Meet Our Team

Carolyn Walton

Founder/Executive Director

Carolyn is the Founder and Owner of ADK WOODS (Wilderness Opportunity to Offer and Develop Skills). Over the past ten years Carolyn has worked primarily in Wilderness and Outdoor Recreation programs across the country (New York, Oregon, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Vermont). Carolyn has also worked in a wilderness based boarding school for boys as well as at a young adult residential treatment program. Carolyn’s mission and goal is to provide accessible wilderness immersion trips to adolescents through the public school system in the Adirondacks. Carolyn believes that through disconnection to the saturated tech world we live in, participants will find deeper connections with themselves, their peers and their community. Carolyn, along with the WOODS team, will carry this mission out based on the four core values WOODS is built off of; Basic Needs, Self-Reflection, Belonging, and Rejuvenation.

Meg Farrell

Communication Director

Meg is thrilled to oversee communication for the WOODS Program to ensure the safety and success of each trip. Meg moved to the ADK’s from her hometown of Syracuse, NY in 2022 and works as the Community School Coordinator for the Saranac Lake Central School District. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2019, studying Health Services and English Literature. Meg has been with WOODS since its inception, and has an unwavering belief in the program’s mission. She is passionate about the benefits of outdoor recreation opportunities and healthy connection, having a great appreciation for the wilderness area we all call home. Meg loves nothing more than sharing a laugh and embracing the beauty of the great outdoors.

Jill Byrne


Jill is a passionate guide for WOODS, bringing her love for the outdoors and diverse background experiences to every trip. Jill was born and raised in Syracuse, New York, where her deep connection to nature was cultivated. Jill joined the WOODS team in the fall of 2023 and brings a unique perspective and approach to guiding that is both refreshing and insightful. Her genuine love for people and knack for fostering connections make her able to resonate with trip participants.

Bethany Garrettson


Bethany is a Program Director at Mountain Lake Academy. She is a passionate mountain athlete and accomplished writer, and has been published in Outside, Alpinist, and Trail Runner Magazine. In 2020, she made history with Katie Rhodes, when they climbed all 46 High Peaks in the Adirondack Mountains unsupported, becoming the first women to do so. She is a Brand Ambassador for SheJumps, a non-profit that advocates for women and girls to get outside and recreate. Bethany was a wilderness therapy instructor for many years and sees the outdoors as a place to heal.

Kiana Roach


Kiana grew up on Long Island and spent most of her days on the beach. Walking it in the winter or spending hours in the water during the warmer months. Kiana moved up to the North Country in 2015 and received her BA in Anthropology at SUNY Plattsburgh. Kiana fell in love with life in the Adirondack mountains and the creation of all its opportunities for adventure with friends. Kiana was introduced to rock climbing, snowboarding and winter camping. Kiana loves the simplicity as well as the moments of difficulty that come with life in the wilderness and hopes to share that on WOODS trips through real communication and experience.

Brooke Shipman


Brooke is the first WOODS guide that grew up in the High Peaks Region. Growing up with a deep connection to the outdoors, she has seamlessly integrated her personal passions, upbringing, and educational background into crafting outdoor adventure programs nationwide, spanning from Colorado to Utah and back to New York. Brooke brings invaluable experience from her involvement in outdoor education and project-based learning initiatives within schools. During the summer, she leads at a high-ropes facility located in Lake Placid. Brooke holds certifications as a NYS Hiking Guide and Wilderness First Responder, attesting to her proficiency in wilderness safety and guidance. Having explored the backcountry across the nation, she asserts that the lessons gleaned extend beyond mere survival skills, emphasizing the importance of disconnecting to truly connect. A fervent advocate for both education and the wonders of the great outdoors, Brooke discovered her calling in the WOODS program. Her unwavering commitment lies in affording young individuals opportunities for self-discovery, resilience, and transformation through the immersive power of wilderness experiences.