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.
Position: Field Mentor
Kailey is a wilderness field instructor who comes from Marquette, Michigan. Kailey is passionate about mental health and wholeheartedly believes in the model and the values that New Vision Wilderness is aiming to accomplish with the youth of today. She finds purpose and joy when connecting with those in the program and being able to watch their success and growth during their time spent here.
Kailey graduated from Central Michigan University with a major in Outdoor Recreation and an Environmental Studies minor. Her experiences come from working at a YMCA camp for 6 years, starting as a cabin counselor and rising up to spend her final year as the Adventure Director, ass well as working in Colorado State Parks for 2 years as a Program Interpreter and Visitor Center staff.
She has always enjoyed working with people in wilderness settings and being able to share her experiences, knowledge, and passions with those both young and old. When she isn’t found in the Northwoods, Kailey enjoys traveling and participating in different activities with friends and family such as fly fishing, backpacking, and sea kayaking along the cliffs of Pictured Rocks.
Position: Field Instructor
Josh is a field instructor and has come to join us here at New Vision because of his passion to help the students through their therapeutic journies while in wilderness settings. Something that Josh enjoys about working with our students is finding common interests and sharing them with our students, creating healthy bonds and relationships. Before finding his way to the Northwoods of WI, he worked as a junior staff member at the Boys and Girls Club of Northwest Colorado and also held a position as co-lead staff at Discovery Place (YMCA) in Virginia. He was also awarded staff of the month while at the Boys and Girls Club, what an accomplishment! A fun fact about Josh is that he has a twin sister who is two minutes older than him, as well as a younger brother. When Josh isn’t out in the woods with our students, he enjoys watching college football, reading, playing card games, going on hikes, and spending time with family and friends.
Position: Field Instructor
Luke works for New Vision because of his love for guiding kids into a future full of success. He finds joy in developing healthy relationships with the students at this camp and being able to entertain them with all the goofiness of his personality. Luke’s love for helping kids didn’t start with New Vision, however. Before Luke came to work at this wonderful camp, he was a staff member at several Boy Scout camps as well as special ed camps too. He worked in different positions at these camps as well as evening helping run one of them several summers ago. This desire to help also lead Luke to pursue a degree in Psychology which he hopes to be able to use in the field as much as possible. Luke believes his passion for others came not only from his loving family but his devotion to the Boy Scouts of America where he learned the ideals of serving others which lead him to earn his Eagle Scout rank. While Luke isn’t living in the woods trying to help and guide the students he is with, Luke can be found spending time with his family or friends in numerous cities throughout Wisconsin. He loves to play Dungeons and Dragons in his free time or talk about all the Marvel movies he has seen. On top of being a huge nerd, Luke loves to be outside as much as possible and spends each day going on hikes or working out. He also tries to get on a couple of camping trips with friends and family every year.
Position: Field Instructor
Eric works at NVW because he is passionate about empathy and the outdoors. Nothing excites him more than
transparent, authentic, and compassionate communication—and all of that while living in the forest! Eric finds
purpose and meaning in supporting others in their healing journey and always sees the best in every person. He
revels in those moments when a student moves through difficult emotions to find greater clarity and acceptance of
themselves. Quick to be quirky and play, he acknowledges that hard work can also be done with a smile.
Eric graduated in 2013 from UW-Milwaukee with a BS in Conservation and Environmental Science. Since then, he
has worked with such groups as the Urban Ecology Center, 4-H, Freedom Project Washington, Center for
Nonviolent Communication, Facing Homelessness, Foundation for Intentional Communities, and public-school
districts. He has extensive training in Nonviolent Communication and Trauma-informed facilitation. Always one for
a walk in any weather, Eric has hiked and backpacked around the U.S.A. and Europe. With a vast knowledge of
plants and fungi, you can often find Eric poking around behind bushes and under logs, always on his quest to learn
and connect with the natural world. Eric has immense gratitude for everyone and everything that has supported
his life journey, and he is excited to leverage his experience and skills to contribute to your path of healing!
