Director of Outdoor Leadership
Andrew Jillings has been an outdoor educator for 25 years and has worked at Hamilton as Director of adventure programs since 1997.
He holds a Master’s degree in exercise science, with a professional focus on outdoor leadership and adventure education. He has completed the Instructors’ Course at the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and was a Certified Trainer with Project Adventure, the world’s foremost organization for facilitator training and ropes course installation. He is also an ACA-certified Whitewater Kayak Instructor Trainer, Swiftwater Rescue and Canoe Instructor.
Andrew brings the philosophy of Challenge By Choice to the trips he leads and directs. Challenge By Choice is a leadership practice that allows people to choose when and where they want to stretch their comfort zone. Its goal is to provide a safe and effective learning environment, both mentally and physically.
Andrew grew up sailing on the east coast of England, and has a long-standing love of the outdoors. He spends his spare time kayaking (whitewater and marathon racing), mountaineering, ice climbing, throwing the frisbee for his dog Indie and taking his daughter Hadley on outdoor adventures. He spent part of 2007 competing in the Yukon River Quest, then the world’s longest annual canoe and kayak race.
Sarah Weis Jillings
Assistant Director of Outdoor Leadership
Sarah grew up playing and paddling in the woods and lakes of Northern Wisconsin. She has a Bachelors in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Masters in Adventure Education with Prescott College. Her research interests include the nature of satisfaction and the conditions under which students thrive. Sarah advises the Hamilton Outing Club and manages the Bruce Climbing Wall. She leads and trains students to lead climbing, skiing, winter camping, backpacking, hiking, canoeing, and ice climbing trips.
Sarah is a Wilderness First Responder, a PSIA (Professional Ski Instructors of America) Level II Telemark Instructor and Level 1 Cross-country Instructor, and an AMGA (American Mountain Guides Association) Climbing Wall Instructor. She is an Instructor for NOLS and has completed their Winter Instructor Course, living for ten days in a snow cave in the Teton Range of Wyoming and Idaho. Every summer, Sarah instructs a 3-4 week NOLS course through NOLS Northeast or NOLS Rocky Mountain.
Sarah has led trips for the Outing Club ranging from day trips up Blue Mountain in the heart of the Adirondacks to three week mountaineering and trekking trips in Ecuador. Her favorite Hamilton experience was designing and leading a two-week Spring Break trekking trip to the Annapurna Region of Nepal as part of Prof. Maurice Isserman's History of Himalayan Mountaineering course. Sarah enjoys skiing, paddling, hiking, winter camping, travel, reading adventure narratives, and nutrition.