Introducing Our Outstanding Outdoor Educators

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Chewonki Outdoor Classroom is in full swing, serving covid-fatigued schools throughout New England with multi-day encampments and leadership expeditions on our 400-acre salt-water peninsula. We’re delighted to introduce you to the hardworking educators who provide a joyful, outdoor learning experience to so many.

Outdoor Program Leaders

Jen Adams

Director of Outdoor Programs

Jen grew up on the sunny shores of Southwest Florida before deciding to go to school in Wyoming to pursue a degree in Outdoor Education and Anthropology. Jen first came to Chewonki in the summer of 2013 to work for Camp Chewonki for Girls and has since continued to work as a trip leader, outdoor educator, and trip coordinator. Jen has led many programs at Chewonki, including the first FLOW program with RSU 1, a 5-week expedition on the George River in Northern Quebec and Labrador, and many trips on the Allagash, St. Croix, and West Branch Rivers. 

Jen enjoys tinkering with things that are half broken and making them fully broken, eating fried eggs, flipping canoes on eddy lines, and cooking delicious campfire meals. She lives on Westport Island with her dog Pepper, just a short paddle from Chewonki Neck and enjoys hearing the laughter from Chewonki students travel across the water.

Tripp Henderson

Assistant Director of Outdoor Programs

Nurtured by epic road trips to national parks with his father and hiking in the Appalachian Mountains with his mother, Tripp’s itch to be in the outdoors developed at a young age.  After his degree at the University of Kansas, Tripp made his way West, working with the Forest Service doing trailwork on the PCT from California to Washington. At the end of that trail he kept going to Alaska, where years of building round log cabins, sitting on fish weirs and guiding kids on padding/ mountaineering expeditions finally brought him to Maine.  Tripp has found home in Wiscasset where he lives with Allison and their two kids Jack and Charlie, and not to be forgotten their gooddog Redd. From the woods and waters of the Pacific Northwest to Maine, Tripp has spent the last 12 years working with youth in the outdoors.  It is his passion to understand, learn, teach and inspire that has combined his love of the natural world and working with youth. 

Conor Burke

Seasonal Outdoor Program Coordinator

Born and raised outside Baltimore, Maryland, Conor got his start in the outdoors sea kayaking with his dad in the marshes of the Chesapeake Bay. Earning his bachelor’s in Biochemistry from St. Mary’s College of Maryland, where he had a groovy time rowing and performing research in cancer pharmacology, he hopes to go into nursing. 

Other than sea kayaking, canoeing, and backpacking, Conor loves knitting, Irish step dance, and playing the fiddle and banjo. Mark his words, he’s going to own a yellow house with a purple front door one day. After growing up attending camp here at Chewonki, joining the summer staff, and becoming a division leader, Conor joined the Outdoor Classroom team in the Fall of 2017.

Hannah Marshall

Outdoor Program Coordinator

 Hannah is originally from Huntington, a small town nestled in the Green Mountains of Vermont, but spent the last eight years studying and working in Maine. She graduated with a degree in Earth and Oceanographic Science from Bowdoin College in nearby Brunswick. While there she was a leader with the Outing Club, captain of the Nordic Ski Team, and studied abroad in both Nepal and arctic Norway.

Hannah came to Chewonki in the Spring of 2017 and has led outdoor programming here ever since. In addition to working for the Outdoor Classroom and supporting school programs at Chewonki, Hannah has led backpacking and canoeing trips for Camp Chewonki in the summer, including the Maine State Youth Wilderness Leadership Expedition in Baxter State Park and a 5-week expedition on the George River in Northern Quebec and Labrador. Some of her favorite things include geology, maple syrup, and patterned socks.

Zachary Whiting

Outdoor Program Coordinator

After leading wilderness trips for Chewonki since 2017, Zachary has joined the outdoor program team full time to continue creating memorable experiences for youth in the outdoors. His goal is to make others genuinely enjoy learning about themselves, others, and the environment.

