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Alpengirl Camp Staff Erica J


Real Name: Erica J
Occupation: Alpenguide, college student, adventure enthusiast and traveler
Aliases: Ricky, Huckleberry, River
Birthplace: White Salmon, WA
Age: 20

Known Superhuman Powers: By displaying bright yellow sunflower-like blooms this enthusiastic and deep rooted Alpenguide has the superhuman power to gather many individual camper stems and bring them together to make one whole happy, healthy and vibrant camper bouquet; an empowered, connected, confident and meaningful arrangement for our campers this summer!

Abilities: Balsamroot’s abilities include a special knack for helping others bloom into their silly, happiest selves and for feeling empowered in outdoor spaces. Whether summiting an alpine peak, jumping in an icy cold lake, packing a backpack, or cooking a camp meal, she thinks that any task can be made fun and exciting with a great group dynamic. Balsamroot is known to have a perfect s’more roasting technique and thinks that nothing beats pancakes for breakfast - especially when they’re cooked outside.

History: Balsamroot was raised in the small town of White Salmon, Washington nestled in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge. Here, she spent her childhood adventuring outside with her family in the mountains and rivers of the northwest. She’s spent many hours reading and rowing on family rafting trips in the summer and skiing on Mount Hood in the winter. Her own experience at a summer camp on Mt Adams is what helped spark her excitement for the mountains and she summited Mount Hood, Adams, and St. Helens with her dad before she was 15! She lived abroad as an exchange student in Chile when she was in high school where she discovered the beauty of southern Patagonia. She will be returning to South America this spring for a NOLS Wilderness Leadership course where she’ll be backpacking, sea kayaking, rock climbing, and learning more about small group expeditions and wilderness medicine. Balsamroot recently studied abroad in the Peruvian Amazon where she learned all about conservation and ecology in the rainforest. She’s worked with a backcountry trail crew building and maintaining the Pacific Northwest Trail and is familiar with the upcoming Alpengirl camp trails and locations in Oregon and Washington; this is where she blossoms and she can’t wait to introduce all the Alpengirls to these wonderful places! Balsamroot holds Wilderness First Aid, CPR, and Leave No Trace Educator certifications.

Current Base & Operations: Bellingham, WA. Attending Western Washington University for Environmental Studies and Spanish while skiing, rock climbing, doing yoga, and backpacking in her free time! She is currently planning her first thru hike of the Colorado Trail with Alpenguide Bella (aka Aspen) after her Alpengirl summer camp season is completed!