Our team of talented wilderness instructors works behind the scenes all year round to bring our programming to life.
Aspiring tracker, devoted farmer, and fearless wrangler of details
Heroic homesteader, humble herbalist, and wild food enthusiast
Fire wizard, primitive bow hunter, wilderness chef, and keeper of legends
Summer Camp Director
Hiker, biker, birder, and tireless outdoor adventurer
Director of Marketing
Passionate designer, strategist, vegan chef, and aspiring yogi
Passionate connector of people, and lover of the earth
Barefoot explorer, silliness seeker, and master multitasker
Alternative educator, bird lover and friend to native plants
Grateful gardener, wanderer, beekeeper, and optimistic seeker of justice
Creative kid whisperer, community advocate, and singer of songs
Magical music maker, creek crawler and life-long learner
Community co-creator, eager herbalist and lover of the land
Ian’s work with nature connection began in his youth with his extensive backpacking.
Summer Camp Staff
Rakim loves living in the moment, connecting/reconnecting with nature, and learning about the universe so he can be extraordinary and share his talents and gifts with others with love and authenticity.
Regan was a lifelong Girl Scout and Girl Scout counselor before starting the Outdoor and Environmental Education graduate program at SUNY Cortland and working with Primitive Pursuits. She is looking forward to another summer of fun in the woods with all the campers and best staff in the world.
I enjoy wildlife and taking photos of nature. I have a habit of snapping any photo I can of something beautiful nature brings us. I am excited to join Primitive Pursuits this summer as a photojournalist and social media specialist.
Enzo was a camper with Primitive Pursuits from the age of 5 until his teenage years when he became a mentor and then a Counselor. After a brief hiatus, Enzo came back to where he feels most comfortable (the outdoors) and the community where he feels most welcomed and understood (Primitive Pursuits).
Ai-Zhen is a writer, photographer, and lifelong gymnast. She is excited to join Primitive Pursuits this summer as a photojournalist.
Rowan attended Primitive Pursuits as a child and has spent weeks-long canoeing and camping trips. Rowan enjoys volunteering often at a local nature center where they are responsible for the care of the animals there and for running children’s games and programs. In their free time, they enjoy playing viola and drums, and drawing.
I am an Environmental Science major undergraduate, and I help to teach college students through my school’s Primitive Pursuits club. I have had a passion for the outdoors from a young age, and strongly believe the best way to teach about nature is in nature.
I am an Eagle Scout who went on many wilderness trips including backpacking in New Mexico, canoeing in Minnesota, and camping on the Appalachian Trail. I volunteered with the cub scouts for four years and I have previously been certified in both CPR and first aid. I love to read and hike in my free time.
This is my 4th summer working for primitive pursuits. I grew up participating in similar nature-based experiential learning programs when I was growing up as a homeschooler.
My name is Francesca, I love being outside and being active. I play soccer, basketball, run track and power lift at Candor High School. I’m going into my senior year in the fall and plan to attend college the following year. I love working with kids in nature, I’ve volunteered at outdoor programs since I was 11. I love art, photography, sports, and anything outdoors.
Grey has been with Primitive Pursuits since they were 12 years old and has come back every year since then. The mentors and programs kept them connected to nature as they grew, and has inspired Grey to nurture their own sense of curiosity and love for the forest as they continue to learn what the woods have to teach.
Sarah is so excited to be back for her 6th summer with Primitive Pursuits! The wooded world was the background to many of her adventures as a child, which included creek wanders in search of frogs, building forts and fairy houses, and countless other experiences that had a lasting impression on her.
Heidi has been in love with the ecology in and around Ithaca since she started as a camper at Primitive Pursuits more than 10 years ago. The connection she developed with the woods, all its creatures, and the other kiddos at camp inspired her to help foster more of those connections and she is excited to be a counselor again.
Alyssa is a recently graduated Television and Radio student from Ithaca College. She looks forward to bringing her unique perspective to the woods as a photojournalist this summer.
Ben is a local artist and photographer. In addition to working with Primitive Pursuits, Ben runs The Rest gallery located in downtown Ithaca. Ben is passionate about the arts and enjoys sharing this passion with students. He is excited to spend some time in the summer as a photojournalist.
Hello! My name is Kelby and I am so very excited to spend my first summer with Primitive Pursuits. I love the outdoors and am incredibly passionate about working with and empowering children to be their best selves.
I have been a camper at Primitive Pursuits for many years and I had so many great experiences. It is so rewarding to be able to give back to a program that gave me so much as a kid. I absolutely love everything to do with fire building, but I especially love teaching it as a skill, seeing a camper light their first fire with a bow drill or single match is always a thrill.
Hi, I’m Lauren or Luna. I love spending time out in nature and sharing that experience with others. Art and Nature art is a fun hobby that I enjoy doing in my free time!
Zoe’s experiences working with youth began as a Crew Leader at the Youth Farm Project here in Ithaca and readied me for all the outdoor education and fun we’re about to have at Primitive Pursuits.
Arthur is pursuing an Environmental Studies degree with a minor in Outdoor Adventure Pursuits from Ithaca College.
This will be Elliot’s second summer with Primitive Pursuits, and their fourth summer working with kids at a summer camp. Elliot loves helping kids enjoy the outdoors, and has experience with camping, cooking, and starting campfires.
Viveka grew up in Ithaca and spent many of her summers in the woods with Primitive Pursuits as a child. She will be attending Cornell University in the fall to study Human Development and already knows that she wants to work with kids for the rest of her life.
Eli enjoys cooking, hiking, paddling, skiing, and spending quality time with friends and family in the outdoors. He is looking forward to creating epic adventures and lasting memories for the campers this summer season!
With 8 years as a camper and 5 as a mentor and instructor, Alice looks forward to another magical summer in the forests and fields.
James enjoys hiking, walking, and running on nature trails. He is excited to spend his summer with all the kids in the woods.
Lucienne is a lover of vast forests, a devotee of the natural world and its gift, and an aspiring landscape architect.
Will is in his second summer with primitive pursuits. He loves birding, backpacking, kayaking, and being outside and feels lucky to get to spend my time outside of school in the woods with such amazing campers and fellow staff
Alexandra loves to share her love of fungi, mosses, and edible plants
Peter is an Eagle Scout and alumnus of the Primitive Pursuits Homeschool Program.
Summer Camp Nurse
After working for Primitive Pursuits as an educator, Sara is excited to return in a new capacity as a Registered Nurse.
Sean is excited to share his experience with archery, fantasy storytelling, woodcarving, and exploring with all the kids in the woods this summer!
Cindy believes deeply in the power of nature to heal hearts and inspire the child in all of us.
Daniel has been exploring the woods around 4-H Acres for his entire childhood.