Service, leadership, and hiking

Meredith, NH
Service and Hiking Alaska
Middlebury College

Chelsea’s Experience

and Curiosity

Originally from Meredith, New Hampshire, I graduated from Middlebury College in the winter of 2018 as an environmental policy major and education studies minor. During college, I fell in love with the community in Addison County, Vermont, so I began my teaching career at a local elementary school. My favorite part of working with students is the enthusiasm and curiosity they bring every day. When I’m not teaching, you’ll find me skiing, practicing yoga, reading romance novels, and playing board games with friends.

Being A Leader

“To new Overland students: I know that the first days may feel daunting and awkward but it is so worth it to branch out and spend time getting to know everyone in your group. Nothing bonds people like the challenge of immersive outdoor experiences so the friendships you leave with and memories you bring with you are ones that you will treasure forever.”

Summer’s Outdoors, with Kids

A Rewarding

As a teacher, I spent my first summers off seeking adventures throughout New England including thru hiking a number of local long distance trails. In subsequent summers, I was looking for a way to bring my passions, working with kids and enjoying the outdoors, together. It was then that I remembered the awesome experience a number of my Middlebury College classmates had leading for this cool organization called Overland. One Google search and a few interviews later, I discovered that Overland was the perfect match with their values of teamwork, discovery, and sustainability.

Favorite Memories


Some of my favorite Overland memories are from long days of rafting on the Arkansas River in Colorado. The challenges of hiking and backpacking really bring the group together and allow students to showcase their knowledge and skills in a variety of ways but I’ve found that paddling brings out the leadership skills of different students. I have a distinct memory of two of my quieter students posted up at the front of the raft synced up and paddling hard to keep the rest of the group in line and get us through the Pinball rapid. The smiles on their faces as we made it through were priceless and we celebrated the feat with a paddle high five before taking on our next rapid together!

An overnight into the Alaskan backcountry caps off a fantastic week of trail work.
Students work with local trail crews to learn about ecology and sustainability practices.
Spending time in the outdoors, exploring a new environment, meeting new friends — these are the building blocks of an incredible summer.
Alaska is the perfect place to challenge yourself, to learn and grow, and to make a tangible impact through community service.

Getting to Know My Students

A Summer
To Remember

In the summer of 2023, I led Service and Hiking Alaska with my co-leader, the ever-jovial John Quinlisk. We had the opportunity to bring 3 groups of 10 silly, joyful, and dedicated students to build trails, hike, and sea kayak on the Kenai Peninsula. During our service work, the group cut down trees to clear a new path, dug out dirt and mud to create tread, placed large rocks to create a switchback, and moved crushed rocks to create a new and sustainable local trail. The aim of this trail is to make enjoying nature easy and accessible for the residents of Whittier, Alaska. Our local contacts were grateful for all of the help our group provided and the students were so proud of all they accomplished. Being able to see the trail develop over the course of the week was evidence of the individual strength of each student as well as the way the group grew closer to work as a team and accomplish our goals.

Learning about Leadership


To new Overland leaders, I hope that you carve out time for yourself throughout the busy days. Taking some time for yourself in your tent every morning and evening to read, journal, or even stretch is so important in feeling better equipped to support students each day. Also, invest in a compact inflatable pillow! They are so worth the time and pack space.

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Info Sessions

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