Zachary graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2015 with a B.S. in Kinesiology – Outdoor Education. Since graduating, he has been in a variety of places working on challenge courses, teaching skiing, leading wilderness trips, and helping to run a high school boarding residential program. He can normally be found throwing frisbees, paddling canoes or searching for powder to ski. Other passions include ice hockey, board games, writing songs on the uke, and eating burritos.

Outdoor Educators

CC Clapp

My name is CC! I grew up in South Berwick, ME and went to college in Pennsylvania. I graduated in 2019 and since then have been working a wide range of seasonal jobs, from outdoor education, to farm work, to waitressing in a ski town. I found my love for the outdoors at the summer camp I grew up going to in western Maine and since then have always found my happy place in nature. I have also always known that I wanted to be an educator in some capacity and outdoor education provided the perfect opportunity to combine my two passions, nature and teaching. I was even lucky enough to write my senior thesis on outdoor education! I also enjoy spending time with friends and family, singing and playing music and binging my favorite TV show; Parks and Recreation

Katie Friedman

Why hello there! I’m Katie, just your local friend in the woods. I grew up in central North Carolina and was the type of kid to spend a lot of time painting rocks outside. I’ve had the chance to spend a lot of time outside from hiking in Patagonia to the Appalachian trail and canoeing in Florida and living in the 100 mile wilderness. I love learning about the Acadian forest in Maine to marine life up and down the East Coast. I also am a huge fan of art, board games, Dungeons and Dragons, and have more mugs then one small human needs.

Rose Gellman

Originally from New Jersey, my love for the outdoors was shaped by the mountains and waterways of the Adirondacks. In college, I studied History of Science and love digging around for the human stories behind everyday objects and ideas. When I am not down a research rabbit hole or paddling a canoe, I love to climb rocks, practice circus arts, and knit hats. I am excited to move to Maine and plan to canoe to the public library as my first adventure.

Emily Grudzien

Heyo! I hail from Amherst, NH and just graduated from St. Lawrence University in upstate NY with a degree in English, Environmental Studies, and Outdoor Studies. I have a deep love for all sorts of water sports–canoeing, swimming, sailing, and jumping in puddles. When on land, I like to be outside biking, hiking, running, skiing, or playing my guitar. I am obsessed with bagels and cannot go into the backcountry without a supply of Fritos. Fun fact–I once portaged a canoe up a whole mountain in a tutu!

Hailey Janelle

Hi everyone! I’m Hailey, I’m from Falmouth, Maine and spend a lot of time in Northern Maine where my family owns a remote, primitive cabin. I recently graduated from the University of Southern Maine with a Bachelor’s of Science in Environmental Science and am currently studying towards a Master’s of Arts degree in Outdoor Education Leadership at Prescott College. I’m a Registered Maine Recreation Guide and am passionate about hiking, camping and backpacking and I’m very interested in forest ecology and entomology!

Lilly MacNeish

I grew up in Southern California but spent my summers in Maine at Chewonki and was a student at the semester school here. After falling in love with Maine, I moved to Bar Harbor to study Human Ecology at the College of the Atlantic. Due to Covid-19, I postponed my graduation and instead spent the last year working at a residential facility for children with behavioral disabilities. This spring, I will get to complete my final project, a source-to-sea canoe trip of the Delaware River, and officially graduate. This past summer was my 9th at Chewonki.

Lydia Vanderburg

I grew up on the trails and waters around Seattle, Washington. I fell in love with working in the outdoors over many years as a counselor and trip leader at my local summer camp. While studying biology at Willamette University in Oregon, I split my time between training student trip leaders, playing ultimate frisbee, and conducting research knee-deep in local streams. Since graduating, I have run all over the country teaching in the outdoors. Feel free to ask me about shoveling ash on a trail crew in Yosemite, or teaching sea shanties on a tallship — but I’d be even happier to hear everything you know about some plant on the trail, or to discuss opinions on what mood the sea is in today. I am thrilled to be joining the Chewonki team this year, and eagerly anticipate paddling in new waters and diving into the natural history of Maine!

