Camp Birchwood’s commitment to remaining a family-run camp is evident in its directors, Terry and Rachel Bredemus, who share a passion for camp and the unique, long-lasting value Birchwood brings to girls’ lives.

Terry, who grew up at Camp Birchwood—and loved every minute of it—continues to sharpen his father’s focus in his role as director. In addition to his responsibilities in marketing, staff recruitment, camp maintenance management and everyday operations, Terry spends valuable one-on-one time with each and every camper.

Whatever activity Terry teaches—whether it be sailing, windsurfing, campfire cooking, or canoeing—Terry has girls master skills that will last a lifetime make his activities the most popular ones at camp.

After graduating from the dish room, to building the boys’ camp as a teen, to leading grand adventures for both boys and girls camp throughout his college years, to becoming a bare boat charter captain of 50-foot yachts so girls can sail the big seas, there is not much Terry has not done when it comes to Camp Birchwood.

He has touched the lives of many and not a week goes by without an alumni camper sending him a special note to let him know just how influential his leadership has been in their lives. This spirit for adventure and love for camp is apparent every day at camp.

Rachel—who first ventured into Camp Birchwood as a counselor in 1995 as a pottery instructor—now manages the administration for Birchwood for Girls and provides training and support for Birchwood’s 50-some staff members.

Rachel also runs Birchwood’s highly regarded teenage leadership program. She has a keen insight into the sophisticated demands placed on children today and endeavors to make Camp Birchwood a girls-only environment that provides young women with much needed respite from the pressures that today’s society places on growing girls.

Each winter, Rachel participates in specialized training courses geared to adolescents and speaks at conventions to share her knowledge and experience with others in the camp industry.

Through the summer sessions, Rachel teaches counselors to become experts in group leadership and helps both campers and counselors to build their camp experience around the very qualities that conscientious parents wish to instill in their daughters— kindness, respect, generosity, cogent communication skills, and confidence.

Courtney Binnie
Courtney first came to Birchwood to work as Terry and Rachel’s nanny when their son Riley was just four years old. After that, she was promoted to new and different positions summer after summer, until she graduated from college and accepted the year-round position of Assistant Director in 2009.

In the winter, Courtney processes enrollments, designs marketing materials, promotes camp to new families, organizes employee files, and much, much more.

In the summer, Courtney heads up all administrative tasks, trains support staff, manages risk via our ACA standards, maintains communication with parents, and takes special care of campers who have adjustment issues. Courtney is also our certified Red Cross lifeguard instructor for our waterfront staff members.

Courtney’s bright and friendly voice can be heard answering the phone and through each e-mail she sends. She’s impeccably organized, extremely hard-working and tremendously motivated. When she isn’t exceeding expectations as an assistant director, she is the mother to her adorable daughter, Emery Jayne.

Nancy Bredemus
Having grown up at Camp Lincoln and Camp Lake Hubert in Brainerd, Minnesota, Nancy has summer camp “in her blood”. As a child she watched her father, one of the three founding members of those camps, promote and market the summer camp experience to children across the country. As she grew up, she mastered every camp sport there is; earning herself the highest badges possible in riflery, archery, sailing, horseback riding, swimming, and outdoor adventure tripping.

Nancy married Jim Bredemus in the Camp Lake Hubert dining hall. He had been the wilderness director for several summers. From there they searched for their own camp to continue their work with kids.

Once they purchased Birchwood, Nancy ran camp while she raised her four children, Sandy, Terry, Dan and Betsy. Over the years Nancy worked in a variety of positions – from teaching windsurfing to running the ceramics shop to organizing cabin assignments. Whatever it took, Nancy was there to get the job done!

In 1996, after the passing of her husband Jim, Nancy hired Terry and Rachel full time and consults with them on a regular basis, year-round. In the summers Nancy runs the camp store twice a day and enjoys meals in the dining hall with campers.

Betsy Bredemus Lindemann
Nancy and Jim’s youngest daughter, Betsy, accompanies her mother in the camp store each day and acts as the camp photographer. Her daily snapshots are uploaded so parents can get a glimpse of camp life on-line. Her son, Zac helps out the maintenance crew and her teenage daughter Shelby offers assistance in a variety of positions. In the winter they all live with Betsy’s husband, Mark in their newly-built home outside of Lawrence, Kansas.

Our Other Strong Leaders
Unlike most “all-female” camps who hire a couple dozen young college guys to run their major activities, at Camp Birchwood, it is a team of talented women who head up each program. This is a deliberate decision Jim Bredemus made decades ago, to provide growing girls with a true “all-female” environment that promotes a positive image of women taking charge and becoming important influences in their community.

Often seasoned Birchwood veterans, these women bring their thoughtful leadership to the table as they train in first-year staff and keep each activity fun and safe. In the process, they bestow campers with a prime example of what women can accomplish when put in charge of something big!


6983 North Steamboat Lake Drive NW • LaPorte. Minnesota 56461 • 800.451.5270 • info@birchwoodforgirls.com