGISTRAR/MANAGER 
AMY DRINKWATER

Hello Everyone!

I’m Amy Drinkwater, the new Office Manager/Registrar at YMCA Camp Cosby! I’m thrilled to have joined such an awesome team at YMCA Camp Cosby. It’s such an honor to be a part of a group with such a vast amount of experience and passion for pouring the camp’s mission and focus into the next generation by instilling the values held by such a rich tradition both here at the camp and in the YMCA family.

My camp experience is very different than most of the staff here at YMCA Camp Cosby. As a musically inclined, artsy teen, I spent many weekends and summer days and nights here at Camp Cosby with my friends from church on retreats or just hanging out because my friends had parents who worked here. I always admired the camp’s beauty and never felt anything but safe and loved when I was here. As a college student, my future husband (and preacher’s kid) worked with Sim Lovejoy and Lois Haynes who were icons on the Camp Cosby campus during that time. Again, I found myself coming out to have lunch or to visit (and maybe do a little flirting, too!) and enjoy the beauty of Camp Cosby and of course, eat a few of Mrs. Lois’ wonderful “camp” cookies!

As an elementary school teacher, my younger students would hear of the older students coming out to Camp Cosby for Outdoor Education and could not wait to get “big enough” to come. My peer teachers loved the atmosphere, facilities and experiences here and the students had the best time, never realizing just how much they were learning outside the classroom about nature, history, life and themselves.

I hold a B.A. in Psychology from Samford University and a Master’s degree in Education from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. My husband, James and I live in Pell City, Alabama where we are actively involved in our church and our community. When I’m not working at the camp, I sing semi-professionally in a variety of venues around the country as well as internationally, most recently I shared the stage with a wonderful cast in a leading role in our community theater’s production of “Smokey Joe’s Café” and in Israel as soloist as a good will ambassador with a 49 piece orchestra made up of musicians from around the globe, where we shared music with a message in both private and public venues throughout the beautiful country.

I’m so excited to be a part of the YMCA Camp Cosby family. It’s truly a blessing to serve here and share those same values and get to come to work in such a beautiful setting each day. I look forward to getting to know you all!

Blessings!
Amy


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