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2018-19 Directors

Gear and Marketing Director

Britt McCracken

Gather round children as I tell you the tale of the great (great great great)..... BRITT McCRACKEN, an adventurer so daring, so bold, so audacious. Hailing from the lands of Span Aways where the lake people dwell, our fearless Britt ventured forth into the great abyss. Twas in said abyss that our grand adventurer discovered the tribe of the Pacific Lutherans. She befriended many of them and joined the tribe, quickly becoming one of the most ancient and noble titles of all tribes' members: a Lute. As a Lute, our valiant Britt overcame many challenges, slayed many dragons and went on many quests. Britt quickly rose through the ranks of the tribe and ascended to the position of Outdoor Rec Director. Under her reign, the tribe flourished and grew, but Britt knew that soon she had to move on. The dauntless leader picked her successors and parted from the tribe and while many tears were shed, the heroic Britt knew that there were a great many more adventurers to come. The End.
Finance and Operations Director

Isaiah Scheel

Isaiah (Bearded Jesus) Scheel was born one frigid december night in 1996, in a wooded thicket located deep within southeastern washington. Legend has it that Isaiah exited the womb with a full head of fiery red hair, and fully constructed blueprint for the Mars Pathfinder and Sojourner, both of which successfully launched and landed less than 6 months later. Just two months later, Isaiah successfully became the first member of his tribe to weave plants and branches into a climbing rope, ascending the Great Walla Walla Wall and joining the high ranks of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society. After precariously making his way over the edge, he emerged to discover a small golden spike sitting on a brown ovalish ball. He invented and played ‘football’ for 4 years before ultimately mastering the sport, and turned back to the strange golden spike. Using his immense genius and ingenuity, Isaiah put the spike inside of his shoe, forming the first track spike, going on to win the gold metal in the 200m world olympics at just 2 years old. it became apparent that Isaiah was destined for greatness, and his tribe shipped him across the Sea of Hawks to join the land of the Lutes. Under intensive training, Isaiah learned the ways of a ‘residence hall’, eventually rising to become a renowned RA, declaring a major in CS, and more naturally, becoming a director of the Outdoor Recreation Program, where he pledged to never cut his hair ever again. Some day, Isaiah plans to travel the world only by foot and swimming, hoping to inspire others, and establish wifi at every corner of the earth so he can code in peace and tranquility in the great outdoors.

2018-19 Trip Leaders

Hannah Peterson

Peterson, Hannah. Hannah is from the great state of Montana. She likes to ride her horse, but not in the Savanna. Her favorite fruit is the banana. She should use her Hispanic studies degree in Havana. There she can do what she likes, dancing to Copacabana. With her global studies degree, she should go farther than Indiana. She likes to push her hair back with a bandana. Catch her doing some yoga beneath the cabana. Take her on a hike, but not in Louisiana. Everyone likes Hannah, even the late princess, Princess Diana. I highly recommend meeting Outdoor Rec’s one and only, Hannah.

Elizabeth Kulus

It may seem crazy when you get to know that Elizabeth is from the deep Minnesotan wilderness where she taught gnomes to walk on two legs, but that's just the beginning of her wild adventure. With a passion for acting and the outdoors, Elizabeth has brought her happy spirit all the way to PLU in hopes of finding new dragons to slay and castles to scale. It's said she was the one who pulled the sword from stone, but we know she was the one who put it there (with the help of a generous amount of super-glue.) Leading trips she has never lost a Lute and can drift the van better than all who challenge her. With party tricks such as breathing fire and having a 5 foot vertical, you can be sure that Elizabeth is a force to be reckoned with. Btw can also can see in the dark when people forget to bring headlamps so that's rad

Nick Wagner

Nikkiiiiiii boi!!!! Whether he’s sendin it far, or shreddin the gnar, you can’t miss this charming fellow. From the land down under to the PNW this man is no stranger to adventure. If you end up on a trip with him you may hear some wild hootin and hollerin. Be sure to ask him about is crazy world travels , and he might even tell you about the time he raced kangaroos on the moon.

 Miranda Berg

This is Miranda and she is speedy. She is quick. She is hecka frickin FAST, so you will only ever see her speed past you in a blur with a mouthful of ice cream. Ya know why she’s so fast?!?!?!?! Because she’s from Spokane Valley, WA. Also, she’s on the XC and track team here a PLU, so anytime she sees a hill, she runs up it. She also loves to take picture with dogs. It’s her favorite hobby. Next time you’re on a mountain with snow make sure to look out for her – she might be snowboarding down, holding a dog and a gallon of ice cream.

Sarah Ward

Once upon a time, a little squirrel dropped an acorn. The acorn planted into the ground and blossomed into a funky fresh sunflower. This sunflower decided to name herself Sarah. She tracked far and wide, from the windmills of Portugal to rainbow mountains until she arrived in the mountains of Montana. Her she thrived in the snow until she ventured once more to Tacoma- blessing the land with her knowledge of gluten free cooking & hiking trails.

