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The Directors

Chippewa Ranch Camp is owned and operated by Cliff & Lisa Lissner. Together they have dedicated themselves to creating a safe, healthy and exciting environment for their campers. They are active members of the American Camp Association and present educational sessions at its summer camp conferences. They have two beautiful daughters (Audry & Vivien), and they spend their winters in Highland Park, IL. 

Owners/Directors

Cliff Lissner

Cliff is from Highland Park, IL and has over two decades of experience with boys’ and girls’ camps, including 10-years as a Director at Chippewa. He and Lisa have owned Chippewa since 2005, and he spent 11 prior years at North Star Camp for Boys. Cliff carries a progressive approach to the development of today’s youth, while also maintaining the traditional values that make camp so special. As a former Nationally Licensed Emergency Medical Technician with paramedic training, he has always made the safety and well being of Chippewa’s campers priority number one. He is an industry leader on the subject of health, safety and risk management. Cliff formerly served on the American Camp Association (ACA) Mid States Conference planning committee, and currently serves as an ACA National Conference program review team member. Along side internationally acclaimed author, Michael Brandwein, Cliff developed the ACA Mid States Camp Director’s Solution Symposium, which provides groundbreaking and vital training for camp owners and directors. He is the acting treasurer for the Midwest Association of Independent Camps, and the Mid-America Rep for the Camp Owners & Directors Association (CODA).

Lisa Lissner

Lisa is from Sleepy Hollow, IL and brings a significant amount of experience to camping. She was a Press Secretary and Communications specialist for the city of Chicago’s Park district, where her focus was to promote the importance of green-space and active and imaginative outdoor programming for children, particularly those living in urban areas. At camp Lisa is the quintessential “camp mom” and she has the ability to connect with girls in a way that offers them a feeling of comfort and safety at their home away from home. During the summer, Lisa communicates regularly with Chippy moms & dads, keeping them informed and up to speed on their daughter’s experience. She does an excellent job partnering with parents to make sure that our camp girls are being provided with the most rewarding experience possible.

Associate Director

Sari Hirsch

Sari is from Deerfield, IL and has spent over 20 years at Chippewa. Prior to working as Chippewa’s full time Associate Director, Sari was a math teacher at Highland Park High School. She currently coaches freshman basketball, and continues to tutor in math. Aside from being a wonderful camp personality, Sari plays an integral roll in program planning, organization and development. During the off-season Sari works closely with the Lissners and manages the Chicago office. She is a vital part of our girls’ camp community!

Office Administrative Director

Ruth Lissner

Ruth is from Northbrook, IL and is our Office Administrative Director. She has been at camp for almost a decade with her dog Puddin who is very popular among the campers. Ruth is responsible for many of Chippewa’s behind the scenes work and she does an incredible job in this role. We absolutely love that Ruth spends her summers up at camp as she is an integral part of the Chippy Family. In addition to her work and leadership in the office, Ruth will be teaching COOKING this summer. We feel very lucky to have Ruth at CRC and are looking forward to seeing her and Puddin up on stage this summer!

Assistant Director –
Camper & Staff Welfare

Julie Alitto

Julie is from Dundee, IL and serves as Chippewa’s Assistant Director and Camp Psychologist (“Camp Good-Friend”). She is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist and professor of psychology and education at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha. She is a current educational speaker at the American Camp Association Mid-States conference, and her experience has been extremely valuable at camp. Her dog “Bear” is a real hit with the campers and staff!

Assistant Director – Programming

Sophie Marwil

Sophie is from Wilmette, IL. She has been with Chippewa for over a decade and is a second generation Chippy. She has a wonderful relationship with our campers, parents and staff alike. Over the past three summers, Sophie has served on our administrative staff filling a number of roles and taking each of them to the next level. She is a recent graduate of Connecticut College where she majored in Behavioral Neuroscience. Sophie was also a WSI and is now our lifeguard trainer. We are thrilled to have her with us.

Assistant Director – Operations

James Stapleton
James is from Nelma, WI which is a town about an hour away from camp. He has been at camp for the past ten summers and has become an integral part of the camp operations. From set-up in May to take-down in August, and every single day in between, James has his finger on the pulse of camp making sure that our program is safe and efficient. We truly appreciate having James at camp- his dedication and commitment to our campers and staff is incredible!

A Girls’ Camp