Adventure Treks Instructors; Role Models, Educators, Adventurers and Friends

AT Staff12 Mar, 2013

It’s starting to feel like spring in Western North Carolina.  We are still getting in as many ski days as we can, if you are willing to liberally interpret  what we do on skis in the NC mountains as skiing. We have now moved into overdrive mode in preparation for what we intend to be our best Adventure Treks summer ever.

I hear from alumni frequently and they typically say one of the true highlights of their Adventure Treks summers were the relationships they had with our instructors. The instructors provided inspiration, instilled confidence and helped build a belief that they could follow their dreams. And that is exactly what many of our alumni are doing!

To that end we dedicate ourselves to building an incredible instructor team every year. Hiring instructors is a full time job for Dmac.  Over the course of a year, he will weed through almost 1000 resumes to hire 25 new instructors.  All new instructors will go through three intensive interviews, four reference checks and a complete background check.  I personally interview all the finalists as does our director, Niki Gaeta. It’s an exhaustive process but it yields the incredible team of instructors everyone expects from Adventure Treks.

Our summer trip leaders and regional directors (our 20 person senior staff team) are now finalized and as always we are thrilled and excited that these incredible role models will be inspiring our students again this summer.  They average 6.6 years each of Adventure Treks experience.   It looks like we will again have close to a 70% instructor return rate and we are super excited that so many of your favorite instructors will again be joining us.

We are still interviewing new instructors to fill our few remaining instructor positions.  Trips are 70% full with students and we are excited and honored that so many of you will be returning.  We appreciate that you understand the value of an Adventure Treks summer and put a priority on being outdoors, living in a close community of incredible friends and challenging yourself in ways that help you grow. We are getting very eager to see you!

You will get a complete list of instructors and their biographies in May once we have finished hiring our entire staff team.  (Approximately 70 instructors total)

We all live vicariously through someone, and for those of us working away in the Adventure Treks office, all we need to do is look to our instructors to be envious of their time of life when they have the freedom to collect incredible and enriching experiences. Part of what makes them great role models is the many “outside of the box” experiences they have collected.  These folks as Thoreau would say, “are living deep and sucking all the marrow from life”

Josh Goldbach is wintering (well, actually summering) in New Zealand and lead hikes on the Fox Glacier; Brandon Tyrrell biked from California to Florida solo; John Greene and Tricia Chan just paddled the Grand Canyon for 19 days; Daniel Bleckinger is teaching skiing in Jackson Hole; Christina Bruno spent 2 months in Nepal on a high altitude mountaineering course; Dan Flynn is now engaged (congratulations!) and is beginning paramedic school. He remains a training director on the Mammoth Mountain Ski Patrol; Dennis Mabasa is wintering in the Virgin Islands and learning about sustainable farming and agriculture; Chrissie Monaghan went to South America to assist with the opening of the 2013 spring semester of the traveling school and spent a month in Pakistan with the Iqra Fund; Daniel Kreykes paddled in the Green River Narrows Race and then paddled the Grand Canyon; Rob Abercrombie spent New Year’s hanging his feet over Mexico in Big Bend National Park; Kenny Goff planted some temporary roots in Thailand to climb for 2 months before returning to the US; Austin Charvet and Ryan Johnson are both in South America so they can make their way back to the US via plane, train, llama, or whatever means necessary; Michelle Tuday spent a month traveling around the desert Southwest climbing and meeting up with heaps of AT folks; Kip Pastor’s documentary “In Organic We Trust” is winning awards and is available on I-Tunes; Jackie Fleming spent the past several months traveling and adventuring all over Asia; Carter Timbel is now a certified yoga instructor and teaching skiing  in Vail; Jan Wojtasinski is teaching  whitewater  kayaking and hiking Volcanoes in Chile for the Alzar School; Amanda Cencak is finishing her masters in psychology and training for her second marathon; Tracy Roberts and Corey Steben are living in Boulder, working hard in graduate school and skiing as much as school allows; Kai Schwartz and Kaitlin Kelly-Reif are working hard on Master’s degrees at UNC Chapel Hill; Liddell Shannon and Kara Sweeny are completely restoring an old house in Asheville, NC.

Huge Congratulations are in order to Naomi Fertman and her husband Jesse who welcomed baby Amaia into the world and to Alex Penny and Laura who just welcomed beautiful baby Kaia.  We will be excited to see Amaia and Kaia at Camp Pinnacle in 2022 and AT in 2027!  Congratulations also to Liz Golembeski who is now Liz Rumbagh (she was married in November with several AT friends in attendance!)

Tessa Dawson and Cedric Gamble are ski patrolling at Park City; Carolyn Jackson is working at Guest Services for the Canyons Resort; Mallory Holland is also working and skiing in Park City;  Dave Pete is managing a Co-op in Clackimas, Oregon;  Stephen Gardiner is teaching 8th grade in Portland; Jessie Hanna has successfully opened the North Portland Montessori School; Joe Sisti is helping us build the Camp Pinnacle waterslide (when not rock climbing!); Eric Van Steenis is in grad school at U-C Davis studying community development;  And Spencer Fields is interning for the Worldwatch Institute in DC.  Many of these great folks will be back this summer, all will be full of great stories!

Soon we all will be back together for another great summer at Adventure Treks. We can’t wait for you to get here and get the opportunity to meet your wonderful instructors.   Only 100 days to go! We hope you have some great (and safe) adventures of your own on spring break. The Dockendorfs are going to Nicaragua where the Dockendorf kids are going to climb their first Volcano!  We are pretty excited.

See you soon, Dock


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