Acadia Graham

HAILing from Alaska and named after Acadia National Park in Maine, this trip leader sure likes her below-freezing climates. As an ice skater and avid skier Acadia fits right in, but definitely isn’t cold-hearted. An animal lover at heart, Acadia has worked as a professional cat tower in Greece, learned yoga from leatherback turtles in Tobago, played with pups in the Alaskan mountains, and was a three time gold medalist moose rider at the 1978 Djibouti Winter Olympics. When she’s not traveling around the world you’ll likely find her dancing through the wilderness in her Xtratuf boots. Remembering proper on-trail nutrition is never a problem when you hike with her, because Acadia Graham always packs an extra bag of those essential s’more crackers.

 Rika Boorsma

When I think of Rika, I just wanna shriek-a (heh, jokes) her name from the top of a mountain because she is so cool! But the thing is, she is also on top of the mountain with me, completing a sun salutation. Rika must have been as sneaky as a gnome because I’ve been hiking up this mountain for hours and she has succeeded in following me without making a sound! Did you know that Rika Boorsma is not only a certified cool Minnesotan, but she is also a certified yoga teacher?! So if you ever pull a muscle on a hike, she can totally help you out with her yoga superpowers! But do not fret if you are thinking that Rika Boorsma does not know about wilderness safety. Because that, my friends, is false! She is wilderness first aid certified! What are other cool things about Rika you wonder? Well, for a first, she is super good at navigating caves. You can find her leading the Ape Caves trip basically yearly. Except word on the street is that she is graduating this year… I guess she has forgotten about her binding contract that says that she must lead an OR trip to the Ape Caves every October/November until the end of her contract. Overall, if you are ever looking for Rika Boorsma around campus, I would suggest only looking in the Outdoor Rec room because it is rumored she has taken up permanent residence there with her best friend Sir Murph the Moose. P.S. Rika also designed the new OR mural in the Columbia Center and it is “pretty kewl” as the kids are saying these days.

Ben Soderling

Ben is a current sophomore at PLU. Before coming to college he lived in both Oregon and Chapel Hill, North Carolina (not the South one, the other one). He was previously employed at a rotisserie bistro in North Carolina probably doing something that involved food. Unclear. He also worked at Nantahala Outdoor Center, but his only evidence for this is a photo he posted while relaxing in a hammock. He now works as an RA in the STEM wing in Tinglestad because HE LOVES SCIENCE AND MATH or something. Ben is involved in many things on campus including choir, running (For fun? Towards something? Away? All of the above?.), Outdoor Rec, and all sorts of other great Ben activities. Last summer Ben finished his EMT training. If you ask him about this, he will likely say: “Your boy can save lives now (ambulance emoji),”. Some other cool things about Ben are that he likes cooking (maybe rotisserie food?), skateboarding, and at some point in the past there is a high probability that he saw BARACK OBAMA in person.

Ben Leschensky

BIG BEN Ben Leschensky the crowned prince of Iowa, professional photographer, a shredder of pow pow, a hiker of hikes, a sender of sends, and a true friend of Murph. Legends state that Ben was born in the holy waters of the Mississippi river right next to the krispy kreme in Guttenberg and from that moment the entire state of Iowa declared him their prince. Some say he befriended a kiwi in New Zealand and can drive the OR van backwards and with eyes closed. Others say that he has swam around the entire island of New Zealand while picking up litter along the way. While the truth may never be solved we can all agree that he’s pretty chill.

Tori Philippi

From the Land of Many Lakes descended the astonishing scholar and aardvark Tori Philippi. Her interests include being a cute millennial and publishing signature makeup looks by the age of four. Her primary mode of transportation is the canoe, preferably in arctic, widow-making waters. When provoked, the Tori enjoys farmer's markets and wrestling her way through Europe.

Jackie Stenberg

Yodelayheehoo!!! OOOHHH JACKIE! Meet this yodeler who comes straight from the Rocky Mountains of Montana. She has been known to yodel all the way up Going-to-the-Sun road at Glacier National Park. However, that's not only what's she is known for.....(drum roll)...she can toot with her eye socket! Well, if you want to find out more you gotta give her a yodel otherwise, for now, that is all of we can release on the mystery of the Jackie Stenberg. To find out more go on a trip with her and she can teach you to sing like the hills are alive!

