If someone had told Melissa when she was a teen that she would get to make a living as a camp counselor, she wouldn’t have believed it. But that’s what she has gotten to do for the past 20+ years.
She has taught children outdoors in California, Wyoming, Maryland, and New York and led teens and adults on wilderness expeditions all over western North America. She completed a graduate program in Environmental Education at the Teton Science Schools in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and a two-year mentorship with master tracker Jon Young.
In 2006 she founded a program called Growing Wild Nature Mentoring in the Catskills, and in 2013 co-founded Ithaca Forest Preschool as a program of Primitive Pursuits. She loves spending time with preschoolers in their natural habitat–nature–and watching the growth of their imaginations, curiosity, and empathy for living things. She agrees with David Sobel that we should “give children a chance to love the earth before we ask them to save it.”