Staff – 2017 Oregon Session 1, Camp Latgawa
Grace Llewellyn & Evan Wright ~ see bios on admin page
Advisors do lots of things: teach workshops; lead games, sports, hikes, fieldtrips, and other activities; help out with logistics; and other stuff. But most essentially, they connect with campers–individually and in small groups. Each advisor meets daily with his or her group of 11 or so campers, and is generally available for support, hugs, and conversation.
Nathen Beryl Lester, 44
Joshua Tree, California
Nathen is a therapist in Joshua Tree, California. He is happily married to Reanna Alder, an adult unschooler, and lives with her and their miraculous one-year old, Margo, in a little house near his extended family. Nathen has been an advisor at Not Back to School Camp since 1999. He is famous there not only for being sincere, friendly, enthusiastic, and sometimes potently amused, but also for the zeal, intellect, and originality with which he teaches workshops on subjects such as the human digestive system, partner dancing, and Einstein’s theories of relativity. He says, “What I love about camp is the people who come–the staff, the campers–and how they interact, how they share their excitement and inspiration and how they form friendships and communities with each other.”
Adam O’Sullivan, 28
bio coming soon!
Grace Llewellyn, Evan Wright, and Margie Sanderson will also be advising at this session. See their bios on our admin page.
In early camp years, we had a few vigorous staffers–the most memorable was our beloved Billy (Upski) Wimsatt, also the author of a couple marvelous books–who tended to stay up all night right along with campers. More recently, as our staff aged and wrinkled, this niche didn’t get filled as automatically, so we made an official position. Now, at each session somebody (or somebodies) sweet and strong stay up late–until 2 or 3 a.m., depending on when most campers have nodded off–to be a reassuring and attentive adult presence.
Dandy Denial, 29
Dandy Denial is a photographer, confused gender weirdo, crafts person, and an awfully messy kitchen wizard. They live in small town Manitoba, in a tiny house, far from the nearest city. Analog processes fascinate them, and they spend a great deal of their tinkering with old cameras, or developing their own film. Their photography is usually limited to the use of analog technology, although lately they’ve been known to pick up a digital camera from time to time. They have a darkroom in their basement, and enjoy experimenting with different processes and techniques, most recently pinhole photography, and modifying cameras to use film formats they weren’t originally designed for. They are a life-long
Dandy is a life-long unschooler, having never attended public school or university. They have spent much of their adult life living in shared/communal living situations, but have lately come to appreciate the value of solitude, while thinking about how to deal with isolation, and how to stay connected in the digital age. They have devoted much time in the past to volunteering in collective organizations, such as Food Not Bombs, taught photography at a free
Dandy has devoted much time in the past to volunteering in collective organizations, such as Food Not Bombs, taught photography at a free drop-in program run out of an art gallery, and been a librarian at an anarchist lending library. they’ve traveled extensively, by means of cheap and free methods, and love sleeping outside in the bush. Together with their partner, they are learning how to fix and repair the things you’re told you need to pay a professional to do for you, be it renovating a house, or repairing a truck. They create crafty and artistic goods from recycled materials, and sells them both in person at craft sales, and through the internet. They really loves to barter. At camp, they can often be seen meandering about, day and night, seemingly led from place to place by their camera, which they are rarely seen without. They
At camp, Dandy can often be seen meandering about, day and night, seemingly led from place to place by their camera, which they are rarely seen without. They thrive on conversation about the passions that inspire people, and are far more approachable than their somewhat intimidating appearance might suggest. Honest. A life-long introvert and shy person, it’s hard to believe, at first impression, how much Dandy enjoys speaking with just about anyone, and is interested in most any subject that lights the fire in your eyes.
NBTSC history: camper from ’99 to ’04, Night Owl at some session or another ever since. (Also Advisor in 2015.)
Matt Sanderson, 29
See his bio on our admin page.
Administrative Assistant and First Aid
Sophie Biddle, 21.
Sophie has dipped her toes into almost every type of schooling. As a 14-year-old honor roll student turned enthusiastic high school drop out, Sophie discovered the joys of unschooling, community college, and democratic schools. She recently graduated from Portland State University with a degree in Sociology and Elementary Science Education. Much to her delight, Sophie will be presenting her undergraduate thesis on children’s use of public space at the International Conference on Geographies of Children, Youth, and Families in the fall.
In addition to geeking out about youth rights and social justice, Sophie enjoys hanging out with her cat, dancing, painting, and swimming. She dabbles in graphic design work and horseback riding. Sophie is interested in learning more about beekeeping, carpentry, and is always seeking out ways to be more organized. Sophie can likely be found romping through the streets of northeast Portland with a motley crew of small children, a cup of coffee in one hand and her camera in the other. She is thrilled to bring her love of organizing and caring for others to NBTSC this year.
NBTSC History: Camper 2011-2014, Jr. Staff Logistics Coordinator 2015, Mama Bear & Admin Assistant 2016
The junior staff does all kinds of logistical and grunty stuff that frees up the senior staff to focus on caring for campers directly–they scrub lots of pots and pans; supervise bathroom cleanup, the dish-line, and other chores; wake people up in the morning; count heads twice daily; cook; and do all kinds of other important stuff. We really appreciate and love our junior staffers! Their week on jr. staff also enables us to get to know them in a different context and find out how we think they might do in the future as potential senior staff, and it helps them see what being on staff entails. (Lots of fantasies are dashed, actually, when people discover for themselves how hard the staff works, so not everyone ends the week begging to join the senior staff!) Almost always, junior staffers are 19-21 year olds who have come to NBTSC previously as campers. Once in a while, they are folks completely new to our community. (As a bit of historical trivia: Matt, Nicole, Damian, and Jasmine all made their first appearances at camp as junior staffers.)
The 2017 Oregon Session 1 Junior Staffer is: Robin Hill
Back to administrative staff page