The Adventure Treks team is so excited to introduce Kent Ratliff and Jordan Carr to our leadership team—Kent as our operations director and Jordan as our staffing director!
Kent joined Adventure Treks for his first season as an instructor in California in 2018, bringing with him a diverse background in outdoor education, technology, construction, and cartography. He grew up in San Antonio, TX, but headed northeast to earn a dual bachelor’s degree in computer science from Middlebury College in Vermont. In high school, Kent participated in an exchange program where he lived in Egypt and Romania. At Middlebury, Kent was the Outdoor Programs training specialist, coaching new guides to lead kayaking, canoeing, and climbing trips. He was also Middlebury Mountain Club’s head guide, leading backpacking, climbing, and paddling trips for students. In between all of his outdoor adventures, Kent makes time for building websites and eco-friendly tiny houses, bouncing between the east and west coasts.
“I’m excited to be starting this fall in North Carolina as the operations director after four summers with Adventure Treks,” said Kent. “I have loved spending the summer on trips in some of the most beautiful places, helping foster students’ growth and watching their resilience build with each activity. The community of Adventure Treks—both on the trip and the friendships we carry on throughout the year—is truly what brings me back year after year. The intentional community-building at AT impressed me after my first summer as an instructor: the hats, the positive affirmations, the “best self” mindset, the daily confidence-building in skills as varied as rock climbing, car maintenance, or cooking a stir fry from scratch. The following summer, I was excited to see the instructor friends I had made at orientation, and we picked up right where we left off. While it was great to see my peers, I was blown away working with some of the same students my second year and seeing the growth and maturity from just one year! Part of me wishes I had found Adventure Treks as a student as I know I would have loved it; however, I am so glad to have found a home here at Adventure Treks after all.”
Jordan, also boasting an extensive outdoor education background, first entered the Adventure Treks scene in summer 2020 as an instructor in North Carolina. Originally from Lewisburg, PA, Jordan attended Messiah College, where she first earned her bachelor’s degree in adventure education. She later returned to receive a master’s degree in higher education. While at Messiah, Jordan worked for the adventure program, planning and teaching multi-week backpacking courses for undergraduate students. She also led climbing, hiking, and mountain biking trips. Each summer, Jordan continued to hone her youth development and outdoor background as the trip coordinator at Camp Spofford, training counselor for Camp Brookwoods, and wilderness counselor for Ligonier Camp. (In addition to Jordan’s impressive outdoor ed history, she possesses world-famous (OK, maybe just AT-famous) slackjaw dance-off skills!)
“As I step into this full-time position as staffing director for Adventure Treks, I am excited to be part of an organization that feels way more like family than a company,” said Jordan. “The community of instructors, students, and admin staff is what has kept me coming back to work with AT every summer. I feel a sense of responsibility and honor that I get to help create the magic/wow of AT through hiring high quality humans to be instructors for our programs. I am also looking forward to more opportunity to connect with our AT families in the off-season. As an instructor, I have always loved the pre-trip phone calls to the parents or guardians of our students. I hope to continue building the AT community through more of these calls throughout the year answering questions and getting to know more students and families!”