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 Instructor
Position: Wilderness Field Instructor
Lauren is a native Minnesotan whose deep love and appreciation for nature came from volunteering at the nature center down the street from her childhood home. During her time at the nature center, Lauren managed the animal outreach programs and worked as a naturalist to educate children about their environment and outdoor skills. These experiences led Lauren to major in Wildlife Ecology, with a focus in education at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point where she also continued to acquire skills in camping and backpacking. Following graduation, Lauren continued to work in outdoor education as an educator at the Como Zoo and Conservatory and a naturalist at Kroening Interpretive Center where she had volunteered years prior. These experiences gave her the opportunity to explore a variety of world views while work with people of all ages and backgrounds. Lauren appreciates the ability to continue to educate children and assist in creating deep and impactful changes in the lives of children through her work at Northwoods Wilderness Therapy. Outside of work, Lauren enjoys spending time in the woods, rock climbing, hiking, running and cross-country skiing.
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: Field 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: Wilderness Field Instructor
Whether it be volunteering for an after-school program, rafting in Idaho, or backpacking in Scandinavia, Frank has always found purpose in connecting with others and with the world around him. Frank has learned many lessons through his adventures and experiences outside that have given him insight into his everyday life. Sharing these lessons and helping to facilitate that learning for other’s is a passion that has guided Frank. Frank graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University in Psychology and knew he needed to find a career path in which he could help others, ideally in the outdoors. This led Frank to pursuing his Wilderness First Responder certification where he learned about Northwoods Wilderness Therapy. Frank feels very privileged to share in the therapeutic process of the students in the field and is grateful to be on the Northwoods team. In his free time, Frank enjoys exploring the outdoors in various ways, cooking, reading and sitting around a campfire with friends.
Position: Field Mentor
Maggie grew up outside of the city of Milwaukee. Being raised in an Urban environment gave her a thirst to find time to spend outdoors in the woods. Maggie met this need with family summers spent camping and involving herself in scouting camp-outs. Maggie’s love of the environment inspired her schooling in architecture in Madison WI. Maggie worked in architecture from 2016-2018 and realized the healing this world needs is much deeper than the buildings. Maggie expanded her skills through receiving her yoga certification (200-YTT), mindfulness practices and volunteering at a Scout camp. It was in this exploration that it became apparent to Maggie that the healing she is gifted in is social and emotional nature. This realization inspires Maggie’s work and she enjoys bringing all her experience and perspective to the field. Maggie finds her work deeply gratifying and feels deeply fortunate for her opportunity to be part of the team Northwoods. When she is not at work, you can find Maggie practicing her hula hoop skills, spending time with family and friends, and learning more about herself.
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: Academic and Adventure Education 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.