Staff Bios

tcstaff

Staff Bios

Here are the outdoor education instructors and staff that make High Trails happen!

Chrischris

Age: 36
School, Degree and Certifications: University of Wales Aberystwyth – BSC Countryside Management, Post Grad Certificate in Education for Geography. Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Certification.
Experience: Outdoor Education intern-Sierra Nevadas, Adventure Director-Nova Scotia, Overseas Expedition Leader, Mexico, Venezuela, India, Geography teacher, Wales, England
Why I enjoy working with kids/my philosophy: The world is an awesome and diverse place. I love sharing that with people.
Interests: climbing, mountain biking, backpacking, mountaineering, surfing and anything that is cool outside.

LeslieLeslie

Age: 28
School, Degree and Certifications: Oregon State – BS in Geography; Wilderness First Responder (WFR) Certification.
Experience: Director of Vermont Fish and Wildlife Green Mountain Conservation Camp. Swim instructor, camp counselor for 5 years, geoscience tutor, National Zoo summer education specialist, and a rowing coach.
Why I Enjoy Working With Kids/My Philosophy: Kids are funny. Kids are curious. It’s so fun to hang out with kids! My current philosophy is to foster a community of young people that grow and challenge each other to become better teachers, community members, and humans in general.
Interests: Mountain biking, flower gardening, book reading, eagle watching, and museuming. Death Valley Queen!

ShaneShane

Age: 32
School and Degree: Cornell – BA in History; Colgate University: MA in Teaching Secondary Education; Wilderness First Responder (WFR) Certification
Experience: Five years of experiential outdoor education in Rhinebeck, New York (the Catskill Region) with at risk youth and children with a broad range of special needs.
Why I Enjoy Working With Kids/My Philosophy:
1) I see value in supporting children’s comfort outside of their daily routine
2) Teaching children is easy when it’s fun but not always fun when it’s easy
3) I work with children to positively impact today. A positive impact today will establish a positive trajectory for the future
Interests: When I’m not living the dream working outdoors I binge on movies and TV shows, I’ve been know to recreationally read and I dream one day to be an accomplished woodworker, accordion player, and build my own cabin.

ChristineChristine

Age: 25 School and Degree: UCLA – Political Science; Wilderness First Responder (WFR) Certification Experience: I’ve been working with kids and the outdoors for years – as a camp counselor, a trip leader and tour guide. I love working with kids! Why I enjoy working with kids/my philosophy: Kids are fun to work with. They are creative, passionate, silly and have the best jokes. Interests: Being outside and exploring nature. I love learning and trying new things so I’m always into something new.

 

JoeyJoey

Age: 30 School and Degree: Florida State University – Environmental Studies Experience:I’ve worked many jobs ranging from the construction industry to working with elementary school students during my time at Florida State University. Why I enjoy working with kids/my philosophy: I enjoy spreading the knowledge I have acquired especially seeing that moment in clicks with your students. My philosophy is be the positive impact on the world you want to see. Interests: Hiking, skydiving, surfing and snowboarding.

Christina

Age: 25
School, Degree and Certifications: Georgia Southern University; Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies – concentrations: Environmental Studied, Cultural studies – minor: Theater
Experience: Most recently, I was an instructor at Georgia Southern’s Center for Wildlife Education, teaching ages 6 – 12. Before that, I spent several summers coordinating / implementing various curriculums at summer camps, as well as working in childcare at the YMCA.
Why I Enjoy Working With Kids/My Philosophy: One of my favorite quotes says that “Children see magic because they look for it.” I think that it’s incredibly important to tap into that imagination and encourage students to be free thinkers and to follow their passions before society tells them otherwise. Children are the future, and the future needs more people who care about things other than themselves and money.
Interests: I spend the majority of my time in the outdoors. I’m incessantly fascinated by the natural world, but I also love acting. I’ve performed internationally, both onstage (Edinburgh Fringe Festival) and in film (Cannes Film Festival – France).

davidDavid

Age: 23
School, Degree and Certifications: Knox College; Environmental Studies
Experience: Elementary Education, Teaching Assistant, Conservation Education
Why I Enjoy Working With Kids/My Philosophy: The solution to current problems is education. A kid with a well-rounded education is a kid that will solve problems.
Interests: fishing, biking, hiking, country music, cattle, llamas

elyseElysee

Age: 26
School, Degree and Certifications: Hendriz College 2013; Psychology / French
Experience: Crew leader for a conservation corps in the Pacific Northwest; alternative education assistant; counselor at a wilderness canoeing camp, wilderness therapy field guide; lifeguard
Why I Enjoy Working With Kids/My Philosophy: We are all teachers, and we are all learners! I love helping kids discover their passions and interests while exploring our deep interconnectedness with all things.
Interests: Activating my magical powers!

