Please comment a short 1-2 paragraph synopsis of yourself! Comments should include: a recognizable photo, your background, your interests, your past experiences working with camp or youth, and 2 fun facts about yourself!
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RURAL LEADERSHIP TEAM
Hello! My name is Melanie Hooper (known as “Raven Squirrel” at camp), and I am the Manager of Rural Alaska Program and School Age Programs here at Camp Fire Alaska. This summer we will be delivering 94 weeks of camp throughout the state of Alaska, and we can’t wait for the Rural Dream Team 2019 to arrive this May! I’ve been working with Camp Fire Alaska for the past 8 years, supporting our overnight camp, rural, and school age programs.
My love of the outdoors began as a child growing up on a small farm in Northeast Ohio. I graduated with my B.A. in Zoology and Anthropology from Ohio Wesleyan University where my studies focused on environmental conservation and indigenous peoples. My early experiences provided opportunities to work with youth and communities in Vietnam, Costa Rica, and Ecuador, but after university, I discovered camp and the unique environment which fosters opportunities for growth and change. I have spent the last 14 years working professionally in the camping industry, overseeing outdoor education, conferences and retreat, and summer camp programs.
Some fun things about me: I LOVE to garden, gather wild edibles, and have recently become a bee keeper. My husband, huskies, and I love to hike, pack raft, ski, fish, and pretty much spend as much time outside as we can. In the darker winter months, I can really get my crafting on, so enjoy this “hibernating” time of year in Alaska too!
My name is Stacie and I am the Rural Program Coordinator. I am originally from Northern Utah. My undergrad is from Weber State University with my Bachelor’s Degree in Integrated Studies. I studied Recreation, Social Work and Health Promotion. I am currently pursuing my Masters in Counseling Psychology at Alaska Pacific University. I have worked in many social working and youth development organizations within diverse environments. I especially enjoy working with youth in outdoor settings.
In my spare time I enjoy spending time with friends and family, learning new hobbies or skills, mountain biking, hiking, fishing, whitewater rafting, backpacking, photography, reading, learning sustainable life skills, or simply being in the outdoors. I believe that nature is a powerful tool in education, physical and mental health and development in individuals of all ages and backgrounds. I have experienced many of these benefits in my own life and strive to share them with others.
Hello hello! My name is Shaina and I am the Rural Specialist this year. I came to Camp Fire as a part of the 2018 Rural Team last summer and completely fell in love with the program, kiddos and communities. I am excited to join the Leadership Team and help support you all this summer! My roots are in the UK but grew up and spent most of my life in Wisconsin. I was home schooled until my freshman year of high school, so I would say I have a rather unique view of education and the endless ways there are to learn and grow. I graduated from The University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.A. in Environmental Science and Communication Arts. Before Camp Fire I ran the UW Boathouse, guided for my university leading backpacking and canoeing trips, and traveled in and out of the country looking for the next cool adventure. Playing outside is definitely where my passion is and so much of the time we get with the kids in Rural is spent engaging with their environment.
Some fun facts about me: I spend most of my time outside of work cooking, exploring Alaska (there is a LOT to see), reading, fixing my ever-breaking truck, or trying to get a rock out of my shoes every 5 minutes. In winter you can find me reading all those books I ignored in the summer, watching films, hiking (a.k.a. falling) and taking some long drives. I love plants and gardening and hope to get my own garden going this summer. Before moving to Alaska I had over 70 plants in my apartment… It was quite the jungle.
I’m excited to meet the 2019 Rural Dream Team and have an incredible summer with you all!
My name is Kailyn and I am the AmeriCorps member here at Camp Fire Alaska. Originally I am from Corbett, OR, which is a small rural town east of Portland. Recently, I received my BFA from Pacific Northwest College of Art and I am currently continuing to develop my artistic practice. In the future, I hope to pursue my masters in art & social practice and/or art therapy.
As an interdisciplinary artist, my body of work explores my own state of being and becoming by reflecting on personal, familial, and geographical relationships. I am especially interested in exploring these ideas through process driven methodologies, as well as through tangible publications. In addition, I have begun to transition my practice to reflect these concepts through collaborative and participatory engagement to further connection within communities that I am a part of.
Along with creating art, I am passionate about equity in art education, the ethics of seeing, as well as neurodiversity. For hobbies, I enjoy hiking/backpacking, traveling, yoga, biking, skateboarding, thrifting, coffee/coffee shops, etc. I also love cooking food with other people to foster relationship.
Anyways, enough about me, I am really looking forward to meeting and getting to know you all!