This year we have a team of three long-time staffers directing NBTSC.
Evan Wright, 35
Evan will co-direct with Grace at Oregon Session 1 (Camp Latgawa).
Evan has been involved in Not Back to School Camp for two decades. Since first attending NBTSC as a camper in 1998 he has worked as Director, Assistant Director, Advisor, Project Leader and – long, long ago – a Junior Staffer.
Within the larger unschooling movement Evan has been active as a conference speaker and mentor to unschoolers. He was the Director of Quo Vadis, a weeklong gathering for adult unschoolers. Over the past few years he has been renovating an old house in Seattle and creating House on Holgate, a shared living space for grown unschoolers and others.
Evan’s journey to NBTSC began at 15 when he read The Teenage Liberation Handbook and began unschooling. Without schooling he volunteered at a London homeless shelter run by nuns, raised orphaned harbor seal pups in California over many seasons, studied the life of Albert Einstein (eventually correcting an error in a Princeton University Press book on the scientist), and assisted in research of 5 ft. long green sea turtles in Costa Rica.
At camp Evan has led or co-led workshops and discussions on: How to Build an Underwater Robot, Stone Sculpting, The Supreme Court of the United States, How to Get What You Want, Speaking (to others) about Unschooling, How to Change the World in 90 minutes, A Tidepooling/Marine Biology Fieldtrip, Scavenger Hunt, Investing for People who are Scared of Money, How to Make Homemade Pasta, The Life of Albert Einstein, How to Organize a Big Project or Event, A Local Farming Tour/Fieldtrip, Barn Raising (a networking activity), Blues Dancing, and The Effective Unschooler.
Matt Sanderson, 29
Matt will direct Oregon Session 2 and Vermont.
This will be my tenth summer at NBTSC! I started out as a logistics junior staffer and have since been an advisor, dish queen, and night owl, but most people know me as Logistics Coordinator (or “Logistics Goddess”). This will be my first year as Session Director for the Camp Myrtlewood and Vermont sessions of camp!
Until last April, my non-camp work involved running weekend retreats for Middle School Quakers in the Philadelphia area. I also had the opportunity to run the Real World Retreat through Unschool Adventures last May. I and a team of 2 other staff spent a month mentoring participants in the skills needed to move out of one’s parents’ house and become an independent adult.
This year I’ve moved to Hershey to spend more time supporting my partner of 6 years as she enters her final year of medical school. I’ve been spending a lot of time cooking and cleaning, and also playing basketball and taking our dog Stoffel on long walks through the park.
Looking forward to another magical year of camp!
Grace Llewellyn, 53
Grace will co-direct Oregon Session 1 (Latgawa) with Evan, and make a brief appearance at the start of Oregon Session 2 (Myrtlewood).
Grace is most well known for her book, The Teenage Liberation Handbook: how to quit school and get a real life and education. She’s also the co-author and/or editor of 3 other books about unschooling, homeschooling, and conscious schooling. A former school teacher, Grace founded NBTSC in 1996. Back in those 90s, she was also deeply involved in the un/homeschooling movement in all kinds o’ ways, such as: she spoke at conferences, ran an unschooling resource center, produced a quarterly newsletter, answered gazillions of letters from readers, and ran a mail order book business for unschoolers.
Along with working year-round as the executive director of NBTSC, Grace is also super excited about a giant new project: organizing a Liberated Learners center, The Hive: self-directed learning for teens. If all goes well, The Hive will open its doors this fall, two days after Oregon Session 2 ends.
In her other life, Grace loves to dance. She is one of four facilitator-DJs who puts on Coalessence, Eugene’s fabulous twice-weekly ecstatic dance jam, and when she finds time she offers classes in Soul MotionTM, a conscious dance practice that encompasses pretty much everything – body, soul, and Other People. Her passions for bellydance and Argentine tango are simmering on the way-far back burner, but they’ll be back soon.
And in her most essential and miraculous life, Grace is the always-awed mama of 9-year-old Yared.
At camp, Grace’s intention is to connect with, and enjoy, every single camper and every single staff person.
