Tennis pro and director Alina preparing for a serve during the camp friendship tennis summer program.

Alina Ackenbom

Executive Director

Alina is originally from Russia and has been a Camp Friendship staff member since 1997. She holds a Masters Degree of Education from Ufa State Pedagogical University of Russia. Alina received her Basic Camp Director Course certification in 2005 and International Camp Director Course Certification in 2010. She is a leader in the camping industry by acting as a visitor for the American Camp Association, helping ensure other camps follow safety standards and sharing her knowledge of quality camp programs.

Together with her husband Chuck Ackenbom, she oversees Camp Friendship’s business operations. Alina is the Founder and Director of Friendship Tennis Academy that offers tennis programs to children and adults of all ages and abilities.

Certified by the United States Professional Tennis Association as an Elite Tennis Professional, her summer tennis clinics draw tennis players from around the world. Alina is passionate about educating youth and teaching them valuable life skills both at camp and on the tennis court.

Alina and Chuck are the proud parents of Nika and Tyler who love growing up at camp and making new friends with campers from all over the world.

Skye Ackenbom

Lead Director

Daughter of founder Chuck Ackenbom, Skye oversees all operations of Camp Friendship and its year round team.  She brings a unique perspective to Camp leadership since she spent her childhood here, and what a place to grow up! In her younger years, she had the opportunity to be a camper, counselor, lifeguard and riding instructor so she certainly knows the ropes.

After graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology in 2004, Skye returned to Camp Friendship as the Equestrian Director and has never looked back. She feels lucky to live and work at such an incredible place. With a natural love for the outdoors, animals and working with children, Skye is excited to continue the legacy her father built for years to come.

Director Sarah Ackenbom riding a horse to prepare us for our overnight equestrian summer camp.

Sarah Ackenbom


Daughter-in-law of Chuck Ackenbom, Sarah Ackenbom is from a military family and grew up in several areas around the United States. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in American Studies and a Master’s of Science in Elementary Education from the University of Mary Washington. She worked as an elementary school teacher for 10 years and loved being a part of a child’s individual learning journey.

A member of the American Camp Association, Sarah is a behavior specialist and brings expertise in child development to Camp by helping to train and oversee our staff.

Sarah coordinates retreats and weddings at Camp Friendship in the fall and spring as well as field trips for students and teachers hoping for a unique outdoor learning experience.

In addition, Sarah is an avid equestrian and is an integral part of our Equestrian Center.

Erin Raderstorf

Summer Camp Director

Erin’s first experience at Camp Friendship was at age 9, when she excitedly arrived for her first two-week sleep-away camp experience. Over the next seven summers, Camp Friendship would become her second home. From her time as a camper, Erin gained lifelong friends, a stronger sense of self, and a love for silly camp songs. 

After graduating from the University of Mary Washington, Erin returned to Camp Friendship as a Counselor, and subsequently, as a Village Supervisor. Between summers, Erin explored both the entertainment and hospitality industries in Atlanta and Los Angeles but recognized that her heart always brought her back to Camp Friendship. 

She is passionate about creating a safe environment for campers that fosters independence and connection. Erin is excited to have the opportunity to share the magic of camp with a new generation of children and staff.

KD Burns, Enrollment Director, Camp Friendship

KD Burns

Enrollment Director

KD is excited to be joining the Camp Friendship family! Having just moved to Virginia from Berkshire County, Massachusetts, she, and her spouse Tristan, have been enjoying the warmer climate with their two cats, Steve & Lily.

KD has a background in the camp world, working throughout high school and college for Musical Theatre Experiences, a performing arts day camp based just outside Boston. 

After earning her degree in Fine and Performing Arts from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts she spent eight years running the front-of-house operations for Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

An avid arts and crafts enthusiast, she spends her spare time exploring her love of fiber arts, sculpting, and painting. KD is thrilled to have the opportunity to return to the world of summer camp and looks forward to being your first point of contact when you reach out to the Camp Friendship family.

Taryn Salyers

Head Camp Nurse

Taryn first joined Camp Friendship in 2017 as a Health Center Assistant. After graduating from James Madison University in 2018, Taryn became a registered nurse and actually started her nursing career at Camp Friendship! After three summers at camp, Taryn achieved her longtime dream of becoming a travel nurse. This experience took her coast to coast across the country, and she ultimately worked in six different states and Washington, D.C.

Taryn was always inspired by how camp brought together people from all over the world and could become a second home for so many. In 2023, she decided to return to Virginia and revisit the home of her happiest memories – Camp Friendship. As Head Camp Nurse, she is an essential member of the year-round team, ensuring that our policies and practices are informed by the latest healthcare standards. 

Her diverse nursing experience, summers spent working in the Health Center, and her love of Camp Friendship, make Taryn a strong leader for our team of nurses and assistants ensuring the health and wellbeing of our campers and staff. 

Taryn Salyers, Head Camp Nurse
Ben Smith, Camper Wellness Coordinator

Ben Smith

Camper Wellness Coordinator

Ben hails from Michigan, where he grew up immersed in the great outdoors. His journey into the camp industry began as a lifeguard, which quickly evolved into a counselor role, before finding his niche as a Health Officer at an outdoor education program. Ben found that focusing on camper health and wellness was the best way to combine his love for nature, his diverse training in Wilderness First Aid, and his belief in the magic of camp.

Ben joined the Camp Friendship team in 2023 as our Camper Wellness Coordinator and he is dedicated to cultivating a camp environment that empowers every camper to thrive. For campers that may need more support, Ben prioritizes establishing strong connections between campers and counselors by fostering an environment of open communication, encouraging counselors to seek advice and collaborate on tailored strategies to ensure campers are set up for success. 

Beyond camp, he channels his passion for swimming into coaching middle school, high school, and club teams whenever his schedule allows.

Our campers come first every time.