Meet the Amazing Guides for Camp KiwiCo!

Jun 3, 2020 / By Leslie Jonath

Come join us this summer at Camp KiwiCo! We’re creating four different sessions of hands-on activities, videos and content, each geared for different age groups. The camp is brought to you by our awesome creative team who is super excited to bring KiwiCo’s expertise and enthusiasm to your kids!

We know that this summer may look different than expected this year. To bring learning, delight, and fun to kids at home this summer, we’re launching Camp KiwiCo, where our team of experts has developed some amazing content that will teach kids to build, innovate and create cool projects! When it comes to cool projects for your own summer camp, you’re in good hands — every one of our awesome KiwiCo guides has years of experience of designing super-fun engineering, art and science projects under their (tool) belt!

All the content for Camp KiwiCo (DIY activities, videos, and printables) will be FREE and available to anyone, starting June 22, and this content will remain accessible all summer.

Now, it’s time to meet our awesome Camp KiwiCo Guides!


What do you do at KiwiCo? I help design products for all of the KiwiCo Crate lines (and sometimes make videos too!) I’ve been at KiwiCo for quite a while, so I’ve worked on Kiwi Crate, Tinker Crate, Atlas Crate, Eureka Crate, and more. Now, I get to spend time assisting all the other designers across all products!

What did you study? I got a B.S. in Engineering with a specialization in Product Design from Stanford, with a special focus on what’s called “human-centered design.” I studied everything from engineering and sciences to art, design, manufacturing, and business.

Tell us about some of your favorite projects you designed: One of my all-time favorite projects is hydraulic claw. I love how the claw uses water to create mechanical motion. Another of my favorite projects is the trebuchet. (I am a bit of a medieval nerd.)

What will you be doing at Camp KiwiCo? I will be hosting a number of videos that explain the science behind some of our cool camp projects. I’ll also be hosting a couple of super-fun STEAM challenges, where campers will create cool stuff like this marble run challenge!

What do you like to do when you aren’t at work? I love rock climbing, hiking, swimming, and trying new foods. In quarantine, I’ve been enjoying spending time with my wife and my dog, taking lots of walks, brushing up on guitar, and playing puzzle games!

Fun fact: I was the crawdad-fishing king at summer camp growing up! My secret? Gummy bear bait. 🙂


What do you do at KiwiCo? I am a product designer for the Kiwi Crate line.

What did you study? I have a BFA in Industrial Design from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).

Tell us about one of your favorite projects: I made a really fun maze that uses water droplets. The maze has a hydrophobic floor (which means it’s “afraid of water”), which allows a water droplet to roll down it like a marble. The walls of the maze are made of felt, which sucks up water droplets like a sponge! When you’re using the maze, the challenge is to tilt it and steer the water droplet to the center, so it doesn’t get sucked into the felt walls.

What will you be doing at Camp KiwiCo? I’m hosting the STEAM challenge for Deep-Sea Discovery Day. (We’ll be challenging kids to draw their own deep-sea creature!) For Tinker Camp, I’m also hosting the hydraulics challenge.

What do you like to do when you’re not at work? I like to practice mixed martial arts, but since the quarantine started, I’ve been going out for long runs.

What is a favorite memory of summer camp for you? I always loved meeting people and making new friends.

Fun Fact: I can solve a Rubik’s Cube


What do you do at KiwiCo? I’m a product designer for the KiwiCo Store. I get to work on all sorts of new types of crates, some of which are waaay bigger or waaay different from our subscription crates, like the Froggie Dissection Lab (don’t worry, it’s a plush frog — not a real one!) I get to figure out how to make stuff, which has been my favorite thing to do ever since I was kid.

What did you study? I have a BFA in Industrial Design from the University of Kansas. Before landing in product design, I bounced around in fine arts, architecture, and robotics clubs!

Tell us about one of your favorite projects: I loved working on our Marble Run crate. It took a lot of testing to find the right materials, but I was very happy with how the track pieces turned out. For that crate, I prototyped (tried out) a half-dozen hooks and hangs and knobs, but nothing was working. Then, instead of trying to solve the problem with shape, I tried experimenting with materials. Rubber to the rescue! With the higher friction coefficient (science really is useful, kids!), the pieces were able to fit simply and snugly onto the board.

What will you be doing at Camp KiwiCo?I’ll be showing kids how to make things, from automatons to crank-powered, cam-driven machines!

What do you like to do when you’re not at work? What I like to do in my free time changes constantly, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. My only true hobby might be learning new hobbies. During the quarantine, I’ve been having a blast making bad art. It’s also been fun to plan mini-special occasions, like a black tie virtual hangout or a backyard picnic with flowers. Things are special when you make them special!

What is a favorite memory of summer camp for you? Being bored. All my favorite childhood memories start with boredom and an empty afternoon. From building a fort to painting, making go-karts, exploring the woods, making “movies” or just hanging out, boredom made space for me to get creative.

Fun fact: I lost my glasses in the lake at summer camp… three years in row!