malcomMalcom

Age: 28
School, Degree and Certifications: Bachelors of Science degree in Wildlife Conservation Biology
Experience: I am the oldest of my siblings, so I’ve always been familiar with teaching younger kids. This has really kept me young at heart which helps me to easily relate to kids. I also participate in an outdoor education program where I taught 5th graders about birds and mammals.
Why I Enjoy Working With Kids/My Philosophy: I enjoy working with kids because I value imagination very highly. I love the way that children look at the world. They see the world for all its wonder, which is so rare these days. This sense of wonder should be stimulated and preserves at all costs. These young visionaries can and will shape the future.
Interests: I am an avid birder, writer, and photographer. I love wildlife and crave new adventures. I love meeting new people to share my life with.

markMark

Age: 24
School, Degree and Certifications: UMass Amherst, Biology
Experience: I have experience working with kids teaching swimming and diving as well as leading and teaching kids in Boy Scouts. Since I was little, I have had a passion for the outdoors and have been able to pursue this passion by working on several avian survey research projects and exploring natural areas through backpacking and trail running.
Why I Enjoy Working With Kids/My Philosophy: It gives you a chance to be a great role model and provide a positive influence to make a difference in the younger generation. I had a lot of those folks in my life growing up and I want to be able to give back and inspire others the way others inspired me.
Interests: running, backpacking, hiking, mountain biking, climbing, and anything outdoors

 

nickNick

Age: 22
School, Degree and Certifications: University of Phoenix, Environmental Science, Wilderness First Responder
Experience: A year with High Trails, a summer with Buffalo Field Campaign, and a variety of odd jobs and volunteer positions. In the past I’ve worked for city parks, pet stores, supermarkets… you name it!
Why I Enjoy Working With Kids/My Philosophy: To paraphrase the words of a very wise man – “The relationship between teacher and student is that of a circle.” Teaching has been a humbling and rewarding experience for me, and so there are several reasons why I have decided to continue down that path. One reason is that environmental education has (arguably) never been more important than it is now. Another reason is that, in nature’s classroom, the interconnectedness of the world we live in is on full display; meaning we can all learn how to be more compassionate and considerate simply by walking into it. The biggest reason, though, is simple. I may be a teacher, but I am ultimately here to learn. Every day, my students convince me that I have the best job in the world. How? They surprise me, and fascinate me, and make me laugh, and always leave me with a perspective wider than the one I had before. I wouldn’t trade the opportunity to work with them for anything!
Interests: Hiking, camping, ultralight backpacking, mountain biking, record collecting, amateur photography, history podcasts, long books, longer road trips, good food, great conversations with friends, and quiet, introspective walks through the Mojave Desert. Whew!

rebeccaRebecca

Age: 26
School, Degree and Certifications: Cedarville University, BS Environmental Science
Experience: Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies, McKeever Environmental Learning Center, Delaware Nature Society, Echo Hill Outdoor School
Why I Enjoy Working With Kids/My Philosophy: I love the excitement, enthusiasm, and curiosity kids have when interacting with the natural world! There’s nothing more exciting than getting outdoors and wandering around the woods, and I’m super excited to share that experience with students!
Interests: I love looking for snakes and lizards and frogs. I’m excited to explore the woods around here more and learn about plants. I also love cooking, and have a legendary pumpkin pudding recipe.

samSam

Age: 24
School, Degree and Certifications: Macalester College, BA Environmental Studies
Experience: I just finished an AmeriCorps year of service at the Stearns History Museum where I worked with kids on a community garden and led tours through an environmental history exhibit. I also worked as an environmental justice paraprofessional and ecoexperience student worker at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
Why I Enjoy Working With Kids/My Philosophy: Kids always seem to bring a ton of positive energy and are a lot of fun to work with.
Interests: biking, climbing, hiking, brewing kombucha, and spending time outdoors

sarahSarah

Age: 25
School, Degree and Certifications: Mount Vernon Nazarene University, BS in Biology (Environmental Track)

