Our Story & Mission

our mission

The Bus for Outdoor Access & Teaching, or “BOAT,” strives to get more people outside on the most accessible outdoor program in America. As a totally mobile adventure education program run from a custom-built school bus, we can bring a full service outdoor program to the front door of any organization or school in the country. We partner with organizations to find ways for outdoor spaces to serve their unique mission or curricular goals, running logistics so educators can focus on teaching.

why is it hard to get outside?

There isn’t some secret behind why people struggle to get outside – there are four main barriers to the outdoors.

 

logistics

cost

knowledge

visibility

Food, gear, scheduling, insurance – and especially transportation – it’s hard to get a group outside.

We crunched the numbers – your average youth expedition is priced at $215, per person, per day. That’s way too much.

It’s hard to get out when you know what you are doing – now imagine being a novice. It’s not gonna happen.

Outdoor program historically aren’t in cities. These days, most people live in cities. People won’t do things they don’t ever see.

BOAT directly addresses the challenge

BOAT is a turnkey service – we take care of all the logistics, including paperwork. Sign a few things, and show up in athletic clothes. Everything else is covered.

BOAT can offer more affordable expeditions. By cutting facilities and marketing costs, our prices can reach as low as 50% the national average program cost.

Our goal is to get people outside. We share our trip planning tools and resources, and offer “trip consulting” right from the bus, helping you plan your adventure.

BOAT is big, bright, and in your neighborhood. Because of our mobility, we can drop a wilderness program and education center at any front door in America.

make getting outside easy

it isn’t a complicated concept – and it is the driving force behind what we do. Outdoor experiences are a potent educational solution, but most kids don’t get to take advantage of them. Our team noticed that the way outdoor programs serve kids hasn’t really changed in a century. We founded BOAT to create a new way of connecting people to the outdoors, one designed for the cities America’s young people increasingly live in. 

Who are we?

The BOAT Bus Board is made up of 7 outdoor educators. Each of us has years of field experience. Three of us started an outdoor adventure company  (it’s still running successfully). One of us has already converted and built vehicles. We have a Leave No Trace Master, a National Geographic naturalist, and one of us works for Google (definitely cool). Feel free to contact us at info@theBOATbus.com or (970) 325 – 6602.

 

Micah_Leinbach

Micah Leinbach

Micah has spent over a year in the field as an educator, guide, trainer, and wolf researcher. He previously launched another outdoor company, Crystalaire Adventures, and has supported several other programs as a consultant and volunteer.

Sarra_Wynn

Sarra Wynn

Sarra helped launch Crystalaire with Micah, and is familiar with the logistics of starting an outdoor program. She has also managed several service-learning focused trip programs.

Katie_Thiry

Katie Thiry

Katie spent several years guiding orientation programs with Kalamazoo College’s LandSea program and also worked as a guide at Crystalaire in it’s early years. She has returned several times as a trainer, and played a major role in developing, refining, and instructing the curriculum for both programs.

 

Alex_Lyttle

Alex Lyttle

Alex is an avid outdoorsman, having worked at several programs and completed a NOLS Outdoor Educator training semester. He comes with experience running outdoor programs from the road – a skill set particularly crucial in the BOAT bus model!

Eric_Protsman

Eric Protsman

Eric knows vehicles. In addition to building several of his own, he has fully converted a van and been involved in bus conversions in the past. He’s our driver, go-to-guy for mechanical issues, and bus builder.

Julia_Huggins

Julia Huggins

Julia has been a long-time environmental educator, having conducted research around the world and worked as a naturalist for organizations like National Geographic. She brings a stewardship ethic and focus on science education to the BOAT.

Sarah_Clement

Sarah Clement

Sarah earned her Masters in Education from the North Cascades Institute, which focuses on wilderness-based experiential education. She has worked for Outward Bound in addition to several other camps, and comes with ample field experience teaching both technical skills and science, especially around climate change.