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Your life-changing summer
starts with a simple
summer camp application

Join Associate Director of Admissions, Kate Barnes as they personally guide you through every step of the EXPLO application process. With their expertise and insider knowledge, Kate will ensure that your application journey is seamless and stress-free.

Get ready to embark on an exciting adventure towards your future with EXPLO!

Step 1-Online application

  • Decide which program you want to apply to.
  • Complete the online application.
  • Submit a tuition deposit to reserve your place in the program.


Step 2-Registration forms

Log back into your Student Portal to complete the registration forms. Enrollment will not be complete until we have these forms on file.

  • Workshop + elective selection form—choose classes so we can design your perfect schedule. The workshop + elective selection form is only needed if you are attending an EXPLO 360° program.
  • Teacher recommendation—this online form only takes a few minutes for a teacher to complete and helps us get to know you. Teacher recommendations are needed only if you are new to EXPLO or applying for a scholarship.
  • Personal essay or reflection—we’ll send you a prompt specific to your program and want to hear why you love your chosen topic. The personal essay or reflection is needed only if you are attending a concentration, focus program, or pre-college explorations program.
  • English language interview—English is the working language of EXPLO. Students who do not attend an English language-based school may need to complete a video interview with EXPLO.

Bright kids + teens belong here

At EXPLO, learning is made real and purposeful. Students feel known, at home, and safe to take risks and make mistakes. It is important for families to acknowledge that the program may not suit every student, as it involves a mix of structured and unstructured time, requiring commitment to an active schedule, with opportunities to collaborate, listen, and experiment. The program encourages age-appropriate independence, expecting students to handle responsibilities with maturity. EXPLO values a collaborative relationship with families, and encourages families to reach out to our Admissions Team with any questions about individual fit.

Applying for financial aid

We’re committed to providing grants and scholarships to as many qualified applicants as possible. If cost is a barrier for your family, please indicate your interest in receiving financial aid as part of your online application (Step 1).

Ask us anything—we’re curious too!

At EXPLO, we love challenges—but the summer camp application process shouldn’t be one of them. That’s why our admission staff is here, eager to guide you through the process and answer any questions you have. And we do mean any, from scheduling and financial aid info to what’s on the menu in the dining halls. Find the counselor for your geographic region below (or contact any of us—we’ll make sure you’re in good hands!).

United Kingdom + France

Ariel French

Ariel French (she/her)

Director of Admissions

I joined EXPLO in 2009 as an instructor and student advisor, and have worked in curriculum, programming, and admissions capacities since then. I’m a graduate of Bryn Mawr College, and hold a master’s degree in Prevention, Science, and Practice, and a certification in K–12 School Counseling from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. I’m an avid distance runner, mother, and a jill-of-all-trades, busy looking after my 18th-century home.

I partner with referral agents, educational consultants, and school guidance departments.

New York + The World (except UK + France)

Yoel Abulaf

Yoel Abulaf (he/him)

Senior Admission Counselor

I’ve been with EXPLO since 2017, serving in summer roles as an instructor, student advisor, and Main Office administrator, before joining the year-round team as an Admission Counselor in 2021. I hold a BA from UMass Amherst, and an MA in Psychology from William James College. Originally from Istanbul, Turkey, I lived there for 15 years, prior to moving to the United States in high school. I’m an avid sports fan and player—particularly soccer, basketball, football, and tennis.

Mountain West, PNW, + Midwest

Kate Barnes

Kate Barnes (they/them)

Assistant Director of Admissions + Financial Aid Coordinator

I joined EXPLO full time as part of the Admissions and Financial Aid team in 2021 and have spent two summers working at the Pre-College program, in student life and managing logistics as the Assistant Director of Operations. Holding a BBA in Hospitality Management from SUNY Delhi, I enjoy bringing my creativity, people skills, and love of systems to work every day. In my free time, I love hiking, making silly furniture, and reading sci-fi books.

Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, + California

Matty Wildenberg

Matty Wildenberg (he/him)

Senior Admission Counselor

I joined EXPLO in 2023 as an Admission Counselor, with 10+ years of experience in hospitality.
I earned a B.S. in Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts from Johnson + Wales University. Outside of EXPLO, I love learning about bread baking and New England's local flora and fauna. On any random day, I can be found behind the pottery wheel practicing ceramics or hiking a high peak in New Hampshire!

New England, Florida, + Texas

Parker Clery

Parker Clery (she/her)

Admission Counselor

I’ve been with EXPLO since 2021, serving the Pre-College summer program as a Student Advisor, Assistant to the Heads, and Main Office Director. After graduating from the University of Central Florida, I joined our year-round team as an Admissions Counselor. My passion and enthusiasm for EXPLO began at age 14 when I attended as a student for three summers. In my free time, I love attending concerts, musicals, and Marvel movie premieres.

General Questions

Liz Stifel

Liz Stifel (she/her)

Admission Coordinator

I joined the EXPLO early in 2023. I earned a BFA in Communications Design with a focus in Illustration from the Pratt Institute in 2014. I love learning about world history, gardening, animal husbandry and animation. I can usually be found sketching in the corner of a museum. Reach out to me with general questions; if you give us a call, mine will likely be the first voice you’ll hear. I also coordinate student medical forms and the summer ambassador program.

Visit or engage with EXPLO

There’s always more to learn! Come see us in person, or connect online.

testimonials (1)-1

EXPLO sets the bar, and no one has met it yet. We have always been impressed with the quality of staff and faculty, the huge breadth of courses and activities, the care with which every staff member approaches students and parents, the quality and variety of evening programming, the weekend trips, and the classy way in which you do everything. I wish I had more words to rave about what you do!

Lynda Furash
EXPLO Pre-College program