Our Staff

Tennis & Life Camps

We have one of the country’s top tennis facilities and a trained staff who have coached thousands of students from beginner to advanced. They are tennis professionals and coaches who, when they move into new positions, are a prominent presence in the upper Midwest professional tennis teaching community.

Neal Hagbert 


Meet Our Staff 


Neal Hagberg '81 is the TLC Director. He has taught tennis, led music and entertainment, directed counseling, and headed the “life” portion of TLC since 1981, and has served as Director since 2011. Neal and his wife Leandra are nationally acclaimed singers and songwriters who have been awarded two McKnight Foundation Fellowships. He has also earned the USPTA's Elite Pro Certification. Neal’s unique combination of inspiring talks, motivating music, perceptive tennis teaching, and leadership skills have been crucial for the camp’s success.


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Kevin Lungay '17 is the Assistant Director of Operations. Kevin has been with TLC since 2015. Kevin is in charge of overseeing business operations of the camp, serve as a resource point for staff members, connecting with junior campers about possible post high school plans, and developing programs for former TLC campers now Gusties at Gustavus. Kevin is a 2017 Gustavus graduate with a degree in Public Accounting with minors in Spanish and LALACS (Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies). On campus, he advises two students organizations (Diversity, Education, Exploration Project (DEEP) and Pinoy Pacific Pride (PPP))to promote DEI initiatives for students and faculty/staff on campus. 



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Kinzee Salo is the Assistant Director of Tennis. Kinzee has been with TLC since 2014, serving as a supervisor since 2017. She earned her masters in Kinesiology from the University of Minnesota in 2019 and is formerly the Women’s Tennis Assistant Coach at her alma mater St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota. During her time at the University of Minnesota, she was involved with the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport which is the first interdisciplinary research center of its kind in the world, solely dedicated to the examining how sport and physical activity affect the lives of girls and women, their families, and communities. Kinzee is in charge of the development of tennis, staff recruitment and retention, as well as diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives at camp.


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Barb and Steve Wilkinson directed TLC from 1977 to 2010. Barb continues to serve on the TLC Board of Directors after Steve's passing, and continue to assist TLC in many other ways. In 2010, Steve received the International Tennis Hall of Fame national education award and was inducted into the Intercollegiate Hall of Fame.


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Professional Staff
Our staff includes USPTA professionals, university, and high school coaches. Current and former All-American players and collegiate players. The supervisory staff include Liz Retzlaff, Aaron Brock, Colin McGuire, Mason Bultje, Alison Baker, Calleigh Carlson, Natalie Wijsenighe, and Janet Jennings. All instructors are trained in tennis teaching methods, first-aid, human relations, and counseling. They are known for their high energy levels, outgoing personalities, and positive reinforcement skills. A student/teacher ratio of 4:1 ensures individual attention.

For a list of the complete staff, check out our staff brochure


 
Working at Camp 

Summer employment at TLC is a dream job! You can pass on to others the joys of tennis and an enhanced approach to life that is impacting many people. Working in a high-energy environment where everyone is emphasizing the positive, smiling, and saying thank you is transformational. Former coach Betsy Mork wrote “What you are doing is truly changing the world, one camper and staff person at a time. It has affected me deeply, and helped me to choose my profession…teaching.”

Former coaches Carrie and Michelle Wiersma, now speech pathologists, claimed that working at TLC taught them who they wanted to be. “This job is not just about learning how to run a great lesson on court, but learning what kind of person you are and what kind of person you want to become. Every summer we found out more about ourselves.”

The TLC full-time staff works hard during the off-season to help their summer staff members acquire internships and explore job opportunities in their respective fields. Former Instructor Cody Anderson, a Gustavus alum, wrote "The connections I have made through TLC have been indescribable and the opportunities that it has provided me have been endless."


 
Employment Opportunities

Educational Coach Position 
Tennis & Life Camps employs 30-35 educational coaches over the summer. The position works full time from approximately May 31 through August 5, with a week vacation from July 1 to July 8. At least one year of college is required and a UTR or 5 and above is preferred. A 4.5 playing ability and high school varsity experience are required. Varsity college playing experience and previous tennis teaching experience are recommended. Exposure to tennis educational materials and previous coaching are valuable. Previous counseling, leadership, music, and public speaking experience strengthen the resume.

