Farm & Wilderness is thrilled to welcome Adair Arbor as the new Director of Saltash Mountain Camp (SAM). Having worked at camps since she was nineteen years old, Adair can still recall the rush and reward of being a full summer counselor to middle school-aged girls in Vermont and New Hampshire. Her mentor, former Executive Director of F&W, Ridge Satterthwaite, taught her many valuable lessons about outdoor leadership, such as setting the pace for a hike based on the capabilities of the group, learning the names of trees and flowers around her to share with campers as you go, and teaching with songs whenever possible.
“Adair is knowledgeable about working with children, energetic, and idealistic about the potential of camp in childhood education,” said Ridge Satterhwaite. “I am thrilled Adair will carry forward the legacy of SAM as a co-ed hiking camp.”
Adair is an accomplished musician and performer with extensive outdoor leadership and tripping experience. SAM, with its mix of music, skits, and outdoor adventure, feels like coming home to Adair. She looks forward to sharing her enthusiasm for living close to nature and tripping because of what these experiences show us–about the wilderness, each other, and ourselves. Skits and music are another way we learn about each other and ourselves and make sense of the world around us. We can go deep, we can be silly, we can be together.
“I'm so excited to have Adair join the Director Team,” said Polly Williams, F&W’s Director of Alumni Engagement. “Her skills are top notch and she really understands different developmental levels of children. I am so psyched to see her lead SAM along with support from her partner who is also very knowledgeable on camps.”
Adair cannot wait to meet all the campers, staff, and families; this summer, expecting that they will find joy and growth at the intersection between arts and outdoor adventure. She hopes they will leave feeling inspired by nature’s lessons while having fun along their journey.
Hear what Adair is most excited about in the Q&A with Adair below:
When my husband and I decided nearly a year ago that it was time to start looking for our next camp community, we wanted to be very intentional about where we landed. The number one criteria we discussed was finding a community that aligned with our values, which, after some brainstorming and discussion, we narrowed down to community, equity, and sustainability. We wrote them down on a piece of paper and later at the top of our resumes. As we continued to dream together and decided that I would be the primary worker for our family while my husband cares for our baby, I found myself longing for work that utilized my outdoor education skillset, that incorporated artistic expression, and that, beyond providing a fun and safe summer experience for kids, also encouraged them to grow into responsible, empathetic, competent young citizens.
When I discovered Farm & Wilderness, I was blown away—it checked every box. The mission and values spoke right to my heart, and the more I looked into its programming options, the more I thought, “Wow, I wish I had been a camper here when I was a kid!” I truly believe that camp changes kids and kids change the world, and this is exactly the kind of world-changing that I want to be a part of.
What is your vision for Saltash Mountain Camp (SAM Camp)?
I think both performing and wilderness trips have enormous potential for transforming young lives. They are both excellent ways to find your growth edge, to push out of your comfort zone in a supported way, and to learn to rely on the community of people around you. My vision for SAM Camp is to provide a space for young people that is safe, playful, and encourages creative exploration. I love that it is an all-gender camp and a small community, and I hope it can be a source of lifelong friendships and memories for our campers.
What makes you excited about the F&W community?
I’ve had a unique opportunity to slowly sink into the community here over the last few months working part-time on the Development team. On a personal level, everyone here has been incredibly kind and welcoming to me and to my family. In the wider community, I have seen first-hand the passion, long-term connections, and shared values that make F&W truly special. When people leave notes with their donations, they say things like, “F&W changed my life!” “F&W made camp affordable for my kids when I never thought it could be,” or, “F&W is where I found my lifelong friends.” I am so excited to officially join this nearly-century-old circle of deep connections.
What are you most excited about for this summer?
Singing! Backpacking! Art projects! Seeing young people try things they would have thought themselves incapable of back in the “real world.” Ushering them into the world of outdoor adventure for the first time, pushing through their hesitation and discomfort, and discovering the most empowering and transformative experiences. Inside jokes. Outside toilets. Camp games. My first Fair! The list is pretty much endless—I think it’s going to be an amazing summer.