Who We Are
Torrey Baldwin, M.A., Co-founder, Executive Director
Torrey believes strongly in the inherent wisdom that lies deep within and around us. Having worked with adolescents and young adults for 18 years, she feels called to help others connect deeply to that wisdom, as she attempts to do the same in her own life. After spending some years teaching math in an inner-city Boston charter school, Torrey decided to venture outside of the traditional classroom. She hiked and trained in the Rockies with NOLS for a summer and studied yoga for 16 months at Kripalu Yoga Center, which remains a second home. She has continued to follow her passion for experiential learning since that time. Torrey has studied, practiced, and taught extensively within a variety of mindful disciplines, including yoga and meditation, and worked for five years as a therapeutic field guide with Open Sky Wilderness Therapy. She has felt particularly inspired over the years through her work and training with The School of Lost Borders, Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, and Animas High School in Durango, CO, where she currently teaches math through a creative project-based learning curriculum. Torrey is also a Williams College graduate with a Masters in Teaching from Simmons College, and maintains an enduring affinity for spreadsheets, frameworks, psychological theory, and social entrepreneurship. Finally, Torrey is a wife and mother, and spends much of her days being awed by the growth and energy of her two young sons. She feels deep gratitude for the pleasures and struggles that continue to shape her moments and guide her future, and is moved by the opportunities to witness the experiences of others who come into her life.
Zachary Fischer, Co-founder, Operations and Programming Director
Zach loves supporting people to discover deeper connections with nature and within themselves. His own life was transformed by a month-long solo journey through the Wiminuche Wilderness when he was 18, and he continues to be profoundly affected by his relationship with the wild. His passions have led him to study and practice a variety of primitive skills with, among others, Dancing Hawk Native Lifeways and the Wilderness Awareness School. Zach is a graduate of WAS's year-long Anake training program, is certified as a Level 3 Cybertracker, and spends much of his days creating practical objects from natural materials. Zach also enjoys exploring his internal wild through yoga, meditation, and vision fast work. He spent six years working as a guide with Open Sky Wilderness Therapy, has led numerous animal tracking and nature-connection workshops in the four corners region, and leads classes through Durango Nature Studies, 4-H, and La Plata Youth Services. Currently on sabbatical, he finds inspiration in his pursuit of a MSW and in his daily role as a husband and father. He has become dedicated to strengthening our cultural connection to the ever-present force we call nature, and through ceremony and community, he believes we can learn to heal ourselves and the world around us.
Sage Petersen, Instructor
Sage is a nature, playfulness and vitality passionisto. He has been involved in vitality living since his whole life and has since studied movement, nature, leadership and neuroscience to further develop his teaching and mentoring skills. He harnesses nature, bodily expression skills like as martial arts, and practicing playfulness to merge joyful living with self-directed success. Sage is teaches seminars and retreats and is developing online courses and e-books on martial arts and Vitality Lifestyle for children and adults. He lives in Durango, Colorado.
Jeriah Bowser, Instructor
Jeriah is a passionate student of life, a career wilderness therapy guide, an author, and a reveler of wild places. He nerds out over anything related to wilderness living, whether that be primitive skills, tracking, bird language, bushcraft, hunting, or just being in the wilderness. Jeriah has worked as a wilderness therapy guide at Wingate Wilderness Therapy, Open Sky Wilderness Therapy, and Legacy Outdoor Adventures, as well as volunteering as a senior naturalist at Durango Nature Studies. When he’s not working, he is teaching himself and others ways in which to live more simply, intentionally, and respectfully with the earth. Jeriah is also the chair of the Ecology and Sustainability department at the Hampton Institute and writes regularly for several online journals and columns on issues related to human ecology and social justice.
Lesley Hudson, Instructor
Lesley believes that being in relationship with our natural environment allows access to our own natural state of aliveness. Having grown up in urban Milwaukee, she has sought refuge in wild places throughout her adult life. Lesley has worked as a Senior Field Guide for Open Sky Wilderness Therapy, as well as served as a field guide on backcountry meditation retreats. She is a certified 200 hour RYT yoga instructor having taught in both studio and outdoor settings, and a devoted meditation practitioner. Lesley has recently embarked upon a 2 year intensive dharma study program in the Insight Meditation tradition. Her other passions include rock climbing, gardening, biking, and most recently, birding. Lesley brings a passion for connection and a personalized understanding of the transformational power of wilderness.
Will Hubert, Instructor
Will has been working as a guide, mentor, and outdoor educator since 2006. He is passionate about bringing creativity and compassion to all that he does, especially when working with youth. Will maintains a BA, Special Major, in Outdoor Education & Environmental Studies from California State University, Chico. Before working as a Senior Field Guide for Open Sky Wilderness Therapy, Will spent many years as a whitewater river guide, environmental education naturalist, summer camp counselor, and adventure trip leader. Springing from the coastal waters of San Francisco and Marin County, California, Will has been living in Southwest Colorado for the past two and a half years. His passions include kayaking, playing music, running with his dog, making extravagant breakfasts and spending time with his girlfriend. Will is dedicated to teaching and living a life of love, clarity, and intention; he believes strongly that all people have wonderful gifts to share with the world.
Davis Thompson, Instructor
Davis believes that connecting with nature positively impacts one's life, and one's role in immediate and global communities. Davis felt called to the wild from an early age, and so began his love for the natural world. It is this love that led him to study at the Wilderness Awareness School, where he was able to expand his knowledge of primitive skills. Since graduating WAS, Davis has returned home to his family farm in Tennessee. Although interested in all aspects of nature, his passion lies in the world of fungi, and the ways that mushrooms connect and support healthy, natural environments.