Experience: I assisted my mom with her three middle school choirs for several years; I helped at a 7th grade camp leading an ecology session for 3 years; last summer, I worked performing nest monitoring, vegetation surveys, and assisted with a banding of a white-headed woodpecker in Idaho. Also, all through college, I was lab assistant and led several study groups.
Why I Enjoy Working With Kids/My Philosophy: I really enjoy working with kids because they are still learning their niche (just like we are), but we are given the opportunity to help and guide them. I like to see the excitement in their eyes when they make a connection or learn something they can’t wait to share with friends and family. I also really care for the environment and I like to pass along the importance of preserving it, especially to younger generations.
Interests: birding, insects, botany, hiking, reading, baking, dancing (particularly the tap variety) and singing

Jay Outdoor InstructorJay

Age: 24
School, Degree and Certifications: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign: Natural Resources with a concentration in Human Dimensions
Experience: Some of my best friends have kids. Professionally, I have served as a Teacher’s Assistant for Adult Education, served as an after school program supervisor, worked in food service, and did door to door marketing.
Why I Enjoy Working With Kids/My Philosophy: I enjoy working with children because I am good at it. I can adapt to a variety of unique personalities to create meaningful change. Gifford Pinchot once said, “The vast possibilities of our great future will become realities only if we make ourselves responsible for that future.” This crucial time and the significant resource provided by High Trails give them vast possibilities.
Interests: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. Skateboarding, lifting, running, card games, and literature.

Andee Outdoor Education instructorAdele

Age: 25
School, Degree and Certifications: University of Maryland, Bachelors of Science in Nursing
Experience: University of Maryland Hospital: Surgical Acute Care; University of Maryland Outdoor Recreation Center
Why I Enjoy Working With Kids/My Philosophy: Kids go about their life so open to new ideas and new concepts, as they are consistently learning something new. A chance to introduce new concepts that may bring them joy, a new perspective, or spark their excitement about the outdoors is a thrilling experience.
Interests: Backpacking, reading, sketching, learning new skills and hobbies from great people

 

 

Anee Education instructorAnne

Age: 24
School, Degree and Certifications: University of Wisconsin – Green Bay, Environmental Science
Experience: I’ve worked for several years at a Wilderness Girl Scout Camp having multiple roles, from guide to program director.
Why I Enjoy Working With Kids/My Philosophy: I love working with kids because no two are ever the same. They each bring something different to the table which keeps programs and activities fresh. My philosophy is you get out what you put in; if you work hard and put the effort in, relationships, jobs, and hobbies will be so rewarding.
Interests: Coming from Wisconsin, I love anything cold and snow-related. From snowboarding to attending Packer games in -40 degree weather, you can find me outside.

 

Audrey Education instructorAudrey

Age: 22
School, Degree and Certifications: University of Texas at Austin, Government
Experience: Kayak tour guide; theatre for dialogue
Why I Enjoy Working With Kids/My Philosophy: Kiddos are the future! Experiencing the outdoors with a child is like experiencing nature for the first time all over again. Any day out of doors is a good day.
Interests: camping, dancing, anything on the water, letting the moon guide me

Aud Education instructorAud

Age: 22
School, Degree and Certifications: Bates College, Geology; Wilderness First Responder certified
Experience: I’ve been enjoying the outdoors since I was three years old when I went on my first backpacking trip! Since then, I have lead outdoor orientation trips for Bates College, taught at a summer farm camp, and volunteered in several elementary school classrooms. I continue to get outdoors as much as possible!
Why I Enjoy Working With Kids/My Philosophy: I like working with kids because it’s a real challenge but also provides great rewards. It’s exciting to see kids grow in the outdoors and helping with that process!
Interests: Climbing, hiking, cooking, road trips, and thrift shopping!

Austinn Education instructorAustin

Age: 24
School, Degree and Certifications: University of California, Santa Barbara; BA Environmental Studies
Experience: Educator at Santa Barbara Zoo; Educator at California Science Center; Environmental Educator and Trail Worker at Student Conservation Association Massachusetts AmeriCorps
Why I Enjoy Working With Kids/My Philosophy: I love sparking curiosity in young people. When a kid is interested enough to ask questions and search for answers about the world around them, they’re on their way to being an engaged and aware adult. Plus, kids are fun!
Interests: Hiking and camping; Reading; Long drives; Staying hydrated; Cooking and eating; Squishy animals, creepy animals, underrated animals…actually animals of all kinds…especially cats.

Benn Education instructorBen

Age: 25
School, Degree and Certifications: Ozark Christian College, Inter-cultural Studies, Biblical Studies
Experience: Adventure Program Coordinator at CampComo in Como, Colorado. Life Skills Trainer for Skills Unlimited.
Why I Enjoy Working With Kids/My Philosophy: I love learning and teaching. Kids are full of energy and creativity. I seek to explore the mysteries of truth with everyone. No ego, we go.
Interests: Rafting, Soccer, Climbing, Hiking, Dancing, Family, Music.

