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Staff & Employment

Meet KEEN's Staff!

KEEN hires dedicated, energetic, and talented individuals passionate about teaching and leading youth. Our trip leaders and camp counselors have backgrounds in wilderness medicine, backcountry survival skills, and a wide variety of educational fields such as biology, anthropology, chemistry, geology, geography, art, and music. They come from a wide variety of backgrounds and life experiences and are committed to providing youth with fun and educational excursions outdoors while maximizing the safety of all campers. Let's meet this year's motley crew!


Carlyn Saunders

Environmental Education Director
time with keen: 11 years

Holding a BA in anthropology from Millersville University of Pennsylvania, Carlyn focuses on connecting people with the natural world. Carlyn has worked with the Sierra Club as an outreach representative for Central Washington, encouraging residents to explore their local public lands, safely and responsibly. Through her work at her colleges’ challenge courses and as a kayak instructor and guide in the North Cascades National Park, she has instructed a wide variety of individuals including elementary students, fellow college peers, and corporate team-building groups. By creating an all-inclusive atmosphere focused on stewardship education, Carlyn educates both front-country first-timers as well as back-country veterans.

Jen Smith

lead environmental educator
time with keen: 4 years

Growing up in the Methow Valley, Jennifer was immersed in a vast, rural landscape that provided many opportunities to witness mother nature in action. As a child she experienced ice dams, flooding, fires, violent thunderstorms, impressively long winters, and massive amounts of snow. These experiences led to a constant questioning and wonder of the natural world around us. A love of nature and natural curiosity are qualities that Jennifer hopes to instill and foster in KEEN’s nature school.

Before CWU, Kids, and KEEN she spent her days behind the counter at William’s Florist where she was a floral designer. Mom to four and longtime Lincoln Elementary volunteer, she is happy to get back to her first love: children. When not at KEEN, Jennifer can be found in her garden, cooking, working on various art projects or making plans for a future sustainable off grid mountain cabin.

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Akary Itzel Buenrostro Gonzalez

Summer Camp Curriculum Intern
time with keen: 1st Year

Hello! My name is Akary Buenrostro and I am from neighboring Yakima, Washington. Go Pirates! Growing as the eldest of four siblings, I've always been surrounded by high levels of energy and creativity so I'm really looking forward to reconnecting with educative play and helping feed curious minds this summer!


This past spring, I gained valuable experience working with children at Stanford's Bing Nursery. On average class days I engaged with about 30 kids, ages three to five. There, I was involved in constructing play ideas and aiding in their emotional and educational development. During my high school years, I developed a passion for Color Guard—a hobby I proudly carry on at Stanford, where I continue to hone my skills. Even now in my free time, I love practicing my own Color Guard routines. 


I'm excited to contribute to community fostering and ensuring each child feels welcomed, valued, and inspired to learn and protect our wildlife! Let's work together to make this summer memorable!

Ashley callan

Summer Camp Counselor
time with keen:  2 years

I am entering my sophomore year at Dartmouth College and am contemplating a double major in English and History or a major in Cognitive Science. In addition, I am deeply passionate about delving into the intricacies of the criminal justice system and am driven to expand my engagement and comprehension of the field. Amidst my scholarly pursuits, my free moments are filled with hikes along the Appalachian Trail and accidental encounters with Noah Khan."


Ryan York

Summer Camp Adventure Counselor
time with keen: 2 years

Hello! My name is Ryan York, I am going to be a senior at CWU next year and I am majoring in Chemistry and STEM teaching. I play tennis and love everything outdoors. I am so excited to go adventuring with KEEN again this summer and get to know the campers better!

keri kunz

Summer Camp Counselor
time with keen:  1st year

Hi everyone! My name is Keri, I am currently a junior at CWU double majoring in Secondary Mathematics and STEM Teaching with the dream of becoming a high school math and chemistry teacher. I have playing tennis for about 7 years now and I just started learning how to golf. Another hobby of mine is photography, I have done all types of shoots to sports, to nature and more formal occasions. I am from Pendleton Oregon, so I love getting outside and exploring along with enjoying a good rodeo. I have three years of summer camp experience under my belt with one of those years being a Lead of the camp. I can’t wait to start my fourth year of summer camps here with KEEN!

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Oscar Orme

Summer Camp Counselor
time with keen: 1st year

Hello everyone! My name is Oscar Orme and I am a geology MSc student at CWU studying how dust interacts with glaciers. When I’m not working on ice cores in the lab, you can find me enjoying the great outdoors or jammin’ to 80’s dad rock. This is my first year with KEEN and I couldn’t be more excited to join everyone for a fun summer!

Cesar Trejo

Summer Camp Counselor
time with keen:  1st year

My name is Cesar Trejo, I am a student at CWU studying theatre. My interests consist of video games, movies, making puppets, improv comedy, and cooking! I graduated from a trade school with a certificate in construction and carpentry technology and for the past 4 years i have been learning and developing my skills as an actor, designer, carpenter, and leader. 

Fun facts: I have a cat named Luci and he is the chonkiest boy and I am a big fan of Doctor Who.

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Annika Brimhall

Summer Camp Counselor
time with keen: 1st year

Coming Soon!


Apply Today to Join Our Summer Team!

We want YOU to help us make this a summer to remember for our campers!

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To apply, send your application to Camp Director Carlyn at

A complete application should include a resume, cover letter, and three professional references.
Application review and interview scheduling begins in early March. Hiring decisions made in April.
Applications accepted until all positions filled.

all positions filled for 2024 summer season

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