Consultant Bios

Bob Etzweiler

Bob has been teaching youth in the outdoors for over 25 years, 15 of them in Brattleboro. He currently leads programs for ages 4-7, 7-12, and 14-18, as well as classes and intensives for adults.  In addition to directing Vermont Wilderness School programs and summer day camps, Bob is a faculty member at Four Rivers Charter High School in Greenfield, MA, where he teaches “Nature” as an elective. 

Bob is available to support teachers on the nuts and bolts of outdoor learning in a post-COVID environment, including: training teachers to work with students and parents on the new protocols, group management and safety, and how to ensure that fun and learning can still happen despite these new conditions.

Amy Hyatt

Amy has been mentoring and creating learning experiences for youth in the outdoors for 19 years at Vermont Wilderness School. She currently leads programs for ages 7-14, as well as trainings for adults in how to create a culture of learning in relationship with the natural world.  Amy grew up immersed in public school culture with two public high school teachers for parents.  As a young adult, Amy witnessed her mother dramatically change her teaching style incorporating place-based outdoor education to help at-risk youth be able to learn and pass some of the earliest state-required testing for graduation in Ohio.  Her success with students helped inspire Amy to pursue how to create learning experiences outdoors for all ages.

Amy is available to facilitate dialogue among teachers and/or school administrators to figure out how you can use the outdoors to support learning and development — which begins with you developing your sense of comfort facilitating learning outside.

Jeannie McGartland​

Jeanie has been mentoring and teaching in outdoor education for 15 years. Jeannie’s relationship with Vermont Wilderness School began 20 years ago when she first enrolled in Oyase Community School. She has been involved in the VWS community in many roles since then, most recently working as the Youth Program Director for the Art of Mentoring conference, where she designs and leads programming for children ages 3-6. Jeannie also has a background in Waldorf education and is currently pursuing a Waldorf Early Childhood Teaching Certification at Sophia’s Hearth, as well as concurrently earning her M.Ed. in Nature-Based Early Childhood Education at Antioch University. Jeannie is available to consult and support teachers and programs looking to incorporate outdoor education as a part of their curriculum and routine

Karen Rent

Karen has been an educator for over 20 years, working for environmental education organizations throughout New England and in Georgia.  She has experience teaching in the field and working with teachers to create standards-based lessons that help take learning outdoors in a school setting. Along with being a VWS instructor, Karen also works as a teacher-naturalist for the Harris Center for Conservation Education, collaborating with teachers throughout NH’s Monadnock region.  She holds an M.A in Environmental Education from UNH and a B.A. in Recreation and Parks Management from Penn State. Karen is a mother of two public school children and is actively advocating for equitable outdoor learning for all students this school year and beyond.

Ani Schaeffer

Ani Schaeffer is available to work with traditional classroom teachers and administrators, outdoor and nature connection field staff and educators, and other interested individuals. Her work with educators and administrators helps them bridge the curricular distance between outdoor learning and education standards, find creative and effective ways to integrate outdoor and classroom learning, develop robust outdoor supports for students and teachers, and provide ongoing mentorship to teachers as they develop and integrate their outdoor curriculum with classroom practice. Ani can also help nature-connection educators,outdoor program leaders, and administrators to take what they do and effectively frame it with the language of academics so that they can build richer relationships with school boards, administrators, teachers, parents, and communities.

Ani is a licensed Vermont educator with almost fifteen years of experience working in public and private progressive Pre-K, elementary, and middle school classrooms. She holds an MSEd. from Bank Street College, with a focus on student centered, emergent curriculum and creative curriculum design. In addition to outdoor education, Ani has worked in both urban and rural schools, and with homeschooling families. She is experienced in working with adults as a consultant, teacher mentor, and professional development leader. In addition to her work with Vermont Wilderness School, Ani is currently an independent education consultant to teachers and schools, as well as being a classroom teacher, academic tutor and youth mentor. She brings social justice, decolonization, and antiracist commitment into all of her work.

Sam Stegeman

Sam is the Executive Director of Vermont Wilderness School. He is available to help navigate the funding and administrative aspects of nature connection programs for youth.

Ash Young

Ash is a VWS youth programs instructor and the coordinator/administrator for VWS programs.  Ash is available to train teachers and to support administrators in interpreting state guidelines to identify educational activities and group protocols that will allow teachers to meet the guidelines. Ash can also offer guidance on outdoor learning operations, administration, and logistics.


Please contact us if you are a teacher or administrator seeking support.  Thank you for the work you are doing!

The first two hours of consulting are free, thanks to support from our community of donors. After two hours, the fee is $40/hr.

Fill out this short form so that we can match you with the consultant that best matches your needs.

Or inquire with Ash Young, Vermont Wilderness School,, 802-257-8570.