Scenic view of trees at camp

Staff Favorites: Hobbies

by Karissa Pitaniello


Have you ever wondered to yourself, “Self, I wonder what the Pine Cove staffers like to do during their free time?” Well, wonder no more! We’ve compiled our staff’s favorite hobbies, and some of their responses might just surprise you!

“My favorite hobby is creative writing! Since before I can remember, I have loved stories and storytelling. For me, creative writing is a way to make something interesting and unique from the thoughts in my head and share that with others!” – Marc “Captain Frog Hook” Wood,  Silverado Men’s Director 

“My new hobby is needlepointing! I picked up my first canvas and went to a workshop (where I was the youngest person by 50 years… easily) at a local needle house in Houston. I even worked on my project while in labor at the hospital!” – Madeline “Snugs” James, CTX Marketing Manager

“Ever since I moved permanently to Texas, I have been an avid concert-goer! I am a huge music lover in general, but there is just something so exciting about getting to hear some of your favorite artists live and even getting to discover new artists as well! I think in the past two years, I’ve seen over 10 different artists, and each time I get so pumped about the night to come. While some may think that concert-going can be a pricier hobby, most tickets I’ve bought have been so much cheaper than I expected. Plus, the experience, memories, and overall fun make every ticket worth it! I’ve seen the Brook & The Bluff a couple of times now, and they have been amazing EVERY time! Two of my other favorites have been Wild Rivers (it was in a really small, intimate venue and I met some awesome people there) and Harry Styles (he just is one of my all-time favorite artists).” – Shania “T-Dac” Banks, Registrar

“I love scuba diving because I get to see a part of God’s beauty that a lot of people will never see. It is very spiritual for me because there are no distractions. Many times I close my eyes and pray, or sing “It Is Well.” I have been to Cozumel many times, but any blue water is good diving. Some of my favorite dives were when I saw manta rays and whale sharks in the Maldives or a dive I did in Bonaire, Fiji. I also love night dives. I got to dive with 18 sharks this past November, and have done over 300 dives!” – Phillip “ShockWave” McLeod, CPA, Chief Administrative Officer

“I wish that I could wakeboard, snowboard, and go backpacking more often so that they were actually hobbies! I do get to enjoy Bible study, exercise, non-fiction reading, and photography on a regular basis. I also have been making homemade kombucha for the past six years. My wife says it’s better than the expensive store-bought kind!” – Daniel “Gigabite” David, Business Analyst

“I love hiking and exploring national parks! My favorites parks so far have been Zion, Acadia, and Arches. It’s so fun to be unplugged from your phone while spending time with friends on a trail. Exploring God’s creation is a great reminder of how big He is and how much He cares for us (Psalm 8:3-4!).” – Kay “Sugar Plum” Manley, Registrar

“I love collecting Pez dispensers! I started when I was a wee lad because they looked cool, had all of my favorite characters, and were cheap enough that my little kid self could buy them. I have collected since elementary school, and even went to a few conventions back in my prime. Now I’ve got an obnoxiously large collection of them and it’s still growing. I’ve lost count but it’s easily over a thousand. It’s fun to go on the hunt and look for them in stores, flea markets, yard sales, eBay bid wars, and even when people would get them and eat the candy but give me the dispenser. Finding that new one you’ve been looking for gives you a thrill that I dare say is immaculate!” – Keaton “Win Win” Goodrum, ETX Maintenance Technician

“I have found a love for sourdough! I have always loved baking, but making sourdough has become therapeutic. I brought a loaf of bread up to the Pine Cove HQ and Rob “Change Up” Harris made the accounting team grilled cheese for lunch one day.” – Lauren “The Lost Clause” Boyd, Accounting Specialist

“I love fishing! My uncles and cousins have always been outstanding anglers, and used to take me on trips to lakes, rivers, and crappie houses to wet a line and rip some lip (insert any other wild fishing lingo). It’s always been a good chance for me to enjoy the outdoors, clear my mind, and hopefully fill my pan with some nice filets!” – Cam “Clout” Tovias, Pine Cove City Alpine Site Director


“I love pickleball! I would play every day if I could. I love it because I was really bad when I first started, but now I have become much better and it is so fun to play with friends!” – Sharmaine “Screams” Burton, Pine Cove City Highland Site Director

“I have loved running! It has been something that has provided some much-needed thinking time and just some solitude! With everything causing so many distractions, it is so nice to have a moment to get away and be alone with the Lord and my thoughts!” – Hayden “Mr. Polar Behr” Weaver, Pine Cove Shores Men’s Director

“I love podcasts! Getting lost in an engrossing story, Biblical study, current events, a topic that I’m wanting to learn more about or a skill I want to grow in—podcasts have a little something for everyone! Not to mention most of them are free! They’re great to enjoy while driving around town or on a road trip. I get stoked when new episodes of my favorites drop weekly! Radio isn’t dead, it’s just moved to podcasts! Ones I love and have in my current rotation are “No Small Endeavor” with Lee C. Camp, “BibleProject Podcast,” “The Bulletin,” and “Practicing the Way.” – Conor “Flow” Barry, Ridge Camp Director

“I have really enjoyed running this year! It has become a routine that really helps me reflect on my day after work or at the beginning of the day on weekends. Especially on longer runs, I’ve really been able to connect with the Lord and more clearly see ways He is being faithful in my life. I ran the Cowtown Half Marathon in February, and I’m pumped to run another later this year! Shout out to the Strava app!” – Colin “Sneaky Pete” Post, Ridge Men’s Director

“Annelise ‘Smilin’’ Morrison, Leah ‘Smax’ Crum, Amber ‘Bungees’ Gregg, and I are all huge Gold’s Gym girls! We’ve been taking a class there called Gold’s Burn (the Gold’s equivalent to Orange Theory) and we have made so many friends there!” – Gabby “Proms” Barnholdt, Regional Administrative Assistant

“I am an avid disc golfer and love the sport! It helps me get outside and enjoy the area around Tyler.” – Daniel “Dash” Garraway, Retail Procurement Coordinator

Posted Apr 2, 2024

Karissa Pitaniello

Content Coordinator

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