Shonie Schlotzhauer first came to camp in 1994, because of a picture  just like this one.

Shonie first showed up at camp as a horse-crazy teenager, and now, 19 years later, serves as the Executive Director of Sacred Earth Foundation and Ekone Summer Camps.  She lives full-time on the ranch and has a great passion for sharing this special land with children of all ages and inspiring earth stewardship.  Shonie has over ten years of leadership with Ekone summer camps under her belt, and brings her natural sense of responsibility, practicality, and FUN to the task.

Shonie has a degree in Community Development and Food Systems from The Evergreen State College.  She has a wide variety of professional experience in the non-profit, educational, and agricultural sectors, including serving as the Food & Farming Program Manager at Sustainable Connections in Bellingham, WA.  She is certified in Wilderness First Aid.

Her favorite summer activities?  “Watching the kids fall in love with the land and learn big life lessons from our patient horses.”


Caitlin Jones is excellent at making lists, keeping everyone organized, and nurturing Ekone Magic at camp.

Caitlin has been coming to Ekone summer camps since she was 8 years old, and has grown into a strong and compassionate leader. She has ridden horses most of her life, and believes them to be some of the most wise and loving of all animals (especially Ekone horses). One of the things she loves most about Ekone is being able to ‘get back to basics’ and work with nature rather than against it.  She is holds a degree in Social Work from New York University in New York City.

Caitlin says Ekone is a second home for her, somewhere she always feels welcome.  Some of her favorite summer Ekone activities?  “Helping campers improve their riding, throwing bales of hay, and seeing billions of stars every night!”


Shannon Pepper loves nothing more than a good joyride, except maybe the satisfaction of helping our campers achieve such joy.

Shannon first came to Ekone in 2000 and has returned every year as a camper, intern, and now a staff. Her passion for horses has given her 15 years of experience riding, training, playing, and becoming fluent in the equine language. She is a knowledgeable, patient teacher who is happy to work with riders at all skill levels and from every discipline. She brings her talent and expertise to Ekone’s unique brand of riding with a supportive, enthusiastic attitude toward horses and campers alike.

When she isn’t playing with the kids and horses, Shannon loves hiking, rock climbing, and staying active and informed on environmental issues. She is currently pursuing a B.S. in Resource Conservation with a minor in Wilderness and Civilization at the University of Montana. She is an avid outdoorswoman and certified Wilderness First Responder.

Favorite Ekone activities are “Moonlight rides to the canyon, campfire songs, and treks into the great wild yonder.”


Liz Coppola has a special understanding with chickens, but she understands horses and kids pretty well, too.

A dynamic leader and longtime staff member, Liz first came to Ekone as a camper in 1995 and hasn’t missed a summer since. Liz has also spent time living at Ekone year-round, learning about homesteading and ranch-life. Talented and passionate about horses, Liz brings her extensive experience riding, training, and competing hunt seat, jumping, and dressage to Ekone.

Liz graduated from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, where she pursued a BA in Media and Cultural Studies, as well as working at the college’s farm and CSA.  Her “other” job is as a livestock manager on a pasture-based organic farm on Vashon Island, WA.  She is also certified in Wilderness First Aid.


Chris Woodcock is the Queen of the Yummy Tummy Cafe, and our resident camp mama.

Chris Woodcock has been cooking for Ekone summer camps since 1995.  It all started, she says, when her daughter became a staff-helper at camp and convinced her to come along for the ride.  After her first season, Chris moved to Ekone and hasn’t left since.

Chris is a homesteader at heart and lived in both Maine and British Columbia before coming to Ekone with her partner, Bob, and her three daughters. Ekone can’t get rid of her they say, “cause she’s too nice, and the food is just too darn good.” Chris cares passionately about providing healthy meals for the kids, and showing them how it grows in the garden. “It’s my favorite place and my favorite thing to do,” she says appealingly of the Yummy Tummy Café.

Her favorite summer activities?  “Harvesting and serving food from our garden, watching kids grow and deepen into the Ekone experience, interacting with our wonderful staff, and laughing with Lizzy.”  She is certified in Wilderness First Aid and gives the very best hugs.


Ginny, Jack and Judy are three of our many amazing volunteers that make each camp so unique and special.

Whether they are offering art projects, leading hikes, coordinating a Council of All Beings, staging a talent show, making delicious treats in the kitchen, administering hugs, doing yoga with the kids, teaching herbal medicine, making friction fires, telling stories around the campfire, inspiring the kids to stuff the truck with firewood, setting an excellent example, or sharing their special knowledge and talent with the children, Ekone volunteers are a key part of summer camp.  Our unique, hands-on, individualized program takes a small army to coordinate and to give the children the attention they deserve.  Ekone’s wonderful and generous volunteers help us make it happen and keep camp tuition within the realm of reason.

And then there’s Caitlin, Morgaine, Julia, Lilly, Morgan, Charlene, Jenna, Matney, Jen…the list goes on, what an amazing team!



Ray Mitchell started it all–Ekone in 1972, and summer camp in 1986.

Ray Mitchell, 1946-2007, was the founder and visionary of Ekone Summer Camps, and his great love of the children, land and horses lives on through each child and adult that passes through Ekone.