The Adventure Treks team is excited to introduce Rachel O’Neil as our new staffing director! Rachel joined us for her first summer as an instructor in Alaska in 2018, bringing a wealth of outdoor teaching experience with her.
Born a Cheesehead in Green Bay, WI, Rachel grew up exploring the Northwoods. She spent summers leading backpacking, canoeing, and kayaking trips in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota and earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire.
After graduation, she completed a thru-hike of the 2,200-mile Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. She fell in love with the rolling mountains of the south, and quickly moved to Nashville, TN. Here she put her perseverance and determination to work as a sales manager for several years, growing her leadership skills and focusing on the personal and professional growth of her team. She continued to remain active in the outdoors, hiking and backpacking as much as possible, including extensive trips in Yosemite National Park, Zion National Park, Smoky Mountains National Park, the White Mountains, and the Tour de Mont Blanc in Europe.
2018 was a busy year for Rachel; she led her first trip with Adventure Treks and soon after got married on Roan Mountain on the Appalachian Trail. She was thrilled to be able to get back to her roots of leading trips in the outdoors as she joined us full-time in the office in western North Carolina in late 2018. She and her husband, Brett, have been exploring the extensive trails around Hendersonville and Asheville, camping in the national and state forests, and, of course, trying out all the local bakeries and pizza joints.
Rachel will head back out into the field next summer as an instructor and can’t wait to meet her 2019 students!