Where the child's growth comes first.
We Are Passionate About Child Development.
21st Century Skills
We Call Them Exploratories
The Evolution of Community
A graduate of New York University, and a Los Angeles native, Sam came back to the child development field in 2015 after spending 7 years in New Orleans as the Associate Artistic Director of a non-profit theatre company. His passion for working with children stems from his 10 years in the summer camp field, where he’s worked with children age 4-17 in a variety of different camp roles. He’s proud to be a founding director of Growing Outdoors.
Lissa arrived at Growing Outdoors in 2018 after a decade with our sister company, Camp Kinneret, and after her time spent teaching the children of active duty/civilian members of the US Navy. She graduated with her degree in Early Childhood Studies with an emphasis in Developmental Psychology from CSUCI in 2011 and has adored adventuring through the field of education ever since! She lives with her husband and their two silly doggies, Zeus and Whoopi. Lissa’s passions outside of work are traveling, kayaking, painting, singing, cuddling her dogs, hiking, bike-riding, and playing with her four nephews. She loves working with Growing Outdoors and the team and is excited every day to cultivate growth and joy in each and every student.
Assistant Director (he/him)
Danny joined the Growing Outdoors team as an Assistant Director in November 2022 after spending 12 years as a summer camp professional. 10 of those years were spent on the Leadership Team with our sister company, Camp Kinneret. Prior to his work in summer camps, Danny received his BFA in Theatre Performance at Chapman University in 2009 and you may still find him time to time on a local stage as an actor or director. Danny’s commitment to child development goes beyond just Growing Outdoors. He currently serves on the board of directors for the Association for Environmental & Outdoor Education and also remains active with the American Camp Association as an Accreditation Visitor during the summer months. Danny and his wife welcomed their son in 2020 and their daughter in 2022. Together they enjoy traveling, hiking, camping, and lots of time snuggled on the couch watching Paw Patrol and Cocomelon! He is excited to be part of creating positive growth opportunities for every student!
Angel Rivera Degro
Assistant Director (he/him)
Angel entered our program in 2016 as an Exploratory Leader in the Oak Park area, followed by multiple years as a Site Coordinator at Brookside Elementary and MATES. After a small gap, Angel joined our staff once more as the Program Administrator, bringing his experience with Growing Outdoors to the table and continuing to positively impact students of all ages. In the summer, he continues to work with Camp Kinneret’s Lifeguards by certifying and training them, while also planning the program’s options for the following school year. Angel’s passion for aquatics, animals, motorsports, and athletics provides an active lifestyle that translates to an energetic approach to the students. He can’t wait to introduce students to new exploratories and make long-lasting positive memories at all the schools!