Outdoor Education teacherBobby

Age: 22
School, Degree and Certifications: John Hopkins University – Earth and Planetary Science, Global Change and Sustainability
Experience: -Eagle Scout (Boy Scouts of America) -8 years summer camp experience (Birch Rock Camp – Waterford, ME) -“All Paws in Gardening”, environmental education and gardening program at Barclay Elementary and Middle School, Baltimore, MD
Why I Enjoy Working With Kids/My Philosophy: Teaching the next generation of environmental stewards about their connection to the natural system they are a part of.
Interests: hiking, survival skills, orienteering, banjo, geology, raptors (birds, not dinosaurs)

Outdoor camp teacherBrad

Age: 25
School, Degree and Certifications: attended Ohio University: Lancaster
Experience: I am a former Appalachian Trail thru-hiker. Two years as a back country leadership program staff member at Camp Moosilauke in Orford, NH; one year as the head of the back country leadership program.
Why I Enjoy Working With Kids/My Philosophy: It took me awhile to find what I consider my passion which is working in and enjoying nature. I feel now that I have this gift, to enjoy beautiful natural places and to know how to survive and thrive in these places, that I must share this gift with younger generations for years to come.
Interests: Hiking, Backpacking, Rock Climbing, Running, Cycling, Reading, Health and Fitness, Nutrition.

Camp InstructorCollin

Age: 25
School, Degree and Certifications: Salve Regina University, BA Environmental Studies, BS Business Administration
Experience: Three years in Environmental Education; One summer as Program Director for YMCA
Why I Enjoy Working With Kids/My Philosophy: There has simply been nothing that has made me happier than seeing our youth overcome challenges and experience wonderful things, like mostly untouched nature, for the first time in their lives.  Teaching students has always been just as much fun for me as it is for them.
Interests: A variety of different sports, getting lost in the woods, and telling bad jokes.  Sometimes, I take naps.

Davee Camp InstructorDavid

Age: 24
School, Degree and Certifications: Life experience
Experience: Eight years leading camps!
Why I Enjoy Working With Kids/My Philosophy: I enjoy working with kids because I love to change lives. Molding and encouraging children during their formative years makes them better people, and with better people comes a better planet.
Interests: From sailing to summiting mountains, you can find me outdoors. A SoCal native, I split my time between the mountains and the beach.

Cabin InstructorEvan

Age: 23
School, Degree and Certifications: University of Miami (RSMAS), Marine Affairs; Business, Spanish, French
Experience: SCUBA instructor and staff in the British Virgin Islands; Trip leader and staff in Beijing and Costa Rica.
Why I Enjoy Working With Kids/My Philosophy: I enjoy working with kids because it allows me to be and think like a kid while at work. It’s also refreshing to be around individuals that are able to simplify even the most complicated concepts. Working with kids outdoors also helps me to reignite my love for the environment around all of us through their unique, energetic spirits. it’s also a great feeling to know that I have the power to positively impact future generations.
Interests: Most of what I like to do involves the outdoors, traveling, foreign languages, and food. I love being out in nature whether I am skiing deep in the snowy mountains or floating on the sea. I have a huge appreciation for well-made, high quality food. I’m a world traveller and love combining my interests and experiences in a way that helps me pass on my passions through educating younger individuals.

Hannah Activity instructorHannah

Age: 22
School, Degree and Certifications: Fairfield University, majors – History, Women & Gender Studies; minors – Anthropology, Spanish
Experience: This is my fifth season as an outdoor educator and my twenty second year with a passion for our planet.
Why I Enjoy Working With Kids/My Philosophy: Working with and leading groups of kids, especially in the outdoor setting, provides an authentic experience unlike any other in that instructors are able to instill in their students a love for the world around them while students inspire their instructors to have hope for a better future for our planet.
Interests: Yoga; Cooking; Hiking; Traveling; Exploring new places; Researching new topics; Learning new skills; Studying the world around us; Discussing new ideas.

 

Ikee TrainerIkwe

Age: 22
School, Degree and Certifications: University of Wisconsin: Madison, BA linguistics and Scandinavian Studies
Experience: I have been leading canoe trips in the Boundary Waters for four summers, teaching French, and providing Wilderness Medical Care as a WFR and then a W-EMT. Recently, I worked a ropes course for the public schools of Madison, WI.
Why I Enjoy Working With Kids/My Philosophy: I love working with kids because they are so curious and constantly discovering new things. I love being able to influence them towards enjoying the outdoors, hoping it will help them have a healthy and fulfilled life in the future. The goal is to have them pick up at least 2% of the enthusiasm for nature that I have.
Interests: canoeing, camping, climbing (all things in the great outdoors); languages, poetry, good books; wilderness medicine; looking at really small things in the woods, like ants and spiderwebs and baby leaves.

