At the heart of The Keiki Explorers Club, you will find a camp staff that is second to none! Our incredible counselors include a mix of New Jersey Certified Educators and high achieving college students. With decades of combined classroom and camp experience, our staff is ready for anything that our adventures have in store for us! All staff members are trained in first aid and CPR. Our core group of counselors have been working together for years and know exactly how to provide our kids with a fun, meaningful, and memorable summer the Keiki way! Scroll down to learn a little bit more about who we are!
MrP's adventures have taken him from trail blazing in the rainforests of Belize to hang gliding over the Outer Banks of North Carolina, but his greatest adventures have come while working in the classrooms of Montclair's Renaissance Middle school. He has spent the last 12 falls teaching at Renaissance and 10 summers as a counselor, manager, then part owner of Surf and Turf Adventure Camp. Now, he's proud to lead The Keiki Explorers Club into its second summer of fun!
Richard Gazzillo, a man People Magazine once called "Not a candidate for our Greatest Man Alive award" is excited to be back at Keiki Explorers for another amazing summer. Richard Gazzillo, is currently the 6th grade mathematics teacher at Renaissance Middle school in Montclair, NJ. In addition to teaching, Rich oversees various extra-curricular activities, including the Renaissance baseball team, Science Olympiad team, and Magic the Gathering club and is currently pursuing his masters in Education Supervision and Administration. Rich has 18 years of experience working in the Camp setting, including assistant director, general counselor, yoga and archery instructor. In his free time Rich, enjoys playing every sport imaginable or unimaginable, attempting to play guitar, collecting vinyl records and fighting crime as (due to pending legal litigation) Flying Nocturnal Mammal Man.
Mia discovered her love for outdoor adventure while working for five years with an adventure travel camp. She lead hiking, swimming and camping excursions all over the east coast! She also interned in a middle school Spanish classroom, tutored at Woodrow Wilson Middle School in Connecticut, co-led a school club dedicated to teaching science to elementary school students, was an English tutor at an elementary school, and even traveled to Peru to teach English in June of 2013!
Mia graduated from Wesleyan University in May with a degree in Psychology. This year she's working as an assistant English teacher in Madrid, Spain, and she's loving it!
Mia holds certifications in Wilderness First Responder, lifeguarding, First Aid, and CPR. She loves working with kids, she loves adventure, and she loves making every experience fun! She can't wait to work at the Keiki Explorer's Club this summer and share the best summer of our lives (so far)!
Scott is currently a Senior at TCNj who is majoring in Elementary Education and History. He has been with the camp since he was a camper in 2004. His favorite trip was the trip to Niagara Falls a couple years ago. During his free time Scott volunteers at Renaissance Middle School with the band, listens to music, plays the saxophone, and let's just say he and Superman have never been seen in the same place.
Is super excited to be a part of the Keiki Explorers Staff! Kelly has been working with young children in the camp and classroom setting for over 10 years. Though working at an elementary school in North Brunswick is her first love, one of her other loves is travel. She has spent time jumping over the Grand Canyon, catching waves at the Jersey Shore, and running through the hills of Salzburg, Austria. Kelly is always up and ready for the next adventure all while capturing it on camera. She also enjoys eating good food wherever she goes. Food. Is. Awesome.
Supernova Tova is currently at Rutgers University studying Education and resides in New Brunswick, NJ. Along with the many places she has explored with Keiki, Tova has travelled to places all over the world.
Whether it was polar-plunging in Alaska, capturing images of beautiful architecture in Spain, biking for days in Canada, searching for baby turtles in Costa Rica and Nicaragua, or riding the rapids of the Colorado River
T and Tessa, otherwise known as the supermusic duo "Copilot" are Renaissance middle school alumns. Though we now know that T turns into Wonder Woman to fight crime, it is still unknown what superhero identity Tessa takes on at night. This is T's 3rd year, and Tessa's 2nd year, working at Keiki, and they will continue to teach campers the game Slide, do cool magic tricks, and write random songs with campers. The two are accustomed to spontaneity; from T surfing in the Philippines, to Tessa snorkeling in St. Thomas, to T hiking Mt. Hood in Oregon, to Tessa almost dying on the Colorado river. When they're not risking their lives for fun, T can be found helping Mr. P teach 7th grade classes (and maybe playing Frisbee), while Tessa can be found teaching Hebrew school students (and working out all day every day). Don't be alarmed, they are in fact the youngest and shortest counselors at the camp, but they make up for it by being the best counselors at the camp. Oh and also they wrote the Keiki song.