Meet Our Instructors
The Adventure Treks instructor team is the heart and soul of who we are and what we do. They’re more than just instructors—they’re role models, mentors, and friends to our students. Because we don’t take this responsibility lightly, we have a rigorous and selective hiring process. All new instructors have prior experience working with youth in the outdoors, and they participate annually in a minimum two-week training (senior staff attend three weeks of orientation). The instructor dynamic on each trip provides a variety of personalities to match our students and leads to better decision-making, as risk management is our top priority.
Unlike comparable programs, we don’t recruit only at colleges to find staff simply looking for a fun summer diversion (we feel that younger college students are better suited to gain experience as more traditional camp counselors). This is also why we don’t refer to our staff as “camp counselors”; we hire professional outdoor educators who truly care about and invest in our students’ personal growth and development.
And we’re proud to showcase our staff, which is why we’re one of the only programs whose instructor bios are available for all prospective and enrolled families to read.
Two of my daughters participated in different California Challenge trips separately over the last two years. We had hoped for both of them that they would not only have fun, memorable experiences, but also ones which would promote a sense of confidence and independence. Adventure Treks delivered much more than we had hoped for. The activities and environment did in fact create many fun and rewarding challenges. But it was the caring instructors and the thought that was put into the trip which created meaningful group experiences which allowed my daughters to grow as people. They have maintained many of their friendships from their trips and have been eager to return for more Adventure Treks experiences. – Robb Ellis, parent from Simpsonville, SC
2023 instructors at a glance:
- Average age: 25
- Average tenure of trip leaders and regional directors is 6 seasons
- 8 staff are former Adventure Treks students
- All are, at minimum, certified as wilderness first responders; many have higher medical or outdoor skill certifications
- Our hiring process includes at minimum 3 interviews, 4 reference checks, and complete background checks.
- Each trip will have both new and returning instructors.
In addition to being certified as wilderness first responders, many of the Adventure Treks instructors carry additional certifications:
- Emergency medical technician
- Wilderness emergency medical technician
- PSIA ski instructor
- PSIA snowboard instructor
- PSIA alpine ski instructor
- PSIA adaptive snowboard instructor
- PSIA child specialist
- ACA swiftwater rescue
- Eagle Scout
- Behavioral first responder
- NAUI rescue diver
- Lifeguard instructor
- BICP fundamental skills instructor
- AMGA single pitch instructor
- Leave No Trace master educator
- Leave No Trace trainer
- ACA whitewater kayaking
- ACA canoeing
- AAI avalanche
- NY state whitewater guide
- Mental health first aid
- Climbing wall instructor
- Recreational rappel operator
- Whitewater rescue technician
- PADI open water diver