Jade outdoor instructorJade

Age: 23
School, Degree and Certifications: University of Wisconsin: Madison, Kinesiology: Exercise Movement Science, Dance Movement Therapy
Experience: I’ve worked at camps and after-school youth centers, but the greatest experience comes from that I am forever a kid!
Why I Enjoy Working With Kids/My Philosophy: Kids are the most phenomenal teachers on the planet!
Interests: My interests include – dancing in the moonlight, collecting random items I think I will need but later inevitably won’t, and envisioning myself as Batman.

Jennas Education instructorJenna

Age: 24
School, Degree and Certifications: Western Michigan University, Bachelors in–Communications (Intercultural/Interpersonal), Film/Video/Media Studies, Art
Experience: Running art/dance classes. Personal experience with nature.
Why I Enjoy Working With Kids/My Philosophy: Kids are a refreshing and honest example on many truths in life. Tiny humans can teach us as much as we can teach them. My personal belief: we should be focusing on building healthy, strong, younger generations for a brighter future.
Interests: Holistic practices in art therapy, music therapy, community building. Singing, dance/flow, ceramics, poetry/free verse writing, nature logging, exploring, snowboarding, hiking, drawing, interior decorating, feng shui, yoga, eating/cooking…

Joee Outdoor Education instructorJoe

Age: 51
School, Degree and Certifications:Undergraduate: BS in Education/Environmental Education. Graduate: MS in Environmental Studies.
Experience: Worked as a State Park Seasonal Naturalist in Ohio, New York, and North Dakota. Educator with the National Audubon Society.
Why I Enjoy Working With Kids/My Philosophy: Teaching kids about the outdoors and nature is fun and rewarding. Kids are naturally attracted to exploring the outdoors and I enjoy helping them learn.
Interests: Birding, camping, photography, and disc golf.

Josee Camp TrainerJose

Age: 28
School, Degree and Certifications: Georgia Southern, Bachelor of Business Administration: Finance
Experience: Former youth leader for Young Life. Also used to teach swim lessons to en 12 and under. Volunteer soccer coach for kids U6 leagues.
Why I Enjoy Working With Kids/My Philosophy: I enjoy working with kids because of the excitement and energy that they have when learning new things or doing activities. I try to act my age when need be, but I always remember that age is just a number and you can be excited and have fun no matter how old you get.
Interests: I enjoy hiking, camping, kayaking, and am always willing to participate/try any outdoor activity. I also am an avid hockey fan, and enjoy reading and hammock-napping.

Outdoor Activity TrainerJulia

Age: 22
School, Degree and Certifications: Johns Hopkins University, Earth and Planetary Sciences; Behavioral Biology
Experience: Sailing through the Pacific Ocean for six weeks, hiking in New Zealand, camping across America. Summer camp counselor for the SPCA, teaching children environmental and marine science aboard a tall ship.
Why I Enjoy Working With Kids/My Philosophy: I love being able to energize kids and watch them garner interest for the subjects I am most passionate about. I’m also a bit of a goof, and having kids that can be just as silly as me makes teaching worthwhile.
Interests: Scuba diving, sailing, playing my pink ukelele, singing, camping hiking, feeding pufferfish, marine science

Katee Outdoor TrainerKate

Age: 24
School, Degree and Certifications: Cal State Fullerton, major in Entertainment and Tourism Management, minor in Women and Gender Studies
Experience: Camp Counselor, Unit Leader, and most recently Program Director at Camp Winacka in Julian, CA. Challenge Course Facilitator with Girl Scouts San Diego. Group Leader with Anaheim Achieves (YMCA). Recreation Host and Attraction Host at Walt Disney World and Disneyland – the coolest thing ever was being a Tower of Terror bellhop!
Why I Enjoy Working With Kids/My Philosophy: Kids are hilarious, kids are curious – but most importantly, our future, and kids aren’t afraid to tell it like it is! I aspire to emulate the wonder, silliness, and frankness of children in some way everyday. After all, a day spent laughing and learning, in my opinion, is the best day ever.
Interests: Hiking, camping, singing loudly (and badly) in the car, riding roller coasters, beaching, telling jokes and stories, petting all dogs ever, exploring new places and making connections!

