OR Trip Leaders

Meet the OR Trip Leaders of 2014-2015! Our volunteer leaders work hard to provide safe and exciting trips and are certified in Wilderness First Aid and CPR. If you are interested in being a trip leader, please email us at outdoor@plu.edu, applications for guides will come out in March 2015.

(Not pictured but still equally real: Sarah Henderson, Hannah Anderson, Sonja Schaefer and Kristin Hayes)

Savannah Phelan (Personnel Director)

Savannah. If you havent met her, you should probably know that she is the younger sister of the lead singer of the band J. Sherri who watched the GRAMMYs from their living room last year (Give them a like on Facebook!). Truth be told, Savannah is a very beautiful and heart warming person. Shes was the #1 draft pick during the OR Draft due to tremendous gains in the gym AND in the class room - gnome status. When bæsj hits the fan on a trip, a few swigs from that 40oz camelback can hydrate herself - California - and those chap lips at high altitude. Watch out for Savannah everyone, shes a senior this year so make sure you make every moment with her worth while! : -)

Riley Swanson (Finance Director)

A Sagittarius by birth but a Scorpio at heart, Riley is a sassy little devil that isn't afraid to get his hands dirty. Though at a glance his beard may portray prominent masculinity, he isn't afraid to show his more sensitive sides whether it be catching snowflakes on his tongue or texting his pals goodnight before hitting his TempurPedic. He is proud of the accomplishments he's made throughout his life, and though modest enough to keep them well hidden, feels that it's important for everyone to know that he holds the record for most "sacrifices" made during dodgeball for the better players. You can catch Riley wiping down carts at the grocery store before touching them as well as singing along quietly to any Jason Mraz song that may come on in a restaurant. An overall sweet, gentle man, Riley is also involved in PLU's Ultimate Frisbee team and a Geoscience major. Say hi to him on your way to class, he just may be the friendly face behind the counter at Tahoma!

Jonner Griffin (Gear Manager)

Jonner as many of you know is an amazing and multi-talented man.  This all started with his elementary years where he first started dancing.  A little taste of his one of a kind style can be seen by following this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIbFB112AtI.  It was at this young age where the search for the spotlight originated.  Shortly after this he became a childhood actor.  He starred in key roles that all of the Dominican of Republic looked up to in their elementary school days.  Some of his hits that you probably recognize are “¡Inglés es fácil!” and “Aun sigo caca mis pantalones.”  These great hits have carried over to middle school years where he began his unique and beautiful singer songwriter career.  He even made it onto a little show called “The Voice” in 2013.  Although it was in the UK he is still near and dear to our hearts.  Here is another sample of that performance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kzlsqr7hIEA.  If you ask him about any of these skills he will be more than willing to share them with you on his trips that he leads. His Newest passion is styling hair!  check out this advice: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3ZDoVqtPDE

Abram Misiluti

Abram Misiluti- A man destined for fame:

Many moons ago, there was a legend that prophesized the coming of one outdoor Rec guide whom would rule above all the rest.

They said he would be tall, dark and handsome... and he would save all of the PLU campus from the darkness beginning to overwhelm the entire community... homework!

As time passed by, and no hero appeared, this story had all but been forgotten and the legend given up on. 

But bursting forth from his mothers womb wielding an ice axe, covered from head to foot in manly hair, and armed with the knowledge of all things outdoors, all the Lutes rejoiced in knowing that their one and true savior from weekend boredom had finally come into their lives.

The Legends of his ferocious conversation skills, and ability to turn any frown upside down soon spread through out all of the lands.

The world will always remember the story of Outdoor Rec guide Abram Misiluti.

Friend to all, foe to none, and a guaranteed good time.

Andrew Gunstone

Andrew was born in an oyster just off the shore of the charming town of Sequim, WA. His childhood was filled with adventures amongst the waves and sand with his best friends mussels and herons. Around town, they were well known for getting into mischief. Don’t let the fact that Sequim has the oldest population in the state scare you away from him. Andrew has many outdoor facts that will make any Outdoor Rec trip fantastic. One day he will return to the sea, but today is not that today. Today he adventures to awesome places in the Pacific Northwest!

Doug Smith

Hailing from Colorado, Doug is a one-of-a-kind Lute. His green vest exudes outdoor enthusiasm and his smile brightens the day of everyone he meets; in other words, he has great Chemistry. It is often said that Doug is the freshest guy on campus. This is his third year in Outdoor Rec so he is also a super expert. Seriously. Ask him anything and he'll know the answer.

Elena Oelfke

Found alone in the mighty Amazon at age 4, scientists knew this guide would exceed the expectations of Western culture. A short while later, the government sent her off to the Arctic Circle to tame a newly found pack of polar bear dogs. Finding a love for the new pack, she stayed north until the ripe age of 14. Despite numerous offers to Ivy League schools, she decided to travel our glorious planet to be more in touch with Mother Nature. Some say she now leads a YMCA camp in the Rockies, and that she has the healing powers of Aceso. All we know is, she’s called Elena.

