| Andrew Miller

Staff Profile: Field Instructor Chelsea Tossing

Next up in our Staff Profile series is Field Instructor Chelsea Tossing! Chelsea is one of our new instructors in 2020, and while COVID-19 has put the brakes on her first trip season, she has already become a big asset to the CI team by helping to create the Explore Outside Handbook that supports our Online Summer Programs.

Get to know Chelsea, and look out for her on future CI programs!

Chelsea TossingHow long have you been with Cottonwood Institute? What programs have you led?

I’ve been with Cottonwood since spring instructor training! Unfortunately with COVID we cancelled many of our spring trips, but from a cross country bike journey to a backpacking expedition to Costa Rica, I have experience leading all sorts of youth programs.

What’s your favorite environmental topic or outdoor skill to teach?

I love teaching backcountry cooking! From planning meals together to making a hot dinner after a long day, there’s something about sharing food in the outdoors that creates such a beautiful sense of community.

How have you been staying connected to the outdoors during the lockdown?

By getting outside as much as possible! I love riding my bike at night when the whole city is asleep, and I recently took up running too! I’ve seen more of my neighborhood during lockdown than ever before, and I’ve gained a new appreciation for little adventures close to home. I also may have rappelled off my roof at one point…

What’s an unusual skill people might not know you have?Chelsea Tossing

I can tie a lot of knots and hitches! A good arsenal of knots is super useful for climbing and mountaineering, but they can even come in handy for throwing up a shelter or fixing shoelaces on the trail.

What’s your favorite snack to eat in the woods?

I’m a firm believer that every snack tastes better in the woods. It could be recency bias (I just made some this morning!), but homemade chocolate chip banana bread always hits the spot.

Do you have a formative memory of when you learned to love the outdoors?

I grew up in the midwest, and my favorite thing to do was to head out into the woods behind my house with a book and a peanut butter sandwich. I’d climb this one tree above a little pond and spend all day reading in my secret spot; I still love the outdoors as a quiet place to let my imagination run wild.

Thank you to Chelsea Tossing for her contributions!
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Categories: CI Shoutouts, Staff & Board Spotlights

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