Actrivity TrainerKevin

Age: 25
School, Degree and Certifications: Western Illinois University, major in Recreation, Parks, Tourism, and Administration (RPTA), Therapeutic Recreation, minor in Religious Studies, Psychology, Outdoor Leadership
Experience: I worked at a family summer camp for three years. Worked with individuals with disabilities in day camps, climbing programs, and in outdoor settings. Experience with teaching students, 5th grade to college-age.
Why I Enjoy Working With Kids/My Philosophy: I enjoy working with kids because they keep me young and keep me thinking outside the box if we teach the youth to respect the environment, we can create a better future for all.
Interests: Exploring, camping, playing music, spinning fire, mycology, healing, having fun, meeting people, showing people new heights

Madelline Education instructorMadeline

Age: 25
School, Degree and Certifications: University of Vermont, major- Environmental Studies (concentration: Sustainability, Community and Education), minor – Spanish
Experience: 8 years as a camp counselor at the Burgundy Center for Wildlife Studies, including as the Assistant Director summer of 2017. Outdoor Ed Program Coordinator at Camp Greylock in Ferrisburg, Vermont.
Why I Enjoy Working With Kids/My Philosophy: I love challenging kids to go out of their comfort zones and try new things. Kids also absorb information and experience such awe and wonder. It is incredibly rewarding to help bring students into those experiences.
Interests: Backpacking, road biking, cooking, singing loudly in my car, Major League Baseball.

Mallory Outdoor activity instructorMallory

Age: 23
School, Degree and Certifications: SUNY Binghamton University, BA English, minor in Environmental Studies
Experience: I spend my summers guiding backpacking, climbing, or canoeing trips with kids in places like Vermont or Alaska. I have also spent time instructing kids on organic farms and in my campus nature preserve!
Why I Enjoy Working With Kids/My Philosophy: I love working with kids because they’re capable of such absurd goofiness coupled with awesome, curiosity-driven, intellectual conversations. Their excitement about everything that can be found in our natural world is so contagious!
Interests: Playing outside!  I love doing different outdoor activities, ranging from backpacking to climbing to playing in the water. I also love reading, writing, and making stuff with my hands.

Outdoor Education cabin instructorMarc

Age: 25
School, Degree and Certifications: Bachelors in History, minor in Sociology
Experience: Volunteer work in college at various schools
Why I Enjoy Working With Kids/My Philosophy: They are the most amazing and honest people out there. I love seeing a child grasp a new concept or when they finally conquer a challenge. They remind us to enjoy the little things in life that sometimes, as adults, we overlook.
Interests: I LOVE basketball, video games, reading books of all types, professional PBJ maker, world class dancer…I also love camping and being outdoors, in general. I am a novice bird watcher (mainly crows), amateur fisherman, and a lousy snowboarder.

MaxxMax

Age: 23
School, Degree and Certifications: UC Santa Barbara, Environmental Studies
Experience: Camp Counselor at Camp Oakes, CIMI Instructor at Camp Fox, Volunteer Docent with Nature Track
Why I Enjoy Working With Kids/My Philosophy: As a kid, it was outdoor ed teachers and camp counselors that inspired my love for the outdoors and I’m hoping to pass on the inspiration to others.
Interests: Hiking, swimming, reading, playing board games, generally being outside.

Peterr Education instructorPeter

Age: 22
School, Degree and Certifications: University of Redlands, BS Environmental Science
Experience: Worked with kids in multiple environments ranging from teaching swimming to volunteering at the marine center in Newport Beach and many things in between
Why I Enjoy Working With Kids/My Philosophy: I love the curiosity and wonder kids can bring to an unknown subject and having the opportunity to shape that into a passion is what brought me here. The outdoors is something I’ve had the luck of being able to experience and love my entire life and I want to be able to spread that among as many people as possible.
Interests: Above everything, I love to surf and rock climb (Trad is Rad!). When I am not in the ocean or on the wall, I enjoy snowboarding, skateboarding, reading, drawing, music, underwater basket weaving, climbing trees, sleeping, and just generally being in the outdoors.

Shannonn Education instructor

Shannon

Age: 22
School, Degree and Certifications: University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, major: Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior; minor: Marine Biology
Experience: I’ve had many jobs over my 22 years of life, most of them involving children. I’ve been a camp counselor, a swim instructor, and child care worker, to name a few. I’ve also researched marine ecology, blue jay learning and behavior, frog communication, and effectiveness of cover crops in agriculture.
Why I Enjoy Working With Kids/My Philosophy: I think that kids have such a unique perspective on everything. I’m so excited to combine my love of the environment with my passion of teaching children in one of the most beautiful landscapes in the United States.
Interests: I love anything and everything about animals. Also, I enjoy swimming, scuba diving, hiking, crawling into hotel beds without untucking the sheets, and napping outside. My favorite food is cheese and my spirit animal is an otter.

