Meet the Founder:
Stan Oken, Coach
As an educator and continued owner of River Way Ranch Camp, Coach, has devoted his life to ensuring every child experiences all that summer camp has to offer. The Oken family has owned and operated River Way Ranch Camp since 1967. With over 100 years combined experience, the Oken family continues to provide a stable, fun, and educational summer adventure for children. Recipient of the California Family Business Award in 2000 and 2008, River Way has also been featured on the “Today” show. The Oken family, along with year-round staff, devotes the entire year to the planning and organizing of the upcoming summer.
Meet the Staff:
Nancy Oken-Redfield, Munchkin
Vice President, Camps
Nancy, daughter of Stan, grew up at River Way and after many years as a camp counselor, CIT Director and Program Director, she assumed the role as the Executive Camp Director and VP of Camps. For the next 26 years, Munchkin mentored and developed outstanding leadership teams. Through her knowledge and guidance the counselors as well as the leadership team learn to be outstanding role models and teachers ensuring our campers one of the most exciting and fun summers of their lifetime. As a high school teacher and coach, Munchkin’s expertise is teaching for success and our campers benefit as they increase self-esteem and confidence through our many activities.
Carrie, daughter of Nancy, has also spent every summer of her life at River Way. As a third generation family member, Carrie has committed her life to continuing the traditions of River Way Ranch Camp. As our past program director for many years, Carrie is well aware of what our campers expect and deserve. Her experience in the staff selection process has proven to be an asset to our staff as she guides them to care for each child as if our own. Carrie has run our family camp daycare center for several years as well. She moved out of the camp office three years ago to assist in the Wedding Department, where her meticulous nature provided brides and grooms with the perfect wedding day. We are excited that Carrie has returned to the camp office and has taken over all the pre-camp preparations and events.
Ashley Crother, Derby
Born and raised in San Luis Obispo, Derby relocated to Fresno in 2009 and studied Communication at Fresno State. With a previous career in banking, she came to us via Wonder Valley with repertoire of exceptional customer service skills. In January of 2014 Derby joined the staff at Wonder Valley as Program Manager, officially joined the River Way team in April as Camp Mom, and is now a valued member of our full time team as the Client Services Director. An advocate and volunteer for foster children through CASA for many years, coupled with her nurturing characteristics, Derby developed immediate connections with campers, staff, and parents alike.
James DiSanto, Sasquatch
James aka Sasquatch started with us in 2007 as a volunteer counselor in our Outdoor Education program. Once he transitioned to our summer staff, James held a variety of different positions from canteen supervisor, to counselor, and then to Buckaroo Division Leader, a position that he held for the past three summers. James is a graduate of Fresno State University with a degree in English Education.