May 25, 2021

Meet our Adventure Programming Team

Our Adventure Programming (AP) Department is led by Madison Brandt with an outstanding team of instructors. Here they are in their own words.

Madison Brandt, AP Director

Hello! My name is Madison: I use she/her pronouns. I am currently the Adventure Program Director serving students and clients in both Elements Wilderness and Elements Traverse programs. As director of the adventure program, I have the amazing opportunity to bring adventure, challenge, and creative insight to clients/students in the field through unique experiences like climbing, rappelling, fly fishing, mountain biking, leather working, art, and more.

I grew up in northern New Mexico exploring canyons with my dogs and building forts in pinyon pine trees - snake bite kit and radio to communicate with mom in hand. I obtained my undergraduate degree at Colorado State University and went on to work in the fields of wilderness therapy, therapy, outdoor science education, and outdoor adventure education. Time spent in the wilderness as a child and in my adulthood has provided me with some of the most significant growth experiences of my life to date. I am so grateful to provide similar opportunities for experiential learning in the wilderness, as such experiences can unlock personal insight, inner empowerment/strength, and encourage positive growth in relationships with self and others.

Sam Stuckey, AP Instructor

Howdy! My name is Sam Stuckey (he/him). I have been with Elements Wilderness Program for nearly 3 years and currently work as a full time Adventure Programming Instructor. My time in the field has emboldened my beliefs in the enlightening power of the outdoors and strengthened my skills as an effective communicator among the folks that I work with. I believe the natural world provides everyone with an even playing field and a clean slate for those who step outside so lets get out there!

Born and raised in Kansas I somehow found my way into rock climbing and my hunger for bigger challenges in the outdoors pulled me West. The Utah Desert (especially our field area) is a powerful land of unimaginable expanse and wonder in nature, with a fantastically deep archaeological history of native cultures. I am proud to call it my home. I spend my free time climbing the canyons, rock spires, and big walls of the American West. 

Alex Moss, AP Instructor

Hello! My name is Alex (he/him pronouns). I have been working at Elements Wilderness Program for a year and a half as a Field Instructor/Group Lead, and am now taking on the role as Adventure Programming Instructor. I have been climbing for around 11 years and instructing climbing and other outdoor adventures off and on for 9 years. While working at Elements, I have grown my resilience, compassion, self awareness, and assertive communication skills alongside the students I work with. Nature has inherent therapeutic value, as does living in tight knit communities, as both simultaneously provide challenges and a space to self reflect and grow. I experience this first hand both in and out of work and strive to continue sharing this knowledge and experience! While I will miss being in the field staff role, I find the added element of adventure to make the outdoor experience even more impactful. I am excited to share this with others!

While I was raised in suburbs in South Carolina, I was taught to appreciate the wilderness both close to home and in the mountains of North Carolina. I studied Outdoor Leadership and Education at Warren Wilson College near Asheville, NC. Since then I have enjoyed traveling and exploring both for work and play. When I am not at work you will most likely find me reading a book, playing with poi, rock climbing, or wandering in the desert!

Ray Wagner, AP Instructor

Hello! My name is Ray; I use he/him pronouns. I split my time acting as an Assistant Group Lead for Elements Wilderness Program (EWP) and as an Adventure Programming Instructor for both EWP and Elements Traverse. I have been working for EWP and Elements Traverse for two years! I am committed to working in wilderness therapy because I believe in the potential for change in the outdoors. I think that the outdoors provides individuals an opportunity to focus on themselves and be surrounded by less distractions. I have experienced a lot of growth through my experiences in the outdoors and I find it powerful to have the opportunity to support others in learning about themselves in the outdoors.

I grew up and went to college in upstate New York. Then I worked abroad in Vietnam and Scotland in the outdoor industry for two years before settling in Utah. I come to wilderness therapy with experience as a rock climbing and paddlesport guide as well as having a degree in outdoor education. I love exploring new climbing areas, whitewater kayaking, skiing, or connecting with people with different backgrounds than mine.