Piper-given to her by friends as she seems to be a “Pied Piper!”
“Pride and Prejudice”
“Say what you mean and mean what you say!”
Owner/Executive Director of Operations
Whether as a community leader and volunteer, academic researcher or mother, Sunni's career has been defined by a singular commitment to children. She has been an avid fundraiser, community advocate and board member for a wide range of organizations including Hadassah, a Jewish woman's organization that assists with the development of two hospitals in Israel, the Brain Injury Association of Texas, Jewish Family Service Houston and the Girl Scouts of America, and the Shlenker School. Sunni currently sits on the board of The Emery Weiner School. Before her work as a volunteer and community leader, Sunni advocated for many special needs children and worked as a researcher and education liaison at The Institute of Rehabilitation and Research (TIRR) and the University of Texas Medical School. As part of a brain injury study, she advocated for more than 300 children ages 6-16, assisting in their return to school after injury and helping develop a questionnaire for the diagnosis of Mild Brain Injury Syndrome. While pursuing her M.Ed. at the University of Houston, she worked on a research project examining reading curriculum in elementary schools. Prior to that she was a preschool teacher at the Becker Early Childhood Center, earned her B.S. in Child Psychology from the University of Colorado, and also lead a youth pilgrimage to Israel with 72 16-and 17-year-olds. The summer camp tradition is strong with Sunni; she attended camp for 14 years as a camper, CIT, Junior Counselor and assisted with the Water Front Department at her beloved camp. For Sunni, the establishment of Lantern Creek allows her to combine her strengths as a children's advocate and educator with her background as community leader and strong connections in Houston to bring a new vision of summer camping to Texas children. Sunni's vision is to inspire young women and girls to be confident independent young leaders to help make our world a better place!
Rook - I chose Rook since it was actually a name I was given by the first ropes group I worked with at CLC. They asked if I had a camp name and Crow said it was my first time working at CLC so their leader named me Rook, short for Rookie, on the spot!
I love any version of Pride and Prejudice
The Harry Potter books, the third one especially. I can reread those over and over again.
Favorite Quote: It’s a tie between “Live in the Sunshine, swim in the sea, & drink in the wild air” – Ralph Waldo Emerson and “If no one loved, the sun would go out” – Victor Hugo
Camp Director & Event Coordinator
Becky Heath has always been and always will be a woman who thrives in the outdoors. She grew up in upstate New York and went on to graduate with a degree from Unity College in Maine studying Marine Biology with a minor in Zoology. While the ocean holds a special place in her heart (and she’ll never meet an animal she doesn’t like), it was the time spent as a summer camp counselor at University of Maine’s Blueberry Cove Camp that led her to follow her passion of working with and empowering children. She worked three summers, helping to build the Marine Ecology Focus and ultimately leading its day camp program. After graduating from Unity College, her sense of wanderlust brought her to Texas, where she worked as an outdoor educator at Camp Allen for three seasons.
Growing deeper roots in the camp world, she became a National Archery in the Schools Program trainer, a Level 1 Challenge Course facilitator and deepened her passion for building kids’ confidence through outdoor experiences. In the summer of 2015, Becky accepted the leadership role of Program Director at Camp Allen which offered her in-depth experience planning activities and retreats for their guests, including family camps and events.
Outside of the office...and camp, you’ll catch Becky relaxing over a good book, a new knitting project, or cleaning up the mess left behind from her latest baking endeavor. She's working on completing the 52 Hikes project in 2018 and has plans to thru-hike the Lonestar Trail as an ambassador of The Cairn Project.
Camp Lantern Creek is a grand new chapter in Becky's life that she’s eager to begin.
Pebbles -- This was an enduring nickname given to me in middle school. Loved it then; love it now.
“P.S. I Love You”
“The Art of Racing in the Rain”
“The heart has reasons that reason does not understand.”
Before her three children were born, Petie's professional experience was as an executive administrative assistant to large companies.
Once her first born was welcomed into the world, Petie put her organizational skills to work at home as a stay-at-home mom to three children. Her love for camp came about naturally through her children. Their love for camp spilled over to her and soon this "camp mom" was volunteering her administrative skills during summers at a co-ed residential summer camp. It wasn't long before Petie was working full-time year-round as Office Manager at this camp.
This is how she met Sunni Markowitz, who was working CLC's first Austin Family Camp Fair. An immediate kinship was born between the two ladies and was sealed when Petie realized that her young teenage daughter would be a perfect fit to begin the leadership program at Camp Lantern Creek. After leaving her first camp position, and moving her family back to the Austin area, Petie's love for camp continued to grow as she realized that she, too, was a perfect fit for CLC. Volunteering here and there during the summers soon led to a Camp Lantern Creek staff member as Registrar and Office Guru.
Camp Name: Crow! I got this camp name because when I first started working ropes groups for Lantern Creek, I was the one who would climb the pole to run our Zipline from the "Crow's Nest," so it seemed a fitting choice.
Favorite Movie: Tremors
Favorite Book: One of my all time favorite stories is The Lord of the Rings.
Favorite Quote: Find your voice, shout it from the rooftops, and keep doing it until the people that are looking for you find you.
Leadership Director/ROPES Director
Brenda has been facilitating for various challenge courses around Texas for the past several years. In this time she has grown her facilitation knowledge and skills by undergoing rigorous training to receive her Level 2 Challenge Course Facilitator's Certificate.
Brenda's degree in Early Childhood Education from Sam Houston State University deepens her understanding of education on the challenge course here at Lantern Creek.
Brenda continues to work for other challenge courses in the surrounding area and trains various companies in rope access. Brenda regularly attends annual conferences like ACCT (Association for Challeng Course Technology) and TOEA (Texas Outdoor Education Association) to continue to grow her knowledge of challenge course safety, training, and facilitation skills.
Turtle. Why Turtle? Because turtles are awesome for so many reasons
“Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen”
“Sometimes the most ordinary things could be made extraordinary, simply by doing them with the right people.”
Site & Waterfront Director
Alissa grew up on a small farm. She was always outside, working the land, swimming, kayaking, reading and retreating into the woods and streams. From a young age Alissa had a passion for aquatics and working with children. She became a lifeguard, a year later a certified swim instructor (WSI) through the American Red Cross. In 2012 she became an ARC Lifeguard Instructor. She continues to maintain these certifications and is constantly working to learn new techniques and the science behind them.
Alissa also has a background in child care. She is never happier than when working with children, encouraging their sense of wonder, adventure, and independence. After working for a summer camp/retreat center in Pennsylvania for 7 years, Alissa moved to Montana to run an aquatics center. But something was missing; it wasn't life-giving; it wasn’t camp.
In 2016, she started looking at camps and fell in love with the mission of CLC. The opportunity to empower young women and girls, while working with the water and the land is a dream come true.
Other movie: Dirty Dancing
“No one is responsible for your happiness but YOU!!”
Rhonda is the mother of two daughters, Holly and Adrianna; but like her parents, she has opened her house to many teenagers that needed someone to call family. As a teenager Rhonda was a counselor at a camp for children with Muscular Dystrophy for 7 years.
Rhonda worked in the local school district where she managed the kitchen. She loved to see the smiles on the kids’ faces and hear the laughter as they walked through to get their meals.
Rhonda started working at CLC in 2013 and has loved seeing the smiles on all the campers’ and staff faces each year. And see the changes in them as they grow up to be young adults. Although she loves making people happy with her cooking, she enjoys having fun with the campers and staff. She is working on becoming a professional at shooting a nerf gun! Rhonda has a love for the domino game of 42 and when she retires she will travel the states playing professionally.