Front row, from left: Andrew Jillings, Jack Messerly ’14, Izzy Janzen ’14, Ben Oliver ’02 (with son Finn), Maggie Horne ’19, Jess Anderson ’02, Devin Farkas ’10, and Anna Bastidas ’13. Back row, from left: Abby Kaplan ’19, Janine Oliver, Sarah Jillings (with daughter Hadley), Amber Aparicio ’18, and Megan Bates ’18.

Hamilton was well represented at the recent Northeast Regional Association for Experiential Education conference. The three-day event took place in April at YMCA Camp Becket in Becket, Mass., and featured workshops, speakers, and events relevant to outdoor and experiential educators.

Four students attended the conference — seniors Amber Aparicio and Megan Bates, and juniors Maggie Horne and Abby Kaplan. They were joined by Director of Outdoor Leadership Andrew Jillings, Assistant Director of Outdoor Leadership Sarah Jillings, and Associate Director of Career Development Janine Oliver.

Andrew Jillings presented a workshop titled “Ursine Altercations in the Adirondack Park: Black Bears Inside the Blue Line.” The presentation focused on how to stay safe in bear territory and included a “five-foot tall inflatable bear taped to a trolley and made to approach at high speed.”

He also presented a leader training workshop at the Outdoor Orientation Leader Symposium, an all-day preconference event, where he discussed how to run disaster scenarios. Part of his talk included things he’s learned from Hamilton’s campus-wide emergency exercises, and how he has incorporated that knowledge into training his Adirondack Adventure leaders.

Sarah Jillings presented a workshop on “Perspectives on Wellness.”

Several alumni also attended the conference, five of whom presented workshops:

  • Ben Oliver ’02, “There's an App for That: Apps and Online Tools for Managing an Outdoor Program.”
  • Devin Farkas ’10 and Anna Bastidas ’13, “Breaking Barriers: Creating More Inclusive Outdoor Programs.”
  • Sam Mengual ’15 and Jess Anderson ’02, “Creating Social & Emotional Learning in the Common Core Curriculum.”

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