A love for TLC and its mission are expected. A positive, helpful manner with coworkers and TLC campers is required. Attention to detail, honesty, commitment to serving others, punctuality, and an outgoing, friendly personality are very important.

The job averages 54 hours per week of tennis teaching and non-tennis teaching responsibilities. Time off each week is from 2:15 p.m. on Sunday to 2:00 p.m. on Monday. The first-year staff starting salary is $3000 + dorm counseling stipend + room and board. On campus apartment housing and meals in the Gustavus Dining Service are provided. An intensive pre camp training program and continuing professional development seminars are offered. No health or retirement benefits are included. The TLC Staff uses an endowment fund for activities, meals, and entertainment outside of working hours.

Other responsibilities besides teaching tennis include eating meals with campers, participating in variety shows, skits, and dances with junior campers, writing camper evaluations, greeting campers and their parents, and attending staff meetings.

Fringe benefits include tennis instruction during off hours, ball machine access, deeply discounted tennis equipment, indoor court time, and use of other campus facilities.

Apply Today!

Office Assistant Position
Tennis & Life Camps employs one Office Assistant over the summer. The position works full time from approximately May 31 through August 5, with a week vacation from July 1 to July 8. At least one year of college is required. Previous retail experience is preferred. Office Assistant will need to meticulously set up camp, run reports, manage Excel spreadsheets, and direct check-in/check-out. Additonally, they will need to run and close out a cash register, stock and manage inventory, and be knowledgeable on tennis clothing, rackets, strings, and accessories..

Other duties include assisting the Director of Operations, managing the dormitory game room, monitoring the camp front door, serving food, assisting campers, setting up for dormitory lounge programs, and dorm counseling.

A love for TLC and its mission are expected. A positive, helpful manner with coworkers and TLC campers is required. Attention to detail, honesty, commitment to serving others, punctuality, and an outgoing, friendly personality are very important.

The job averages 40 hours per week of non-tennis teaching responsibilities. Time off each week is from 2:15 p.m. on Sunday to 12:30 p.m. on Monday. The first-year staff starting wage is $9.75/hr + dorm counseling stipend + room and board. On campus apartment housing and meals in the Gustavus Dining Service are provided. No health or retirement benefits are included. The TLC Staff uses an endowment fund for activities, meals, and entertainment outside of working hours.

Fringe benefits include tennis instruction during off hours, ball machine access, indoor court time, and use of other campus facilities.

Apply Today!

Pro Shop Manager
Tennis & Life Camps employs one Pro Shop Manager over the summer. The position works full time from approximately May 31 through August 5, with a week vacation from July 1 to July 8. At least one year of college is required. Previous retail experience is preferred. The Pro Shop Manager will need to keep track of merchandise inventory and oversee sales in the Pro Shop. Additionally, they will need to run and close out a cash register, stock and manage inventory, and be knowledgeable on tennis clothing, rackets, strings, and accessories.

Other duties include assisting the Director of Operations, serving food, assisting campers, setting up for dormitory lounge programs, and dorm counseling.

A love for TLC and its mission are expected. A positive, helpful manner with coworkers and TLC campers is required. Attention to detail, honesty, commitment to serving others, punctuality, and an outgoing, friendly personality are very important.

The job averages 40 hours per week of non-tennis teaching responsibilities. Time off each week is from 2:15 p.m. on Sunday to 12:30 p.m. on Monday. The first-year staff starting wage is $9.75/hr + dorm counseling stipend + room and board. On campus apartment housing and meals in the Gustavus Dining Service are provided. No health or retirement benefits are included. The TLC Staff uses an endowment fund for activities, meals, and entertainment outside of working hours.

Fringe benefits include tennis instruction during off hours, ball machine access, indoor court time, and use of other campus facilities.

Apply Today!

Photographer and Digital Media Coordinator 
Tennis & Life Camps employs 1-2 Photographers/Digital Media Coordinators over the summer. The position works full time from May 31 through August 5, with a week vacation from July 1 to July 8. At least one year of college is required. Previous retail experience is preferred. This position distributes Tennis & Life Camps' media in a variety of ways. They will take still and action shots of every camper, identify campers and distribute photos appropriately. This position will also will be in charge of splicing instructional analysis videos and uploading to YouTube. Must be proficient in Excel.

