Meet Clearwater’s new Director of Outreach and Programs: Rob Rathsack

It is with great joy that the Clearwater Forest Camp and Retreat Center Board of Directors introduces Rob Rathsack as the new Director of Outreach and Programs!

Rob comes to Clearwater with 17 years of experience as the former Camp Director of YMCA Camp Nan A Bo Sho of the Fox Cities, WI. His emphasis on staff development and desire to build their leadership skills, his passion for working with children and youth, his laughter, questions, thoughtfulness and self-awareness, his extensive experience with the technical side of running a camp (including a strong understanding the American Camp Association accreditation process, high ropes maintenance, programming trends), as well as his experience in funds development all led him to stand out to the search committee.

Sorcha McGuire, who served as co-chair of the Search Committee with Jon Kirschhoffer, stated, “He is a strong communicator, talented relationship builder, and is excited to help us all tell our story. Rob is determined to maintain Clearwater’s commitment as steward of the magnificent Creation before us. Finally, Rob will collaborate to build intentional, transformational experiences for all people who visit Clearwater Forest.”

Rob began his work as Director of Outreach and Programs for Clearwater Forest on January 1, 2019. He joins Tami Jacobs, Director of Operations and Guest Relations and Lance Baumann, Director of Facilities to complete our Leadership Team.

We caught up with Rob to ask him some more questions about himself, his life before Clearwater and what he hopes to accomplish in the coming months. Here is what he had to say…

CF: Tell us about your family!

Rob: My wife, Kim Rathsack and I met while at a job fair to recruit for summer camp staff. We were at the job fair representing our camps Kim – Girl Scouts and me for the YMCA. As I entered the hall at the fair I slipped and fell, all of my promotional material and the things I was carrying went into the air and scattered as I slid down the stairs. As the camp community is a small world, and many of the people in the hall I knew, I expected some applause and laughter as this happened. Once I came to a rest at the bottom of the stairs there was silence. It must have looked really bad as there was no laughter or applause, only a single person asking if I was hurt. I mustered a feeble “just my pride”. During the job fair I was in the booth next to Kim and she threatened to tell everyone I talked to that day what klutz I was and not to work for me. We have been married for 14 years and of course Kim loves to tell everyone how I fell for her right from the start.

We have two dogs one of whom, the older boarder collie lab mix – Walter is really looking forward to being at camp again and the other – Payton, who is 10 months old has loved the visits she has had at camp and I am sure will settle in right away.

CF: Outside of camp, what do you like to do for fun?

Rob: Kim and I enjoy taking are dogs for walks or bike rides. We have been trying to socialize the pup (Payton) as much as possible so we have visited many dog parks and outings that are dog friendly. We love to attend sporting events and watching/rooting for our favorite teams. Living in the Lindstrom, Chisago City, Centre City area we have gotten involved in Rotary and the Chamber of Commerce and enjoy volunteering in the community. We also like to do most anything outside, we currently live on a lake and really enjoy taking advantage of all it has to offer. If it is a nice day, sun shining, more times than not you could catch me grilling on our deck.

CF: Where did you grow up?

Rob: I grew up in Neenah, Wisconsin. Neenah is a small city of about 20,000 and just 45 minutes south of Green Bay.

CF: What is your favorite childhood memory?

Rob: Spending time at my family’s cottage (here its known as a cabin – I know). Being in the lake from morning till night, swimming, fishing, and waterskiing. Having a campfire at night and cooking hotdogs. Exploring in the woods and trying to keep up with my older brothers.

CF: What is on your current playlist?

Rob: Pearl Jam, U2, The Killers, Gear Daddies, Soul Asylum, Imagine Dragons, The Beatles, The Kinks, The Who, Peter Gabriel, and too many other to list.

CF: What is your favorite holiday and why?

Rob: I am very torn on this one. I would say Christmas or 4th of July. I love the 4th because it is in the summer and it is all about barbecue’s and being outdoors, but I would have to go with Christmas. Christmas is more about family and gathering together in that way so I will have to go with Christmas.

CF: What are you most excited about for the coming year working with Clearwater?

Rob: I am so excited to see Clearwater full of children having fun and exploring. I am excited to see what I think is great facilities and how that compliments the day to day functions for all the children. All in all there is a great deal of work between now and summer and I look forward to it all but it will not be fulfilled until the children are at camp doing their thing.

We are certainly excited to have Rob onboard and joining our Clearwater family and leadership team! We cannot wait to see all the things he will help accomplished alongside Tami and Lance and our Board of Directors this year and in the years to come. Please join us in giving Rob a very warm welcome! Feel free to comment below with any questions you may have for Rob, our leadership team or Board of Directors.

Clearwater Forest Camp & Retreat Center