Emily Knutsen 

Oh Emily, where to begin. Emily Snuffellufgus Knutson was born in a small little village in the far North of Greenland. As a child she passed away the endless hours without sunlight making pamphlets for all the inhabitants of her hometown to browse over. These pamphlets provided information ranging from how to weave baskets using moose hair to how to build one’s own sailboat to sail to Canada. Her knowledge was extensive and her generosity in sharing that knowledge was never ending. But then one sad day it did end. On the night of November 13, 2005 Emily’s life changed forever. In the middle of the night a wee little creature by the name of Conrad snuck into Emily’s room and performed a magic operation that removed the part of her brain that held all her pamphlet making knowledge. When she awoke Emily hardly even knew what a pamphlet was, but she did know that something very important was missing from her head, heart and soul. She set off a voyage to recover what was rightfully hers. She searched high and low, near and far until one bright sunny September day she stumbled upon the pleasant little town of Parkland, Washington. When she arrived she was greeted by a strange collection of oddball people who identified themselves as Outdoor Recreation Guides. Unfortunately they knew little of pamphlet making or of little creatures named Conrad, but their hearts were filled with love and Emily soon realized that was all she really needed. Today she is found running amuck with these bizarre friends and her joy continues to overflow. 

Frances Steelquist

Frances not only loves to climb tall mountains, but was actually thought to have come from one of the Misty Mountains. Suspected Queen of Scotland, Frances continues to awe common folk with her knowledge of trombones and survival skills. In fact, with only a fanny pack on her hip, she managed to fight off wild sheep and turtles, eventually making her way to PLU long ago. She hid her true identity and has been secretly living under the surname Steelquist for years. She constantly switches majors and residence halls to avoid suspicion and has even made her way to OR this year to be a guide. Snow leopards and pandas bow to her, completely aware of her power as the Queen. One day it is said Frances will make her title known, but until that day she roams around the Northwest, adventuring, climbing, and awing all in her path.

Hannah Anderson

Did you know that there is a skeleton inside of Hannah, right underneath her skin? Think about that the next time you talk to her. It’s right there, walking around, wearing her skin. Hannah hates hanging hand-made hamburgers, however hard her happy, hungry hare hits her. haha. (If this were a Shakespearian tragedy, some minor character would have died by now, probably right after saying something very pithy that would go way over the heads of high school English students) Hannah was born somewhere, probably. Hopefully. At one point in her life, Hannah was the youngest person in the entire world. Now she’s not. There are people younger than her. Babies are younger than her.

         Uno, Dos, Tres, Catorce. Hannah (I spelled her name backwards this time) studies religion. Bless her. If anyone has, while reading this, just sneezed, bless you too. Hannah is from Montana. There’s a joke in there somewhere, but I’m not going to make it because this is a sophisticated piece of literature, darnit. (Note: Remember to add a few sentences here that are all sentimental n’stuff to the end of this cuz Hannah’s pretty dope.) When she was eleven years old, she probably rode in a car somewhere. She has never been to Kyrgyzstan (don’t tell her though). %. One time I was talking to Hannah and she told a frog in her throat lozenges are nice for when she has a cold shoulders are where you hold backpacks and she can even have to go back and what was going to happening soon to a theatre near you v w x y z.

Kelsey Drotning 

Kelsey was born in the great state of Oklahoma where she grew up digging up mollusks and kittens from the ground. Now she goes to PLU, aka Puppies Like Unicorns, where she always has a puppy. Kelsey is surely the greatest guide you’ve ever had the joy of meeting. She has so much gusto and giggles that everyone wants to be her. Kelsey brings happiness to the world and peace to places of conflict. Sign up for her trips. She’s magical.

Kristin Hayes

Kristin is fluffy, although many say that she eats many extravagant meats. Unicorns, dolphins, and sorrow comfort me. She swims while holding various frogs; crazy! Wow! She wishes she ate nine, ten pieces of sarsaparilla chocolates. Some bright young people tend to believe that Kristin exists and lives abroad. Her hair smells so beautiful except for after she goes sailing sadly, Wednesday???

Meg Dolde

The day Meg was born, the angels sang “GLORY!” At a young age, Meg was sent to live with a family of goats. She quickly rose to the rank of Alphafemale, where she imposed her compassionate will upon all fauna and flora in the land. She was loved by all, and hated by none, her smile brings comfort and her tears are said to bring floods over the highest mountain tops, but this is unsure, because she has never cried. 

One day as Meg was reciting poetry she wrote as an infant, a revelation rung upon her. She knew at the moment she was called to lead her fellow Lutes, through humble forests and mighty mountains, through wind and snowflakes, sunshine and raindrops. Meg is currently extending her reign of tranquility at PLU as an Outdoor Recreation Guide, and as always spreading peace and harmony. 