Suzannee Education instructorSuzanne

Age: 25
School, Degree and Certifications: Michigan State University, Art Education
Experience: After my student teaching year, I ran off with the circus for a four-month training course. In debt but inspired, I came home and substitute taught for a year. After that, I made my way to Colorado to work as the Arts and Crafts Director at a summer camp, and now split my time between the mountains of Deckers and the mountains of Big Bear.
Why I Enjoy Working With Kids/My Philosophy: I love trying new things and making personal discoveries; working with kids gives me the opportunity to learn something new every day. Learning about things from kids’ perspectives reminds me how many different ways there are to view the world.
Interests: I love to read – words are the way to my heart. Sometimes I devour books indoors, and other times I pretend to read outside while being distracted by nature. I attempt to settle Catan somewhat often, and enjoy most board games. I pole vault, wander through thrift stores, take long drives with the radio on and seek out quirky activities happening around town.

Xann Activity TrainerXan

Age: 23
School, Degree and Certifications: Elon University; Religious Studies, Gender and Sexuality, Human Services, French
Experience: Studied and worked toward sustainable living in Rural Kenya. Participated in Peace Corps prep program with a focus on agriculture. Attended school and worked as a teacher in NGOs, women’s shelters, as well as served as a nurse’s assistant in Guatemala. I was also a rock climbing instructor and youth team coach for the past year.
Why I Enjoy Working With Kids/My Philosophy: All of my experiences working with kids has been characterized by mutual learning and growth, a practice in self-confidence, and challenging personal limits while having an opportunity to positively impact a window in someone’s life and development. Kids bring out the best in me; I thrive off their energy. Also kids are nuts. And I am nuts. So, things usually work out.
Interests: I LOVE learning languages; I collect them and expand my identity with them. All the go-to outdoor adventures: rock climbing, hiking, caving, etc. Painting and generally getting messy. All about trying new things and discovering more of myself and people and life.

Connor                     

Age:  27

School, Degree, and Certifications:  University of Arizona; Agricultural Education, Leadership and Communication

Experience: Future Farmers of America – Arizona Department of Education intern.  Lived on a dairy farm.  Lived and worked in the El Dorado National Forest.

Why I Enjoy Working with Kids/My Philosophy: I love to have the opportunity to make a positive impact on students in a hands-on environment.

Interests: Jeeping, kayaking, traveling, living life, Disney-ing

Fraser-3Frazer                       

Age:  28

School, Degree, and Certifications: Pace University – Bachelors Degree in Environmental Studies; University of Denver

Experience: I have worked on sustainable farms where children learn where their food comes from. In addition, I have worked for the New York State Park system using plant identification to remove invasive plants and sow native plants.

Why I Enjoy Working with Kids/My Philosophy: I enjoy working with kids because of the energy and enthusiasm that they bring when learning about nature.  Learning about forests/ecosystems is a rewarding teaching experience.

Interests: Ballroom Dancing, Plant Identification

Grace-3Grace            

Age:  22

School, Degree, and Certifications: Carnegie Mellon University; Bachelor of Science: Chemistry

Experience: I’ve mainly worked in labs doing research for four years. I’ve done some work in cell molecular biology, computational biology, and polymer chemistry.  I’ve also worked for a biotechnology startup in the San Francisco Bay area for a summer on the scientific development team.

Why I Enjoy Working with Kids/My Philosophy: My philosophy about working in education is one that I have adopted from one of my favorite teachers in high school.  It’s my way of giving back to my community.  5th and 6th grade science camp was a pivotal moment in my young life and I hope to bring pivotal moments to other young lives.

Interests: Being Outside!!! Rock climbing, tree climbing, mountain climbing, ultimate Frisbee, backpacking, cooking, reading, music, exploring tide pools / being in the ocean, napping, science, yoga, lifting, cats…

Jacke-3Jack              

Age:  24

School, Degree, and Certifications: Colby College, B.A. Biology: ecology & evolution – minor in philosophy

Experience: Since graduating from college, I’ve worked as a botanist with the Bureau of Land Management, an environmental ethics teacher with the High Mountain Institute, and an AP Biology teacher for the Aizon School. Basically, if the job entails mountains, teaching, and science, I am probably looking to do it!

