Staff Spotlight

Department Spotlight: Wild Staff

The individuals who make up the 2018 Wild Staff are a diverse group of returners and newcomers, from California to Fiji. They have embarked on countless wilderness education trips for Tawonga, both in and outside of camp. In fact, one of our current Wild Staff claims that he’s led the most Tawonga backpacking trips in the history of Tawonga! Our Wild Staff treasure the time they spend with kids exploring Yosemite National Park and other incredible places near and far away.

In the off season, some are ski and snowboard instructors, some lead hiking trips around vineyards, while some even spend time working with giraffes or doing research in the Arctic. But during the summer, Wild Staff are busy leading backpacking trips in and around Yosemite, taking campers on the road with Quests, or belaying them to higher heights on the Tawonga Challenge Course. Wherever they are going and whatever they are doing, it’s sure to be an adventure!


What made you want to be a part of Wild Staff?

“I have wanted to be a wilderness leader ever since my first camper backpacking trip! I love taking campers into Yosemite for the summer.” – Sadie

“I wanted to get kids stoked on the outdoors because it can teach so many powerful lessons of humbleness, perseverance and simplicity.” – Ana

What is a highlight of your job?

“Eating ‘chaco tacos’ (melted chocolate chips in flour tortillas) and laughing with the kiddos.” – Magdalena

“Seeing the backcountry of the Sierra, eating great food and working with kids.” – Will

“Watching campers bond on trips in beautiful places and hearing them share about their experiences.” – Jim

Favorite place you’ve been with Wild?

“Rancheria Falls and the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. One of the most beautiful hikes I’ve ever been on. It was great to take some older kids on a challenging hike (6 miles) with such rewarding views and destinations.” – Jim

“Late night sea kayaking in Tomales Bay with bioluminescence.” – Eric & Ana

“Backpacking, seeing the sunset/sunrise on El Capitan in Yosemite, solo sits and drinking hot cocoa on Half Dome.” – Maggie

“Driving down the coast with Surf n’ Turf Quest.” – Will

What do you recommend?

(This question is currently “trending” at Camp during a favorite game, “Hot Seat.” It asks campers and staff to offer a totally random life-hack.)

“Ants on a log as a snack on backpacking trips or hikes. The combo of celery, raisins and sunbutter provides lots of protein in a fun way!” – Eve

“Full brim hats and heavy metal music.” – Jim

“Fanny packs and electrolyte powder.” – Eric

Enjoy a few photos from some recent backpacking trips as well as activities today around Camp!