Our Leaders

Leaders for Upcoming Trips

Blake Boles

Trip Leader & Director of Unschool Adventures

Blake’s first big adventures were living abroad in Chile at age 14, backpacking Western Europe at 19, and traversing South America at 24. He quickly realized that a traditional career wouldn’t work for him, and he set about building a company that would let him continue exploring the world.

Blake got involved in the world of alternative education in 2003, when half-way through an astrophysics major he read a John Taylor Gatto book and soon became an advisor at Not Back to School Camp. He is the author of College Without High School, Better Than College, and The Art of Self-Directed Learning and the former acting director of a wilderness summer camp where he co-led an intensive teen leadership program. Blake is a current Wilderness First Responder, a former EMT, and a UC Berkeley graduate. Learn more at blakeboles.com.

Ari Kosel

Trip Leader

Ari developed wanderlust at a young age and has been fortunate enough to travel consistently for the past decade, visiting parts of South America, the Caribbean, Europe and Northern Africa. She strives to live life doing the things she loves, which lately has meant living semi-nomadically, working as a field instructor for the Northwest Outward Bound School in Central Oregon, exploring the west coast’s rivers and mountains, eating herself into a coma, and attempting to play more than four chords on the guitar. She is a Wilderness First Responder and certified sriracha lover.

Zoë Newmarco

Trip Assistant

Zoë is a lifelong unschooler and aspiring jill-of-all-trades whose goals include learning how to grow plants in a variety of climates, teaching herself to make jewelry from things she finds on her travels, and learning how to drive a bus. On most days she can be found exercising her enthusiasm for chocolate, practicing martial arts, writing poetry, hanging upside down from trees, or making her own clothes.

Zoë recently completed a two month solo trip to Italy, nannying and exploring the northern half of the country, and served as staff at both Not Back to School Camp and Camp Stomping Ground.

Dev Carey

Trip Leader

Dev went to public high school, college and graduate school and enjoyed most of it, but then moved to a small town and found himself being an advocate for students and families learning outside of the classroom. That advocacy turned into The Vision Program, which utilizes public funds to support over 600 students in learning however and wherever they want while still earning a diploma.

Dev thrives on adventure. He has worked for Sterling College, with inner city youth as a VISTA Volunteer, as a counselor at Not Back to School Camp, and as a river guide. He has a Ph.D. in ecology and has written plant and animal guides with local youth. He lives in funky old houses, shares land with various folks and his family (Seraya, Huckleberry, Marian and “adopted” teenagers), frequently chainsaws juniper, and currently runs gap year programs for 17- to 23-year-olds at his homestead in Western Colorado, the The High Desert Center. Learn more about Dev at devcarey.com.

Milla von Tauber

Trip Assistant

Milla spent her childhood in Germany, attending public school and growing up bilingual. After moving to the U.S., Milla discovered an Unschool Adventures trip to Nepal and used it as an opportunity to leave school and become a full-time self-directed learner.

Milla is a blues and fusion dancer who loves writing songs, taking photos, swimming in freezing rivers, creating genuine connections, and eating lots of chocolate. Her current adventures include interning at an Agile Learning Center in Asheville and being part of a gap year program where she is learning about sustainable farming, group living, dancing, and backpacking the southwest and Mexico.

Lainey Bein

Trip Assistant

Lainey started unschooling at the age of 10, diving into music and quickly becoming a multi-instrumentalist. Later, in community college, she took a class on voice acting and now does it part time. She attended two years of Not Back to School Camp where she found her love of community.

Most recently Lainey has been part of a gap year program that focuses on group living, sustainable farming, travel, and partner dance. She has been learning blues fusion dance through private and group instruction, has attended two blues exchanges, and participated in dance events in multiple cities. She’s happiest when crafting delicious meals in the kitchen, working with kids, backpacking, eating cheese, and discussing LGBTQA topics.

Margie Sanderson

Virtual Workshop Manager

Margie Sanderson is a lifelong autodidact. After discovering Grace Llewellyn’s book The Teenage Liberation Handbook at 13, she attended Not Back to School Camp and began to delve into alternative education. She has researched and been part of many different learning environments, both as a learner and a teacher. She spent two years as a full-time staff member at the Philadelphia Free School, where she helped young people figure out what and how to learn, and she’s a constant figure at Not Back to School Camp where she has served as Unschooling Consultant (a resource to help campers figure out how unschooling can work for them). Currently Margie is learning Swedish, reading every single day, and planning a big trip to Europe.

