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.

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

2022 instructors at a glance:

  • Average age: 27
  • Average tenure of trip leaders and regional directors is 6.5 seasons
  • 10 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • Lifeguard
  • Recreational rappel operator
  • Whitewater rescue technician
  • PADI open water diver

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, British Columbia Challenge

Adrienne Banks

Instructor, Ultimate Northwest 2

Agnes Anderson

Instructor, Pacific Northwest Adventure 1 & Ultimate Northwest 2

Alec Brumfeld

Instructor, Colorado Explorer 1, 2, & 3

Alex Rhue

Regional director

Andrew Scoffone

Instructor, California Challenge 1, California Adventure 2, & spring school program

Bella Pantoja

Instructor, Ultimate Northwest 1, California Challenge 2, & California Adventure 2

Brittany Kimmel

Instructor, British Columbia Adventure 1 & 2

Caroline Tucker

Instructor, LAS - spring 2022

Chloe Hutchins

Trip leader, Colorado Explorer 1, 2, & 3

Christina Kosvick

Instructor, Pacific Northwest Adventure 1 & Alaska Expedition 2

Christine Mirabel

Instructor, spring school program

Claire Nebeker

Instructor, California Challenge 1 & California Adventure 2

Clare Campana

Instructor, California Challenge 1 & 3

Courtney Johnson

Instructor, Alaska Expedition 1b & Yellowstone Teton Adventure 3

Dana Kirk

Instructor, California Challenge 2

Daniel Clifford

Instructor, British Columbia Challenge & Pacific Northwest Explorer

Elena Mederas

Instructor, British Columbia Challenge & Pacific Northwest Explorer

Ellen Frede

Instructor, Ultimate Northwest 1 & Pacific Northwest Adventure 2

Em Palermo

Trip leader, Alaska Expedition 1b

Grace Snarr

Instructor, Alaska Expedition 1b

Greg Valle

Instructor, Alaska Expedition 1b & Yellowstone Teton Adventure 3

Hannah Davis

Trip leader, Yellowstone Teton Adventure 3

Hannah Kuehl

Instructor, British Columbia Challenge; trip leader, Pacific Northwest Explorer

Hayden Wallace

Instructor, Pacific Northwest Adventure 1 and Ultimate Northwest 2

Henry Luettgen

Instructor, British Columbia Adventure 1 & 2

Jack Dreyfuss

Instructor, California Challenge 1, Alaska Expedition 2, & Pacific Northwest Explorer

Jack Hussey

Instructor, spring school program

James Parana

Instructor intern, California Challenge 2 & Colorado Explorer 3

Jess Myer

Trip leader, British Columbia Adventure 1 & 2

John Willard

Instructor, California Challenge 2

Jordan Carr

Trip leader, California Challenge 2 & LAS - spring 2022

Jordie Beresin

Instructor, Alaska Expedition 1 & 2

Karly Gutermuth

Instructor, Ultimate Northwest 2

Kate Wojeck

Instructor intern, Pacific Northwest Adventure 1 & 2

Katie Stevens

Instructor intern, British Columbia Adventure 1 & 2

Katy Ebner

Instructor, Colorado Explorer 1

Katy Pompili

Trip leader, Alaska Expedition 1a

Kent Ratliff

Regional director

Kurt Lindquist

Instructor, British Columbia Challenge & Pacific Northwest Explorer

Kyle D’Ambrosio

Trip leader, California Challenge 1 & California Adventure 2

Laura Gaines

Instructor, Alaska Expedition 1a, Yellowstone Teton Adventure 3, & spring school program

Lauren Richert

Instructor, Colorado Explorer 2 & California Challenge 3

Lilly Woodward

Instructor, Alaska Expedition 1a & Yellowstone Teton Adventure 3

Lindy Magness

Instructor, British Columbia Adventure 1 and Pacific Northwest Explorer

Liz Hertz

Instructor, California Adventure 1 & California Challenge 2

Marlo Colletto

Instructor, California Challenge 1 & California Adventure 2

Max Chandler

Instructor, British Columbia Adventure 1 & 2

Max Minichiello

Trip leader, Ultimate Northwest 1 & Pacific Northwest Adventure 2

Morgan Gales

Instructor, Ultimate Northwest 1 & Pacific Northwest Adventure 2

Nicholas Ames

Instructor, Colorado Explorer 1, 2, & 3 & LAS - spring 2022

Niels Schmidt Crans

Instructor, California Adventure 1 & California Challenge 3

Patrick Libuda

Instructor, , California Adventure 1, California Challenge 3, & spring school program

Pete Basinger

Instructor, Colorado Explorer 3

Quincy Hirt

Trip leader, Alaska Expedition 2

Rach Brennan

Trip leader, Pacific Northwest Adventure 1 & Ultimate Northwest 2

Rachel Bristow

Instructor, Colorado Explorer 1 & 2

Rhian Alley

Instructor, spring school program

Ryan Costello

Support staff

Sam Kramer

Instructor intern, Ultimate Northwest 1 & Pacific Northwest Adventure 2

Sarah Malyn

Support staff

Sarah McLellan

Trip leader, California Adventure 1 & California Challenge 3

Sarasak Sirisatit

Instructor, Alaska Expedition 2

Shant Douzdjian

Instructor, Pacific Northwest Adventure 1 & Ultimate Northwest 2

Sierra Lammi

Instructor, Alaska Expedition 2

Spencer DrakeUnderkoffler

Instructor, Alaska Expedition 1a & British Columbia Adventure 2

Susan Miller

Instructor, California Challenge 2

Theresa Scott

Instructor, Ultimate Northwest 1 & Pacific Northwest Adventure 2

Zoe Ward

Instructor, California Adventure 1 and California Challenge 3