Think Outside

Administrative Staff

Carol Popejoy Davis, Executive Director

Carol may be reached at cpopejoy@boojum.org.

Gayle Hilgris, Consultant

Originally from: Pennsylvania
Been with Boojum since: Fall 2009

Gayle spent most summers and winters adventuring outside with her family, and she fell in love with the outdoors after taking an outdoor leadership class while kayaking on Lake Powell. The awe of the canyon walls and peacefulness of the sunsets changed her life and brought her to California. She started working at Boojum as an intern, and over the years has worn many hats within the organization: Field Staff, Program Coordinator, Staff and Training Coordinator, and Director of Program. Prior to Boojum, Gayle worked with Habitat for Humanity and Make-A-Wish Foundation of Illinois. She now calls Idyllwild home where she can hike, camp, and backpack with her pups and family.

Gayle may be reached at ghilgris@boojum.org.

Sheridan Stegner, Partnership Development Director

Originally from: Truckee, California
Been with Boojum since: Summer 2020

Sheridan comes to us from the glorious Lake Tahoe region of California where he grew up running through the woods, mountain biking, climbing, hiking, camping, whitewater rafting, and pretty much anything else that can be done outdoors. Having been a part of the Boy Scouts and attending a boarding school on a 2,800-acre working ranch, Sheridan has a strong drive to share his knowledge and the amazing experiences that can be had outside. He has been a part of the outdoor education industry for over 10 years and has a passion for teambuilding, photography, travel, surfing, and spending time with his dog A’Luna. He is excited to be working with Boojum and working towards developing new opportunities for all in the outdoors.

Sheridan may be reached at sstegner@boojum.org.

Jerry Bailey, Director of Program

Originally from: Anza, California
Been with Boojum since: Spring 2014

Jerry enjoys backpacking in forests, hiking and climbing mountains, and finding serene solitude in the desert environments. He has worked for multiple companies in the outdoor education and travel industry for over 10 years and has a passion for getting others outdoors. While working for Boojum, Jerry has been the Logistics Coordinator,  Staff and Training Coordinator, and is now the Director of Programs. He works hard to make sure that each Boojum program offers all participants the chance to challenge themselves outdoors and seek new opportunities to live a life filled with adventure. 

Jerry may be reached at jbailey@boojum.org.

Jordan Tidball-Sciullo, Staff and Training Coordinator

Originally from: Golden, Colorado
Been with Boojum since: Spring 2020

Backpacking trips in Jordan’s youth increased his passion for the outdoors, which has grown to encompass a wide variety of pursuits, from trail running to rock climbing. A true believer that the outdoors can be used as a vehicle for therapeutic growth, Jordan pursued a degree in the field. He has spent time facilitating a wide range of activities including, backpacking, mountain biking, rock climbing, kayaking, canoeing, and high ropes course. In addition to direct facilitation, Jordan has spent a significant amount of time in various leadership and administrative roles within the outdoor industry. During his free time, he can be found frolicking on trails, falling off a surfboard, or hanging out with our resident dog A’luna.

Julie Fisher, Logistics/Program Coordinator

Originally from: Dallas, Texas
Been with Boojum since: Spring 2020

Julie was inspired to pursue a career in the outdoors after serving in the Peace Corps where she spent her free time hiking through the mountains of beautiful Lesotho. Since then, she has not stopped traveling and exploring, having worked as a teen trip leader on SCUBA diving and marine conservation expeditions, and most recently working as an outdoor educator in Hong Kong. Julie is taking advantage of the activities California has to offer and loves to go rock climbing and surfing. She can also be found petting random dogs and doing handstands almost anywhere.

Elena Mafla, Consultant

Been with Boojum since: July 2007

Elena Mafla has served in several capacities during her time with Boojum. In her later years as Partnership Development Director, she worked with current and potential program partners to design outdoor experiences for both student and adult participants. Her ability to study a school/organization and listen intently to their group goals and objectives has been instrumental in delivering outcomes that reach far and beyond participant expectations. She truly enjoys the relationships she has developed with our loyal returning program partners, and she strives to continue Boojum’s quest to create new programs and partnerships.

Elena can be reached at emafla@boojum.org.

Field Staff

Boojum’s passionate staff has introduced thousands of young people and adults to new ways of looking at the world. Our field staff bring their experience and enthusiasm to make the Boojum experience a life-shaping event for our participants. Year after year, our program partners return to Boojum because of the outstanding work of these wonderful professional educators. Below are the profiles of some of our field staff.

Alex Metter

Education: B.S. Philosophy, Loyola University, 2012
Originally from: East Coast
Been with Boojum since: Although she originally grew up on the east coast, Alex now spends her time bouncing between California, Alaska, and wherever her winter travels may take her. Immediately after graduating from Loyola University in 2012 (with a degree in Philosophy), Alex began her career in outdoor education. She has taught outdoor education all over the globe, including Hong Kong and several locations in southeast Asia.  She returned to the United States shortly thereafter and began working for Boojum in the Spring of 2015, and has been with us ever since! Her favorite programs to lead are backpacks in Joshua Tree National Park and river trips on the Colorado River because she loves being in the desert and exploring all the unique adaptations that plants have. When Alex isn’t exploring deserts in southern California, she loves kayaking, rock climbing, ultimate frisbee games, and eating dumplings.
This instructor is super stoked to be able to share all of her favorite course locations with you!

