Nature Camp Staff

Sarah Strew

SARAH STREW

Lead Nature Camp & Adult Programs

Sarah has been the Lead for Nature Camp and Adult Programs at the Vermont Institute of Natural Science since 2014. Sarah feels deeply connected to VINS, and its camp program specifically, as she can recall being a VINS camper when the organization was at its original site in Woodstock, Vermont

During college, Sarah spent summers as a counselor and backpacking instructor at an overnight camp in Fairlee, returning eventually to manage the camp-craft department. For four years, she moved between Big Sky, Montana, where she taught skiing, and Hartford, Vermont, where she held various positions with VINS as a Lead Counselor for camp and also as an Environmental Education Intern, providing educational programs at the Nature Center as well as handling and training the raptors.

Prior to stepping into her current position, Sarah was involved with various educational efforts in the Upper Valley. She earned her MS in Environmental Studies from Antioch University New England where she concentrated in Education. Sarah loves living in the Upper Valley and the lifestyle it affords her. She is an outdoor enthusiast and enjoys skiing and snowshoeing in the winter, gardening in the summer, and hiking with her dogs all year round.

C_Leo

Courtney Leo

Afterschool & Nature Camp Coordinator

Cleo is joining VINS as the Afterschool, Nature Camp and Adult Education Coordinator in 2023. Having grown up in the Northeast herself, originally from Upstate New York, Cleo is excited to move back to the region and to bring her experience to the VINS team.

Cleo holds a BA in Anthropology and minors in both Art History and Recreation Studies from Ithaca College. With this degree path, she loves blending her experience working with people with her love of museums, nature, and art. 

For the past five years, Cleo lived in Salt Lake City, Utah.  There she worked at Utah’s Hogle Zoo, first as a School Outreach Instructor, teaching place-based environmental education in classrooms across the entire state, and more recently as the Community Programs Coordinator, working on expanding education offerings and making programs more accessible to Utah’s diverse communities. During Cleo’s time at the zoo, she enjoyed engaging the public, campers and teen volunteers on local and worldwide wildlife conservation and environmental education topics.

Prior to life in the desert, Cleo worked as a Museum Naturalist in the Adirondack region of New York at The Wild Center. In this role she served as a canoe guide, worked with animal ambassadors, ran public programs, and participated in the Youth Climate Summit. It was these experiences early in her career that made her fall in love with working in the environmental education field.

Connecting others to their local natural surroundings to build empathy for the environment is something Cleo values highly.  She is looking forward to working at VINS, an organizations whose mission so closely aligns with her values.  In addition to educating, Cleo enjoys making art, reading, canoeing, and spending time in the forest.