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 not only provides a variety of personalities to match our students, but also leads to better decision-making, as risk management is our top priority.

My son met incredible new friends while meeting new outdoor challenges with the tremendous support of an experienced, caring, and extremely fun and relatable staff! He’s been in touch daily with friends since returning home. The instructors were amazing, experienced, competent, gave personal attention… Just amazing. Perfect. – Hilary Weisburd, parent from Miami, FL

2020 instructors at a glance:

  • Minimum age: 21
  • Average age of instructors: 28
  • Average tenure is 6 seasons, but many have been with us for longer
  • 96% have a bachelor’s degree
  • 15% have, or are working on, an advanced degree
  • All are, at minimum, medical certified as wilderness first responders; some are EMTs or wilderness EMTs.
  • 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%.
  • Each year, we receive more than 800 resumes to fill about 25 spaces for new 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
  • 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

Instructor, Blue Ridge Expedition 1b & Ultimate Blue Ridge 3

Anthony Molinaro

Trip leader, Ultimate Blue Ridge 1 & Blue Ridge Adventure 2

Caroline Tucker

Instructor, Ultimate Blue Ridge 1 & Blue Ridge Adventure 2

Chenchen Xu

Instructor, Blue Ridge Expedition 1a & Blue Ridge Expedition 2

Danny Bavis

Instructor, Blue Ridge Expedition 1b & Ultimate Blue Ridge 3

David McGlashan

Director & regional director

Hannah Davis

Instructor, Blue Ridge Expedition 1a & Blue Ridge Expedition 2

Heather Eddy

Instructor, Blue Ridge Expedition 1a & Blue Ridge Expedition 2

Jack Hoiland

Regional director

Jess Myer

Instructor, Blue Ridge Leadership & Blue Ridge Discovery

Jordan Carr

Instructor, Blue Ridge Adventure 1 & Ultimate Blue Ridge 2

Katy Pompili

Instructor, Ultimate Blue Ridge 1 & Blue Ridge Adventure 2

Laura Gaines

Instructor, Ultimate Blue Ridge 1 & Blue Ridge Adventure 2

Lucia Pierson

Instructor, Blue Ridge Expedition 1b & Ultimate Blue Ridge 3

Matt Ford

Instructor, Blue Ridge Adventure 1 & Ultimate Blue Ridge 2

Max Minichiello

Instructor, Blue Ridge Expedition 1b & Ultimate Blue Ridge 3

Quincy Hirt

Instructor, Blue Ridge Adventure 1 & Ultimate Blue Ridge 2

Rachel O’Neil

Trip leader, Blue Ridge Adventure 1 & Ultimate Blue Ridge 2

Renee Torrie

Instructor, Ultimate Blue Ridge 1 & Blue Ridge Adventure 2

Roisin Low

Instructor, Blue Ridge Leadership & Blue Ridge Discovery

Ryan Costello

Instructor, Blue Ridge Expedition 1a & Blue Ridge Expedition 2

Sara Valentine

Trip leader, Blue Ridge Expedition 1b & Ultimate Blue Ridge 3

Susan Miller

Instructor, Blue Ridge Adventure 1 & Ultimate Blue Ridge 2

Wells Jones

Trip leader, Blue Ridge Expedition 1a & Blue Ridge Expedition 2

Zach Conrad

Trip leader, Blue Ridge Leadership & Blue Ridge Discovery