I hail from the best of the Midwest, the beautiful state of Minnesota. This is where I got my start in the outdoor guiding industry and working in wilderness therapy. I grew up in the city, but my family spent most of our free time at our cabin just outside the BWCA in the northern part of the state. Throughout my youth I had a proclivity to be in the woods exploring or swimming in any body of water I could find. This was the beginning of a lifelong affinity and connection to nature.
Entering adulthood and after college I was unsure of what path to take in life, or even which first steps to take. I studied Psychology in Central Wisconsin and knew I wanted to work outdoors. In 2004 I was hired at a rock climbing gym and fell in love with the sport. Through metaphors and resiliency, climbing showed me that it was possible to incorporate both mental health and adventure sports. I have been climbing ever since, personally and as a guide.
From 2004-2015 then 2020-present, totaling over 1,700 field days I have worked for various wilderness therapy and expedition style programs as a field instructor, program director, climbing director, and guide with an emphasis in climbing, canoeing, and backcountry Xc skiing. This brought me to parts of the country where “polar vortex and longest record heat waves is a thing”. I feel lucky being able to have worked in a wide range of outdoor therapeutic programs like, MN Dept of Corrections, non-profits, and therapeutic boarding schools. This work has also led me to supporting inner city harm reduction and anti-bully initiatives In public schools.
While at blueFire I have worked as a Head Field Instructor, Adventure Coordinator, and now Adventure Director. Many great folks have built up this program and I am excited to have the opportunity to continue the amazing growth it has had over the years. Facilitation, expanding comfort zones, and applying coping strategies while rock climbing, mountain biking, canoeing, or Xc skiing is a huge component to adventure therapy. By processing an experience clients begin to feel empowered to become better versions of themselves and practice new strategies when feeling stressed. blueFire encompasses what I value in experiential education and mental health, and that made the decision easy when accepting any position in the company. The professional development, attention to client care and success, and gorgeous scenery is what sets blueFire apart. As they say, it takes a village. And I have the greatest global village here at blueFire.