Position: Field Instructor
Isaac grew up Western New York and discovered a passion for outdoor experiences through his local Boy Scout troop. Isaac graduated from Sterling College of Vermont where he gained a passion for a community centered experiential approach to education. His experiences as an Outdoor Education major led him from the varied New England landscape surrounding campus to the mountains of California, the deserts of Arizona, and villages in Peru. While at Sterling, Isaac contributed to the community as a teaching assistant and as a work program mentor. Isaac has worked as a canoeing and backpacking guide for the Scouts within the Adirondack Park of New York for several summers where he shared his passion for exploring the wilderness with countless troops of young people. Isaac is currently a Wilderness First Responder and brings a passion for experiential approach to education with him to Wisconsin. Some of Isaac’s favorite outdoor activities include running, cross country skiing and keeping a nature journal.
Position: Field Specialist
Emily is an Illinois native that has always had a love for the outdoors. She graduated from the University of St. Francis with a degree in Recreation and Sport Management with a concentration in Outdoor Recreation and a minor in Leadership Studies. However, Emily’s love for the outside world started way before her college years. Emily fell in love with the outdoors at a young age with her three younger brothers through Scouting. Emily has worked at various Boy Scout camps including Rainbow Scout Reservation and Philmont Scout Ranch in which she has guided hundreds of individuals on backpacking expeditions and other outdoor experiences. During college, Emily played on the university soccer team and was involved with the Recreation Club on campus participating in various outdoor activities like backpacking in Escalante, Utah for spring break. She is currently in her internship semester at New Vision Wilderness and is very excited to share her knowledge and love of the outdoors and to begin making a difference in the youth’s lives.
Position: Academic Specialist
Maddie feels most alive when she is connecting with others, learning through literature, and laughing. Maddie’s passion for learning, and desire to empower young people drove her to study Secondary Education, English, and History at Grand Valley State University. Maddie has worked with adolescents in a variety of settings for the last 7 years, including both urban and rural education, summer schools, community outreach and activism, teen programming for a supported-housing community, and finally as a high school English teacher in her home state of Michigan. During her summers and weekends, Maddie sought the adventure and peace of the outdoors–from the dunes of her home state, to the canyons of Utah and the peaks of Washington’s mountains. Maddie’s experiences in the outdoors have been an integral part of her personal life, especially as a teenager, which inspired her to learn more about wilderness therapy where she seeks to make sure that young people feel heard, valued, and empowered. Maddie fully believes in the power of wilderness therapy and is honored to spend this new chapter of her career in the woods with Northwoods Wilderness Therapy students.
Position: Field Director
Lauren grew up in Hudson, Wisconsin where she spent time exploring the many forests and rivers in the area with family and friends. Lauren attended the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, MN initially for biology and quickly realized she was more passionate about understanding and working with people leading her to switch her focus to psychology. Lauren graduated with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Psychology and a minor in Hispanic Studies. During her time in college, Lauren spent a semester studying abroad in Chile where she spent a majority of her free time hiking and camping in the diverse landscapes while also working with underserved youth in the area. After graduation, Lauren searched for a career that would allow her to continue to share her passion for the outdoors with others which led her to Northwoods Wilderness Therapy. When Lauren is not in the woods, you can find her playing ultimate frisbee, spending time on the water, and hanging out with family and friends.
Position: Experiential Services Specialist
Winona has always been passionate about helping others in the outdoors. She grew up camping and hiking with her family in her home state of Maine before leaving the state to pursue a bachelor of science degree in Exercise Physiology and a bachelor of arts in Hispanic Studies at East Carolina University. During her time in college, Winona spent a semester abroad in Ecuador where she improved her Spanish skills, participated in a mountaineering class and took bi-weekly backpacking trips in the mountains and jungles of the country including the Galapagos Islands. As a Wilderness First Responder and Clinical First Responder she continues to offer experience to the students and guides she works alongside. She has always had a passion for being outdoors, health, and education which lead her to a career in mental health and wilderness therapy. For Winona, the best part of working at Northwoods is building connections with the students and providing them tools and strategies to experience success in reaching their goals. Her values include education and health and therefore she enjoys reading, hiking, and listening to pod casts in her free time.