Directors and Staff

Tad Welch and Ali Schultheis Moore directed Tanager Lodge together from 1992 to 2022. Tad is the son of Tanager Lodge founder, Fay Welch, and has spent every summer of his life at camp. He has been director since 1984. With a B.A. from Syracuse University and a M.S. in Teaching from the Rochester Institute of Technology, Tad works most of the year on camp. In his free time, he leads trips for the Cornell University Outdoor Program and works as a freelance writer and illustrator. 

Ali first attended camp in 1974 and worked as a counselor, waterfront director, and program director before joining Tad as director. She holds a B.A. from Brown University, M.P.A. from Syracuse University, and Ph.D. from the University of Rochester. During the “off-season” she is a professor of English.

The majority of our staff are former campers. Their love of wilderness and desire to share with children the knowledge and guidance they themselves received as campers is part of the Tanager tradition. We choose new staff members for their maturity, wilderness experience, teaching and leadership skills, generosity, and desire to work with children. The camper to staff ratio of almost 2:1 allows the staff to fully engage each child in the camp program.


An intensive week-long training program before camp emphasizes staff members’ responsibilities as educators, role models, and friends to the children placed in their care. Staff practice adjusting their teaching methods to meet individual camper needs. In addition, all staff receive basic training in first aid and lifeguarding.