Nature Camp Staff SARAH STREWLead, Nature Camp & Adult ProgramsMEET SARAHSarah Strew has been the Lead for Nature Camp and Adult Programs at the Vermont Institute of Natural Science since 2014. Sarah feels deeply connected to VINS, and its camp program specifically, as she can recall being a VINS camper when the organization was at its original site in Woodstock, VermontDuring college, Sarah spent summers as a counselor and backpacking instructor at an overnight camp in Fairlee, returning eventually to manage the Camp-craft department. For four years, she moved between Big Sky, Montana, where she taught skiing, and Hartford, Vermont, where she held various positions with VINS as a Lead Counselor for VINS Nature Camp and also as an Environmental Education Intern, providing educational programs at the VINS Nature Center as well as handling and training the raptors.Prior to stepping into her current position, Sarah was involved with various educational efforts in the Upper Valley. She earned her MS in Environmental Studies from Antioch University New England where she concentrated in Education. Sara loves living in the Upper Valley and the lifestyle it affords her. She is an outdoor enthusiast and enjoys skiing and snowshoeing in the winter, gardening in the summer, and hiking with her dogs all year round. JULIE KOZAKNature Camp AssistantMEET JULIEJulie Kozak has her BS in Wildlife from Unity College in Maine and her MEd in Elementary Education from Antioch University New England. She has held a variety of jobs in the fields of wildlife and education ranging from working as a vulture nest biologist in the Golan Heights of Israel, to working in Ohio and Massachusetts as a field educator. She has worked as an environmental youth developer in the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic, as well as a classroom teacher in Maine and Vermont. Julie joined the VINS Nature Camp community in 2016 as a Lead Nature Camp Instructor and returned for her second summer in 2017 as the Nature Camp Assistant. For the past year, Julie has been working at Union Elementary School in the special education department. She is excited to return to VINS again for a second season as the Nature Camp Assistant to work not only with our campers and staff but also with the adolescents in VINS’ L-I-T program. Julie enjoys non-fiction books, cooking, birding, being in the outdoors, weaving baskets, and connecting with people of all ages and all walks of life. EMILY ANDERSONLead, Nature Camp InstructorMEET EMILYI first started working in summer camps as a volunteer counselor with the Middlebury Area Land Trust's naturalist camp. Over the three years I worked with this program, I taught children of all ages naturalist skills and about the forests and streams of Vermont, all while cultivating my own love of nature education. That experience led me to pursue a bachelor's degree in ecosystem ecology at the University of Maine, which I completed in the spring of 2016.After graduating, I spent time working as an intern on a citizen science project for the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center then returned to my hometown of Middlebury, Vermont to coach high school cross-country. Last summer, I traveled the west volunteering with several organic farms through Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms and more recently have been volunteering with a local land trust in Brunswick, Maine.I am excited to be working with VINS Nature Camp this summer because I strongly believe that developing an enthusiasm for nature at a young age not only enriches a young person's life, but also helps them become life-long stewards of the planet. On a personal level, I look forward to the opportunity to reconnect this summer with two of my greatest passions, ecology and education as I continue expanding my skills in both fields. SYDNEY SPICERNature Camp InstructorMEET SYDNEYMy name is Sydney Spicer, and I am a rising senior at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania. I'm currently working on a degree in Environmental Studies and Communication. Originally, I am from Springfield, VA (20 minutes south of DC) where I volunteered at a local nature center from 7th grade until I graduated high school. It was during my time there that I fell in love with environmental education.Outside of work and school, I spend time hiking, knitting, writing and exploring. I am so excited to be spending the summer as a part of the VINS Nature Camp staff, getting back into teaching and spending my summer outside in beautiful Quechee, VT! Fun fact about me: I spent a month in New Zealand last summer working on a horse trekking farm teaching riding lessons and leading treks. SEAN TAYLORLead, Wilderness Camp InstructorMEET SEANSean is a recent graduate of McGill University, and earned a bachelor's degree in Microbiology and Immunology. He has experience working with children in recreational and educational environments including as a lifeguard, swim instructor, substitute teacher, and first responder. Additionally, he spent the summer of 2016 working with VINS as a Nature Camp Instructor Most recently, Sean worked in a virology laboratory at Dartmouth College under Dr. David Leib.Growing up in the woods in New Hampshire climbing trees and playing outside led Sean to develop a love for the outdoors. He still plays outside, although these days it is in the form of hiking, rock climbing, cycling, scuba diving, and swimming. Sean also loves reading, cooking, working on his Jeep, and sharing his knowledge of science with others.Sean is very excited to return to VINS Nature Camp for a second summer of teaching kids all about nature and the place we call home; and most importantly, having fun! MEGAN TREECEWilderness Camp InstructorMEET MEGANMy name is Megan Treece and I am a junior at the University of Montana, where I am working on a degree in Parks, Tourism and Recreation Management. I am an outdoor enthusiast and when not working I like to spend my time hiking, fishing, mountain biking, running, and hunting. This past summer I worked at the Teton Science School in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I spent my summer educating, hiking, and exploring Teton National Park with children of all ages. This was where my love for outdoor education started. I think outdoor education is important because it allows children to appreciate and connect to nature at a young age. I love to push curious minds and help students establish connection to place. I am excited to spend a summer working at VINS so I can meet new people, spend every day working with children in Vermont and become a better educator.