We are so excited to announce our leadership team for summer 2019! On June 3, our directors, regional directors, and trip leaders will gather for a five-day retreat near Mt. Hood in Oregon. Here, we’ll start bonding as a leadership team; pore over trip itineraries; share our collective expertise as review safety, policies, and procedures; and apply child psychology and adolescent brain development theory to Adventure Treks. This time together reinforces our “AT culture” as we prepare to greet new and returning instructors for our two-week orientation starting June 9.
This year, our 15 trip leaders and directors:
- Average 28.4 years old.
- Have a combined 105 seasons of Adventure Treks experience. On average, they have seven seasons of trips under their belt; two long-time instructors have 16 and 26 seasons each!
- Include four former Adventure Treks students.
- Comprise a passionate, caring group of college professors, middle and high school teachers, outdoor program course directors, ski instructors, graduate assistants, EMTs, and more!
Below, meet our leadership team:
Dave, or “Dmac,” is our 13th-year director and regional director. Originally from western North Carolina, he attended the University of Tennessee and earned a bachelor’s degree in human ecology and master’s degree in recreation and leisure studies. Dmac is a board member for the America Outdoors Association, graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School, and wilderness first responder. He has explored the outdoors of Thailand, Vietnam, Nepal, France, Germany, Australia, and many more. Dmac can often be found mountain biking in western North Carolina’s forests.
Jack, our ninth-season regional director and logistics director, is originally from Portland, OR, and received a bachelor’s degree in adventure education from Prescott College in Arizona. He’s completed a yearlong apprenticeship at a primitive skills school, spent time as a ski patroller, and worked as the outdoor education director at the Portland Waldorf School. Jack is an avid traveler, having visited countries like New Zealand, Germany, China, Holland, and Belgium. In his free time, you can find Jack rock climbing, mountain biking, and skiing. Jack is a wilderness first responder and outdoor emergency care technician.
A former Adventure Treks student, Abby is joining us for her fifth season as a regional director. Abby grew up in St. Louis, MO, and spent a semester abroad during her time at Ithaca College studying the intersection of history, politics, and culture in Tanzania; learning Swahili; and hanging out with elephants, zebras, giraffes, monkeys, and hippos. Before her first year as an instructor for Adventure Treks, Abby had completed a NOLS backpacking course and worked for Camp Pinnacle as a counselor. Most recently, she guided trips for an all-girls adventure program and worked for a farm-to-school nonprofit, teaching students about growing and eating healthy food in Bozeman, MT. Abby is a wilderness first responder.
Abby is joining Adventure Treks for her fourth season as a trip leader. She led trips for outdoor programs and taught yoga classes while at the University of North Carolina, Asheville, and is a former Camp Pinnacle counselor. She discovered her love of the outdoors while on one of Adventure Treks’ fall school group programs as a middle schooler. During the school year, Abby is a preschool teacher at the Verner Center for Early Learning in Asheville. She is a wilderness first responder.
Originally from southeastern Ohio, Alex is returning for her fifth season as a trip leader. She has worked as an outdoor instructor, trip leader, and expedition director for camps, universities, and guiding companies in Colorado, Hawaii, Massachusetts, British Columbia, and North Carolina. Alex is currently pursuing a PhD in higher education at the Ohio University, and in her spare time loves rock climbing, rafting, canyoneering, and backpacking. She is a wilderness EMT, CPR instructor, lifeguard, and climbing wall instructor.
Alyssa is returning for her fourth season as a trip leader. For the past year, Alyssa worked in psychiatric residential care and in early childhood education. In college, she helped start the James Madison University climbing club and served happiness at a farm-to-table café. An avid advocate for exploration, she spent four months backpacking through South America in 2018. She also spent three years as a counselor, trip leader, and activities director for Camp Pinnacle. Alyssa is a wilderness first responder.
Brett is returning for his eighth season as a trip leader. Born and raised in Wilmington, NC, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps after high school. He then headed to Appalachian State University for school, where he fell in love with the outdoors. He currently resides in Montana and is the children’s ski program supervisor at Big Sky Resort. Brett is a wilderness first responder and swiftwater rescue technician.
Cody hails from from Kutztown, PA; she has worked in the outdoor industry for more than 10 years, serving as an instructor, trip leader, program coordinator, and facilitator for various university and youth/teen programs. She attended Slippery Rock University for her bachelor’s degree and then Ohio University for her master’s degree. Cody has also worked in the non-profit sector, specifically with the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps, leading projects related to environmental, community, and disaster needs. This will be her fifth season as a trip leader. Cody is a wilderness first responder.
Hannah is a former Adventure Treks student and this year is returning for her fourth season as a trip leader. Originally from western North Carolina, Hannah spent four summers leading backpacking and canoeing trips at Camp Pinnacle while she was a student at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Currently, she’s a teaching assistant in a first grade classroom in Hendersonville; in her free time, she love to stand-up paddle board and mountain bike. Hannah is a wilderness first responder.
A Colorado native, Kelly grew up playing in the Rocky Mountains. She spends her winters supervising ski instructors at Steamboat Resort and has traveled all over the world, backpacking through southeast Asia and Central and South America after graduating from the University of Montana. She is returning for her fourth season as a trip leader with Adventure Treks. Kelly is a wilderness first responder and PSIA ski instructor.
Originally from San Antonio, TX, Kent is returning to Adventure Treks for his third season as a trip leader. He started guiding trips for the mountain club while attending Middlebury College, and after graduating was hired full-time onto the outdoor programming team to plan orientation trips, oversee the student club, and provide hands-on training. Kent has also been working as a contractor building eco-friendly tiny houses. He is a wilderness first responder.
Nate was a five-year Adventure Treks student and is now transitioning into his 16th season as a trip leader and educational director—he is one of our longest tenured instructors! After graduation, he led immersive therapeutic backpacking programs for teenagers in Grand Staircase National Monument in Utah. He has since led trips in all over North America; whitewater rafted the length of the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon; and thru-hiked the Long Trail. Nate currently lives in Asheville, NC, where he performs as a musician, and is a wilderness first responder. In his free time, you can find Nate baking artisan breads (and trying other gourmet recipes) and mountain biking on western NC’s trails.
Nathan grew up in Kentucky but attended school at Central Wyoming College and Sterling College in Vermont, where he fell in love with the mountains. Nathan took a focus in wilderness risk management, wilderness medicine, and backcountry science expeditions, studying climate change’s effect on glaciers in the Wind River Range. Nathan has worked in the camp world for eight years and is joining Adventure Treks for his fifth season as a trip leader. He is a wilderness first responder and level II certified youth alpine ski instructor.
Rachel is our year-round staffing director. Hailing from Green Bay, WI, she attended the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire and earned a bachelor’s degree in social work. She spent her summers leading backpacking, canoeing, and kayaking trips in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota, and after college completed a thru-hike of the 2,200-mile-long Appalachian Trail. Rachel is a wilderness first responder.
A Salt Lake City, UT, native, Sarah is returning for her fifth season as a trip leader. Both during and after attending the University of Utah, she instructed climbing programs and led backpacking expeditions with teenagers; she also worked at Green River Preserve in western North Carolina before coming to AT. This past winter, she was a ski instructor at Big Sky Resort in Montana. Sarah is a wilderness first responder.
View our 2019 instructors here. We will post assigned staff teams in the next few weeks!