Todd is a teaching icon! As well as winning many awards including the Weston, he has traveled much of the world, coached sports, brought victory to the Robotics team, and taught Science for over 12 years in Montclair! He is also a trusted, experienced outdoorsman like no other in our camp- when he's around, there is never a worry.
Stefan, his son, is our lifeguard and overall safety net. Through a few years of practice, he has blossomed into one of our best counselors. He is prepared for any obstacle and is a lot of fun with youthful energy.
serena di liberti
John has been teaching as a college professor, middle school teacher, coach, and tutor for more than twenty years! He is in his 14th year at Renaissance as a teacher of Language Arts and after-school Drama. He has been a recipient of both the Governor's Teacher of the Year and Weston awards. He loves working and traveling with his students. He has been to locations all over Europe, Africa, and the United States to explore and study. After graduation at NJIT as an architect, he decided to teach at William Paterson College, Somerville Middle, and in Montclair. He put together a team participating in Destination Imagination, developed a Drama Writer's Club, wrote and directed many school plays in two towns, created an annual Poetry Café performed at both the library and Trumpets for pre-teens.
He is so excited to continue Surf and Turf as he was the founder back in 2005! Over the years he has enjoyed creating the ideas, philosophies, and schedules to lead Surf and Turf Camp and later created Surf and Turf Juniors. He has included adventurous and unique destinations and overnights from the Shenandoah through New Jersey and New York and this year Canada!
His joy is to see kids pull themselves away from their rooms and have fun in nature and the city! He has always wanted to teach kids that life itself is full of great adventure, not only derived from theme parks and video games.
Always around on overnights, Super Dave Jenkowsi, High School English teacher, is on-call and to the rescue. Very athletic and a Baseball coach, he can throw the football (and far) or tend to an injury. He's a beloved yet serious teacher: the guiding light in our camp. Two years ago, he rescued a drowning child, not from our camp, by jumping off an overpass with his clothes on. He happened to be passing by in one of our vans. He always has an eye out for safety and rescue.
Dana is in her sixth year as the music teacher at Renaissance Middle School in Montclair. She is a Weston Award winner and student favorite. This will be her fourth year at Surf and Turf. She loves the opportunity to spend time outdoors discovering new places with great kids! Her favorite trip was tubing down the Delaware last summer and witnessing the magic of the kids being free and spending time with nature!
Serena, having been one of our first campers years ago, a Montclair MKA resident and counselor for many years, knows the ins and outs of Surf and Turf very well. She loves adventure and the outdoors. As an enthusiastic swimmer, Serena loves the water and is a certified lifeguard. She likes meeting new campers and introducing them to fun adventures at Surf and Turf. We have never seen such an enthusiastic, devoted leader who simply wants to work hard every day! She has proven herself many times and will keep our kids safe as a head lifeguard.
Tim is in his 17th year at Renaissance as a teacher of both Spanish and Drama. He has been a recipient of both the Governor's Teacher of the Year and Weston awards. He loves working and traveling with his students. He has led five student trips to locations such as Barcelona, Madrid, the Costa del Sol and Morocco. This year he is starting an international exchange program with students from Sevilla.
He is so excited to be working in his 10th year at Surf and Turf! Over the years he has enjoyed playing paintball, rowing down the Delaware River, and exploring Niagara Falls and the Blue Ridge Mountains with the campers. He cannot wait for our next adventures and is sure this coming summer will be the best year yet!
Ben has worked with an ambulance squad and alongside EMT's of Montclair. He can also lifeguard the ocean which borders New Jersey. In addition, I don't like to admit it, but he may be the most mature adult on the bus other than Super Dave. I really liked the idea of having someone who really helped to save people and not simply take a quick course on it. I always feel relieved when he is with us (which is typically every single day). He arrives early- get to know him! He is quick to engage in a good conversation.
todd smith stefan smith
Emily has been with Surf and Turf from the beginning- 11 years ago! She is the invisible one who handles calls, paperwork, solutions with camp ideas, and letters to parents. She worked on the bus too when needed (such as rafting). She took a leave of absence to raise a couple of her own kids, but has returned! This will benefit Surf and Turf immensely because she has great experience as Renaissance @ Rand's Science Teacher and has attended many school trips and overnights. She has been certified in various areas which will keep kids safe if she is indeed needed on out trips. She is easy-going and a pleasure to talk to whether by e-mail, text, or phone!