Jennifer Potts




Spending 15 years cutting hair has been both rewarding and exhausting. I began to utilize hiking, camping and backpacking as a way to disconnect from long work days and to help cope with a loss in my life. In early 2016 I started planning meetup events for like minded women in my local outdoor community. 


I am a Development Coordinator with Gear Forward; a Springfield based non-profit that supplies children across the US in need of camping and hiking equipment. We have been able to outfit scout troops, summer camps and other youth based outdoor organizations with generous donations of tents, backpacks and sleeping bags over the last few years. 


I enjoy volunteer work with my passion mission - Illinois Park Project. My intention is to get families and individuals outdoors in their communities every 4-6 weeks by spending a day outside in designated state parks and cleaning up litter on trails, roadways, parking lots and campgrounds. 


My goal is to share with you an authentic and memorable outdoor experience. I strive to create genuine connections with people and help them find their place and their passion in the outdoors. There is no friend-family like a trail family, and I can’t wait to have you join ours!

Instagram: @jennythetrailhead

Melissa Dix

Lead Yoga Instructor/


Certifications/Training: Power Yoga 200 hour Certificate, Yoga Extensions Training, Yogabarre and Yogaburn Instructor, CPR/First Aid

After spending the last 20 years exploring and living in various places around the world, I
currently reside in Missouri, my hometown. In 2015, after a major life change, I found my true
calling: yoga. I immediately fell in love with the asana practice and began living my life in a
more yogic way. I received my RYT200 from CorePower in 2016 and have been teaching
vinyasa ever since. I have my certificates in barre and burn and have been teaching those
fitness-based classes as well. In February of 2020, I received my RYT500 from Mathieu
Boldron. I absolutely love learning and sharing my teachings with others and watching my
students expand into better versions of themselves, both on and off the mat. There is no end in
yoga and I'm truly enjoying the ride.
When I'm not teaching or taking a class, I can be found outdoors. I'm an outdoor enthusiast,
always keeping it simple by connecting to the earth. I enjoy backpacking, fishing, caving,
canoeing, and kayaking. The earth and yoga have kept me grounded. I look forward to
continuing my yoga and backpacking journey with all beings.

Anthony Pompa



Certifications: WFA, EMT-P

After serving 7 years in the military I became a career firefighter/paramedic. I have been a paramedic since 1999 and have also served as a technical rescue technician as well as safety officer.  I have always enjoyed spending time outdoors and have a great admiration of the United States and it's national parks and forests.


Most of my time on trail was spent day hiking, I discovered backpacking later in life. What began as a form of stress relief for me quickly became as much of an obsession as it did a necessity. When I'm not backpacking, I'm planning my next trip.


My hope is that I can share the knowledge I have obtained as well as my passion for the outdoors with others. I also believe it is important to pass on the importance of preserving nature, especially to children.


Safety and planning are important to me. One of the biggest challenges of backpacking is proper planning. My goal is to make our clients feel as comfortable and safe as possible, I thoroughly enjoy taking care of all the fine details so our clients can fully enjoy their outdoor experience with us.

The Appalachian trail has a special place in my heart, as do the many small towns it passes through. These are parts of Americana most people will never see and are filled with some of the kindest people you will ever meet.

Sarah Lindgren

Yoga Instructor/


Certifications/Training: Karauna Yoga, Healing Chakra, Intro to Viniyoga, Intro to Purna Yoga, CPR/First Aid/AED

I love the honesty of the yoga practice and
how it demands self acceptance, which is truly the heart of this practice. I provide a heart centered approach to mind-body wellness
for adults and children of all ages and abilities. I
strive to assist my students in self discovery, allowing for growth within their current capabilities and setting them up for success not only in their pursuit of yoga but in their daily lives.

As a Yoga Teacher I’ve been teaching yoga since summer of 2015, gaining 200 hour
certification in 2016 from Moksha Yoga in Chicago, completing the program with more than 700 hours of training. I continue to enjoy learning about this practice and developing
creative and challenging sequences as well as workshops relatable to students. My mission
as an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher is to help make the world of yoga more accessible to all students through my classes and YACEP workshops. Showing them this is a practice to access the language of the heart not about touching your toes.

When I’m not meditating, or playing on my yoga mat you can find me in the garden.
Exploring Illinois with my family and whipping up tasty and nutritious food.

I can’t wait to meet you on the mat and together cultivate a more.

Robert Beattie

WFA/CPR Instructor,


Certifications/Training: CPR/First Aid

After serving 12 years in the Marine Corps, I became a firefighter/paramedic in 1996. I have been a Battalion Chief since 2010 and have also served as a technical rescue technician, State certified Incident Safety Officer and Planning section Chief.  I have always enjoyed spending time outdoors and making it every national park is one of the goals on my bucket list.
My trail experience is mostly day hiking and car camping but have since discovered back country backpacking and camping.
I am hoping to be able to share what I have learned with others, make new friends and continue my education of the great outdoors.
I have always prided myself on being able to meet any challenge head on with safety always in mind. I believe that each and every event can be made as safe as possible by proper planning or as I like to call it the “7 P’s”.

I hope I can find ways to help our clients experience backpacking and other adventures in a safe, fun, and engaging way.”