Alphonse Litz has been an elementary public school educator and administrator in Concord, Massachusetts, and Boston for over 20 years. A central underpinning in both his teaching and administrative roles has been student-centered, project-based curriculum. He has promoted and developed programs based on the philosophy that children learn best through experience. As a classroom teacher he always made space for a woodworking shop. Boston Explorers is a natural extension of his wide-ranging interest in Boston history and the city’s natural resources. The camp was founded on the belief that kids come to “own a place” by experiencing it. As a Teacher Leader he was among a select group that led the nationally renowned, staff-governed Mission Hill K-8 Pilot School. He is committed to social justice and equity in our community.
[Photo: Meri Bond Photography]
Amina Michel-Lord has worked in Boston Public Schools for nearly 20 years co-teaching in elementary classrooms and directing afterschool programs. She brings a wealth of administrative experience to the camp, specializing in communication and public relations. Amina is the liaison with parents and counselors, and draws on her vast organizational skills to plan Explorer field trips and lunch programs. A gifted singer and longtime member of the New England Community Gospel Choir Singers, she will help support the camp’s music activities and other programs. Her interests include reading and traveling.
[Photo: Melvin Guante]
STAFF & CAMP CONSULTANT
Bob Ditter is a clinical social worker who specializes in the treatment of children, adolescents and families. A nationally recognized trainer and consultant for children’s summer camps since 1982, he has visited over 600 camps, authored four books for camp professionals, and produced 18 staff training DVDs. He is recognized for his work with organizations such as Sea World, the Disney Channel, the Salvation Army, Girls Scouts of America, the YMCA, the American Camp Association, Jewish Community Centers, Camp Fire USA, The Crohns and Colitis Foundation and Children’s Oncology Camps of America. He has appeared on the ABC Evening News with Peter Jennings, Good Morning America and twice on NBC’s Today Show. Sports Illustrated has called him “camping’s most articulate spokesman.”
[Photo: Meri Bond Photography]
Dey Hernandez is a teaching artist, architect and puppeteer. She has taught visual art and woodworking through the Eliot School of Fine and Applied Arts in Jamaica Plain, as well as for AgitArte (Puerto Rico/Boston) where she merged community issues, popular theater, visual arts and collective creation to engage people in the advancement of social justice. She is an active member of Papel Machete, a workers’ theater collective in Santurce, PR, where, in addition to set design and construction, she enjoys “playing voices” for the characters. As woodworking instructor, Dey brings her creativity, craftsmanship and commitment to her work with Boston Explorers.
Helen Russell is an educator who has launched and directed experiential programs at Thompson Island Outward Bound, the Mission Hill School and Boston Arts Academy. Currently, she is the Founder and Executive Director of Apprentice Learning, a program that combines opportunities for middle school students to learn alongside adults in real workplaces with a supportive in-class curriculum. The program is designed to inspire middle school students to imagine and plan positive, productive futures for themselves.
[Photo: Craig Bailey]
We thank Craig Bailey for his extraordinary photos of Summer 2011 when he captured Explorers at work, at play, and on-the-move around town. An accomplished editorial photographer, Craig has documented Boston’s Arts and culture scene for many years. His work has been featured in many media outlets and galleries and can be viewed at his website: www.perspectivephoto.net.
[Photo: Sylvia Stagg-Giuliano]