Meet The Directors
Meet The Directors
- Anthony Rich
- David O'Neil
- Anthony Melendez
- Peter DeBiase
It’s hard to believe this will be my twenty-third consecutive year of running summer enrichment programs in Westchester and Discover Camp’s eleventh anniversary. Discover Camp is a direct reflection of my personal and professional interests. My wife Sabrina is the Director of Technology in Ardsley with twenty plus years of experience and I’ve been teaching technology classes to elementary and middle school students for twenty-two 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. 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 etchers and tons of tools. I read MAKE magazine and 20 other monthly publications and I love to read books, especially nonfiction.
3D printing, or additive manufacturing as it’s known in the trade, is still relatively new to the public. This is our sixth year utilizing 3D printers and we’re investing in even more printers for our classes bringing our total to around 40. 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.
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 school 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 & Sabrina Rich & Family
Founder and Director
As my own children become school age I can’t help but reflect on how quickly life flies by. Over the past eighteen years as a fifth grade teacher I have worked with all learning styles, but the one thing that holds true, no matter the person, is the link between success and passion. Discover Camp provides children with opportunities to learn with passion. It helps children self-identify at a much younger age than any previous generation.
I was lucky enough to learn at a young age that I wanted to become an educator. When I was a freshman in high school I met a teacher who made a positive impression on me. I knew right then that I wanted to do the same for others. My heart and mind was set on being a teacher, a coach and eventually a principal.
I moved from Rochester, NY in 1995. 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 philosophies of teaching were born. It is there where I caught the progressive bug for constructivist learning. Upon completing a masters 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 I began teaching fifth grade at the Anne Hutchinson School in Eastchester, NY. This is where I came to meet Anthony Rich. We both shared many of the same qualities and a mutual respect and friendship was born. Mr. Rich provided me an opportunity to teach with him 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 masters 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 since provided me that balance I have always 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 year round 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 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 another 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 eighth summer with Discover Camp. I can not believe how time is flying by. Seeing campers I taught now becoming CITs is making me so proud.
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.
A little about myself, 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.
One of those significant resources is our youth. 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 running registration. These activities keep me excited and motivated to enhance the camp’s impressive program. 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. For example, one camper 3D printed my motorcycle. It is truly inspiring for me to see the magic that happens at camp. Discover Camp is a one of a kind place, that I wish was around when I was younger.
Anthony Melendez - Assistant Director
I’m very pleased to be entering to my eighth year as the Discover Camp Medical Director. This is my thirteenth 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. Thanks to our caring Director and Founder Anthony Rich we are equipped with oxygen, epi-pens and an AED for emergency use. Also, he provides CPR, AED, first aid and epi-pen training to all staff members. Our medical team is made up of myself, a registered nurse and an attendance assistant. All medical forms are completed online for ease of use and cab ne easly updated every year. I’m always open to any suggestions to improve medical care for our children, so please do not hesitate to contact me at medical@discovercamp. com.
I have been married to my lovely wife Monica for almost eleven years and we have a 6 year old daughter, Gabriella Elin and Sabrina Jolie is 3. We can’t wait until Sabrina is old enough to join her sister at camp too. I am excited to be a part of the Discover Camp staff where educational excellence, creativity, imagination, and pure fun is 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 to start camp the following 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 drug.
Thank you for your attention to these very important items.
See you this summer,
Peter DeBiase - Medical Director