Meredith Freshley has spent over 365 days sleeping in the woods. Her experience started with backpacking trips in middle school, and in high school spending every summer at Camp Ogichi paddling the Canadian rivers. She has spent 10 summers up at Ogichi, 6 of those on staff leading canoeing and backpacking trips. She has paddled the Turtle River, Allan Water, Kopka River, Churchill River, English River, Savant, Malign River, and backpacked through the Rawah Wilderness in Colorado and the Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho. Her love for the outdoors and for Ogichi has come from her personal experience of the camp’s mission statement: the empowering of women through wilderness tripping and lifelong community. Ogichi has given her the challenging experiences and supportive community that have shaped who she is today.
In 2009, she was recruited as a Division I athlete for the University of Wisconsin’s lightweight rowing team. She liked the dedication and training that it took to be apart of a successful team, and she competed for all four years while getting her degree in Social Welfare. Upon graduation, Meredith traveled to Chile to complete a 35 day NOLS mountaineering course on Glacier Chico in Southern Patagonia. She gained experience with winter camping, risk management on ice and snow, and leadership. In the fall of 2014 she moved to Bend, Oregon to work for New Vision Wilderness Therapy. There she was able to combine her passions of the outdoors and helping others. With a schedule of 8 days backpacking in Deschutes National Forest, and 6 days off, she taught at-risk kids winter camping skills and was in charge of creating and keeping a safe and healthy group environment with positive communication. Additionally,
Meredith has been in charge of Ogichi’s trip food since 2013, and in 2015 she became the Wilderness Program Coordinator, overseeing food, gear, and trip routes. She is currently taking masters classes at UC, substitute teaching, and planning backpacking and canoeing routes for the 2017 summer at Ogichi. Deep down, she believes in the power of the woods to reconnect with oneself, inspire change, and develop lifelong skills and relationships. Not only is this expedition an opportunity for Meredith to build on her skills as an outdoor educator and role model to young girls, but also give back to the community of female leaders that has supported her over the years.
- Wilderness First Aid certification held since 2009 and WRF since 2011
- CPR and BLS for Healthcare Providers- Certified: 10/2015 Expires: 10/17
- Lifeguard- Certified: 06/2010 Expires: 05/2018
- Whitewater Canoe trainings from Univ. of Minnesota Duluth approximately 10 times- 06/2010-07/2016
- Leave No Trace training- 06/2010
- Love and Logic Positive Teaching and Non-violent Communication training- 2013 and 2016
- Plans to take Swift Water Rescue and ACA L4 Whitewater Canoe Certification courses in May 2017 before the start of the expedition.
- University of Wisconsin-Madison
- B.A. Social Welfare
- Chile: NOLS Patagonia Winter Course 2014 – 75 days ice climbing
- Canoeing: 160+ days in the woods
- Backpacking: 218+ days in the woods