Arissa is originally from Denver, CO, but has called many places home! Recently, she was an instructor for ARC Adventure in San Diego, where she took kids hiking, kayaking, climbing, and biking. Previously, she worked in an after-school program at the YMCA; as a counselor at Camp Micah in Maine; as a substitute teacher in Colorado; and as a raft guide in Colorado. She also spent a season in the Southwest Conservation Corps, working on the trail crew.

  • Education: Fort Lewis College, bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and sociology
  • Certifications: Wilderness first responder, PADI open water scuba, lifeguard
  • Favorite outdoor memory: My favorite outdoor memory is when I was on an eight-day river trip in Desolation Gray Canyon. It was a trip with seven of my closest friends and all of our parents! It was night six, and it poured rain as soon as we got to camp. Instead of everyone hiding out in their tent and waiting for the storm to clear, we set up our kitchen under four tarps and all 25 of us huddled inside. We ended up singing, and dancing, and cooking delicious food for two hours. Then to top it off, as the storm started to dissipate, we exited the tarp only to find the most beautiful sunset I have EVER seen! The sky was completely filled with beautiful orange, purple, pink, red, yellow, and blue hues. We then all stood in silence for about 10 minutes and just watched the sky together holding one another close. It was a very magical and “cup-filling” night that I will never forget.
  • Favorite outdoor achievement: My biggest outdoor achievement would have to be getting open water scuba certified. I was very nervous going into the course about many things… will I be able to complete it? What lies 60 feet under the ocean floor? My ears are sensitive—will they explode? What if I am unable to stay calm under water? and many more! Even though I was scared, I still went through with the course, and I not only completed it, but I fell in love with it! I learned so much and was reminded how capable and amazing I am!
  • Favorite place you’ve traveled: Portugal! I have traveled to many places, but I have not spent much time in Europe. It was very different than the places I had traveled to before (South America, Middle East, and U.S.). However, I was pleasantly surprised with the amazing food, friendly people, gorgeous landscapes, and of course… the affordability! I would love to go back some day.
  • Favorite hobbies: Snowboarding, all water sports (rafting, kayaking, swimming, surfing), playing board/card games, reading, playing outside, spending time with my family, and cooking!
  • What are you excited about this summer? I am most looking forward to creating long-lasting friendships with staff and students and creating the most amazing, memorable summer ever!