The Field Team includes outdoor experts with an array of professional and personal experience. Wilderness specialists bring expertise in safety, compassion for struggling youth, enthusiasm for utilizing the outdoors as a catalyst for positive change, and are the core of the team. They frequently bring creative use of natural resources to individualized interventions.
Position: Medical Coordinator and Safety Officer
Position: Experiential Education Director
Allie grew up in Missoula, Montana where her love for the outdoors began. She went to college in Portland, OR at Lewis & Clark College, where she worked as an Adventure Expeditions Guide for many summers. After college, Allie joined the Deschutes Wilderness Therapy team as a Wilderness Field Guide for about three years. Now she is the Experiential Education Director. Allie has a passion for helping our Field Guides create unique programming experiences for our students. Since her time in this work, she is known for her love of sunrise hikes, her calm demeanor, and her desire to support others in their unique life journeys. When Allie isn’t in the field or the office, she loves to spend her time beading earrings, backpacking, exploring river beds, and watching weather patterns.
Position: Logistics Specialist
Growing up in the PNW, I’ve always held a special connection with the natural world and have continuously strived to find my place in it. One thing I’ve learned about myself through the years is my love of sharing experiences and skills and connecting people with the serenity of the forests. After discovering wilderness therapy, I worked as a guide in Utah for 4 years, followed by another year at NVW. More recently, I’ve been able to support all the guides and students in the field through my role in logistics.
Position: Girls Field Specialist
Babs has been with Deschutes Wilderness Therapy for over 2 years now. She started off as a Field Guide and stepped into a new role as Adolescent Field Specialist this past fall. Babs works mostly with our assigned female at birth groups but wears many hats here at Deschutes. Since her time here, Babs has been known for her wilderness spirit, growth mindset, and empathy when interacting with students. Babs loves to plan adventure trips for her groups which range from volunteering at the local foodbank to equine therapy or hiking at the famous Smith Rock. Babs is a teacher at heart and enjoys teaching our students about the importance of treating our Earth kindly, how to build trusting relationships with staff, canines, and peers, and how to step outside our comfort zones to foster personal growth. Everywhere she goes, she brings her bright smile, positive energy, and a jar of biodegradable glitter. She believes in the joy and healing this program offers to many families and embodies that in all her interactions.
Position: Logistics Specialist
Krystin Nichols is the Logistics Specialist at New Vision Wilderness Deschutes in Bend, Oregon. Her primary focus is to create a safe healing environment for clients, provide flexible support for coworkers, and work within a team.
Krystin is a Bend native who started at New Vision Wilderness Deschutes as a Field Instructor in June of 2015. In June of 2017, she transitioned into her current role in logistics. Since then, she has created and maintained a high level of organization to fulfill all client needs.
Krystin is dedicated to the NVW mission of creating joy and healing generations. She offers exceptional patience and support to everyone she meets. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening and crochet
Position: Field Director for Girls Programming
Liz grew up camping, biking and hiking in Wisconsin. After a few family trips out west involving camping and hiking, Liz fell in love with the outdoors and knew that she wanted to end up in the mountains. After finishing her Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Policy with minors in Public Administration and Political Science from UW-Green Bay, Liz spent a summer in on Washington Island as an Environmental Education intern at a butterfly house. Liz became an AmeriCorps VISTA the following winter and moved out to Billings, Montana to start a community garden in a food desert. She spent weekends exploring the Beartooth Mountains and fell in love with Montana. At the end of her VISTA term, she moved to Northwest Montana to work as a Field Crew Leader with Montana Conservation Corps right outside of Glacier National Park. She co-led a crew of five adult crew members in building and maintaining trails and structures throughout the Flathead National Forest, Glacier National Park, and the Kootenai National Forest for ten months. The following summer, Liz led a Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) crew through the conservation corps up in Eureka, Montana with local teens. Liz learned to love working with youth through her time as a YCC leader. Liz joined the Peace Corps as a Youth Development Volunteer in Morocco where she taught yoga, English and Life Skills to Moroccan Youth. When Liz moved back from Morocco, she knew she wanted to get into Wilderness Therapy and started searching for Wilderness Therapy Guide jobs and found New Vision.
Position: Young Adult Field Specialist
As a young adult Field Specialist, Mason finds working at Deschutes Wilderness Therapy his most rewarding, challenging, and inspiring experience to date. He has a visceral drive to be of service and is so grateful to be a part of our young adult’s therapeutic process and aid them in their journey through his mentorship.
All of Mason’s higher education was dedicated to learning how to be a leader in outdoor adventure settings. His professional career has brought him into different fields like Environmental Education and Adventure Education. He is so grateful to have found wilderness therapy, where his passion for mental wellness and adventure intersects. In his free time, Mason likes to take long walks and live out of his backpack, climb rocks, look at and collect maps, listen to podcasts, plan his next epic adventure, and be with the people he loves.
Position: Field Director for Boys Programming
Max grew up in Pittsburgh, PA where he found a love for the outdoors hiking the local State Parks. After completing his Bachelor in outdoor recreation education, Max went on to guide in North Carolina and New Zealand as well as volunteered for disaster relief in the Virgin Islands. After working with foster children and adjudicated youth in New Zealand, Max found a passion for working with individuals in crisis. This led him to New Vision where he loves combining psychology and the wilderness to help those who need it the most. During his free time you can find Max on the local trails and crags in Central Oregon, spending time in his garden, or reading a good book.
Position: Program Director
Rachel graduated from UW Milwaukee with a degree in Community Education and a focus on therapeutic work. During college, she was also a full time athlete on the diving team. For the past five years, Rachel has worked with many children with disabilities as a line therapist for kids with autism and also as a volunteer for special education classrooms and horse therapy programs. Rachel took courses with her dog to achieve therapy dog certification. They visited nursing homes to help raise the spirits of those who need it most. Rachel is excited to be continuing her journey here at NVW; and in her free time, she enjoys fishing, horseback riding, skiing, hiking and going to the movies.
Position: Boys Field Specialist
Ryan has been a part of the Deschutes Wilderness Therapy community since April 2020. Prior to arriving in Bend, Ryan spent five years in youth mentorship roles across the country including positions at summer camps, residential treatment centers, before and after school programs, and more. Ryan cites the work he does at Deschutes as the most meaningful, engaging piece of his life, and never questions if his time spent in the woods is worthwhile. Ryan takes great joy in helping students realize that they can transcend the darkness in their lives and become who they’d truly like to be, while always doing his best to add some humor and lightness to their therapeutic journey.