Meet the Directors
Meet the Founder: Stan Oken, Coach
As an educator and continued owner of River Way Ranch Camp, Coach, has devoted his life to ensuring every child experiences all that summer camp has to offer. The Oken family has owned and operated River Way Ranch Camp since 1967. With over 100 years combined experience, the Oken family continues to provide a stable, fun, and educational summer adventure for children. Recipient of the California Family Business Award in 2000 and 2008, River Way has also been featured on the “Today” show. The Oken family, along with year-round staff, devotes the entire year to the planning and organization of the upcoming summer.
Nancy Oken-Redfield, Munchkin
Vice President, Camps
Nancy, daughter of Stan, grew up at River Way and after many years as a camp counselor, CIT Director and Program Director, she assumed the role as the Executive Camp Director and VP of Camps. For the next 26 years, Munchkin mentored and developed outstanding leadership teams. Through her knowledge and guidance the counselors as well as the leadership team learn to be outstanding role models and teachers ensuring our campers one of the most exciting and fun summers of their lifetime. As a high school teacher and coach, Munchkin’s expertise is teaching for success and our campers benefit as they increase self-esteem and confidence through our many activities.
Carrie Nighbert-Gross, Sparky
Carrie, daughter of Nancy, has also spent every summer of her life at River Way. As a third generation family member, Carrie has committed her life to continuing the traditions of River Way Ranch Camp. As our past program director for many years, Carrie is well aware of what our campers expect and deserve. Her experience in camp has proven to be an asset as she continues to run the program with the outstanding quality our parents and campers are accustomed to.
Ashley Crother, Derby
Assistant Girls Director, Sales Director
Born and raised in San Luis Obispo, Derby relocated to Fresno in 2009 and studied Communication at Fresno State. With a previous career in customer service, our parents and campers love her. In January of 2015, Derby officially joined the River Way team as a Camp Mom, and is now a valued member of our full time staff. Derby’s nurturing characteristics help her develop immediate connections with campers, staff, and parents alike.