Our Bosque Backpackers program takes children out of the classroom and into the open air! While outdoors they explore nature, learn about biology and animal habitats, build friendships and develop team work skills. For additional information please contact us!


Erin Earl

Erin Earl earned her B.A. in Environmental Studies and Biology from UC Santa Cruz. After college, Erin traveled extensively in Southeast Asia, India and Nepal - studying the service aspect of yoga (seva), trekking in the Himalayas, and enjoying the rich and vastly different cultures across the continent. Woven throughout this time in the U.S., she began her career in education, exploring alternative and environmental education, as well as working for many summers as part of the leadership team for an environmental summer camp. These experiences led her to complete an M.S. in Ecological Teaching and Learning with Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. During this program, Erin was introduced to the practice and pedagogy of "Forest School" and was immediately inspired to work within this model. Erin began offering Tinkergarten classes in the Bosque for toddlers and their families just after her son Wilder was born; she is also a teacher with Sol Forest School.

Erin moved to Albuquerque five years ago to be with her now husband Christopher and stepson Elijah. Their son Wilder is now 2 years old and has attended Elevation since last fall.


Endion Schichtel

Endion’s fierce environmental and community consciousness comes from being a student of the world.

After earning her B.S. in Biology with a concentration in Conservation, Endion worked for the Forest Service. But it was a teacher at UNM who “planted a seed in her mind” about traveling to New Zealand. Endion was attracted by New Zealand’s sustainable food-growing and conservation efforts. Once there, she worked for “Conscious Kids New Zealand,” an organization dedicated to leading children in unrestricted free play through the New Zealand bush. She remembers how lush and gentle the New Zealand forests were; “I was barefoot for most of the time there,” she says, “walking through the forests.”

Yet her experience here led to discouragement and a sense of the deep systemic and political problems of conservation efforts worldwide. Realizing that conversation problems were directly related to mistreatment of people, Endion became more politically aware as her life journey led to Southeast Asia, Australia, and back to the United States. With her focus on helping people, she gravitated to mentorship programs for refugees. In Albuquerque, she began mentoring families through Catholic Charities and teaching people about the outdoors through The New Mexico Wilderness Alliance.    

Endion has written character narratives for the Cibola National Forest (through The Wilderness Alliance) and contracts as an Environmental Educator for the Albuquerque Water Authority.

Endion is enjoying the return of a routine here in Albuquerque, but keeps a place in her mind for living abroad with family in the future.