What do you do at KiwiCo? I create projects that go inside the Atlas Crate line — which is all about teaching kids about new countries and cultures. First, I do a ton of research about the country I’m focused on, , and then I create awesome projects about the culture of that country! I love sharing details about what makes each of these amazing destinations special.

What did you study? I studied Visual Studio Art with an emphasis in drawing and painting at UC San Diego. I then started a business making eco-friendly window displays (which are eye-catching sculptures that go around mannequins in clothing stores).

Tell us about one of your favorite projects: I have two! One of my favorite projects was creating an air-powered snow globe for a crate about Canada — it shoots mini snowballs into the air when you press down on it! Another project I’m really excited about is the flying Scarlet Macaw I designed for an upcoming crate about Costa Rica. The macaw flaps its wings (though an automaton-like action), and my cat was licking its lips trying to catch it.

What are you working on for Camp KiwiCo? I am creating a castle fortress for a Kiwi STEAM challenge, a travel journal for the Atlas Camp, and an outdoor fort that will live under the stars for the Tinker Planetarium day!

What do you like to do when you’re not at work? I love to be active! I usually go for a run around my neighborhood, but sometimes I’ll find a fun Latin, Caribbean, or Bollywood dance class online to move and groove along with! Since shelter-in-place started, I have been teaching myself how to cook some Japanese and Korean dishes. My favorite has been bibimbap, a beautiful rice bowl from Korea loaded with all sorts of colorful toppings!

What is a favorite memory of summer camp for you? I loved going to surf camp when I was 10 and 11 years old. We would spend all day at the beach, surfing for most of the day, but we’d also take breaks to play games like “Capture the Chicken”… a version of Capture the Flag where you have to steal a big rubber chicken!

Fun fact: I can jump really high—over my own head!


What do you do at KiwiCo? I am a photographer and videographer at KiwiCo. I take photos that go in the building instructions for our crates. I love that I get to work on every single crate that comes out!

What did you study? I graduated from the University of Georgia where I studied Visual and Broadcast Journalism. (I’ve been shooting photos and videos since I was eight years old.)

Tell us about one of your favorite projects: I recently made a stop-motion video for our Monster Mix-and-Match Art Pack, which is a new project in our store! I shot the whole thing in my bedroom, using rolls of colored paper as the backdrop!

What are you working on for Camp KiwiCo? I’m teaching a class about how to make stop-motion movies!

What do you like to do when you’re not at work? When I’m not at work, I love to spend time outdoors hiking or biking! During quarantine, I have been learning fun dances, trying to keep my house plants alive, and watching sunsets!

What is a favorite memory of summer camp for you? During the summers when I was a kid, I went to Girl Scout camp and art camps.

Fun fact: I got my first camera when I was in third grade!


What do you do at KiwiCo: I am KiwiCo Product Designer, and I work mainly on the Atlas Crate line and new products that are exclusively available in our Store. I spend my days engineering cool toys, experimenting with fun (and sometimes messy) reactions, and brainstorming our next awesome idea.

What did you study? I studied Product Design at Stanford University. I’ve always loved crafts, problem solving, and making things with my hands, so the PD major seemed like a great fit for me.

Tell us about one of your favorite projects: One of my favorite projects, Monster Mix-and-Match, just launched. It’s creative, travel-friendly, and super cute.

What are you working on for Camp KiwiCo? I’m a host for one of the STEAM Challenges called The Science of Sports!

What is a favorite memory of summer camp for you? I’m a seasoned summer sports camp veteran. One of my favorite memories is how fun it was to learn archery. Holding a bow and arrow is a lot trickier than it looks!

What do you like to do when you’re not at work? After work or on the weekends I like to paint, make jewelry, and work with clay. I also love to cook and have been experimenting with a cool water cooking technique called sous vide.

Fun Fact: I taught synchronized swimming as a camp counselor in Japan!


What do you do at KiwiCo: I am the founder and CEO of KiwiCo.

What did you study? I have a degree in chemical engineering from Case Western University. After graduating, I worked as an engineer at Procter & Gamble and a few technology startups and then went back to business school. Along the way I learned a lot about understanding customers, designing new products, and just solving problems! But I have to say some of my best training for KiwiCo was from my mom — who was an amazing, Macgyver-like maker herself, and inspired that same spirit in me.

What are you working on for Camp KiwiCo? I will be supporting my kids, who are leading sessions for Koala Camp and Atlas Camp!

What do you like to do when you’re not at work? We’ve been having a lot of fun cooking with friends on FaceTime. (We pick a recipe and cook at the same time. So far, we’ve cooked everything from soft pretzels to scratch-made boba.) We’ve also been going on a lot of biking adventures.

What is a favorite memory of summer camp for you? I have such fond memories of summer camp. I just loved spending time with friends old and new, making stuff (like forming miniature animals from clay that we collected along the creek), trying new activities (archery was surprisingly fun!), and exploring nature… while dodging poison ivy.

To join us, simply visit Camp KiwiCo. If you would like to add more to your camper’s day, you can order the specific KiwiCo crate that we’ve handpicked from our store to go with that day’s theme.

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