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wilderness summer camp staff leader

Cindy Lou Who

Real Name: Laura S
Occupation: Alpengirl Assistant Camp Director, Alpenguide, Yoga Instructor, Baker
Aliases: Cindy Lou, Lil Dollop, Lil Strizzle, Strom-a-llama-ding-dong
Birthplace: Port Aransas, Texas
Age: 26

Known Superhuman Powers: This lil’ Who from Whoville (also known as Lopez Island, WA) is filled with joy, positivity, and compassion for all creatures, great and small. Like her Dr Seuss namesake, she believes in the power of community, and specializes in building tight-knit groups while on the move and in the backcountry! She knows the importance of a well-timed snack, a spur-of-the-moment swim, or a rousing sing-along. She also frequently rocks a Who-inspired hairdo.

Abilities: Cindy Lou Who fosters groups in which each member is inspired and empowered to be her best self. She enables others to view new places, experiences and people with bright, curious eyes, and can be counted on to share a surprising fact, song or game to enrich any moment! She also channels her enthusiasm-and-coffee-fueled energy into logistical and organizational acrobatics that help create safe and seamless adventures. Despite Cindy Lou Who’s youthful excitement, she also specializes in teaching calming and centering yoga, and strives to help those around her to find balance and peace in their daily lives. She know when it’s time to sing joyously to to the wide open skies, when it’s time to face a challenge with optimism and preparedness, and when it’s time for a quiet rest with a book.

History: Hailing from the mountains and waters of the Pacific Northwest, Cindy Lou Who grew up in the loving environment of a small island community. With the North Cascades in her backyard and a pair of intrepid parents, Cindy Lou Who ventured into the mountains at a tender age, carrying only a fanny pack containing a snack and a favorite Beany Baby.

Fast-forward fifteen years, through travels abroad, a blossoming passion for baking, many more trips into the mountains, and a degree from Middlebury College in Vermont; in 2015 Cindy Lou Who stepped out onto the trail once again to thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail. Her experiences, and the inspiring women she met, on this 2,700 mile journey showed her the independence, self-reliance and confidence that can be gained through adventure in the outdoors. She took this conviction to a new position as a trip leader in New England, taking groups of teens on backpacking and biking trips and teaching leadership, community-building, and outdoor skills along the way.

From her work as a baker providing nourishing food, to becoming a yoga teacher in order to offer mindfulness practices and support physical wellness, health and self-confidence are strong interests throughout Cindy Lou’s life. A desire to empower women and girls in particular with these qualities lead her into her biggest adventure yet: a position with Alpengirl (and a move to unknown Montana.) She drove into Bozeman in a snowstorm and never looked back! During her first winter in the camp office, followed by an action-packed summer as a trip leader, she was awed and inspired by incredible adventure environment Alpengirl provides for its campers.

Having found an organization that aligns with her passions and values, and having fallen in love with the endless possibilities and friendly locals in her new home state, Cindy Lou Who is excited to continue on with Alpengirl. This year, as Assistant Camp Director, you might find her planning and scouting itineraries, helping build and train a dynamic group of Alpenguides, or battling technical dragons on the camp webpage. During the summer, you’ll find her testing her organizational skills as a support staffer, or packing up for her favorite activity of them all: backpacking with Alpengirls!

Cindy Lou Who is a certified Lifeguard, Wilderness First Responder, Leave No Trace instructor, and Kripalu Yoga Instructor.

Current Base and Operations: Bozeman, MT. Look for her infectious smile at the bakery, yoga studio, and the library, or out on the nearby trails and slopes!