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2019-2020 Directors

Gear and Marketing Director

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!
Finance and Operations Director

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.

2019-2020 Trip Leaders

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

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

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.

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.

Anya Nelson

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

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.

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.

Baxter Fuhrman

Baxter the faxer, who rides on a tractor, and eats food from a compactor, but he's not an actor he's the real grandmaster, and if there's a disaster he'll fix it faster. In other words... he's pretty chill

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.

McKenzie Pfeiffer

McKenzie a.k.a the kenz!! Is well known for her skills on the volleyball court and crushing the spirits of her opponents with her spikes, but the kenz!!! is also an avid hiker and has her release in the precious waters of little marshal falls 😮

Natalie Johansen

Natalie loves rocks!! She eats them for breakfast, uses them as pillows, shoes, and she even drives a rock for a car! Her favorite movie is the rock and her favorite actor is Dwayne "the rock" Johnson! She also loves really really cold rocks like the ones by glaciers, ask her about rocks!

Connor Lemma

Connor is the man with a plan, if that plan was actually a mustache, if there's one way to describe him it would be that his pasta personality is thick country pasta! When Connor is not hitting dingers on the baseball field he is leading all the OR trips he possibly can! If you want to be led by someone who knows everything there is to know about the office Connor is your guy!

Trip Leaders Studying Away

Ben Leschensky

Studying in: Scottland

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.

Acadia Graham

Studying in: all over the place!!!!

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.

Carson Bergstrom

Studying in: India

Carson is our OR royalty! When he is not doing amazing things in India you can find him do what other ex Vice Presidents do which is leading Outdoor Rec trips!!

 Sir Murph the Moose

Studying in: The Columbia Center