Our core office staff of nine have a combined expertise of over 100 years. Trained in a variety of educational backgrounds, we have the knowledge to provide a well-rounded experience for people of all ages.
Abby has been shaped by her experiences in Ecuador South America where she spent seven years working with an adventure education retreat center called El Refugio located near the capital city of Quito. Her experiences leading wilderness trips, ministering to local Ecuadorians, and living in a different culture have fueled her passion for facilitating similar experiences with La Vida participants and staff. She is excited to be leading the La Vida Center here at Gordon College.
Director of Outdoor Education
Nate oversees Adirondack Expeditions which takes place in upstate New York. He also oversees the outdoor education requirement at Gordon College where students participate in their first-year orientation program. He began working full-time in the wilderness education field in 2002 but has been involved with La Vida since 1997. He and his wife look forward to spending each summer in the Adirondack Mountains of New York working with the La Vida staff and their daughters Evalyn and Elora.
Director of Adventure Camp
Michael oversees the day camp for middle schoolers at Gordon College. Before he began working with La Vida in 2006, Michael worked with youth in a variety of settings in Pennsylvania. Through those experiences, along with his seminary training, he has developed a passion for using the ropes course and the wilderness to foster spiritual growth and encourage character development. He is also a certified Wilderness First Responder.
Assistant Director of Outdoor Education
Joel trains the Adirondack staff and assists in overseeing the La Vida Expeditions along with Nate. He received his masters in Outdoor Education from the University of New Hampshire and has worked in the field since 2012. During the school year, he lives in Beverly, Massachusetts and tries to get out rock climbing as much as possible.
Director of Adventure Pursuits and Rock Gym Manager
Sam oversees the challenge course and team-building programs as well as the rock gym in the Bennett Center at Gordon College. Since graduating with his bachelors from Gordon College in 2015, Sam has been a Challenge Course Facilitator, Discovery Instructor, Program Director for Adventure Camp, and Adirondack Expedition leader and support staff. In his free time, Sam enjoys hiking, birdwatching, singing karaoke, playing guitar and a good book.
Assistant Director of Adventure Pursuits
Josh helps to make the challenge course and team-building programs run smoothly and is closely involved with the development of programming in the rock gym. He has a background in youth ministry, summer camp ministry and carpentry. Josh, his wife Gina and their goldendoodle Coco live on the Gordon College campus, where Gina works as the Resident Director of Nyland Hall. In his free time, he enjoys boating, hiking, rock climbing and different types of drawing and woodworking.
Assistant Director of Advancement Communication
Taylor works along the Executive Director to connect with donors and cultivate continued connection with our vast and adventurous alumni database. She graduated from Gordon College in 2019 and has served as an intern in addition to a myriad of other roles at the La Vida Center since she was in high school. Prior to joining the team in 2021, Taylor worked as a journalist for multiple local publications and has a passion for storytelling. When not at the writing desk, Taylor loves hiking, climbing, running, and–when there is enough snow– cross country skiing.
Office and Finance Manager
Kate has her Masters of Science in Financial Analysis and oversees the financial direction of the La Vida Center. Kate enjoys going hiking and camping with her husband Todd and children, Jade and Oliver. Before joining the La Vida staff, Kate worked in adventure programs in the South and Mid-West and in wilderness therapy in Utah. She has been certified as a Wilderness First Responder and trained in Project Adventure Advanced Skills and Standards for challenge courses.
Outdoor Education CORE Coordinator and Marketing Manager
Amber grew up going to recreational summer camps through her church but was not introduced to the wilderness until La Vida. She followed the Lord’s call to be involved with the program in 2013 and has since filled various roles within the La Vida Center. She spends part of her summer with her husband Nate and daughters Evalyn and Elora at the La Vida Adirondack Base Camp in NY. The rest of the year they are busy exploring the beaches and trails of the North Shore.
La Vida employs over 100 seasonal and contract staff each year for our various programs at Gordon College and in the Adirondacks at our 75-acre base camp. If you are interested in joining our team, please contact us.