We are proud to have a highly trained and skilled team whose wide range of experiences, expertise and interests provides us with a rich staff base. Our staff are seasoned veterans in the fields environmental and outdoor education and are passionate about creating a dynamic environment for participants to discover and engage the unique relationships between themselves, those within their community and their own natural surroundings.
James founded Adventure In Adventure Out in 1995 to bring about his vision of connecting people more deeply with the natural wonders of the Connecticut River Valley area, the community of people that surround them and to themselves.
He is a ‘95 graduate of Greenfield Community College’s Outdoor Leadership Program. He has continued his passion for learning about the natural world with time spent tracking with Paul Rezendes, Sue Morse’s’ Keeping Track program, White Pine Program’s Tracking Apprenticeship, as well as dozens of other workshops and intensives. In 2011, James received a New England Track and Sign Level 3 certification from the Cybertracker Evaluation. James authored a newspaper column called, “The Great Outdoors” which was published in four local papers, and then published his own newspaper called, “The Outsider”. He is also the author of a hiking and canoeing guide for The Chicopee River Watershed Council. He completed The New Warrior Training with the Mankind Project and was a facilitator for “The Mythic Warrior” men’s empowerment training intensive. He is also a trained life coach through the Ford Institute for Integrative Coaching, and a recent volunteer and steering committee member of Boys to Men.
His passion for reading, learning and mentoring often finds him sitting by the fire with a good book, wandering the local woods, rivers and wetlands alongside peers, students, family and friends.
Ben grew up roaming the woods of the Catskills and Adirondacks putting countless miles under foot and always with an eye for artifacts of times past. Ben’s background is in higher education where he served as a supervisor, advisor and mentor to college students in residential housing. Ben was also an activities coordinator in the college setting where he developed year-round programming, service projects and leadership training for the college community. During this time Ben also served as the adviser to SUNY Geneseo’s Outing Club, and worked with student leaders to design and organize outings and expeditions for the college community. Ben also spent a year working with The Nature Conservancy on an eco-system restoration project in Florida.
Ben is an avid cyclist, hiker, nordic skier and alpine skier. He also has an acute fascination with history and the way that a place connects us to the past and the stories of what came before us. Ben’s passion is creating space where people can see the invaluable potential that they hold, and are inspired to embody actions that reflect their generative values and vision.
Anna Boysen – Program Manager & Field Instructor
Anna Boysen grew up around the mountains, valleys and waters of Trondheim, Norway, experiencing the simple pleasures of the great outdoors across the seasons: Wandering and exploring, cross country skiing, fishing, biking everywhere, whitteling and chopping wood, munching on rhubarb, and wandering the landscape loooking for blueberries, lingonberries, cloudberries and wild mushrooms. A graduate of GCC’s Outdoor Leadership Program, she came to outdoor education after many years focused around photography and fine art. She is passionate about bringing the magic, simplicity, beauty and challenges of outdoor experiences to young and old alike… And curious about what kinds of understanding of self and other insights that engaging with the natural world can offer. She is also keen on empowering folks through the learning of new skills, crafts and competencies. Ever curious, Anna identifies as a naturalist in training, and loves to share what she is learning. Anna has a background in leading longer and shorter expeditions here in the Northeast, facilitating teambuilding & leadership development, and is passionate about guiding groups towards deeper trust and connection.
Kyle Rodd – Program Manager & Field Instructor
Kyle Rodd is an outdoor and environmental educator, as well as an ecologist and environmental scientist. A lifelong resident of New England, Kyle holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Ecopsychology from the University of Massachusetts, and has completed his Master’s coursework in Antioch New England’s Environmental Studies department, with a concentration in Conservation Biology. He has studied with the Appalachian Mountain Club, the Primitive Arts Collective, the Pathfinder School, and others. In addition to leading youth on backpacking, canoeing, caving,and climbing trips in central New England, Kyle teaches tracking and wilderness living skills, and
has even served as a summit steward on New Hampshire’s Mount Monadnock. Kyle conducts and takes part in ecological research throughout the region, and also works with non-profits like Backcountry Hunters and Anglers and Trout Unlimited.
With his wife and daughter, or his father during hunting season, Kyle explores the woods and hills of New England whenever he can.
Erik Debbink – Field Instructor
Erik grew up outside of Cincinnati, Ohio and spent much of his youth exploring and climbing the cliffs of Kentucky’s Red River Gorge. With a desire to spend as much time as possible outside engaged with adventure, Erik worked a number of seasons as a raft guide on the New and Gauley rivers in West Virginia. He then attended Green Mountain College in Vermont where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Adventure Education. Erik has taught history, writing and outdoor education at a therapeutic high school, and spent a few years running various farms in the valley including a therapeutic farm in Hatfield, and a blueberry orchard in Southampton. With many years of exploration throughout the Green and Adirondack mountains, including a 28 day thru hike of the Long Trail, and well over 150 days per year kayaking in the regions remote and challenging whitewater rivers, he continues his outdoor pursuits, exploring, paddling and climbing in and around the Pioneer Valley’s wild places. Erik is motivated to contribute to AIAO’s mission of empowering the growth of the local community connection to the outdoors through the exploration wild and wondrous places. He is also an avid fisherman.
Lenore Anderson – Field Instructor
An experiential educator throughout her life, Lenore applies the philosophies as passionately to herself as she does to working with others. She loves engaging in experiences where people have opportunities to feel strong, empowered and extend their understanding of themselves and others.
Lenore has over twenty-five years of experience as an environmental educator, counselor, and wilderness instructor. She has a Masters degree in Experiential Education from Colorado University and has worked extensively with many populations from executives to youth. Her work with the Colorado Outward Bound School spanned over seventeen years where she served as a Wilderness Instructor, Course Director and Environmental Director.
Lenore can’t help but share her wonder of the natural world and loves how people respond to it by engaging with their own curiosity and excitement. She is a graduate of The Rocky Mountain Center for Botanical Studies in Clinical Herbalism. Lenore is the founding director of Natural Vitality where she offers holistic health consultations, empowering workshops and healing retreats.
Darren, a native of Western Massachusetts, comes to AIAO with over 12 years experience working with youth in a variety of experiential contexts. He has led cultural immersion and service learning programs for teens in Argentina, Mexico, New Zealand, and Peru. He has also worked as a heliskiing guide in Alaska, a naturalist in California, and as an expedition coordinator for the Eagle Rock School in Colorado.
Darren has witnessed youth showing up less and less able to navigate how to cooperate and communicate with each other. Exploring nature in a group setting where they must rely on each other helps to change that. Darren loves the learning environment created in the wilderness, where strong connections are fostered between people and the world around them.
He graduated cum laude from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a B.A. in Art, Rhythm, and the Transmission of Culture. He is also a certified Lifeguard and Wilderness First Responder. In his spare time he is usually on a hunt around the globe for cold mountains on which to snowboard.