Environmental Leadership Staff and Instructors
Patrick Fitzgerald – Director
Patrick Fitzgerald has been employed in the Environmental Leadership Program since 1993. Patrick is originally from Hamilton, Ohio. He is an Eagle Scout with close to 20 years of Scouting experience. He graduated from the University of Dayton with a BS in Biology in 1988. Upon graduation Patrick decided to serve for two years in the Peace Corps. He was stationed for three years (two years just wasn’t quite long enough) in The Gambia, West Africa, where he taught environmental education to primary school students. He also worked with various garden clubs and individual farmers to increase food production and income generation by planting various species of trees. Upon his return home, he felt the call to come to Texas. So he packed up the van and headed south. Everything in his life pointed to a career in Outdoor Education. It took moving to Texas to prove it could be done. In 1994 Patrick became the Director of the Environmental Leadership Program. Being the Director has proved both rewarding and challenging. He enjoys working with the teachers to develop a program that will fulfill the goals and objectives of each school. Perhaps his favorite thing to do is to teach. Working with a group of students, leading, guiding and encouraging them is the most rewarding thing that he does. Away from Mo-Ranch, Patrick enjoys fly fishing, working crossword puzzles, camping and spending time with his family.
Conn Carson – Adventure Programmer
Conn spent most of his childhood winging around from base to base, tailing behind his dad, the fighter pilot. Growing up around the world (and the son of a fighter jock) cultivated in him a driving sense of adventure. The desire to lead others in their own adventures brought him to Mo-Ranch in 2001. Conn’s professional career has been spent working with youth, primarily in the counseling field, but has also included working on ropes courses since the early 1990’s. He believes if you make an experience exciting for someone, you won’t be able to stop them from learning about it. That’s why he loves teaching rock climbing: combining the adventure of the outdoors with personal growth and gaining new perspectives about life makes for incredible opportunities for people to learn about God’s creation! Conn tries to make everything fun, so if you get a chance to see him in action, don’t forget to ask him about the Beavershark!
The Environmental Leadership Program is staffed by a group of professional, caring adults from diverse backgrounds and experiences. Field Instructors go through a rigorous selection process that includes interviews, references, criminal background checks and a drug screening. All staff participate in an extensive training program that focuses on communication and teaching skills, child behavior management, age level expectations, risk management and child abuse prevention. Staff receive specialized training and/or certifications in CPR, First Aid, Lifeguarding, Ropes Course Facilitation, Canoeing and Archery.
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