A Board of Directors oversees and supports the operation of Canoe Island French Camp to help insure program and facility quality and safety.
Creighton Hofeditz, President
Creighton Hofeditz is a teacher and designer from Denver, Colorado. He first came to Canoe Island in the summer of 1998 as a 12-year old camper, and returned for three more years after that. He was then a counselor for four years, including one as Program Director. While he obtained a degree in theater from Northwestern University and his travels took him to Japan to teach English, he regards Canoe as the single most impactful experience and relationship of his life–tracing friends, music, a passion for teaching, and an abiding connection with the San Juan Islands to his time there.
After two years apprenticing on a permaculture homestead on Orcas Island, Creighton spent 6 years teaching public middle school in Denver. He currently focuses on adult education, design, and advocacy in the field of sustainable design and practice in urban areas. Most recently he started a job as the Director of Permaculture and Perennials with Denver Urban Gardens, and is in charge of a new initiative to plant food forests throughout the Denver area. He is excited to work on the Canoe Board to help strengthen and enrich the place that has given him so much.
Laura St. John, Joint Vice-President
Laura was introduced to Canoe in 2008 through a family camp weekend and the whole family fell in love. They have been to family camp every year since. Her daughter Jillian has attended session 1 since turning 9 in 2011 and younger brother Reed is ready to go summer 2014. Both kids attend the French American International School and are fluent in French. Laura studied French in high school and has a large extended family in the south of France. Laura is a finance controller at Intel. She has an MBA and hopes her extensive experience in long term strategic planning can be put to good use for CIFC!
Aaron Andrews, Joint Vice-President
Aaron Andrews grew up on Puget Sound, raised with a love for food and cooking. Upongraduating culinary school, Aaron began to travel the globe in search of the best things to eat and drink, including visiting France where he discovered excellent cheeses.
Interspersed between his many foreign adventures, his diverse culinary work experience included time spent working for a small organic farm on Vashon Island, cooking in fine dining establishments in New Zealand & Seattle, and being the owner of an award-winning ice cream manufacturer of eclectic local and seasonal ice cream flavors.
Aaron arrived on Canoe Island for the first time in the spring of 2012, having been hired as the chef for the year. Instantly falling in love with the wonder and beauty of the place, he worked a second summer, and kept connected to the Canoe Island family after that. In the summer of 2016, he and his wife were married on Canoe Island, which introduced the magic of the island to family and friends.
He currently lives in Sweden, and is looking forward to the day when his child can experience summer camp at CIFC.
Heather Jasper, Secretary
Heather first came to Canoe Island as an infant when her grandmother Skipper was director in the 1980s. Her years as a camper at CIFC cemented her love of the French language, which led to a year as an AFS exchange student in France and then a degree in teaching French. She taught French & Spanish for twelve years before moving to Peru. She is now a travel writer and photographer, based in Cusco, Peru. One of the highlights of her trips home to see family in the US is a visit to Canoe Island!
Shannon Tracy, Treasurer
Shannon Tracy is a CFO for Yalla Mediterranean, a Mediterranean cuisine restaurant chain. She grew up going to Canoe Island French Camp as a camper from age 10 to 16 years old and then returned for three summers as a counselor and Program Director. Shannon has been heavily involved with Canoe Island alumni since her graduation from UC San Diego, where she earned her degree in Economics and a minor in French Literature. Canoe Island was a major influence on why she pursued French in her college studies. She looks forward to the day her daughters, Amelie and Juliette, are old enough to attend French Camp.
Susan West is an immigration attorney, and lives on nearby San Juan Island. After graduating from Reed College, in Portland, Oregon, she went to graduate school at UCLA to study conservation biology, and attended the University of Michigan Law School. She serves on the boards of the Spring Street International School and the San Juan Island Sailing Foundation. She is also a bit of a political junkie and is passionate about civil rights, immigrant rights, and art & science education.
Susan joined the Canoe Island board in 2012, served as president from 2016 to 2022, and is now focused on establishing a conservation easement on the island. She and her daughter Ria sought out Canoe Island French Camp because it combines French language and culture, marine and conservation biology, and sailing in the beautiful San Juan Islands. They have formed deep bonds within its community of like-minded yet diverse people. Their love for Canoe Island began at Family Camp in 2011, and Ria attended camp every year from 2012 to 2019. Ria graduated from Spring Street International School in 2022 and is now a student at Wellesley College in Massachusetts.
Kate Hill and her wife, Mary, have four sons (potential campers!), ranging from seven months to ten years old. She grew up in Montana and now calls Lake Forest Park, Washington her home. Her professional background is in traditional and digital marketing. After 20 years in various marketing roles, Kate decided to step away from the corporate world to take on the most challenging role of her career, staying home to raise her young children. During this time, she followed her longtime passion for yoga and breathwork and completed her 200-hour yoga teacher certification in 2022. She currently is teaching in the community and working toward opening her own studio.
Kate and her family love being in the great outdoors. In 2020, the family of five and their dog went on a 66-day camping adventure across Washington, Idaho, and Montana in their 20-foot travel trailer. They set out again in the summer of 2022, and spent six weeks camping throughout Montana, including a highly coveted 5-day river float down the Smith River in Western Montana. Kate and Mary place a high value on teaching their kids the benefits of being in nature, taking care of the environment, and cohabitating with many wild animals! For these reasons, the family also enjoys attending Family Camp on Canoe Island.
Kate was introduced to Canoe Island in June of 2022 during the Yoga Benefit weekend and joined the Board of Directors shortly after in January 2023. She is excited to share her professional experience and personal passions to continue to make Canoe Island a destination for kids and families to enjoy for many years to come.
Gretchen Galuska first discovered the magic of Canoe Island during a 2019 family camp weekend. Growing up around the Salish Sea, her love for the outdoors, traveling to new places, and experiencing new cultures and communities deepened into a life-long love of learning. After graduating from the University of Washington with a degree in History of Science, and a minor in Medical History and Ethics, Gretchen embarked on a career in post-secondary educational compliance and accreditation for allied health programs. This led to her current role as an audit and compliance analyst for a local public utility. Gretchen is excited to help fulfill CIFC’s mission through connecting kids and adults with the beauty and wonder of French culture, community, and the great outdoors.
Dianne was raised in the Puget Sound region with a deep connection to nature, community and cultures. While she spent a lot of time in the San Juan Islands over the years, she was first introduced to Canoe Island in 2018 by attending Yoga Camp. She has been impressed with how Canoe Island fosters a sense of community and cultural awareness and compassion with campers while exposing them to the unparalleled beauty and lessons of the Salish Sea. Dianne’s career and experience have stretched from health philanthropy to advocacy, community engagement and board service. As a senior leader at Arcora Foundation, she focuses on the organization’s strategy, communications and data/learning.