Steph is one of the more recent additions to the Outdoor Education Manager (OEM) team. Her customer service and attention to detail mean that the programs she runs are always met with positive review. She is an outdoor all-rounder, with qualifications in sailing, surfing, snorkelling, bushwalking and rock climbing. Having grown up heavily involved in outdoor activities with her family, Steph also pursued a long-term involvement in the Scouts.
Steph started out at Wilderness Escape as a casual instructor in 2015, dividing her time facilitating experiences on our High Ropes Challenge Courses and working in our warehouse whilst she finished a Bachelor’s Degree majoring in Biodiversity and Conservation. After completing her degree, she began working on school camps In 2019, Steph was promoted to a fulltime OEM.
As an OEM Steph’s duties include liaising with several of our client schools (ranging from Year levels 4 to 12) and overseeing the Wilderness Escape warehouse operations. When on camp her primary duties include running snorkelling and surf sessions during the summer, and group leading or instructing climbing during winter. She cheerfully admits that whilst she loves all these things, she really loves the camps where she gets to go sailing and mountain biking as well.
Steph admits that it’s hard to pick a favourite memory from working at Wilderness Escape. Each camp or day program is different and they all have their own challenges and triumphs. That said one memory that sticks out for her was a snorkelling experience with a Year 7 student who was extremely nervous about being in the water. Steph took the time to kit him out with extra gear, including a PFD and boogie board and talked him through the process of putting his head under the water for the first time… And he LOVED it! In Steph’s own words-
“He saw his first fish and he lit up and was off like a shot. By the end of the session we had to practically force him out of the water. It was amazing to watch what a difference that one hour of his life made.”
It seems like this is a pretty common experience of Steph’s time on camp. When asked what she thinks the most important thing for teachers to know about school camps, she had this to say:
“I think that one of the most important things about camp is how much students grow and change in such a short time, and that they don’t have to love every second of camp. In fact, it is when things get hard or we are thrown a curve ball that you see the best come out of a group or a student.”