Our Story & Mission

our mission

The mission of BOAT – the Bus for Outdoor Access & Teaching – is to get other organization’s missions outside. A not-for-profit wilderness program on wheels run from a custom bus, we bring a full service outdoor program to the front doors of our partners. Being outside has powerful effects on health, wellness, and learning – BOAT can serve as the logistical backend that gets you there. 

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.






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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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 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.

Meet "Big Red"

The star of the show! Big Red is our custom-built wilderness program on wheels. With enough seats and gear for 35+ people, it’s own solar powered office, a rocking speaker array, and dance-party-proven roof rack, Big Red is the host for most of our programs. It may not seem like much, but making outdoor efforts mobile makes a big difference. 

Big Red was donated by Cherry Republic – their snacks are great, check them out!

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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.