Meet The Directors
Meet The Directors
- Anthony Rich
- David O'Neil
- Anthony Melendez
- Peter DeBiase
It’s hard to believe this is Discover Camp’s thirteenth year and my twentysixth consecutive year of running summer enrichment programs in Westchester. Discover Camp is a direct reflection of our personal and professional interests. My wife Sabrina is the Director of Technology in Ardsley with twenty plus years of experience. I’ve been teaching technology classes to elementary and middle school students for twenty-five years in Eastchester but Discover really started in my early years.
As a child I played with LEGO Blocks, HO and Lionel trains, built slot cars to race at Elmsford Raceway, flew and crashed RC airplanes and then built and raced radio controlled cars. As I grew up, my love of hobbies grew into my love of cars. I’ve owned many cars that I’ve worked on and even today continue to care for our family’s cars with a passion. I truly believe it is important to have healthy hobbies. As a child I was always very busy and as an adult my hobbies allow me to escape stress or redirect stress into something positive. Throughout the year I try to stay current on new trends in technologies. My home garage is where I “research.” I have several different 3D printers set up, a laser etcher and tons of tools. I read MAKE magazine and 20 other monthly publications and I love to read books, especially non-fiction.
3D printing, or additive manufacturing as it’s known in the trade, is still relatively new to the public. This is our eighth year utilizing 3D printers and we’re investing in more printers for our classes, bringing our total to over 50. One of the things that has always separated Discover Camp is that we’ve never focused on the bottom line. It’s always been about finding the coolest new tools, technologies and products that fit our philosophy and adding them to the programs at camp. Discover Camp allows me to continue my love of hobbies and technologies only now I’m always thinking of how I can use them to introduce children to the latest trends. We’re also very excited to expand our virtual reality course offerings this summer.
If you are new to Discover Camp our Hawthorne facility is just 5-10 minutes north of White Plains and features 17 air-conditioned classrooms. The camp is easily accessible from the Sprain, Taconic, Bronx River, and Saw Mill River Parkways.
During the school year our children are more stressed than ever as our schools are mandated to give more tests and fight for rankings. I believe Discover Camp allows children the summer break they need while feeding their love of stimulating, enriching, and hands-on-experiences.
Anthony and Sabrina Rich and Family
Founders and Directors
As my own children have become school age, I can’t help but reflect on how quickly life flies by. Over the past twenty one years as a fifth grade teacher, I have taught children with all styles of learning. The one thing that holds true, no matter the child, is the link between success and passion. Discover Camp provides children with opportunities to learn with passion.
I was fortunate to figure out at a young age that I wanted to become an educator. When I was a freshman in high school, I had a teacher who made a positive impact on me. I knew right then that I wanted to do the same for others. My heart and mind were set on being a teacher, a coach and eventually a principal.
Upon graduation from Iona College in 1999, I began working at P.S. 24 in the Bronx as a fifth grade teacher. It is there, working with Columbia’s Teachers College, where my foundations and philosophy of teaching was born. It is there where I caught the progressive bug for constructivist learning. Upon completing a master’s degree in Reading from Lehman College and a professional diploma in Teacher Leadership from Bank Street School of Education, I ventured into the realm of Westchester County teaching.
In 2003. while teaching fifth grade at the Anne Hutchinson School in Eastchester, NY, I met Anthony Rich. We both shared many of the same qualities and a mutual respect and friendship was born. Mr. Rich provided me with an opportunity to teach with him at Discover Camp over the summer where I learned the art of teaching rocketry, but more importantly saw first-hand what a dynamic and unique person he is.
A few summers passed and while Discover Camp grew I earned a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and thought I was ready to pursue the next part of my vision, becoming a principal. The problem was not opportunity, but the realization that I never wanted to leave the classroom and that’s where Discover Camp has provided me the balance I had been looking for. As the assistant director, I get the opportunity to take on a leadership role during the summer and teach in the classroom during the school year, which is truly my passion.
Discover Camp has a special place in my heart. Being a part of its inception has been a rewarding experience. My wife and I were two of the original six teachers when the camp first opened. I admire the hard work and perseverance that Mr. Rich has shown from day one and I am not surprised by the camp’s growth. I have never met a person who puts as much heart into something as Mr. Rich has put into this camp. Every summer we all get to “Discover” something new and exciting.
David O’Neil - Assistant Director
This will be my eleventh summer at Discover Camp. I have seen campers I’ve taught my first year become counselors and go on to college. I truly feel lucky to be working in such a special place.
Discover Camp is more than a job to me. It has developed into a home away from home and a career. I work very closely with Mr. Rich and spend lots of time with him and his family. They have truly made me feel like part of their family.
I have a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing Management and a Master’s degree in Education. I spent a year studying abroad in Brazil, where I researched their automotive industry and use of alternative fuel and energy sources. Being immersed in another culture was a very rewarding experience. Not only did it teach me how to accept and be able to communicate with diverse populations but it also renewed my confidence in the resources and talents we have here at home.
Young people today are not only growing up in a technological world but a very global one as well. Opportunities are there for them to be creative, adventurous and inquisitive. I have been able to witness this firsthand by working with Mr. Rich and Discover Camp since 2008.
During the year I am working behind the scenes to create new enrichment activities, exploring the latest innovations, designing the Discover Camp magazine, attending conventions and fairs and coordinating registration. These activities keep me excited and motivated to enhance the camp’s impressive programs. The best part of my job is meeting families and campers. These interactions truly make me appreciate my job and make me love it even more!
Everyday brings new challenges and new ideas. Part of our philosophy is to make sure Discover Camp is on the leading edge of what is new. All the work done year round comes together for me during the summer when I get to see all the pieces fit into place. By far, one of the biggest highlights is when campers come to me to show me the projects they are working on. I am excited to see what campers do this year. It is truly inspiring for me to see the magic that happens at camp. Discover Camp is a one of a kind place. I wish it was around when I was younger!
Anthony Melendez -
I’m very pleased to be entering to my thirteenth year as the Discover Camp Medical Director. This is my sixteenth year as a career firefighter and an Emergency Medical Technician in Westchester. Every year we strive to make improvements that will benefit the safety of our children at Discover Camp. Our medical office is made up of a registered nurse and a BLS assistant. In addition to the medical office staff, dozens of instructors and counselors are “CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer and Advanced First Aid” certified, which includes our off-site counselors. Our medical office is equipped with an AED, oxygen, a nebulizer machine, EPI-PENS, and a collaborative agreement with Phelps Memorial Hospital to administer EPI, so your child doesn’t have to. I’m always open to any suggestions to improve medical care for our children, so please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This summer, I will be married to my lovely wife Monica for thirteen year’s. We have two beautiful daughters, Gabriella and Sabrina. I am excited to be a part of the Discover Camp staff where educational excellence, creativity, imagination, and pure fun are our focus. The bottom line is I really enjoy my summers at Discover Camp and it’s much more than just a job.
A few things to please keep in mind. In order for your children to start camp the following items are required. There are no exceptions:
Every child must have the following completed:
Discover Camp online medical form
Medication Authorization forms, should your child need to take medications during camp hours. This can be downloaded from our website or simply requested from us.
Medications must be brought in by an adult and signed off by a medical staff member. All medications must be brought in its original container with an unexpired date. The child's name should be printed clearly on the bottle or package. The prescribing doctor must complete the Discover Camp Medication form for each prescription.
Thank you for your attention to these very important items.
See you in the summer,
Peter DeBiase -