Giselle Tsering

Giselle has been a part of Camp since 1997.  She works as a Pediatric RN and a lactation consultant, and enjoys being a free doula for families who can’t afford one. Giselle started as a camp counselor and meditation teacher for the 5 and 6 year olds. Now she is the fearless leader and director of Family Camp (!) She enjoys getting to know each family personally and watching those children who choose to return each summer grow and thrive as they deepen their connections to their own heart’s wisdom.

When she’s not working or planning a camp, Giselle is often out in nature; she also likes dressing up, being silly, making fairy houses and doing lots of art with her two children. She focuses on finding absolute joy in the everyday moments. Having spent her life with children, she loves to bring a fresh perspective to parenting: sharing ways to keep things light and meaningful while helping families learn to connect more deeply from their hearts. Giselle lives in Santa Cruz with her husband Nima, their two children, Samaya and Kalden and one very large cat.

John Landaw

Jon connected with Wise Heart Family Camp since its very beginnings in 1994 (when it was known as Kids’ Camp).

Jon has been contributing to Camp every year in two ways. First during the planning and preparation stages, when the staff members meet to discuss the theme we will be presenting that year, which is usually one of the qualities of the enlightened experience, such as loving-kindness, compassion or wisdom. Typically this theme is embodied in the figure of a representative Buddhist meditational deity, such as Maitreya, Tara or Manjushri. By explaining the symbolism of these figures, sharing the legends told about them, and occasionally composing a short meditation practice centered on them, Jon tries to provide the staff members with the information and material they can use when designing and leading activities appropriate for the campers’ different age groups.

Then, during the camp itself, Jon nearly always narrates a slide show of the life of Buddha based on Prince Siddhartha, incorporating the illustrations found in that book and occasionally augmenting them with other images relevant to that year’s theme.

Sharon Gross

Sharon was instructed by Lama Yeshe to participate in the “Geshe Studies” program in England, a precursor to what is now known as the Masters Program.  She completed four years with Khensur Rinpoche Geshe Jampa Tegchog, testing year one first in her class. Having first met Lama Yeshe and Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche in 1973. She was on the founding boards of Vajrapani Institute and Tara Redwood School, has served as director of the FPMT Central Office and served on the FPMT Board.

A California native, Sharon has called Santa Cruz County home since 1978, though she has also traveled to pursue her studies. Sharon has been one of our core camp staff since we began and served as camp director for several years.

Currently Sharon serves the greater Santa Cruz senior community by overseeing the distribution of weekly food bag delivery to 4100 seniors. She enjoys the simplicity and direct perspective of meditation and finds our young ones especially astute in accessing their basic mind directly.

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