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Not Your Typical Desk Jobs for Six Graduating Leaders


During last summer’s internship as an assistant kayak and canoe instructor, Sam Bernstein ’17 said he would “like to branch out into outdoor & experiential education programs working with children where I can hopefully combine my background in geosciences with my love for pretty much every type of outdoor recreation.”

His wish has materialized. Beginning this summer, Bernstein will be engaged in outdoor education programs with the Chewonki Foundation in Maine. He will be leading three-week wilderness trips in the Northeast during the summer, and in the fall and spring he will be leading trips with a natural science education component for local middle school students.

Students use the  outdoor leadership program to develop their skills, advance their careers, and give back to the community.  They achieve this through their roles as climbing wall staff members, Adirondack Adventure leaders, and Outing Club leaders.

Bernstein is one of six Hamilton Outing Club (HOC) members who have trained together, led trips in tandem, gathered innumerable times in the Glen House and now are ready to set off in different directions, having secured outdoor leadership positions. Applying their skills and experiences leading hiking, rock- and ice-climbing, kayak, canoe, back-packing and winter camping trips, they are ready to share what they have learned.

"The biggest thing we do in our program to facilitate career development is provide outdoor leadership opportunities and pathways to discovery for students," explained Assistant Director of Outdoor Leadership Sarah Jillings. "Students use the  outdoor leadership program to develop their skills, advance their careers, and give back to the community.  They achieve this through their roles as climbing wall staff members, Adirondack Adventure leaders, and Outing Club leaders."

Having initially used the outdoor leadership network to explore guiding jobs, Gaby Pilson ’17,  is heading back to Seward, Alaska, to work for the same glacier guiding company, Exit Glacier Guides, she has been with for three summers.  In the middle of the summer, she will attend a NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) Instructor Course and Climbing Seminar in Wyoming and Idaho. 

In the fall Pilson will be studying in a post-graduate diploma program in outdoor education at the University of Edinburgh for a year and will probably complete a third semester for a master's degree. She will also be doing some part time work teaching wilderness first aid courses for SOLO Wilderness Medicine Schools and teaching climbing wall instructor courses for the AMGA (American Mountain Guides Association).

This summer Madison Atterbury ’17 will be a solo-leader for YMCA Camp Manito-wish in Northern Wisconsin, leading a 24-day backpacking trip in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness in Idaho for 16-year-olds. She will start a job as a teaching fellow at Conserve School, an environmental and outdoor education school in Northern Wisconsin, teaching an outdoor skills class, working as a house parent, and leading trips in the fall. “I'm excited to be part of these communities, both because I get to do things that I care about and share the outdoors with excited young students and because I will have the opportunity to work with experienced educators and develop my own skills!” she said.

Two comparative literature majors, Emma Reynolds ’17 and Kelt Wilska ’17, are headed to Leadville, Colorado, to the High Mountain Institute, where both have teaching apprenticeships. Reynolds will be leading wilderness trips at Cottonwood Gulch in NM prior to going to the institute. She identified both positions through the Hamilton outdoor leadership network.

This summer, Rachel Lanino will be the Program Director at Adirondack (ADK) Camp on Lake George, in charge of the daily schedule for both campers and staff. In the fall and spring she will be working at The Leadership School at Kieve in Nobleboro, Maine, an organization committed to leadership development for students, teachers and parents. 

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