Staff Bios

tcstaff

Staff Bios

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

Chrischris

Age: 37
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 9njoy 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: 29
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: 33
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.

davidDavid

Age: 24
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: 27
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: 29
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.

rebeccaRebecca

Age: 27
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.

sarahSarah

Age: 26
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 leading6an 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

Andee Outdoor Education instructorAdele

Age: 26
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: 25
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.

Benn Education instructorBen

Age: 26
School, Degre6 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 camp teacherBrad

Age: 26
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.

 

Davee Camp InstructorDave

Age: 25
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.

Hannah Activity instructorHannah

Age: 23
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: 23
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.

Josee Camp TrainerJose

Age: 29
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.

Actrivity TrainerKevin

Age: 26
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: 26
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.

Peterr Education instructorPeter

Age: 23
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: 23
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: 26
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.

Fraser-3Frazer                       

Age:  29

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:  23

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…

 

Jill-3Jill                  

Age:  26

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







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