Ian Rice

Ian Rice is nice, At least that is what they call him nowadays. Born from an egg inside an egg inside a tree inside the the Mountain of “Hek yeah super tall mountain”. He now hails from the highlands of Seattle WA. He is sometimes referred to as THE Samson (Long hair bible guy) (Check out those golden locks!!). He is basically Thor and an absolute beast at getting pitted. He loves to Raft and get absoLUTELY pitted!! In the summers he likes to work at the Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp where he teaches kids how to be outside and have lots of fun. He has been in OR for give or take a million years, jk, its been a few months but he is dope as hek. He likes to give tours to prospective students and wear a funny looking yellow fanny pack. Anyyyyyways, he is pretty cool, he’s got a ways to go with the hair, but it is coming along.

Emily Toycen

Emily's bio goes to the tune of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air: Iiiiiiiiin Western Washington, born and raised In nature is where she spent most of her days Hikin', packin', snowshoein' all cool You know that with camping she ain't no fool Now a Trip Leader here at the ol' PLU Take a trip with her and she gonna impress you With her laugh and her smile and her everlasting fun It'll be the bestest time that you've had with anyone

Cade Lilley

This is Cade. Cade hails from the not-so-far land of Milton, Washington. However, Cade is really from the future. Millions of years in the future, to be specific. In the future, Cade is a multi-billionaire. However, Cade enjoys the simple things in life, which is why he decided to travel back in time, and live like the rest of us humans. Cade likes to spend his time doing leisurely activities, like riding dolphins, doing one-legged back-flips, and reading only books written in different languages. Ask Cade about his experience with Outdoor Recreation, and he will probably tell you about his obsession with gnomes. If you end up going on a trip led by Cade, you're sure to have a blast!

Torrin Laughlin

All Hail da King! That is, the reigning Golden Gnome himself! Don’t “gno” who this is? Whodoya think you are?! This is none other den Minnesota-native Torrin Laughlin! Born in a canoe (gives a new meaning to water birth, eh?), Torrin is a home grown Minnesotan that canoed all da way to PLU, all while singing show tunes! Ca-NO way! Torrin loves to be in the outdoors, dontcha know? His favorite winter activity has to be skiing, and he especially loves pushing vans and registering people to do so! Torrin is also a frisbee player, and loves chucking the disc round da pitch. I mean da field. I mean da lake. Never one to say uff-da, Torrin is one of da best ever, eh!

Brandon Lehto

Running is a big part of bRANdon! He’s on PLUs track team. Thanks to his luscious locks, he runs faster than your nose in allergy season. Brandon is from Ridgefield, a mere 15.5 hour jog from Tacoma, and a city in the pastoral, rolling-hills countryside of northern Clark County Washington. If you can catch up with him, catch him skiing or running. He is on a life-long quest of trying to figure out how to run while skiing (hopefully before the 2022 Olympics). Most importantly: He’s on TRACK to becoming a fab trip leader!!!

Jackie Lindstrom

Jackie is a flippin’, skiin’, and spikin’ triple threat of a Rhode Islander. She is a long way from home but only because she has made it her mission to trek all the way to Alaska and see if it is really true that 400 Rhode Islands could fit in it. She has walked the whole way learning all of the Chemistries there are to learn along the way. When she isn’t playing volleyball, skiing, or doing gymnastics you will typically find her talking to her Rosetta Stone and practicing her Spanish. She is always down for an adventure so if you ever catch her on a break from her great journey stop her and ask how her gnome is doing, it’s code.

Brandon Ishise

Brandon Ishise, a man who's surely not as complicated as his last name. Truly, a well rounded individual who participates in both skiing, and snowboarding. That's right, we got a jack of all trades up in here. He even dabbles in a bit of photography. and not just any photography. FILM photography. That's because he's an old soul at heart. So maybe you'll be lucky enough to be led on a trip by Mr. Ishise (Or Mr. I for those of you who get tongue tied), and maybe you'll get to witness one of his many talents. But if not, you'll surely get to witness his old but kind soul.

Trip Leaders Studying Away

Anya Nelson

Studying in: Telemark, Norway

Once upon a time everyone ate apples but Anya ate bananas. She decided that she wanted to hike down hill. She endeavored to Anactrica; it was um...tubular! Anya suddenly knitted a gnome. Then, Anya corressed the LARGE Isaiah’s beard. Finally, she decided against her veganism, instead she ate wood chips that grew above ground next to Lake Superior! Lastly, beep.

Holly Knutsen

Studying in: France

Holly (more commonly known as Holland, Hollister, Halls Balls, or just Balls) Grace Knutsen was born in the shadow of dem dere RoCkY mOuNtAinS in colorful coloRADo. A former professional goat Wrangler and Wrestler™, she's now moved on to the finer things in life, like being an outdoor rec leader at good ole' PLU. Sometimes you can find her screaming about how cool nature is, or indulging in one of her many passions: eating avocado, falling off of boards (of the long and snow variety), swangin from a hammook, sniffin that sweet sweet seaweed smell of the PUGet sound, or just j chillin.

 Sir Murph the Moose

Studying in: The Columbia Center