Who We Are


Amy Hyatt

Amy HyattAmy moved to Vermont in August 2001 to participate in Vermont Wilderness School’s Instructor Apprenticeship Program, get trained and move back to her birth home bioregion of Southwestern Ohio to start a Wilderness School there. She quickly fell in love with Vermont, the work of Vermont Wilderness School, the children and families of Oyase and has been with us ever since. Amy completed the four-year Apprenticeship Program with VWS in 2005, coordinated and co-facilitated a year of the Apprenticeship Program, and has been an Oyase staff lead instructor since the 2003-2004 program year. She has also been a lead instructor for Deep Wilds intro to wilderness survival overnight programs, and a camp director for Otter Day Camp and Earthfriend Discovery Day Camp. She has been on staff for 8+ east coast Art of Mentoring workshops and is currently a major organizer of the Vermont Art of Mentoring. Her specialty is working with children ages 7-11 and adults of all ages in areas of nature awareness, basic survival skills, creative expression, cultural facilitation and community building. She completed a Master of Arts in eco-literacy and place-based education in 2004 from Union Institute and University and a Bachelor’s of Philosophy in Cross-Cultural Communication through the Arts from Miami University in 1995. Additional, Amy has extensive experience in non-profit leadership, organizational development, and community organizing (that’s what she did before moving to Vermont)! Amy served as VWS’s Executive Director from 2009 to 2013.


  • The Vermont Art of Mentoring – Director
  • Oyase Community School – Director
  • Essentials for Resilient Community – Director
  • Shambhala Warrior & Nature Day Camp – Director
  • Earthfriend Discovery Day Camp – Director

First Aid Certification: SOLO Wilderness First Aid & AHA CPR

Bob Etzweiler

Bob_EtzweilerBob has always loved being outdoors. Before moving to Vermont in 2006, he was program director and naturalist at a summer camp / outdoor retreat center in Pennsylvania. Upon coming to Vermont, he started doing wilderness programs similar to Otter Day Camp and found that was a good fit. He has worked for Oyase Community School since 2007 as well as offering his own Fox Walk Programs—both offered through Vermont Wilderness School.  He loves huntin, tanning hides, crafting, tracking and wandering. He also loves primitive cooking and wants to have a related show on the food network. Let him know if you have any connections.


  • Otter Day Camp – Director
  • Foxwalk Forest School – Director
  • Wild Turkeys – Director
  • Lynx Tracking Expedition – Director
  • The Hunter’s Heart – Director
  • Oyase Community School – Field Director & Lead Instructor

First Aid Certification: Wilderness First Aid & CPR

Sam Stegeman

SamSam’s family attended VWS’s weeklong Art of Mentoring program in 2013, and life hasn’t been the same since.  He is thrilled and grateful to have found a community that reinforces his family’s dedication to living a life based in nature awareness, community development, and personal growth.  He believes that every child and every adult, no matter their situation, should have the kind of opportunity his family has had.

Sam became the Executive Director of VWS at the beginning of 2015. For the previous five years, Sam worked at CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture) where he coordinated PVGrows, a network of people and organizations collaborating around a healthy and sustainable regional food economy. From 2000-2010 he worked in the foundation/philanthropy sector and gained experience in organizational development, facilitation, program/event management, and finance. He graduated with a BA in Environmental Studies from Brown University. Sam and his wife Leslie live in Conway. MA with their two children, who are teaching their parents about trees and making fire.

Ash Young

Photo of Ash YoungEvan “Ash” Young is a rewilder, systems thinker, and player of infinite games. He has a masters degree in Whole Systems Design from Antioch University and is a graduate of the Wilderness Awareness School’s Anake Program. He has experience as a wilderness educator, Makerspace coordinator, and in nonprofit operations. His primary roles at the Vermont Wilderness School revolve around administration and outreach. He is passionately interested in animal tracking/trailing, playing games, and becoming a bowyer.  If you call or email the office you’ll probably get a chance to chat with him!


  • Oyase Community School – Assistant Instructor

First Aid Certification: NOLS Wilderness First Aid & CPR


  • Ingrid Burrows
  • William Greene
  • Shannon Herrick
  • John Lee
  • Kalia Lydgate
  • Jason Morris
  • Gia Neswald
  • Alan Roberts
  • Mark Stehlik
  • Ruth Wplk