Laura Peck

My name is Laura and I’m from Delaware.  Although I’ve never been to Maine before, my biggest passion is traveling and living in different places, and I’ve now lived long term in five different countries, and fifteen different states!  I graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in Environmental Studies and International Relations, and just moved back home from Australia. I’m a breakfast foods enthusiast, love to play tennis, and spend most of my free time exploring the outdoors with friends.  I can’t wait to start that up in beautiful Maine at Chewonki!

Hazel Edwards

Hello! I grew up in Acton, Massachusetts, where I was lucky to spend lots of time outside playing in the woods and fields, climbing trees and making fairy houses. I graduated from Smith College in 2019 with a degree in Environmental Science & Sustainable Food Systems.  I’ve spent time working on farms and I love gardening and cooking. Some other things I love are contra dancing, ice cream, cross country skiing, swimming in lakes and rivers, and learning neat things about nature. I am so excited for my first season as an outdoor educator at Chewonki!


Eleanor Mildenstein

Hi! My name is Eleanor (she/her) and I am from Iowa City, IA, but I just graduated from Bowdoin College with a BA in Math and a minor in Arabic. In my free time, you can find me doing crossword puzzles, knitting, or jumping in the ocean in all weather! I speak three languages and hope to learn more someday.

Elly Thomas

Hi! I am from Monroeville, a small town located in scenic South Jersey just outside of Philadelphia. While New Jersey isn’t necessarily known for its outdoor recreation, that didn’t stop me from becoming interested in the outdoors. After spending my childhood convincing my parents to take me camping in the back yard and then later the local state park, I was able to attend Chewonki as a Girl’s Camper before later coming back as a semester student and then again to lead trips. I recently graduated from Rowan University with a degree in Geographic Information Science (think maps and data) and am happy to be at Chewonki once more and working for Outdoor Classroom. My outdoor interests include backpacking, climbing, canoeing, running, and going to the Jersey shore, while my other hobbies include playing field hockey, baking, and walking my dog.

True Miller

Hello everyone, my name is True! I had quite the upbringing in New York City in a quaint little neighborhood in Brooklyn called Red Hook. Finding outdoor experiences was a little difficult to do growing up in such a large city, but eventually I found Chewonki and my love for all things outdoors grew exponentially! As a young one, I attended the summer camp here on the neck until I was old enough to do the trips and then eventually attend semester school! Through all of this I gained a sense of passion for adventure and outdoor education, which I have been studying for the past couple years at Warren Wilson College right outside of Asheville, North Carolina! I enjoy backpacking, whitewater kayaking, rafting, climbing, you name it! This summer I worked as the Team Development Activity Head for the west side of camp and I am super excited to continue my work in the realm of the challenge course as well as to be here this fall teaching and learning about the Maine coast!

Neshamah Stearns

I grew up in the rolling hills of Western Massachusetts, where I built an appreciation for the natural world, education, and human relationships. You can often find me gazing outside at golden hour, journaling/needle felting, or talking passionately about beavers. My favorite vegetable is a beet, and my favorite tree is all trees. This fall, I am most looking forward to fall foliage, cooking over fires with amazing humans, and star gazing.

Max Gietzen

Howdy. I was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on the shores of the Great Lake Michigan. I learned to love the outdoors while swimming, paddling, and skipping rocks on the waterways of the midwest. While studying English Literature at the University of Wisconsin I became passionate about learning and teaching, and I’m excited to share my joy for the outdoors with young people at Chewonki.

Maura Perry

I grew up in Southern Maine spending  much of my youth gardening, crafting, and cooking. After graduating high school, I took a year off and interned at Tenuta di Spannocchia, an 1,100-acre historic estate and sustainable farm in the heart of Tuscany. There, I was reminded of the importance of slow living and continuous learning. My love of plants and the natural world led me to study Botany at the University of Maine, where I graduated in 2020. The final year of my undergraduate program was spent researching the edible plants, fungi, and algae of Maine. I completed an illustrated foraging guide, filled with recipes, stories, and tips on all the delicious flora found in the landscapes around me. As someone who is passionate about community, experiential education, and the outdoors, I am beyond excited to be joining the Chewonki team as an Outdoor Educator this season.

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