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Meet Your Facilitators


Adam Russell 

With over 20 years’ experience in the experiential education and year-round camping field, Adam has honed his craft of working with youth and with the adults who serve them, engaging them where they are to help them see a path continuing toward their best self. He employs these group work skills in his current role managing a non-profit in Michigan, through his consulting venture, PF Leadership Consultants, and previously as the former Senior Program Director, working with the American Youth Foundation for over 18 years. 

Adam has spent his career developing dynamic staff teams that achieve excellence. He’s gained significant expertise in connecting curricular student needs with highly effective experiential programming. His primary focus has been giving voice and confidence to young, emerging leaders and professionals. With his cohort and colleagues, he developed the concept of Expectational Leadership, creating a community of high expectations that allow all people to buy in and thrive at the highest levels. 


Chelsea Bernthal

Chelsea’s entire professional life has revolved around youth development. With time served teaching in a classroom, coordinating summer camps, directing community and school programs at a non-profit, being a nanny to nine year-old twins, and now running after school programs for high school students in Grand Rapids, there are not many realms of the youth development world she hasn’t been a part of. Chelsea loves building community with all ages though, and sharing the tools to create and maintain healthy relationships is her life’s purpose. Making lasagna, petting dogs, and spending as much time as possible in and around bodies of water also rank pretty highly on Chelsea’s Life’s Purpose List. While it might seem weirdly specific and maybe a bit irrelevant, Chelsea also really wants you to know that she is the Bay City Central High School Art Award Winner Class of 2009. Be sure to congratulate her for that if you get the chance. 


Chris Farrar

Chris has been working with youth and facilitating leadership discussions for over 15 years. He’s worked extensively with youth ages 8 to 18 in experiential learning environments. As former Program Coordinator with the American Youth Foundation and as a Senior Site Supervisor at Go Ape Treetop Adventures Chris has extensive experience training and developing adult leaders to work with this age group. He currently overseas high adventure operations at three mid-west locations. Chris is based in St. Louis, MO and when not in the office or in the trees, you can usually find him in the kitchen, on a bike, brewing beer, or doing some light (and not yet very good) woodworking.


Dalton Mulcahy

Dalton has many years of youth development experience, as a Program Facilitator at the American Youth Foundation, and now the Guest Experience Manager at the Grand Rapids Children's Museum, he has led experiential learning programs in a variety of environments and while developing theory and strategies on how to work with children. He has a passion for creating and maintaining strong relationships with youth. Dalton is a big fan of long walks on the beach, creating Rube Goldberg machines, and asking people weird questions to keep them on their toes (If you had to take a bath in something that was not water, what would it be?). 


Joe Baty

Joe has spent the last 15 years working in experiential education and youth development, most recently as the Director of Youth Development with the YMCA in Portland, ME, and previously with the American Youth Foundation. While working with the American Youth Foundation, Joe served, amongst other roles as the Director of Community and School Programs, and as the Director of the National Leadership Conference, creating youth and leadership development curriculum and training adults to successfully facilitate youth development programs. Joe grew up in Cambridgeshire in England, and now lives in Portland, ME with his wife and dog. 


Hannah Patterson

Hannah's passion in life is learning; especially learning more about how people can increase their knowledge about themselves. Professionally, Hannah has spent 11 years helping others achieve their potential and find their own way to learning new knowledge.

In that decade of facilitating communities, small groups, and individuals with the American Youth Foundation, Hannah had the pleasure of honing the skills needed to provide support and a space of learning for others. She rose to the role of Director of Girls Camp for the American Youth Foundation’s Camp Miniwanca; helped found a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force; and helped create programs for teens and young adults to build skills as leaders.

Hannah is now providing support for campus administrators through Fusion Education Group as they help young people succeed in middle and high school. When not working, she enjoys photography, outdoor adventures with her fiancé, and time with her cats.


Matt Mejweski

Matt has spent nearly a decade leading experiential education programs. He served as a program coordinator at the American Youth Foundation, helping to facilitate summer programs at their camps in New Hampshire and Michigan. Prior to that Matt lead adventure trips as a guide with Wilderness Inquiry and lead outdoor education programs with the MESD Outdoor School, serving school-aged youth. He currently works as a buyer and technician at an outdoor gear shop in Portland, OR, and has a real passion for forming group bonds and getting people into the outdoors.


Melvin Jenkins 

After growing up in South Carolina, Melvin began his career in youth development and experiential education at Camp Gravatt where his passion for working with young people began to grow. After graduating from Roanoke College, he worked at a number of camps, and taught as a Middle School teacher, before taking a full-time job as the Assistant Director of Community and School Programming at the American Youth Foundation, where he facilitated and trained adults to lead experiential learning programs. He now lives in Redlands California, where he’s pursuing his passion for baking and rock climbing.




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