The Field Team includes outdoor experts with an array of professional and personal experience. Wilderness specialists bring expertise in safety, compassion for struggling youth, enthusiasm for utilizing the outdoors as a catalyst for positive change, and are the core of the team. They frequently bring creative use of natural resources to individualized interventions.

Maggie M.F.A., B.A.

Wilderness Field Instructor

Maggie is a Hoosier native raised in the Chicagoland area near Lake Michigan. As a teen, she loved writing, playing basketball, and stargazing at the Indiana Dunes. After earning her B.A. in English and Religious Studies from Indiana University in 2009, she worked in childcare for the Boys & Girls Club before moving to Southern Illinois where she taught English Composition for three years, earning her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale in 2014. After graduate school, Maggie traded the indoor classroom for the outdoor one, working as an environmental educator at the McDowell Environmental Center in northern Alabama, where she fell in love with working in the natural world. In 2015, she moved west to edit her first book of poems as an Artist-in-Residence in Taos, New Mexico, followed by a stint as a farmhand in Northern California. After exploring the West Coast, Maggie returned to the Southeast in 2016, teaching on the Cahaba River in Alabama. Searching for a job that combined her background as a poet and her love of outdoors, Maggie moved back to the Midwest in 2017, spending two months in Chicago before finding her way to the North Woods. Maggie is excited to join the team at New Vision, to work with the teen population in the wilderness, and to learn as much as she can about therapy and healing.

Russ Shy BS

Field Director

Russ grew up in rural northern Michigan roaming the forests and splashing the waters. This small community instilled many strong values in him that still play a major part in his life. Graduating from Michigan State University with a BS in Natural Resource Recreation he moved westward. After guiding for New Vision Wilderness in the Bend, OR location for two years, he transitioned into a leadership role where he has supported, trained and enjoyed building upon the NVW culture. You can often find Russ in a dress on the slopes, or in the grass without shoes. His motivation now has taken him to Western North Carolina, where he’ll be romping around the trails, mountain biking, and climbing new rocks.

Barrett Wood BA

Operations Manager

Barrett grew up hiking and camping in the Midwest. He graduated from Lake Forest College with a BA in Environmental Studies. While in college, he played rugby and ran cross country. He spent six summers working at a Boy Scout camp as a guide and as a climbing instructor. Barrett has worked as a climbing guide for a private outfitter. He also coached junior high cross country and wrestling. Barrett worked as a restoration ecologist at a conservation agency before joining NVW. Barrett is a Wilderness First Responder and holds numerous climbing certifications. In his free time, Barrett enjoys climbing, snowboarding, running, bird watching, and finding county highpoints.

Carolyn Walton BS

Field Director

Carolyn grew up in Syracuse, NY and graduated with a B.S. from the State University of New York at Cortland. She started her career with New Vision Wilderness as a Field Instructor at our Bend, OR location. Carolyn is consistently amazed by the professional and personal growth she experiences as a team member with NVW. The relationships she’s built with her past and present NVW co-staff, clinicians and leadership has created an unrivaled deep sense of value and community. Ever-inspired by NVW’s humble beginnings, Carolyn passionately strives to expand the number of lives NVW can affect nationwide and takes pride in the ripple effect that is life; continuing to challenge and improve upon herself. In her personal time, Carolyn soaks up her large family as much as possible (love you all!), skis in the trees and enjoys the little things that life has to offer.


Wilderness Field Instructor

Amber grew up in Wisconsin and has a B.S. in Psychology and an M.A. in Global Youth Development. Amber has worked with youth as a climbing director for Boy Scouts and an intern for a treatment and foster care agency. The past two years, Amber served in the Peace Corps as a TEFL volunteer (Teaching English as a Foreign Language). She lived in a small, rural town in Costa Rica where she taught in the elementary and high school. In addition, she led various youth camps in the country and is fluent in Spanish. Amber loves to travel, run, do yoga, play guitar, and spend time with her Costa Rican cat.


Wilderness Field Instructor

Cassie attended the University of North Carolina at Pembroke where she earned her B.S. in Sports and Exercise Science and her M.A. in Sports Administration while playing outfield on the women’s varsity softball team. Cassie is at her happiest when she’s in the great outdoors and she’s passionate about helping others. In her free time, you can find her perusing bookstores, painting a masterpiece, in kickboxing class, on the softball field, eating dairy free ice cream and chasing happy.


Wilderness Field Instructor

Dillon grew up in the rural Appalachian mountains of North Carolina and North Georgia. He credits his upbringing and education for instilling a strong passion for the outdoors. Since obtaining his degree in Outdoor Leadership from Southwestern College, he has spent much of his career leading outdoor excursions in numerous locations. His main focus has been on kayaking, canoeing and hiking. This experience has lead him to New Vision where he wants to use a wilderness setting to improve the quality of life for others. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with family, paddling, hiking and outdoor cooking.


Wilderness Field Instructor

Soon after his graduation from Western Illinois University with a degree in Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration, with a minor in Outdoor Leadership, Tommy decided that he needed to pursue his dream of working in the wilderness while helping people at the same time. He brings a vast and impressive accumulation of fourteen-hundred hours in the backcountry and wilderness survival experience to NVW and is elated to call North Carolina his home. As a new father, Tommy spends most of his free time with his family; hiking, growing vegetables, taking care of his chickens and exploring the world for the first time, again.


Wilderness Field Instructor

Josh grew up in Wisconsin and went to college to study recreation and youth leadership. After college, he worked in a variety of outdoor industry professions, including trail work in Nevada, outdoor educator in California , and as a climbing instructor in Colorado. He moved back to Wisconsin to continue to pursue a career in wilderness therapy.

How To Contact New Vision

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