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 instructors have significant 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 five- to six-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 other teen programs, we don’t hire college students simply looking for a fun summer diversion (we feel that age group is 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.

At Adventure Treks, students learn to think for themselves and for their group. They are encouraged every step of the way and are so thrilled when they have learned and mastered something they never imagined they could do (e.g., summiting Mt. St. Helens). My daughter learned the value of thinking as a group and not as one. She learned how to cook for a group and plan as a group. She blossomed under such fabulous leadership and learned what she is truly capable of doing, how accepting she could be, how to develop valuable insights into how people get along, and how to encourage people to move way beyond what they thought they could do. I would highly recommend this program and Bella’s trip! – Stacy Garner, parent from Winter Park, FL

2021 instructors at a glance:

  • Minimum age: 21
  • Average age: 27
  • Average tenure of trip leaders is 4.5 seasons
  • 12 staff are former Adventure Treks students
  • All are, at minimum, medical certified as wilderness first responders; some are EMTs, wilderness EMTs, or parademics.
  • Our hiring process includes at minimum 3 interviews, 4 reference checks, and complete background checks.
  • In a typical year, our instructor return rate exceeds 60%.

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
  • Certified nursing assistant
  • CPR instructor
  • Lifeguard instructor
  • AMGA climbing wall instructor
  • AMGA single pitch instructor
  • PSIA ski instructor
  • PSIA alpine level II
  • Swiftwater rescue technician
  • AASI snowboard instructor
  • Leave No Trace master educator
  • Leave No Trace trainer
  • ACA level II whitewater kayaking instructor
  • ACA level II canoeing instructor
  • PADI rescue diver
  • CMC rope rescue technician
  • NSP mountain travel and rescue

Lulu’s experience 2020 summer could not have been any better. She described her AT community as safe and full of people she wants to be like because of their positive attitudes and love of the outdoors. She described her instructors as genuinely interested in each and every student, and each had the unique ability to make everyone feel comfortable in any situation in their own special way. The experience most valuable for Lu was that she could enter a group of kids that all knew one another and knew the AT way and within seconds seamlessly felt a part of the group. She has a strong friend group at home but never has she felt so open to just be herself. I would like to thank all of the instructors for making her 3 weeks with AT more amazing than anything she could’ve ever imagined. They made their way into her heart and won’t be forgotten. An AT community is like none other these teenagers get to experience and it ends up being the one of most powerful and healthy ones in their lives. The overall AT experience is top notch. – Katie Scruggs, parent from Huntersville, NC

Abby Bradley

Trip leader: Colorado Explorer 1, 2, & 3

Abby Simpson

Trip leader: Alaska Expedition 1b & Morehead Cain Scholars program

Agnes Anderson

Instructor: California Adventure 1 & California Challenge 3

Alex Rhue

Trip leader: Alaska Expedition 1a

Anthony Molinaro

Trip leader: California Challenge 1 & California Adventure 2

Avery Kimmell

Instructor: Yellowstone Teton Adventure 2

Ben Dobmeier

Instructor: Yellowstone Teton Adventure 1, 2, & 3

Brian Lamoureux

Instructor: Pacific Northwest Adventure 1b & Idaho Adventure

Chenchen Xu

Instructor: Leadership Adventure Semester

Chloe Hutchins

Instructor: Ultimate Northwest 1 & Pacific Northwest Adventure 2

Christina Kosvick

Instructor: Ultimate Northwest 1

Cole Thornton

Instructor: Pacific Northwest Adventure 1 & Ultimate Northwest 2

Em Palermo

Instructor: Alaska Expedition 1a & Yellowstone Teton Adventure 3

Grace Snarr

Instructor: California Challenge 1 & California Adventure 2

Hannah Davis

Instructor: Alaska Expedition 1a

Hannah Walker

Instructor: Alaska Expedition 1b & Alaska Expedition 2

Ian Petersen

Instructor: Ultimate Northwest 1

Izzy Zucker

Trip leader: Pacific Northwest Adventure 1 & Ultimate Northwest 2

Jack Kramer

Instructor: Colorado Explorer 1, 2, & 3

Jackie Ricca

Instructor: Yellowstone Teton Adventure 1, 2, & 3

Jake Carpenter

Trip leader: Alaska Expedition 2

Jasmine Siemer-Dunbar

Instructor: Camp Judaea program

Jess Myer

Trip leader: California Adventure 1, California Challenge 3, & Morehead Cain Scholars program

