Leadership Team

At Camp High Rocks, our team is dedicated to providing a fun and enriching camper experience in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

With an impressive total of over 180 combined summers at Camp High Rocks, our Camp Leadership Team understands how to craft a truly unforgettable summer experience. We are dedicated to preserving the High Rocks legacy, ensuring that it continues to inspire and shape generations of campers for years to come.

We also hire over 80 seasonal staff. These staff are intentionally selected with many having experience in teaching children and child development. 

Our Directors


Don Gentle

Camp Director

Don Gentle has been at High Rocks for over twenty-five years. He began year-round employment in October of 1995. During his tenure on staff, Don has served as Paddling Director, Program Director,  and Assistant Director. Additionally, Don’s computer expertise has kept us in the 21st century. Don has a Master’s degree in physical education from Ohio University. He was one of the founding officers of the North Carolina Youth Camp Association and currently serves on the board for the local Boys and Girls Club of Transylvania County.

"Zoob" Gentle

Camp Director

Elizabeth “Zoob” Gentle is entering her twenty-sixth summer at camp. She began working at High Rocks in 1997. She has served as Swimming Director, Program Director, and Assistant Director.  Furthermore, thanks to Zoob’s handling of recruitment and hiring, High Rocks enjoys a phenomenal staff year after year.  Zoob graduated from Presbyterian College with a major in Mathematics. The Gentle children, Grace (19 years) and Isabelle (17 years) are wonderful additions to the High Rocks family.


Woody Noland

Camp Director

A grandson of the camp founders, Jane & Sumner Williams, Woody has been at High Rocks the majority of his summers, beginning as a toddler. A graduate of William and Mary, he lives in Brevard with his wife Ren.  Their sons Tripp (9 years) and Thomas (6 years) are a joy to have around camp. Much of his time outside of camp is spent stomping around in the woods and playing with his sons teaching them to enjoy the outdoors. During the summer, Woody is the head counselor of our program and continues to help develop our staff into leaders and role models for the campers. 


Townsend Birdsong

Director Emeritus

Born and raised at camp, Townsend has camping in her blood. Her parents, Jane and Sumner Williams built and ran High Rocks for 30 years before passing ownership on to Townsend and Hank.  A graduate of UNC-Greensboro in Nursing, horseback riding is her specialty. She now runs registration and is a jack of all trades. Townsend currently serves on the board of Kids in Camp, a non-profit that provides scholarships for local children to attend area camps. She also served on the board of Muddy Sneakers, an environmental education program that works with 5th-grade public school students to connect with the natural world.

Our Team


Darby Dame

Director of Communications & Marketing

Darby joined us in the fall of 2016 as a group leader for our LEAP Adventure School and then continued to work full-time for us as our office guru and Director of Communications and Marketing.  A native of Jacksonville, FL, Darby comes to us with 14 summers of experience as both a camper and counselor at nearby Keystone Camp. She graduated from Texas Christian University with a degree in Education. She currently lives in Brevard with her husband Jason Karol.

With six summers under her belt, Darby is looking forward to another summer to see returning camp families and to meet new camp families! You will often find her jumping in to instruct in mountain biking.


Chadwick Young

Director of Adventure Programs

Chadwick has always had a passion for adventure and the outdoors. He loves mountain biking, climbing, backpacking, and fly-fishing, and is always searching for some exploration outdoors. A local graduate of Brevard College, Chadwick acquired his degree in Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education. Chadwick has spent two summers at High Rocks as mountain biking staff and then stepped into a year-round Program Director position before transitioning to our Director of Adventure Programs. He is always encouraging others to experience an adventure here at Camp High Rocks.


Nathan Noland

Director of Facilities

Nathan is a grandson of camp founders Jane and Sumner Williams.  During his summers growing up, he spent his days at High Rocks exploring and soaking in all that camp has to offer.  Nathan, his wife Samantha, and their son Oliver (5 years) live in Cedar Mountain just down the road from camp.

Nathan’s primary role is overseeing facility operations, maintenance, and managing capital improvements and projects, all of which keep High Rocks in top shape. His dedication and close proximity to the camp ensure that our campers continue to enjoy a safe and wonderful experience. As former Head of Dining, he makes frequent appearances to help with Cinnamon Rolls Sundays and other delicious meals!


Benjamin Birdsong

Office Administrator

Benjamin, son of Hank and Townsend Birdsong, has been lucky enough to spend all of his years at camp.  He studied at Appalachian State and since then has been focusing on bookkeeping and accounting.  Benjamin spends his time in the office and helps keep things running smoothly. 

Benjamin lives in Brevard, North Carolina. In his spare time, he enjoys West Coast Swing Dancing and trying to keep his rescue cats, Pabu and Momo, out of trouble. He has recently taken to flying drones! Watch out for his awe-inspiring footage on our social channels. 


Mark Birdsong

Project Manager

Mark, son of Hank and Townsend Birdsong, has experienced the gift of growing up at camp.  His love of the outdoors and games of all types are well suited for his year-round role at camp.  Mark graduated from NC State with a degree in Computer Science. 

He can be found on the swim docks in the summer and helping out in every area of camp the rest of the year.  He is a wizard at puzzles and riddles. He can be found throughout the summer entertaining campers and counselors alike.