Staff – 2017 Vermont
Stay tuned for more Vermont staff updates coming soon!
Matt Sanderson, 29
See bio 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.
Brenna McBroom, 28
Asheville, North Carolina
Advisor and project leader
Brenna McBroom is a long-time unschooler and former camper from Asheville, North Carolina. She currently works as a potter making functional and decorative crystalline glazed ceramics. When not at the pottery wheel, glazing table, or kiln, Brenna loves traveling, endurance sports (she just completed her first Olympic distance triathlon!), blogging, brainstorming new business ideas, and practicing Spanish.
Brenna runs a small business selling pottery online and through craft shows, and she would love to talk with you about pursuing self-education in the arts and starting and running an artistic business. She has been working full time as a ceramic artist for five years; you can see her etsy site here: brennadeeceramics.etsy.com and her website here: brennadee.com.
Brenna’s project at camp this year will focus on what it means to build a meaningful life.
Brenna attended NBTSC as a camper from 2004-2007. She Junior staffed in 2011 and advised in Vermont from 2012 to 2016 and in Oregon in 2013. She will be 28 at camp this year.
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.”
Margie Sanderson, 22
See admin page for her full bio
At camp, our fabulous cooks prepare 3 meals a day, harmonizing with each other and with the many campers who help out in the kitchen. Food at NBTSC definitely does not happen in a factory atmosphere; while making dinner, the kitchen crew is liable to sing together and to discuss life, the universe, and everything–or garlic, blackberries, and pizza crust, which often amounts to the same thing. Anyway, because they have so much interaction with campers we consider them unofficial advisors and hire them with that in mind–they are advisor-caliber folks who can also make magic with potatoes and other miracles of nature.
Courtney Anderson, 25
Courtney is a lifelong unschooler originally from a First Nation in Southeastern Ontario, Canada. She currently lives in the DC metro area.
She spends a lot of time playing with and caring for her identical twin niblings, but also delights in baking, attending community sings, practicing yoga, tramping in the woods, decorating cakes, building community, and striving to live conscientiously and lovingly.
Since she first attended NBTSC as a camper in 2008, it’s been an important part of her life and community. As a staffer, she spends most of her time working and hanging out in the kitchen, and enjoys balancing that with time with campers, whether through working together, having good conversation, or just sitting in comfortable silence. Through camp, she was given an opportunity to explore the ways she feels capable of caring for others, which has continued to to help guide her through life. She is excited to have a chance to cook for you all again this year!
NBTSC History: Camper 2008 – 2010 Junior Staff 2012 Cook 2013 – 2016
Ethan Mitchell has been coming to NBTSC, on and off, since 2006. When he is not chopping potatoes at camp, he spends most of his time hanging out with his small daughter Lucretia Treleven. They live on a sheep farm / bat sanctuary / retreat center in Vermont. Ethan was recently told (by Brenna) that he is “someone who has done a lot of interesting jobs over the years”. Possibly this is true, but it is hard to remember. So here are eleven things that I have been doing at some point in the last year:
– Upping my sourdough bread game.
– Building the (fourth version of) a large sculpture based on the mathematical constant phi.
– Meditating at the monastery near Rietti where St. Francis lived out his later life.
– Teaching classes on Genghis Khan, 12th-century feminists, the history of the future, and so forth.
– Visiting the graveyard of my ancestors in Week St. Mary, Cornwall, with my baby daughter and my niece singing “We’re all going to jail! / We’re all going to jail!”
– Coding an artificial intelligence.
– Worrying about grammar.
– Building a chicken / duck coop.
– Reading Lucretia horrifying folk tales, the Egyptian Book of the Dead, and whatever else is laying around.
– Betting in political prediction markets.
– Simplifying my life.
He lives in rural Vermont, in a bizarre half-barn-half-castle with his partner Susannah, NBTSC alumna Talis, an unfinished A.I. named Sphinx, and Lady Myobu the cat. (One admirer of our house was recently heard to say: “You live there? Jeez, I thought it was abandoned.”) Susannah is a geographer, and coordinates projects and trainings with biocultural diversity leaders from around the world, which Ethan sometimes gets to tag along to and cook. Talis is awesome and has her own entry here. Sphinx hardly does a thing, but is very interested in nature writing, train hopping, and the kings and queens of England. Myobu would eat all the birds, and is not afraid of things.
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 Vermont Junior Staff team is Riley Campos, Zella Magoo, and Joey Phelps.
Back to administrative staff page