Emily is a certified EMT. She is there to treat campers in all emergency situations. She is also the one who handles calls, paperwork, solutions with camp ideas, and letters to parents. She will work on all overnight trips. 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 is easy-going and a pleasure to talk to whether by e-mail, text, or phone!
Dana is in her eighth year as the music teacher at Renaissance Middle School in Montclair. She started teaching in the Bronx and finished her Masters Degree at Teachers College in NYC. She is a Weston Award winner and student favorite. She has been a children’s entertainer for 12 years. She is a singer songwriter in her spare time. This will be her sixth year at Surf and Turf. She loves the opportunity to travel to new and interesting places and the chance to spend time outdoors. She loves to see kids adventure through the summer and explore new places. Her favorite trip was the white water rafting trip and witnessing the magic of the kids being free and spending time within nature! She believes old fashion fun is something our kids miss out on, but fortunately Surf and Turf provides them the opportunities necessary to grow into healthy well rounded individuals.
Aaron is a former camper, MHS grad, and now studies at Ithaca College. He’s backpacked in Alaska and Oregon and has a certification in Wilderness First Aid. He is also an avid biker and worked for The Montclair Bikery fixing and selling bikes throughout high school. He knows a lot about cars and can name every single one on the road. But overall he's always up for an adventure finding and exploring new places.
Tim is in his 19th 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 eight 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 and Granada.
He is so excited to be working in his 12th year at Surf and Turf! Over the years, he has enjoyed watching soccer in Barcelona, white-water rafting in West Virginia, and exploring the grand Canyon and the Blue Ridge Mountains with the campers. He cannot wait for the next adventures and is sure this coming summer will be the best year yet!
Simone is a former camper, Renaissance, and MHS alum, and a current student at Vassar College. She’s been a counselor since 2015, and this summer will mark her 10th year at Surf and Turf! Her favorite Surf and Turf destinations include Mitsuwa, Breakneck Ridge, Coney Island, Niagara Falls, and Rockaway Beach. An avid fan of bus singalongs, she’s very excited to share some fun and laughs with this year’s campers!
todd smith stefan smith
John has been teaching as a college professor, middle school teacher, coach, and tutor for more than twenty years! He is in his 16th year at Renaissance as a teacher of Language Arts, Drama, and Film Appreciation. 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, South America, 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 Grand Canyon to Canada and soon Rome!
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 structured activities and video games.
MariaElena is the Reading Specialist at Renaissance Middle School in Montclair. She schooled, lived and worked in many parts of Europe and Africa. As a former diplomat and UNICEF Children’s Organization employee in Zanzibar, she has many stories to share with campers. She often shares her experiences from her past careers by way of anecdotes students and campers can learn from to help remedy anything from conflicts with each other to the fear of trying something new! After three years, favorite overnight trips included Virginia Beach Camping and exploring Amish Country in Pennsylvania because the kids viewed these places with awe, as if they were in far away countries! She welcomes the opportunity to spend more summers outdoors with the campers, discovering new places, sharing stories, and making good memories.
Paula has lived in Montclair since the age of 6 when she moved here from Colombia. She is an MHS alum and now studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. This is her second year of counseling for Surf and Turf and is ready to get back out on hikes. Paula is studying to be a teacher and loves working with kids through her job on campus but there’s no fun like Surf & Turf. Her favorite trip last year was our adventure overnight stay in West Virginia.
Soli is a graduate of MHS and has been a part of Surf and Turf since she was very young. She loves the outdoors and has been a group leader for three years. She has helped chaperone and entertain kids on our overnights, such as West Virginia and The Grand Canyon.
Todd is an official captain of his own boat which can tour passengers as he has in the past. We have been around the statue of liberty and Manhattan a few times! Know as "the most interesting man in the world" by many, and to others, a teaching and coaching icon winning many awards including the Weston. A speaker of Mandarin Chinese, he has traveled much of the world, coached sports, brought victory to the Robotics team, while teaching Science for over 14 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. He is respected as one of our best counselors by leading many buses throughout the tri-state area. He is prepared for any obstacle and is a lot of fun with youthful energy.
Nick Schobert is a Montclair High School senior who will attend Rochester Institute of Technology in the fall. Nick has lived his entire life in Montclair. He started attending Surf and Turf in the 5th grade and has many happy memories from these times. This will be Nick's second year as a counselor for Surf and Turf. He is lifeguard certified and loves adventuring.
Hope has been working In Education for over 25 years and presently at Renaissance Middle School. Throughout this time, she has worked with children who have disabilities and special needs. She is always happy to work with all students she meets. Throughout her career, she has worked various camps during the summer including overnight trips which contained talent shows, games, and lots of fun. She grew up in Montclair, went to many of the schools, and is currently a resident. She is happy to be working with Surf and Turf Camp as well continuing to meet students from all over.
Cali has been doing surf and turf since the age of 5. Now, a coming senior in high school, she cannot wait to begin her third year as a counselor! Cali enjoys the outdoors, specifically hiking, skiing and swimming, and loves the thrill of traveling and discovering new places. She has traversed the mountains of Ecuador, swam the lakes of Italy, biked the streets of Spain, hiked the Grand Canyon and camped much of the east coast. She sees Surf and Turf Camp as an invaluable experience that allows kids to appreciate the world in a safe and fun environment!
A very popular Lacrosse Coach in town, Manny
has been a part of the Renaissance experience almost since its start. He is an athletic component to the camp to go along with being a great model for campers. He has helped manage buses for Surf and Turf for a number of years. He has experience with Special Needs children as well as aiding classrooms for years.