Kelly earned a degree from the University of Montana in Missoula, majoring in fine arts. She is returning for her third season at Adventure Treks this summer. Last year, Kelly led students on the Yellowstone Adventure trips!
What is your favorite AT activity? That is so hard to choose, but I think my favorite thing is to dress up and be silly with the students. I like everything from sing for your supper to talent shows, from performing skits to dressing up in summit swag and taking lots of photos at the top of the mountain!
What are you currently doing? I am one of the head supervisors of the snow sports school at Steamboat Mountain Resort in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. My main responsibilities are to work with ski instructors, pairing them with students to teach and working with them on their professional development. I enjoy skiing around the mountain every day and getting to meet a lot of new people each winter!
What made you want to work as an outdoor educator? What brings me back to the outdoors again and again is my passion for being outside. I think it is really therapeutic, and when life brings me down I can always return to the wilderness to heal. I like to see students thrive in the outdoor environment!
What’s your favorite AT memory? Last summer, we had to unexpectedly leave the backcountry, and instead of hiking the six miles we had planned, we hiked 11 miles to the trailhead. That could have been a negative experience for our group, but the students rose to the occasion and everyone embraced our circumstances. We sang Taylor Swift the entire way and had so much fun!
What’s your favorite AT meal? The most memorable meal from the summer was when [regional director] Erica and I went food shopping while the kids were rafting, and instead of bringing back pizza for the group like we planned, we surprised everyone with a rotisserie and fried chicken meal! The kids loved it. I also really enjoy our breakfast bar meals where we eat anything from oatmeal to fruit and yogurt and granola and cereal.
What keeps you coming back to AT? The relationships I have formed with both students and instructors keep me coming back to Adventure Treks. They are amazing people who I admire!
What’s the most beautiful place you’ve ever been to? The most beautiful place I have ever been is Glacier National Park because it is so pretty. I remember the water being so blue and crystal clear. Unlike anything I have ever seen!
Tell us something unique about you. This one is hard! I come from a big family of girls—I have three sisters. I also like to strike a balance between being outdoorsy, but also feminine. I like to wear nail polish even while I am working in the backcountry!