From a social media perspective, this position will monitor and manage all forms of social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.

Other duties include assisting the Director of Operations, serving food, assisting campers, setting up for dormitory lounge programs, and dorm counseling.

A love for TLC and its mission are expected. A positive, helpful manner with coworkers and TLC campers is required. Attention to detail, honesty, commitment to serving others, punctuality, and an outgoing, friendly personality are very important.

The job averages 40 hours per week of non-tennis teaching responsibilities. Time off each week is from 2:15 p.m. on Sunday to 12:30 p.m. on Monday.The first-year staff starting wage is $9.75/hr + dorm counseling stipend + room and board. On campus apartment housing and meals in the Gustavus Dining Service are provided. No health or retirement benefits are included. The TLC Staff uses an endowment fund for activities, meals, and entertainment outside of working hours.

Fringe benefits include tennis instruction during off hours, ball machine access, indoor court time, and use of other campus facilities.

Apply Today!


 
Frequently Asked Questions

  1. When can I start working at camp?
    Typically our instructors have completed one year of college before becoming a TLC staff member. Most instructors are varsity collegiate players with a UTR of 5 or above. Many are interested in and have experience working with youth, currently play or played tennis growing up, and are interested in coaching or teaching. Others join camp for their own personal and professional growth and dedication to the mission of TLC.
  2. Where do staff live?
    Staff are housed in the College View Apartments on campus which are adjacent to the Brown Tennis Complex. There are typically 4 staff members per apartment. Each apartment has two bedrooms, one or two bathrooms, a living room, and a kitchen. Apartments come with a couch, chair, and table and each bedroom includes a bed, desk and desk chair.
  3. Do staff stay with the campers? 
    Staff members will be dorm counselors for junior camps on a rotating basis. There are typically 6 dorm counselors for each junior camp and staff members receive a $20/night stipend each camp they dorm counsel. Dorm counselors are responsible for bringing campers to breakfast each morning, making sure campers are in their rooms by lights out, and creating a sense of community with their section.
  4. Is room and board included?
    Yes, staff members are housed in the College View Apartments and all meals are included except for Sunday evening and Monday morning when staff members are on their break.
  5. What about time off?
    Staff members are granted three days paid leave which can be requested on a first come first serve basis. Additional time off may be allowed after discussions with the leadership staff.
  6. How long do campers stay at camp?
    There are two camps per week which run Monday-Thursday afternoon and Thursday evening-Sunday afternoon. Each camp consists of two full days of activities and two half days.
  7. How old are the campers?
    There are three different types of camps that occur each summer junior, adult, and family camps. Campers can be as young as 7 years old for family camp. Junior campers range from 11-18 and adult campers are ages 18 and above.
  8. Am I allowed to play tennis in the bubble after hours? 
    Yes, instructors are able to use the tennis facilities and other facilities on campus when they are not being used by camps.
  9. What is a typical work day like?
    Camp runs from 8 am - 7:30 pm each day. There are additional activities at night that staff members are required to attend on certain days. Staff members will receive approximately a 2 hour break at some point during the day. Each camp is structured so that each staff member will have a shorter day where they will be done around 4:10 and a long day where they will be done later in the evening.
  10. What is the summer schedule? 
    We have 15 campers throughout the summer with 2 camps per week. Staff members typically arrive on campus a week before camps begin for a week of training. There are no camps during the week of the Fourth of July and staff members will receive that week off. Staff members typically start early June and finish up with camp early-middle of August. 
  11. Should I have a car with me during the summer?
    You will not need a car in order to fulfill your job responsibilities but some staff members like to go off campus during their time off. Mankato is a 20 minute drive away from campus. It is recommended to bring a bike or scooter so that you can quickly navigate around campus. The tennis complex, dorms, and dining center are 3 separate buildings but are a 7-10 minute walk away from one another.

 
Apply Now

Do you want to join our staff and be a part of an unforgettable expereince? You can find our application here!