Elyse holds a B.A. in Communication Arts, Gender Studies, and LGBT Studies from the University of Wisconsin. She is also a Master of Arts in Adventure Education candidate at Prescott College. Elyse has been an outdoor educator and guide since 2006, is an American Canoe Association Sea Kayaking Instructor, Wilderness First Responder, and has training in motivational interviewing, trauma informed care, behavior management and de-escalation, and positive youth development. Elyse is also known for her unwavering work ethic and passionate defenses of the Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin cheddar.
Kira is a Northwest native and spends her time in, on and around the beautiful water of the Seattle area. She is a Wilderness First Responder and an ACA Certified Level III Coastal Kayak Instructor with 5 years guiding and teaching experience. In addition to paddling, Kira is passionate about youth work and currently works at a homeless youth shelter. With over 150 field days under her belt, most of which were spent guiding youth in the outdoors, Kira feels lucky to have spent a lot of time in her favorite office-the outdoors. In her free time, you’ll find Kira whitewater kayaking, knitting, or devouring the latest feminist or queer theory book in a local coffee shop. She is excited to combine her love for kayaking, youth, and queer and social justice with OUT There Adventures.
Mo Kappes has spent 20 years working with youth in an outdoor and experiential setting. In her free time, she enjoys playing ultimate frisbee, telemark skiing, and canoeing. Mo believes that OTA meets a need that isn't currently being met. For Mo, the wilderness levels the playing field and gives youth a space to just be. She's excited for this opportunity to be available to queer youth.
Keith comes to OUT There Adventures with a deep love and appreciation for the outdoors, and desire to share all that it has to offer with today’s queer youth. He grew up in the Boy Scouts of America, earning the rank of Eagle Scout, and led his peers on hiking and mountaineering trips. After college he was invited to participate in the pilot class of Out in Front, the LGBTQ leadership program to train our community’s next leaders, and worked with some of Seattle’s premier business people, activists, and thought leaders on today's LGBTQ issues. Keith attended Stanford University for a graduate degree in education with a concentration in technology for learning, and when he has to be indoors, he works as a software interaction designer. In his free time he runs a close-knit group of gay and lesbian adult adventure-seekers, the "Dirty Gays," looking for ways to bring the queer community outside. Keith's favorite activities are backpacking and skiing, and his next big adventure is a 10-day trip circumnavigating the Bernina Mountain Range on the border of Switzerland and Italy in July 2016.
Paul was trained as a geologist, but after earning his Master's and working for a while in geology, he married a teacher and started moving towards teaching himself. Starting in 1983, he has taught middle school science and math in two private schools, first in Seattle for 10 years, and subsequently at Hyla Middle School on Bainbridge Island, which was started by a group of teachers (including Paul) and parents in 1993. He also was the head of that school for 14 years. He has served on two private school boards and the board of the Bainbridge Community Foundation, and is currently serving as the treasurer of the Bainbridge Ometepe Sister Islands Association board, in addition to working on the OTA board. He has always been enthusiastic about start-up organizations, and is excited about the potential of OTA to make a difference and grow.
Katya is a life long athlete and outdoors enthusiast, who firmly believes in physical activity's power to help create a safe space to develop youth into adults. She holds a Master's in Social Work from the University of Washington and a Master's in Sports, Recreation and Tourism from University of Illinois and has made it her life mission to serve organizations and missions that meld these two worlds together.