Why I Enjoy Working with Kids/My Philosophy: I’m a firm believer that I have as much to learn from my students as they have to learn from me in class.  Working with kids keeps me grounded, present-minded, and never far from a good laugh.

Interests: While I come from the heartland of America, my favorite pursuits include rock climbing, mountain biking, and sunrise hikes.  I also love making curries, playing classical guitar, and playing board games with my four siblings over the holidays.

Jess-3Jess              

Age:  25

School, Degree, and Certifications: Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey – major: Environmental Geography; minor: Music

Experience: Worked at Clearwater Marine Aquarium Summer Camps.  Worked at Walt Disney World. Led kayak and snorkeling outings with groups of children.

Why I Enjoy Working with Kids/My Philosophy: Kids always have new and interesting ways of figuring out problems.  It is enjoyable to see children do things and succeed for the first time.  It is a rewarding experience.

Interests: marching band, arts and crafts, snowboarding, reading, snorkeling, kayaking

Jill-3Jill                  

Age:  25

School, Degree, and Certifications: MIT: Brain and Cognitive Sciences

Experience: Camp Counselor, Trail Crew Leader, Adventurer, Swim Instructor

Why I Enjoy Working with Kids/My Philosophy: Maximize fun and learning.

Interests: philosophical discussion, learning about the universe and its contents, backpacking, experience weather

JoeD5Joe                

Age:  25

School, Degree, and Certifications: Claremont McKenna College; B.A. American Studies

Experience: I have worked with kids in a variety of settings – including sports and outdoor education.  I have worked primarily with elementary age students.

Why I Enjoy Working with Kids/My Philosophy: I enjoy working with youth because they make each day interesting.  Kids are funny, energetic, and have so much to offer.  I am passionate about supporting kids in their own pursuits and also encourage them to get outside and try new things.

Interests: Anything that involves being outside, especially in the mountains. Mountain biking, skiing, and backpacking are my favorite activities.  I also enjoy campfires, movie theaters, and rainy day book reading.  I’m a huge NBA fan and my team is the San Antonio Spurs.

Julia5Julia              

Age:  24

School, Degree, and Certifications: Smith College: Environmental Science and Policy

Experience: I have worked on farms and in bakeries; most recently I have worked as part of a trail crew and teaching environmental education on Cape Cod.  My favorite job has been working in the forests of Massachusetts building native timber structures and camping for a whole summer.

Why I Enjoy Working with Kids/My Philosophy: Working with kids has heightened my curiosity about the natural world.  I love guiding kids through the forested landscape and seeing what they find interesting and incredible. I savor the goofy moments too!  Being around kids helps me remember to have fun and not take myself too seriously.

Interests: Cross country skiing, baking bread and sweet things, plants, birds, dogs, cats, exploring forests, geology, and hiking.

Keven-3Keven                       

Age:  22

School, Degree, and Certifications: Brown University, Geology – Biology

Experience: I was a trip leader and manager of Brown’s Outdoor Leadership Training program, where I fell in love with teaching people about (and in) the outdoors.  I have also worked as a field biologist for the National Park Service, where I grew my skills as a naturalist and hiking super-fan.

Why I Enjoy Working with Kids/My Philosophy:  Kids teach us so much about the world!  My philosophy is to try and learn from my students as much as I teach them, as well as to try to instill in others the same sense of wonder and amazement that the natural world creates in me.

Interests: Hiking, backpacking, skiing, biking…and singing, baking, and reading whatever I can get my hands on.

Nikki-3Nikki              

Age:  26

School, Degree, and Certifications: Major in Environmental Education with a Minor in Biology

Experience: Worked and taught at multiple camps throughout California.  Also, spent two years in the Peace Corps.  Lived in Ethiopia teaching about gardening and ran youth clubs.

Why I Enjoy Working with Kids/My Philosophy: I love working with kids because they see everything as awesome.  What a kid learns now can change their whole likfe!

Interests: I love…traveling to new places, whether around the world or within walking distance, a new adventure awaits.  I also love: reading fantasy books, drawing, singing random songs (sometimes making up lyrics), and meeting new people and hearing about their lives.

Penny5Penny                       

Age:  23

School, Degree, and Certifications: BFA Drama at New York University

Experience: Nannying, running activities on a cruise ship, outdoor life.  Earning a Master’s in Education online with no Wi-Fi.

Why I Enjoy Working with Kids/My Philosophy: My philosophy is that learning should be fun and / or funny.  The world is a crazy place and the best way to get through it is by laughing; that’s why I like working with students, they still know how to have fun.

Interests: Theatre, music, kayaking, dancing, psychology, travel, Disneyland.







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