Stephanie

Stephanie

Stephanie has been an "outdoors girl" since she was in diapers and her love of nature has resulted in many adventures hiking, backpacking, camping, kayaking, canoeing, and climbing throughout the U.S. But outdoor recreation is more than a hobby — it is her career. After graduating from Indiana University with majors in Outdoor Recreation, Parks, and Human Ecology, Stephanie has sought out jobs as an outdoor guide and environmental educator. This will be her second season with Woods & Waters. She feels lucky sharing her love of the area since the EUP holds a special place in her heart after growing up making annual summer visits to a family-owned island cottage.  

ACA Level 2 Instructor
ACA Level 2 Trip Leader
ACA Level 2 Skills
Certified Interpretive Guide
Wilderness First Responder

Joe

Joe

Love for the outdoors has been Joe’s tagline for many years. This southern Ohio native got his start in a ‘yak in the mid-‘70s creeking whitewater in Tennessee and Kentucky before heading north with an 8-year stint with the US Coast Guard. The big lakes inspired him to jump into a sea kayak where he’s been paddling for the past 30 years — mostly in lakes Superior and Huron. Joe also loves hiking and has explored most of the North Country Trail in the UP. Joe can also talk rock climbing or photography, but his eyes light up when you inquire about blacksmithing. He makes all sorts of things, from the decorative to the practical, look for some pieces in the shop.

Sue

Sue

Beware that Sue will gladly take you down every back road seen on a map to find out what's there (she loves exploring). Sue holds a Bachelor's of Science degree from Aquinas College with majors in Geography, Communication Arts, and Studio Art which doesn't really explain anything other than she loves to learn, is curious, and can sort-of read a map. She also attended Kendall College of Art and Design to study graphic design and operates a small design and photography agency. Sue enjoys reading nonfiction books about nearly every topic and is never short on random knowledge to entertain you with. She also makes killer oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. An avid photographer (who shoots with a Nikon, Fuji, and DJI), she will nearly always stop to take a picture.

ACA Level 2 Instructor
ACA Level 2 Trip Leader
ACA Level 2 Skills
Wilderness First Responder
 

Sarah

Sarah

Sarah has maintained a lifelong curiosity about what nature has to offer. She has worked for the National Park Service, Illinois State Museum, two environmental education centers, and rounded out her full-time career with 28 years at the Kalamazoo Nature Center as an Interpretive Naturalist and Conservation Educator. She continues to love teaching how to enjoy the natural world to people of all ages. She has also founded a women-only adventure group which teaches outdoor skills and builds confidence for women who might never have enjoyed outdoor adventures growing up. With them, Sarah has guided many kayaking, canoeing, backpacking, and hiking trips. With her husband Wil, she has also traveled and hiked extensively, often with their dog Lily.

Certified Interpretive Guide
Certified Heritage Interpreter
Wilderness First Responder 

Wil

Wil

Wil grew up on a farm and roamed the forests, streams, and fields as a youth. Not a bad way to start off your love for the out-of-doors! After college, he taught junior high biology and became an environmental educator for that school system. He has also been a director at two nature centers and taught for more than 20 years at both Kalamazoo Valley Community College and Western Michigan University's Environmental Studies Department. In the past few years, with his wife Sarah, he has also been taking long walks — including John Muir’s “1000 Mile Walk to the Gulf” and Spain's 500 mile “El Camino.” Wil's love and passion for the outdoors, along with his wish to help folks enjoy and understand it, burns deeply in his soul. As a leader on many nature walks throughout the United States, he looks forward to sharing his passion with you!

Brian

Brian

Although Brian works downstate in the technology field, his college major was Political Science at Aquinas College, and he loves engaging conversations on a wide variety of topics. He is constantly in search of great things to eat and drink whether at home or on an adventure. This desire has lead to a passion for cooking, whiskey (primarily bourbon and rye), and of course craft beer (however he does have a weakness for good old American macro brew). When not seeking out the next adventure, gustatory or other, he can be found puttering around the family cottage in Hessel or now the Woods and Waters shop. He is very excited about the planning and logistics aspect of the new business.

Garrett

Garrett

A cleaning dervish, Garrett attends a farm-based Montessori middle school program in Grand Rapids. If you're wondering what that means — it means real, purposeful, and joyful work through the care of the earth, stewardship of the community, heartfelt service, and development of economy. He will likely be found hanging out in the shop and you can ask him about the best vacuums on the market, hand-throwing pottery, or driving miniature horses. He enjoys reading, cooking, gardening, chickens, and learning. 

First Aid, CPR, AED