Our Team

TALISMAN LEADERSHIP

Meet the experienced leadership team at Talisman Camps. Our group of seasoned professionals foster an environment where every camper embarks on a transformative journey. With extensive experience and innovative approaches, we help to ensure that each summer is filled with inspiring activities, personal growth, and unforgettable memories.

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EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Margaret Kelso

Margaret Kelso is the current Executive Director at Talisman Camps and also serves as a Risk Management Advisor for Cornerstone Safety Group. She also currently serves on the Association of Experiential Education Accreditation Council and serves on the Education Committee. She has formerly held the positions of Director of Operations and Director of Risk Management and Compliance at Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness (2021-2024), Health Director at Open Sky Wilderness Therapy (2017-2021), and Program Director, Case Manager, Staff Mentor, and Head Guide at Alaska Crossings (2010-2016) and has worked with commercial rafting, canoeing, and kayaking companies. She is formerly the Best Practices Committee Chair on the Outdoor Behavioral Health Council Board.

In her free time Margaret enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband, two young children, and two pups. Her favorite mode of transportation is by canoe. She plays on a volleyball team, kickball team, and coaches her children's soccer teams and deeply believes in the empowerment, confidence, and joy that can come from playing outside. 

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ADMISSIONS DIRECTOR

Haley Mitchell

Haley Mitchell currently holds the position of Admissions Director at Talisman Summer Camp, previously holding positions of counselor and program manager within the program. Haley has a long history working with the ASD community, as well as many years working with disabled adults with The Purple Cat and Golden String Inc. in Youngstown, Ohio. Haley has worked with Nationwide Children’s Hospital Center or Autism Spectrum Disorders in Columbus, Ohio, and has taught outdoor education preschool.

Haley is an avid lover of all Notre Dame sports, and an alumnae of Saint Mary’s College. She can typically be found reading in her hammock, trying any local cold brew coffee, and experimenting with new recipes and foods.

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CAMP DIRECTOR

Kevin Skirvin

Kevin is a former Special Education teacher from Massachusetts who grew up attending summer camp throughout his childhood. He spent nearly eight years as a summer camp staff member, eventually becoming the Assistant Director of YMCA Camp Burgess. In 2020, Kevin left camp to head into the classroom, where he taught 3rd and 4th grade special education. While he absolutely loved his students and his time teaching, he decided he wanted to return to the camp community. Kevin deeply appreciates and understands how summer camps can shape the lives of kids everywhere, and knew that camp was where his heart was.

Kevin loves the outdoors, golfing, cooking, and meeting new people. He's excited to call North Carolina his new home away from home.

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OPERATIONS DIRECTOR

Maddy Wolfenbarger

Maddy is the Operations Director at Talisman Summer Camp and has previously served as a counselor, program manager, and the Assistant Camp Director within the organization since 2019. She has extensive management and operation experience with Summit Coffee and studied at Davidson College with a B.A. in Environmental Humanities.

Maddy is an outdoor education advocate and tries to find any way to get outside whether that be hiking, paddleboarding, or hammocking. She loves music and has performed in over 15 musicals and plays.

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FACILITIES MANAGER

Dave Nelson

Dave Nelson is the Facility Manager for Talisman Camps. Previously he was a Facility Manager for a nonprofit healthcare facility at Heart City Healthcare in Indiana, a Production Technician at Thermal Fisher, and formerly owned his own home remodeling and repair company in Indiana.

He moved to Western North Carolina with his family on a property where he and his wife are building their retirement home. He lives on that property with his beautiful family including his granddaughter whom he enjoys watching grow.

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