Kristen Kirby is the director and creator of Adventures at PDC. Kristen combined her love for summer camps and her passion for education to create Adventures at PDC. Kristen attended Pilgrim Day Camp when she was just 3 months old. Her mother was the Arts and Drafts director at the time and so Kristen sat in the stroller next to her the whole summer. Since then, Kristen hasn’t missed a summer. Currently, she is an assistant director during the summer months. She even brought her 2-week old daughter this summer every day to work and continue the family tradition.
Throughout her counselor years, she realized that education and working with children was her passion. When she graduated from James Madison University she worked as an English teacher at a middle school in Massachusetts. During that time she realized the importance of special education and that one size doesn’t fit all, so she got her Master’s in Special Education. After four years of teaching English, she became a Learning Specialist to help student’s who struggled in the classroom. After 6 years of teaching English in the suburbs, she realized it was time to work in an area that was not so privileged. She decided to move to NYC with her fiance.
Kristen helped start a public school in the Bronx. She was one of the founding 8th-grade team members. There she helped develop an interdisciplinary curriculum that followed the common core standards from scratch. She quickly realized the limitations that urban schools had in funding extracurricular activities and outdoor learning. Both things that she took for granted in Framingham, Massachusetts. Her middle school shared the outside yard, gym, and cafeteria with two other full-sized middle schools. The students only had gym twice a week. Their recess was 20 minutes of a concrete basketball court and track. The behavior issues were constant as a result. Kristen saw that the best times the students had with her was when she was able to take them beyond the classroom and into the real world with hands-on experiences. She often took them outdoors to explore NYC and beyond. She also was able to take them to a camp in Connecticut. It was there that she realized how camps and schools can be intertwined to create the best learning environment for learning and social-emotional needs.
Kristen believes a child’s time at summer camp is almost as important as their education during the school year. She believes the social skills and emotional development that a child develops through play in the outdoors are one of the most important gifts that a child can receive and learn. She is a certified ELA and Special Education teacher in both Massachusett sand New York. A trained Project Adventure specialist and lifeguard.
Contact Kristen at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 774-244-3997.