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About The Staff 

The staff at Wilderness Therapy and Mentoring are, by nature, life-long learners - always willing  to accept a challenge consistent with our values.  Many of us are family members and others we proudly consider a vital part of our "extended family. "   We tend to be patient, informed, passionate and accepting of others - without judgment.  We also love what we do. 

Abbreviated Bios

Ed Thorney

Ed is a certified Gestalt Therapist, Wilderness Guide, Experiential Educator and life long advocate for people and nature.  As founder and director of Wilderness Therapy & Mentoring his counseling style has been described as "clear, firm but gentle guidance."  Ed has actively worked in the outdoor education field since 1982 and is dedicated to helping our culture retain its vital connection to nature - one person at a time.  He has always been a front line, field instructing practitioner but now is taking on the challenge of training others to carry on this important mission. 

    Cara Johnson

Cara earned her doctorate in Anthropology from the University of Connecticut. For over a decade, Cara maintained an active research program in Kenya, where she gained a great deal of experience running field camps in remote locations. While in graduate school, Cara developed a passion for teaching, specifically for the importance of hands on learning and real world experience in education.


In 2012, she left the University to begin working with Montessori middle school children, teaching science and leading an outdoor expedition program. She has extensive experience leading trips for young people that blend science, life skills and outdoor skills in a variety of locations including West Virginia, Cape Cod, Four Corners (AZ & NM), New England, Nova Scotia, and Tanzania. She now serves as the Assistant Head of School at Cobb Montessori School, where she works with children from pre-k through sixth grade, and remains dedicated to the value of hands-on learning and outdoor education.

Jeff Hammond

While completing his undergraduate work at UCONN, Jeff became an active member of the Outdoors Club and trip leader for several kayaking and back-packing trips.  A graduate of NOLS Jeff is a non-stop paddler of challenging white water.  His calm disposition and inquisitive mind make him a natural advocate for people that need to be understood.  

Jeff is a lead instructor at LLBean's Outdoor Discovery school.

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