Joe Alexander

Instructor: Ultimate Northwest 1 & Pacific Northwest Adventure 2

Jordan Carr

Instructor: Morehead Cain Scholars program & Camp Judaea program

Jordyn Beresin

Instructor: Colorado Explorer 1, 2, & 3

Kalie Hirt

Instructor: California Challenge 1 & California Adventure 2

Karly Gutermuth

Instructor: Yellowstone Teton Adventure 1, 2, & 3

Kassie Van Alst

Trip leader: Pacific Northwest Discovery

Katie Timzen

Instructor: Alaska Expedition 1a & Ultimate Northwest 2

Katy Pompili

Trip leader: Pacific Northwest Adventure 1b, Idaho Adventure, & Morehead Cain Scholars program

Kent Ratliff

Regional director & instructor: Morehead Cain Scholars program

Kristina Vateva

Instructor: California Challenge 2

Kyle D’Ambrosio

Instructor: Pacific Northwest Adventure 1b & Idaho Adventure

Kyle Scully

Instructor: Yellowstone Teton Adventure 1 & Camp Judaea program

Laura Gaines

Instructor: Colorado Explorer 1, 2, & 3 & Morehead Cain Scholars program

Laura Kephart

Instructor intern: Pacific Northwest Adventure 1b & Idaho Adventure

Liz Hertz

Instructor: Pacific Northwest Adventure 1b & Idaho Adventure

Lucia Pierson

Instructor: Alaska Expedition 1b

Maggie Rumley

Instructor: California Adventure 1 & California Challenge 3

Mara Hoplamazian

Instructor: Alaska Expedition 2

Maria Rodriguez

Support staff

Matthias Kelderman

Instructor: California Challenge 1, California Adventure 2, & Morehead Cain Scholars program

Matty Alpert

Instructor: California Challenge 2

Max Minichiello

Instructor: Ultimate Northwest 1, Pacific Northwest Adventure 2, & Morehead Cain Scholars program

Morgan Gales

Instructor: California Adventure 1 & California Challenge 3

Nick Thompson

Instructor: Pacific Northwest Adventure 1, Ultimate Northwest 2, & Morehead Cain Scholars program

Noah Schaefer

Instructor: California Challenge 1 & California Adventure 2

Pete Basinger

Instructor: California Challenge 2

Quincy Hirt

Trip leader: Yellowstone Teton Adventure 1, 2, & 3

Rachel Brennan

Instructor: California Challenge 2 & Pacific Northwest Discovery

Rachel O’Neil

Regional director

Renee Torrie

Instructor: Pacific Northwest Adventure 1 & Ultimate Northwest 2

Ronnie Ludwin

Instructor: Alaska Expedition 1b & Pacific Northwest Adventure 2

Ronny Estenoz

Instructor: California Adventure 1 & California Challenge 3

Ryan Costello

Instructor: California Adventure 1 & California Challenge 3

Sam Rothberg

Instructor: California Challenge 1 & California Adventure 2

Sarah Malyn

Trip leader: Ultimate Northwest 1, Pacific Northwest Adventure 2, & Morehead Cain Scholars program

Sarah McLellan

Instructor: Colorado Explorer 1, California Challenge 2, and Colorado Explorer 3

Sighlin Wesley

Instructor: Pacific Northwest Adventure 1 & Ultimate Northwest 2

Skyler Matthews

Instructor: Alaska Expedition 1 and Pacific Northwest Discovery

Susan Miller

Instructor: Alaska Expedition 2

Thor Knutson

Instructor: Pacific Northwest Adventure 1

Tom Tolman

Instructor: Alaska Expedition 2

Vince Wilson

Instructor: Camp Judaea program

Wyatt Moran

Trip leader: California Challenge 2

Zach Conrad

Trip leader: Leadership Adventure Semester