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wilderness summer camp staff leader

Chickadee

Real Name: McKenna E
Occupation: Student, Alpenguide
Aliases: McChick, Micky
Birthplace: Portland, OR
Age: 21

Known Superhuman Powers: Like the birds she feeds in her backyard, Chickadee’s nest is in the Pacific Northwest. And just like the little songbirds she encounters, she thrives in flocks. Her superhuman abilities are flock formation, bird identification and organization. This inspiring birdie can identify a bird by listening to its song or watching it flit about, while simultaneously helping campers organize their packs and making plans for the adventures of the day!

Abilities: Chickadee is a fast learner, and when she is passionate about something, she is sure to excel in that area. She loves teaching and sharing her knowledge with anyone interested. Her kind and patient nature make her a trusted mentor, and her ability to empathize with others helps campers feel safe under her wing. She’s also someone who’s always prepared for everything--extra bandaids? Check. Extra snacks to share? Check. She’s got you covered. You can always count on Chickadee! 

History: Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, Chickadee is no stranger to a good rainstorm. She spent her childhood in the company of her original flock of neighborhood friends, catching bugs and creating intricate homes for spiders, playing in the dirt, and spending warm summer afternoons jumping on the trampoline. She cared for many animals growing up, including five friendly backyard hens as well as parakeets, lizards, dogs, and cats. She has always loved birds, and became interested in native birds as a teenager. In high school, she experienced the delight of summer camp and fell in love with the outdoors, and went on her first backpacking trip in the Olympic National Park’s lush rainforest. From that moment on, she knew the forest was where she belonged and that she would make herself a life in the outdoors.

Since then, the adventures have never stopped! She has seen four continents, which include trekking through the snow-capped mountains in Peru, studying field ecology in the tropical rainforests of Costa Rica, scuba diving in the clear, warm waters of Thailand, and studying Spanish in Spain. Chickadee is bilingual, and taught English while studying abroad last semester. She is currently studying Spanish and Outdoor Leadership in Oregon. She has spent spent past summers working as a camp counselor on the Oregon coast, as well as helping lead canoe tours on the local slough in her city. She has her Wilderness First Responder, CPR, and Epinephrine Auto-injector certifications, as well as a Leave No Trace certificate. 

Current Base & Operations: Chickadee lives in Portland, Oregon, and on campus in Forest Grove when classes are in session. When she is not working, you can find her keeping as busy as a bee: she volunteers and interprets at tree plantings with Friends of Trees, and loves getting her body moving by lifting weights, rock climbing, and hiking.