2023 Summer Camp Director

Maia grew up in the forests of the Grand Traverse region, mushroom hunting, stream stomping, and insect collecting. This is where her love for nature blossomed. In college, she studied environmental science and has spent the last ten years as an outdoor educator working with all ages from preschool to adults. She has a keen eye for observing and loves to hike, camp, and generally immerse herself in nature. Some of Maia’s favorite activities include mushroom hunting, nature art, and searching for forest fairies.



Lead Instructor for SEEDS location

Michelle grew up in Michigan and has lived in the Traverse City area for 15 years, growing organic vegetables and cut flowers at Birch Point Farm, with her husband and eight-year-old, Rudy. Her degrees are in botany and horticulture, and in a past life she taught many seasons of outdoor, environmental, and agricultural education in the Great Lakes, New Mexico, and New England. She profoundly admires and wants to amplify the work of HNS and is thrilled for the chance to join with them this spring.



Lead Instructor for summer camps and year-round programs

Gabby began attending HNS at age 6.   She always stood out as a keen observer of nature, often noticing the small things that many others passed by.   Over the years she came to take on and master many skills and abilities and is one of six youth to ever take part in the HNS Fire Quest Challenge, which involves making a fire with only a bow drill and tending through a full night, alone, in the dark of night.  Since Age 13 Gabby began volunteering to support programs and help others learn, play and explore safely.   Her patience, keen observation, and strong skills, and nature connection bring a grounded depth into programs.  Gabby has been a Youth Assistant Instructor for the last year and is known for coming up with great ideas in challenging moments. She has a blast working with the kids and is excited to meet you!



Lead Instructor for summer camps and year-round programs.

Zach has been a dedicated HNS student since age 6.  He was quick to learn shelter and survival skills and help create a fun inclusive environment for both his peers and those who are younger.  He is one of six students to ever complete the Fire Quest Challenge, which includes making and tending a bow drill fire through the night, alone in the dark, with coyotes as a nearby company:)  Humble in his skills and lively in his interactions, Zach has always elevated the vibe! He was quick to make the shift from student to volunteer, dedicating his efforts to benefit others before himself.   As Youth Instructor, Zach is a great addition to any teaching team. In addition to bringing fun, safety, and skills, he’s become a great photographer as well.  Tracking and Fire Making are his favorite things to do at HNS.



Lead Instructor for Summer camps and year-round programs.

Taylor began working with HNS in 2019. As an instructor and he especially enjoys learning about edible and medicinal plants with the kids and making things together with natural supplies and our whittling knives. He enjoys tea parties and various mindful movement practices.



Assistant Instructor for Summer Camps

Karoline has been coming to HNS for 5 years now.  She loves spending her summertime here and being out in nature. This is a great place to be for that. She looks forward to helping younger kids have an adventurous summer!



Summer Camp Volunteer

Emerson has been a long-time student and volunteer. He loves swamps, insects, and other creepy crawlies!



Summer Camp Volunteer

Evelyn has been a student or a volunteer for the last 6 years and at this point she knows her way around well. One of her favorite things about nature is the diversity and scale of it as well as mother nature’s power to adapt and remain. She is really looking forward to summer with hope and excitement!



Summer Camp Volunteer

Milo has gone to this school for 7 years and loves fish, insects, and arachnids and reptiles.



Summer Camp Volunteer

Nettle grew up foraging and wild crafting with his family and got to come to a couple HNS camps when he was younger. He has 2 younger sisters and loves working with and helping out younger kids.



Summer Camp Volunteer

Elliot has done nature camps and schools most of his life and loves whittling!