Alphonse Litz, Director
Alphonse has been an elementary public school educator and administrator in Concord, Massachusetts, and Boston for more than 20 years. A central underpinning in both his teaching and administrative roles has been student-centered, project-based curriculum. He has promoted and developed programs based on the philosophy that children learn best through experience. As a classroom teacher he always made space for a woodworking shop. Boston Explorers is a natural extension of his wide-ranging interest in Boston history and the city’s natural resources. The camp was founded on the belief that kids come to “own a place” by experiencing it. As a Teacher Leader he was among a select group that led the nationally renowned, staff-governed Mission Hill K-8 Pilot School. He is committed to social justice and equity in our community.
Ayanna Lord, program Director
Ayanna Lord is program director at Boston Explorers. An alumna of Howard University, she credits her success to a largely experiential and student-centered education at Mission Hill School and Fenway High School. As a young professional, she recognizes the unique impact of an unconventional early education and how it has informed her worldview about learning, democracy, race, class and culture. Through her work with Explorers, she is able to provide the same transformative experience for other children and teens. One of two full-time employees in the organization, with specific expertise in marketing and public relations, there are few projects she cannot take on, from initiating outreach programs to working one-on- one with children. By helping all kids gain access to the city, she hopes to achieve an overarching goal of nurturing the next generation of civic-minded leaders.
Bob Ditter, STAFF & CAMP CONSULTANT
Bob is a clinical social worker who specializes in the treatment of children, adolescents and families. A nationally recognized trainer and consultant for children’s summer camps since 1982, he has visited over 600 camps, authored four books for camp professionals, and produced 18 staff training DVDs. He is recognized for his work with organizations such as Sea World, the Disney Channel, the Salvation Army, Girl Scouts of America, the YMCA, the American Camp Association, Jewish Community Centers, Camp Fire USA, The Crohns and Colitis Foundation and Children’s Oncology Camps of America. He has appeared on the ABC Evening News with Peter Jennings, Good Morning America and twice on NBC’sToday Show. Sports Illustrated has called him “camping’s most articulate spokesman.”
Amina michel-Lord, assistant director
Amina has worked in Boston Public Schools for more than 20 years co-teaching in elementary classrooms and directing after school programs. The summer of 2017 was Amina’s 6th year with Boston Explorers. She loves watching campers grow within the two short weeks they are with the camp, making friends and gaining confidence in themselves. She brings a wealth of administrative experience to the camp, specializing in communication and public relations. Amina is the liaison with parents and counselors, and draws on her vast organizational skills to plan Explorer field trips and lunch programs. Amina is married and is the mother of two children. Her passions include singing (she is a member of several gospel choirs/groups), dancing and traveling with her family.
Patrick Wallace, Lead Counselor
While he has lived in Boston for many years, Patrick is originally from Georgia and spent his early years in Germany where his father had an USA Army posting. He attended Hamilton College and is a dedicated, intuitive and talented Boston Public Schools K0/K1 teaching assistant. Patrick got hooked on Boston Explorers in 2013 and, in 2014, returned as Lead Counselor. His primary focus is to model our Boston Explorers culture, setting the tone and the pace for our collaborative work with children. He demonstrates our camp philosophy through such practices as providing kind, specific and helpful feedback. Patrick’s consistent level of energy and participation serves as a role model for other counselors.