During the year, Grace reflects on the larger purpose, direction, and vision of NBTSC; communicates with campers and parents; reviews feedback from campers, staff, and parents; plans and implements major and minor changes and experiments for the coming camp year; hires staff; inspects all the previous year’s camp expenses and sets a budget for the coming year; updates all written camp materials, policies, and such; and works closely with the administrative team to make sure everything that needs to get done gets done. And, she updates this website from time to time.
Unschooling history: It took her a while to figure it out. First she went to school, and college, and taught school. Then she started to think there must be a better way, investigated, discovered John Holt, and that was the beginning of the end. Or the beginning of the beginning.
Camp history: Grace no longer holds the perfect-attendance award, but she has shown up for over 58 of our 60 something camp weeks thus far. Grace has normally directed or co-directed. For many years she also enjoyed advising, and after a long hiatus, looks forward to returning to advising this year.
camper and family liaison
Maya Toccata, 35
Joshua Tree, California
Maya lives in the Mojave Desert with her husband, Damian, and six-year-old son, Oliver, with lots of family within toddling distance. They call their place Opuntia Garden Farm and are doing their best to sequester carbon and grow nutrient dense food. She and Damian are both certified permaculture designers and run a tiny business offering permaculture consultation, desert-adapted plants, veggie starts, and lacto-ferments. When she’s not thinking about permaculture, feeding the chickens, reading fairy tales to Oliver, fermenting, or trying to catch up on laundry, she can be found doing admin stuff as the NBTSC Camper and Family liaison.
unschooling history: Maya went to school until she was 13, when she read the Teenage Liberation Handbook and quit. She then proceeded to learn about hats, hardware stores, Anne Frank, traveling solo, rock climbing, newsletter editing, self defense, and other things. At the age of 28, she decided she did want to go to college after all, and had a great time using her brain for new things like balancing chemistry equations.
camp history: Maya came to camp for the first time as a camper in 1997, and then was present every year and almost every session for many years afterward. She’s spent time at camp as Junior Staff, an Advisor, Cook, and Logistics Goddess. She’s been the year-round Office Gal & bookkeeper, Staff Liaison, and Family Liaison. She took a few years off to go to school and have a baby, and is delighted to be part of the actual “camp” part of camp once again.
Margie Sanderson, 22
The reason Margie likes unschooling can be summarized quite easily: she thinks kids are people. As a youth rights advocate, it’s Margie’s belief that young people are capable, competent, and just as inherently worthy of rights and responsibilities as fully grown human beings. This year Margie taught a monthly class on young people’s oppression to a group of 12-15-year-olds that she really enjoyed.
Since bumping into unschooling along her traditional education path, Margie has learned a ton about schooling and learning. As a teenager, she devoured any book about education she could get her hands on. She served as student representative to the school board at her high school and has spent hundreds of volunteer hours at an array of elementary and preschool programs. At the end of June, Margie will conclude 3 years working at the Philly Free School (a democratically run school taking inspiration from the Sudbury Valley School) and set out on a new adventure. After the camp season, she plans to travel internationally and take a serious look at life outside the USA.
Like the young people who attend NBTSC, Margie is a self-directed learner. Since the last camp season she has gotten some good practice at things that scare her–climbing tall trees, swimming in fresh water, and resisting injustice, to name a few. This year she is making progress on a personal reading goal, teaching herself Swedish (Ar jag bra?), getting better at knitting, and trying a lot more scary things!
Previously Margie has attended camp as a camper from 2009-2013 and as a staffer since 2014. She also has a great time working behind-the-scenes as NBTSC’s Staff Liaison as well as part of the volunteer marketing team, and is even more excited to work at ALL sessions of camp this year.
This year Team Sanderson is on logistics.
Matt Sanderson (bio above under “session directors”) will handle logistics for Oregon Session 1 and then mentor his sister Margie Sanderson (bio above under “staff liaison”) as she takes over for Oregon Session 2 and Vermont. Together they will mastermind all things travel, site-related (cabins), supplies, camp chores (aka “superhero time”) and such.
2017 session staff bios below:
Contact the camp office.