Shwayder Camp staff hail from around the world. With diverse backgrounds and years of camp experience, our staff will ensure that campers are safe, happy and having the best summer ever. Our Directors are dedicated to creating a feeling of community at Shwayder. They build campers’ confidence and maintain a balanced lifestyle throughout the summer where campers can flourish and develop long-lasting relationships. Temple Emanuel clergy also play a large role at Shwayder Camp by teaching Jewish values through activities and celebrations.

Josh Samet, Director

Josh Samet is an experienced Jewish professional and Denver native. He spent 9 magical summers at Shwayder Camp–as a camper, CIT, counselor, and administrative manager. He also spent an additional two summers at Wilshire Boulevard Temple Camps in California as a counselor and unit head.

Josh is the former Director of Joyce Zeff Israel Study Tour (IST) at JEWISHcolorado. During his tenure, he led over 600 Colorado teens on international trips to Poland and Israel, increasing participation by 25%. His experience in the Jewish community also includes many years as a Hillel Campus Director in Colorado,a regular Taglit Birthright Israel staff member, and a religious school teacher at Temple Sinai

Josh received his undergraduate degree in Judaic Studies from the University of Arizona. While in college, he studied abroad in Israel at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Josh is passionate about making an impact. He thrives on helping others develop their Jewish identity, independence, and sense of belonging. He is honored to represent Shwayder Camp and Temple Emanuel in the community and looks forward to making Shwayder a special place for the next generation of campers, staff, and families.

Josh lives in Aurora with his wife Paula, their 3-year-old son, Noah, and their dog Ollie. In his free time, he is an avid Denver sports fan and enjoys golf, pickleball, playing board games and spending time with family and friends.

Julia Teitell, Assistant Director

Julia Teitell is so excited to be returning to Shwayder Camp as the Assistant Director. She grew up in Littleton, Colorado where she began cultivating her Jewish community through youth group and her love for experiential learning. Julia attended Colorado State University where she received her Bachelors of Arts and Science in Human Development & Family Studies and Sociology. After graduating, she spent some time in the Peace Corps where she taught English at the University level in Central China. After returning from China, Julia spent three years as the Director of Youth Engagement at Temple Sinai in Denver. Most recently, Julia was running a free summer camp for vulnerable youth in Denver and Aurora called Camp POSTCARD. Julia is so happy to return to Shwayder Camp as the Assistant Director. She has spent seven summers on staff at Shwayder in the roles of kitchen staff, counselor, program director, and Assistant Director and couldn’t be more excited to see you all at 10,200 feet!


The exceptional individuals who make up our staff are exemplary role models for your children. They are caring, mature, experienced and certified in both First Aid and CPR. Our ten-day staff training program serves to enhance their existing skill set and expose them to the most cutting-edge research and theory in the ever changing world of Jewish summer camping. The vast majority of our staff grew up at Shwayder Camp themselves, extending the Shwayder experience L’dor V’dor (from generation to generation). Others join us from our homeland, bringing the soul, culture and energy of Israel to our front door. Each of our staff remembers with great reverence the vibrancy of youth and is dedicated to leading a positive Jewish life. With a nearly two-to-one camper-to-staff ratio, campers have the opportunity to form close relationships with those who guarantee their safety and well-being.