The mission of Island Roots Camp Group, LLC (Island Roots) is to empower generations of kind, capable, and conscientious individuals. In service of this mission, we provide sustainable, responsible, high-quality educational enrichment, teaching independence, care, and life-long learning so individuals can understand themselves and their place in their community and the world. The foundation of our care is a lifelong skill-set, based on the pillars of Knowledge, Nature, and Wellness.
At Island Roots, we seek, gather, and share knowledge. Appreciate and preserve nature.
Prioritize wellness for self, community, and world. We aim to build and maintain strong relationships with our families even beyond their involvement in our programs, to embed sustainable practices in all elements of our business and programs, and to provide a positive, enjoyable, and supportive culture for our stakeholders.
" At Island Roots, we seek, gather, and share knowledge. Appreciate and preserve nature. Prioritize wellness for self, community, and world."
Jessie Stephens, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Island Roots, returned home to the North Shore in 2017. Before that, Jessie's education brought her to NH, VT, and then the Midwest, where she taught in outdoor education before traditional classrooms. In 2013, she reached doctoral candidacy in Special Education with a minor in Outdoor Education. Jessie was fortunate enough to start her childcare and camp administration career locally before starting Island Roots.
Thomas Phillips, co-founder and Chief Operations Officer of Island Roots, has lived in Swampscott for most of his life. Having grown up in the world of camp and education, Thomas is also well-known in the community as a childcare professional. Although he's a natural when it comes to working with children, Thomas's formal education balances design and entertainment business. This blend of knowledge and skills is a natural fit for the operations of Island Roots.
Alexander "Mr. Alex" Regan, Program Director of Island Roots, is a lifelong Marbleheader and licensed early education professional. With years of classroom experience, he has a strong understanding of children's development, differentiated instructional styles, and the unique ability to engage children in learning activities that they find fun!
“There’ll be new challenges that I’m afraid to handle; Be my friend as I walk along.”
- Peter Sawin (aka: Ranger Pete) 1937-2002*
Founded in 2020, Island Roots Camp Group (Island Roots) began as an idea to provide valuable support for families and youth-serving programs as they plan for school and program reopening after COVID19-related closures. While working in the childcare industry from home under state-wide quarantine, co-founders, Jessie and Thomas, became keenly aware of the obstacles facing communities and the very real reasons why many summer programs chose not to operate.
Their love of learning, recreation, and the outdoors is rooted on an island off the Massachusetts coast, where they grew as campers and then staff, each separately attaining leadership positions at various camps and school-year programs across the country.
Prior to opening their first program, Jessie and Thomas reached out to their friend and former colleague, Alex, and asked him to join them on their Island Roots adventure. With a strong background in camp, outdoor recreation, early education, and after school programming, Alex was a natural fit to complete the IRCG leadership team.
As a need for high quality childcare options rapidly increased during the fall of 2020, Jessie, Thomas, and Alex dedicated themselves to preparing a daytime learning support program which would leverage the full range of their expertise. Now, Island Roots is here to help families, as well as new and established camps, schools, and youth programs.
*Lyrics used with permission of Kim Sawin Staples
Experienced childcare professionals.
Members of your community.
- Peter Sawin (aka: Ranger Pete) 1937-2002
Used with permission from Kim Sawin Staples