Elizabeth Dalley

Education: Oberlin College
Originally from: Virginia
Been with Boojum since: Elizabeth developed a joy for the outdoors growing up in Charlottesville, Virginia. After attending Oberlin College and working for the Bureau of Land Management as a youth program coordinator and firefighter, she decided to return to the field of outdoor education. She has worked as an instructor and course director with Boojum since Fall 2014. During the summer, she serves as a lead instructor with North Carolina Outward Bound School. Elizabeth strongly believes in closing the disconnect between our nation’s youth and the natural world. She strives to empower young people into self discovery through the challenges and adventures they face while hiking through the Jennie Lakes Wilderness or rock climbing on the monzogranite of Joshua Tree. While she’s not working, Elizabeth is an avid rock climber, adventurer and backcountry chef living out of her 1995 Volvo station wagon. Elizabeth holds a Bachelor of Arts in Geology, is a Wilderness First Responder, a Leave No Trace Master Educator and recently took her AMGA Single Pitch Instructor course.

Fran Zamora

Education: California State University, Los Angeles with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology.
Originally from: California
Been with Boojum since: Franchezska has been working for Boojum since 2014. In her free time Fran enjoys running marathons, backpacking, cycling, skateboarding, dancing, eating/cooking, reading, listening to her vinyl collection, spending time with her family, taking care of my 3 huskies, and creating art. She truly enjoys the variety of programs and activities she is able to lead for Boojum; hiking, backpacking, climbing, facilitating challenge courses, team building & beach activities in places such as Joshua Tree National Park, Pinnacles National Park, Ventana Wilderness, and Malibu Creek State Park. Fran is a stellar and seasoned outdoor educator leading for more than 20 years. She is an alumnae of California State University, Los Angeles with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology.

Hailey McCommons

Originally from: Georgia
Been with Boojum since: Summer 2015

Hailey started with Boojum in the summer as an intern. She then instructed and became a course director, which led her to the position of Program Coordinator. She obtained her B.S. in Outdoor Education at Georgia College in her home state of Georgia and also studied Psychology in The Netherlands. During the summer, Hailey has worked for Adventure Treks and has led trips in Northern California and Washington. Hailey works hard at everything she does and is very excited to be a part of the Boojum team!

Jonas Cole

Education: University of Puget Sound
Originally from: Vermont
Been with Boojum since: A Vermont native, Jonas Cole made his migration to the west coast to attend the University of Puget Sound. There he was able to satisfy his love for wild places, spending every free moment in the mountains. In the fall of 2014 Jonas made the trek from the Northwest down to California to begin working for Boojum. More than two years later he continues to lead trips for Boojum and falls more deeply in love with the desert landscape with every night spent sleeping under the stars, specifically on his favorite program, the Colorado River canoe trip. When he is not working for Boojum Jonas leads trips for other schools and organizations, letting him travel to far off destinations like Alaska and Southeast Asia. In the slower parts of the year you can find him rock climbing in the desert southwest, skiing in Vermont, and hitchiking his way through South America.

Mary Kate Groark

Education: Environmental Studies in Alabama
Originally from: Alabama
Been with Boojum since: Hey Y’all, my name is Mary Kate Groark and I started working for Boojum in the spring of 2015. Upon completing my undergrad in Environmental Studies in Alabama, my home state, I traveled west to begin working in the outdoor education field. Since then, my love and appreciation for the outdoors has grown immensely. I discovered climbing and deserts, two things I knew nothin’ about ‘til I came to Boojum and that have sense taken hold of my heart. When I’m not working, you’ll find me exploring the outdoor world near and far. I enjoy cooking group meals, sleeping out under the stars, desert wanders, foreign countries, hackysack, and hammocking.

Ryan Mann

Originally from: Columbia, MD
Been with Boojum since: Ryan Mann left his hometown of Columbia, MD for an internship position with Boojum in Anza, CA in September 2014 and hasn’t looked back since. As a Boojum instructor, Ryan has hiked, paddled, climbed, and scrambled from sea to summits in course areas including Santa Cruz, Yosemite, Joshua Tree, Pinnacles, Idyllwild, and the Colorado River. Ryan has spent summers leading expeditionary trips for youth in the Pacific Northwest and winters instructing skiing in Utah. When not instructing, Ryan enjoys roaming the American West in pursuit of rock climbing, funky jams, and yummy food. Ryan has received training from the National Outdoor Leadership School and is a certified Wilderness First Responder, Leave No Trace Trainer, and AMGA Single Pitch Instructor.

Abbey Dahl
Adam Quigley
Alex McLaren
Andrew Wainwright
Blair Moxon
Cliff Rupert
Connor Maher

Danielle Sheffet
David Chernati
Dusty Reed
Gen Dron-Smith
Grant Smith
Jacob Robinson
Sylvie Kaul-Anderson
Wendy Cirko
Wells Jones

Jamie Tinnin
Jon Wright
John Worsham
Kaylee Capello
Kelsey Ball
Kiko Sweeney
Kyle Johnson

Matt Halliday
Randi Williams
Rebekah Israel
Rosie Nowell
Sarah Rasmussen
Shannon Reiser
Shawn Sloan

julieAdministrative Staff and Instructors