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.

Barrett Wood BA

Young Adult Program Director

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.

Brant Evans - New Vision Wilderness

Brant Evans

Adolescent Program Director

Brant trained as a wilderness therapy field staff in 2011, looking to combine his interests in psychology and primitive skills. During his four years in the field, he became increasingly curious about systems work, and how to create and maintain positive culture in families and organizations. He earned his master’s degree in organizational psychology from Columbia University in 2017, and returned to the industry as a field director with Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness, where he worked to apply best practices in leadership development, group dynamics, and culture implementation for two years. Aside from his career in wilderness therapy, Brant has produced thought leadership with an addiction-tech startup and worked with young professionals one-on-one to develop leadership skills. During his free time, you can find Brant exploring the trails of Western North Carolina, target-shooting with his recurve bow, and practicing Brazilian jiu-jitsu with friends in Asheville.


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.

Emily Smith - New Vision Wilderness

Emily Smith

Wilderness Field Instructor

Emily is a midwestern native having graduated from Western Illinois University with a degree in Social Work and an emphasis on Outdoor Leadership and Therapeutic Recreation. Though she always had a love for the outdoors, it was during college that she realized the impact that the natural world had on healing, growth, and change. Needing to find their place within that, she and her family headed East to the mountains of Western North Carolina. Emily is currently working on master's degrees in both Social Work and Business Administration at Aurora University. In her downtime, you can find her exploring with her family, in the garden, on a trail, fumbling with a string instrument, or with her nose in a book. She greatly looks forward to the opportunity for personal and professional growth with New Vision Wilderness.

Shannon - New Vision Wilderness Asheville


Wilderness Field Instructor

Shannon comes to Franklin, NC via both Illinois and Wisconsin! "The great outdoors gives us an abundance of opportunities to learn and grow and I want to seize as many of those opportunities as possible. My soul is playful and my heart is curious and together that creates the perfect recipe for adventure! May the forest be with you always."

Sarah Montana - New Vision Wilderness

Sarah Montana

Wilderness Field Instructor

Sarah comes to us from Rock Hill, SC

Charles Martin - New Vision Wilderness

Charles Martin

Wilderness Field Instructor

Charles grew up locally backpacking and kayaking in Franklin, NC. He graduated from Western Carolina University with a B.S. in Parks and Recreation Management with a focus on outdoor leadership. During his time at WCU, he worked as a raft guide on the Nantahala and Pigeon rivers in the summers and on the Cataloochee ski patrol in the winters. Charles has acquired various certifications along the way including swift water rescue, mountain travel and rescue, CPR, and EMT-B. In his free time, Charles loves to go whitewater kayaking, fly fishing, hiking, snowboarding, and tubing. He also loves coming home to hang out with his fluffy cat, Wally.

Trooper - Canine Therapy New Vision Wilderness - Golden Retreiver



Trooper was born in October 2018 and came to New Vision Wilderness - North Carolina in February 2018. Even though he is still learning himself, Trooper is already very patient, understanding, kind-hearted, strong-willed and loving. He is eager to learn and grow, which makes him a great fit to learn and grow alongside our students! Since he is still just a pup, one of his favorite things to do is take a nice puppy nap. Trooper is overjoyed to build relationships with our students and you can tell every time he shoots you one of his Golden Retriever smiles that he is out to Create Joy!

How To Contact New Vision

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