Leaders of Recent Trips

Matt Sanderson

Trip Leader

Matt has been loving alternative education since he ditched prep school for free school as a sophomore in high school. After graduating, he put off college to gut houses in post-Katrina New Orleans, then founded and co-directed a week-long camp called the Young People’s Empowerment convergence.

A year out of school, he decided to skip college altogether. Since then, he’s worked as the logistics coordinator for Not Back to School Camp, taught art in Ecuador, and led courses in psychology and juggling at his local alternative school. He served most recently as the coordinator of the Middle School Friends program—hosting retreats for middle-school-aged Quakers in the Philadelphia area—and as president of the board of Upattinas School and Resource Center.

Autumn Star

Trip Leader

Autumn started unschooling at the age of nine, began college at 14, and finished 7 years later with a self-designed B.A. from Goddard College where she examined societal influences on adolescent gender, racial, and sexual identity development. For many years Autumn has been sculpting a way of living that focuses on community building, healing, travel, personal growth, and documenting it all through the written forms of poetry, blogging, and journaling. She has staffed at both Not Back To School Camp and East Tennessee Unschool Summer Camp.

Autumn’s passion for life has taken her in many directions. She has trained teachers on the issue of bullying and harassment towards LGBTQ students, traveled twice to Indonesia as a volunteer with Friends Peace Teams in Asia West Pacific, spent two months sleeping in Zuccotti Park during Occupy Wall Street, built an off the grid cabin for herself in central NY, and solo road tripped around North America for 5 months. She is currently focused on training under her blues dance instructor and getting certified as a Postpartum Doula.

Zoe Vlastos

Trip Leader

Zoe grew up homeschooled on her family farm in rural Illinois, attended Not Back To School Camp five times (once as staff), and recently graduated from Regis University with majors in Neuroscience and Psychology and a minor in Music. In her adventures she has founded a biannual benefit concert, traveled and studied abroad in South America, worked as a teaching assistant and writing mentor, authored a digital storytelling thesis on how technology affects romantic relationships, worked in research science labs, and mentored teens with eating disorders.

Zoe is an avid skier, pianist, cook, writer, trail runner, partner dancer, listener, reader, traveler, questioner, chocoholic, hugger, and learner. She believes in the power of storytelling and movement to connect and to heal, and she has aspirations of becoming a mental health counselor and working with teens and with individuals who have eating disorders and/or post-traumatic stress disorder.

Ingmar Nilsen

Trip Leader

Ingmar loves to study the seemingly superficial. As an unschooler who’s lived in half a dozen places, his interests include language (especially dialect and sociolect), clothing, and food—because each tells so much about local culture. His first time flying alone, Ingmar brought his teddy bear. He still enjoys the life of an independent traveler, but his needs and skills have changed since he was five. Certified in CPR and Wilderness First Responder, Ingmar is ready to help others with whatever craziness the world has to throw at us.

Kina Wolfenstein

Trip Assistant

Kina is a grown unschooler from Portland, Oregon, now in her junior year at the Evergreen State College. She went to Not Back To School Camp from 2009-13 and served as junior staff in 2014.

Kina’s major interests include political science, creative writing, queer studies, and performance arts, her pet rats, and making delicious coffee drinks as a barista. After college, she plans to escape the Pacific Northwest, move somewhere tropical, and get paid to swim with dolphins.

Behind the Scenes

Blueberry Keller

Digital Office Manager

Blueberry loves a lot of things, including travel, theatre, rainbows, and people. As a conventionally schooled teenager, she discovered unschooling—and Not Back to School Camp—and fell in love. After three years at NBTSC she graduated both from camp and from high school, and then from Michigan State University with a degree from the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities and an additional major in Theatre. She currently works at a theatre in Baltimore, Maryland and owns a cat.

As a self-described nerd, Blueberry’s other interests include books, all kinds of games, many kinds of art, gender and queer studies and activism, music, the Internet, comics, and cuddling.

Leaders of Yonder

Joel Malkoff
Addison Pond
Tabi Musselwhite
Eric Viele
Hannah Hall
Shona Warwick-Smith
Abraham McClurg
Melissa Townsend
Cooper Westerkamp
Julie McPherson
Logan Woods-Darby
Brenna McBroom
Cameron Lovejoy
Abbi Miller

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