"If a child is to keep his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in."
~ Rachel Carson
The magic of a great outdoor education program does not come from the place or the curriculum but from the people that make everything happen. The ACOS staff teach, mentor and support students during their camping experience, allowing them to create life long connections with the natural world and their peers.
Outdoor Education instructors
Kelly Wood – Executive Director
Kelly draws on 15 years of experience at Chapel Rock to work with staff and guests to create outstanding educational and retreat experiences. Kelly graduated from Prescott College with a Bachelors degree in Outdoor Program Administration, started working on the ropes course and has never looked back. In his current role he manages staff, supervises summer camp, helps with ACOS, and ensures every guest has a great experience. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family.
Favorite Quote: "We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit."
– e.e. cummings
Tim Craig - Program Director
In his role as Program Director, Tim pulls from a diverse background in Natural History, Environmental Education and exploring Arizona as a Wilderness Ranger. Working for the Student Conservation Association, Tim led many trail and conservation crews with high school and college ages students throughout the country. He has worked at Chapel Rock for 6 years and helped design the ACOS program in 2007. In his spare time Tim enjoys hiking in the woods with his dogs, mountain biking and backpacking with his wife and kids and volunteering for organizations such as Volunteers for Outdoor Arizona and the Arizona Wilderness Coalition.
Favorite Quote: “It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”
― Paulo Coelho, Alchemist
Jack Staudacher - Challenge Course Manager
Jack Staudacher is an educator in the fields of personal development and relational psychology. He has been actively teaching at the collegiate level for nearly 20 years. Jack strives to help each person on the challenge course have a meaningful experience and translate that back into their lives. Truly a kid at heart, Jack has been working with adults and kids at Chapel Rock for over two decades truly embodies everything camp should be.
Favorite Quote: “Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”
- Joshua J. Marine
Emily Mchale - ACOS Staff
Emily comes from the desert southwest where she was taught an appreciation for thorny plants, sunsets and swimming holes. She is a certified teacher who over the last eight years has worked with youth in classrooms, camps and outdoor settings. Her resume ranges from first grade teacher to kayak guide, and her skills go from tractor driving to SCUBA diving. Emily is thrilled to be working with ACOS at Chapel Rock and sees this program as an opportunity to learn, grow and share her passions of the outdoors and science with others. When Emily isn't working at Chapel Rock, she loves exploring the West in pursuit of creeks with trout and trails to climb.
Favorite Quote: "Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful."
- Thich Nhat Hanh
Kaitlin Berger-Jones - ACOS Intern
Kaitlin recently graduated from Prescott College where she focused on Environmental Studies and Adventure Education. A native of North Carolina, Kaitlin fell in love with the Southwest in 2009 when she spent a semester backpacking, caving, canoeing, and climbing on a program with the National Outdoor Leadership School. Kaitlin is new to the ACOS team, but first became involved with Chapel Rock through the Ropes Course Facilitation class offered at Prescott College in 2010. She is fun-loving and energetic, with a passion for teaching to all different learning styles. Kaitlin spends much of her free time standing on her head and turning the world into a jungle gym. She can also be found exploring outdoors with her friends, experimenting with art, and practicing martial arts.
Favorite Quote: "The man who has no imagination has no wings.
- Muhammad Ali"
Ferris Wahl – ACOS Staff
Ferris has worked with youth and young adults as a counselor, coach, mentor, and instructor for the past four years. She recently graduated from Prescott College with a BA in Counseling Psychology and minor in Adventure Education and will begin attending a PhD program in January 2014. She is a certified Wilderness First Responder and Peer Counselor. Ferris is a dynamic and passionate facilitator and enjoys being a leader and member of a group that is growing and learning together in an outdoor environment.
Favorite Quote: “Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” Or “Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen”
- Ralph Waldo Emmerson
Nicole Marshall – ACOS Staff
I had the luxury to spend the better half of my childhood camping outdoors, roaming through the woods, splashing in the streams and carefully observing every little creature which crossed my path. If I could transcend this amazing love for nature that I have formed to every child and adult alike I think the world would be a much different place. My love of science and the natural world lead me to earning my Bachelor’s degree in the area of Biological Sciences with an emphasis on Microbiology from California Polytechnic University, Pomona. While on campus I had the pleasure to lead field trips for the local schools highlighting the areas unique history of indigenous people, flora and fauna. I continue to be a sponge when it comes to learning, earning certification as a Certified Interpretative Guide with National Association for Interpretation and as a Naturalist with The Highlands Center for Natural History. Currently I am near completion in earning my Teaching Certification for Secondary Education. I love to spend my free time exploring the city trails, photographing wildlife and playing with my three precious cats.
Favorite Quote: "There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in."
- Joshua J. Marine
Kara Kukovich – ACOS Staff
Kara has lived in Prescott for two years where she attends Prescott College and has worked on the low ropes and high ropes courses at Chapel Rock and Friendly Pines camps. She is excited to now join Chapel Rock’s ACOS program! Before coming to Prescott, Kara was an AmeriCorps Service member in New York where she served as an outdoor environmental educator (OEE) for the Fresh Air Fund. Since then, she has been an OEE instructor for Camp Orkila in the San Juan Islands, a Climbing Director for the Boy Scouts, and a Maine Camp Trip Leader. She will graduate in December with a degree in Environmental Education with minors in Adventure Education and Cultural Studies.
Favorite Quote: "When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe."
- John Muir
Toby Shultz – ACOS Staff
Toby loves working with children and putting a smile on their face. She joined the Chapel Rock staff as a facilitator in May 2013 after retiring from Kraft Foods. Toby loves adventure and is an accomplished hiker including Grand Canyon's rim to rim in a day; the summits of Mt. Whitney, Mt. Humphrey's, Peru's Machu Picchu and Africa's Mt. Kilimanjaro. Giving back to others in the community is important and she holds volunteer positions at Yavapai Regional Medical Center, Skull Valley Fire Department K9 Search & Rescue; From Home with Love and the American Red Cross.
She lives in Prescott with husband, Buddy, former Major League Baseball Player; and 4 golden retrievers.
Favorite Quote: "Life is Short the World is Large"
Siobhan O’Halloran – ACOS Staff
Siobhan is excited to bring her love of science and nature to the Aspen Creek Outdoor School team. After receiving her degree in physics she came to Prescott to continue exploring other branches of science and engineering. During the summers Siobhan heads to Oregon to work in the cherry industry. In her free time Siobhan enjoys mountain biking, disc golfing, birding, and is currently teaching herself to play the banjo.
Favorite Quote: “Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around.” - Henry David Thoreau
Lance Moody – ACOS Staff
Earliest days spent with muskrats, mummichogs, sticklebacks, herring gulls, least terns and migrating rafts of brant's geese. Wearing adult waders as a boy of 10 to walk the sucking goos of deep detrital mud and then out into winds and tides where waves play chase til crashing onto the glacial outwash of the northeastern littoral. And now walking and rolling AZ's central highlands, where accreted arcs and ancient subductions hide ophiolites and reveal aeolian dunes a thousand feet high; feeling what it feels like to feel rocks remembering.
Favorite Quote: “Read not the Times, read the Eternities.”
Henry David Thoreau