Meet the YCB Year-Round Staff

Eli Rolli, YMCA Camp Benson's summer camp directorEli Rolli, Summer Camp Director

Eli, aka Badger, joined the YMCA Camp Benson staff in January of 2015. Before coming to Camp Benson, he spent a few years traveling around the country working at a number of overnight summer camps primarily as an environmental education instructor, with the last being Frost Valley YMCA in New York. Eli looks forward to partnering with parents to help campers grow and develop into respectful, responsible adults.

Contact Eli at [email protected]



Overnight Summer Camp Program Director

Tanner Thompson, Program Director 

T-Bug, aka Tanner, has been at YMCA Camp Benson for almost two decades. He began coming to YCB as a camper when he was 5 years old and has been on staff for the past six summers. Tanner is dedicated to the helping give the camper’s the same experience that has him coming back year after year. When he’s not at camp, he’s probably doing stand-up comedy all around the Midwest or hunting for vintage video games in the wild. 

 Contact Tanner at [email protected] 


Etzna Gomez, Retreat Director 

Etzna, aka Texas, is our newest year-round staff member here at YMCA Camp Benson. She graduated from the University of Texas-Pan America with a Biology degree in 2010. Since graduating from college Etzna has worked at summer camps in Pennsylvania, Texas, Alabama and New York. She loves kayaking, rock climbing, caving, roller coasters, traveling and her three cats (Taffy, Pistachio, and Papita). She is very excited to be at YMCA Camp Benson. 

Contact Etzna at [email protected] 


An amazing camp experience doesn’t just happen by accident. It is created by our amazing full-time staff, counselors and activity managers. Our dedicated and well-trained staff aim to make the summer camp experience memorable and transformative for every camper. With the understanding that counselors and activity managers greatly influence each young person’s character development, staff members truly embrace their responsibility for being positive role models every day that camp is in session.

Caring, Honesty, Respect and Responsibility. The YMCA’s core values are the foundation of our programs. As such, each counselor and activity manager understands that his or her job is not just to lead activities, but also to help campers develop life skills. Through a wide range of activities, staff teach problem solving, communication, compromise, sportsmanship, persistence and self-reflection.

Finding and developing the right staff is one of our top priorities. Our counselors and activity managers are carefully chosen and thoroughly trained with a focus on safety, counseling techniques and youth development. All staff are screened and subjected to a comprehensive background check.

It is our goal that after spending time at camp with our professional staff, our campers will return home with increased self-confidence and a greater respect for others.

Apply to work at YMCA Camp Benson on our Jobs page. 

Our amazing overnight summer camp staff in Illinois.