Reza Refaei

Once upon a time, on a night streaked with clouds and moonlight, a brook whispered around the feet of a then small boy named Reza.  He was dabbling in the cool waters of the moon, looking for star bellied salamanders and thinking about philosophy, art, and what it would be like to be a mountain.  Young Reza led a wild and solitary life in the forested slopes of the southern reaches of Cascadia.  Yet he wasn’t entirely alone.  When solitude grew too burdensome, when he needed the warmth of a friend, he had the great horned owl, the raccoon, the coyote, the elk, and the bear to keep him company and provide stimulating conversation.  Soon Reza was no longer a small boy.  On the eve of his 18th birthday, Reza, almost a man, heard a call from the North.  Packing his few belongings into a knapsack he’d woven from the bark of one primordial cedar, he ventured through the mountains, following a whisper on the cool northern winds.  After three days and three nights of trekking through the wilderness wearing nothing but his bearskin pants, elk vest, and cedar bark knapsack, Reza found himself surrounded by the soft glow of a PLU twilight.  “Where am I?” he wondered in rough and weary English.  “Why, you’re at PLU!” a voice called back from the darkening night.  “PLU?” Reza asked, his English quickly improving.  “Yes, and it’s a glorious place,” said the voice in the dark.  “Who are you?” asked Reza hesitantly.  “I am the King of the Crows of PLU, and I will show you to your nesting ground.”  Reza followed the King of Crows, who had blended so well into the night, to a small grassy spot behind two brick-walled fortresses.  “This is where you will stay while you are here.  Make friends with the humans.  Learn all that you can.  Then you can venture forth again, and have a better knowledge of how the world works,” the King of Crows intoned.  And amidst a flurry of feathers, he was gone.  “I think I will like it here,” thought Reza.  Excited for the things to come, he strung his hammock between two towering cedars and was quickly asleep, dreaming of leading bands of roving Lutes into his wilderness home.  

Ryan Page

There once was a young man named Ryan Page,

He lived out his days to a rightful old age,

He went to college working minimum wage,

But never could just break out of his cage.

this is where things get a little weird, 

see ryan tried ever so hard to grow a beard,

the harder he tried the more he veered,

people on campus just wanted him to disappear.


After many months what was there to show?

Just a few hairs on his upper lip, struggling to grow.

He kept convincing himself that soon, they will flow,

Like luscious locks on Obama’s old afro.


He kept trying and waiting, almost to cave,

See Ryan was too loyal, he was a slave,

Ryan was committed, he would not shave,

Once he set his mind to it, he knew he could be brave.


Looking for help he had someone to turn to,

It was his brother Nathan, who let out a loud moo,

For he had an answer, perhaps maybe two,


Ryan was to sing to his mustache every night,

Soon it would come in just right,

And he would no longer look like such a fright,


Following his brothers godly advice, Ryan sang,

On one stormy night they shot off like a bang,

Oh man oh man were they the thang,


So still to this day, Ryan sings,

A soft little melody for the fruits that it will bring,

Warmth to his lip and a look better than spring,

Too bad Ryan can only work at Burger King.

Sam Van Roon

Sam van Roon emerged out of the womb riding a surfboard and sporting luscious long hair. At the ago of eighteen he left the sunshine of San Diego to run in the cold Washington rain. Besides guiding Lutes in the outdoors Sam is commonly seen showing perspective students around the PLU Campus. He is personally responsible for the high percentage of females in the class of 2018. Besides his natural talent for charm, Sam is a dance master. Before he became an OR guide Sam taught the tango to struggling high-school students, and eventually was able to put them on the right path. He’s also really hot. 

Sarah Henderson

Some may say that “Sarah” is a common name. Those people would be right. But this girl named Sarah ain’t no basic. She be all up in awesome. Blond? Check. Wears headbands and hippie pants? Check. Can she rap? You should check.

She summons life and cozy tea­holding­apparatuses from clay. If you need tea, this particular Sarah may or may not give you some. So that’s pretty cool. And magical.

Basically, this non­basic Sarah is full of secrets of the sea. She whispers to the seals and for some reason the whales whisper back, because seals like to play telephone. It’s not always the most helpful way of communicating, but Sarah is a
forgiving demigoddess and it’s all good in the hood. She also don’t discriminate cuz sometimes the marmots need to talk to her, too (see, she’s a useful resource) and she be down with that.

You should hope Sarah Henderson is the OR guide on your trip, she will take you far and show you the colors of the wind.

Sonja Schaefer

Sonja is quite extreme in her outdoors and is a drinker of H2O. Once long ago she climbed a very big water sculpture of Sonja.  Long times and adventures were the best. That’s why we love Sonja (except she can drink H2O inside a moving dinosaur). (And because she knows how to congitate with her mind while skipping flies). So Sonja isn’t going spelunking Tuesday because Wednesday??? 




It’s actually a miracle that Brian Hundtofte is still with us today.  Even though he was born 5 months prematurely, the only lasting health effects were a modified adrenal gland with a non-functioning feedback loop.  The result is a constant supply of adrenaline and the burning desire to grab life by the horns (literally, see for yourself, CLICK HERE).  After punching his way out of the womb, Brian went on to invent cancer and then develop a cure for it.  In the same day.  He has been known to lead all of his OR trips without ever letting his feet touch the ground.  Have you ever seen somebody handstand walk all the way up Pinnacle Peak?  His favorite trip to guide is the photo tour and his floppy arm dance has enough funk to disarm the entire Spanish armada.  A day on the trail with Brian is an opportunity that you don’t want to pass up.