Our Colorado Team

Kayla

State Director & Nature Teacher

Kayla is a nature-loving outdoor enthusiast who loves adventure! She is from North Carolina, where she graduated from East Carolina University with a degree in Recreation and Park Management. Throughout college, she worked as a facilitator for ECU’s team training department and she led groups through ropes courses and activities. She also worked at an outdoor adventure summer camp leading group trips and teaching outdoor education to kids. She graduated college with a dream of someday opening her own summer camp. She then moved out west and lived in some awesome places while working seasonal jobs. She worked in California as a naturalist, in Jackson Hole as a kid’s ski instructor & preschool teacher, and Glacier National Park, Montana where she was a Red Bus Tour Guide and met her husband! Kayla and her husband, Andrew, moved to Colorado in 2019 where they love to hike, backpack, and go camping. They love to travel and explore the United States- Kayla has been to 48 U.S. states and 38 out 63 U.S. National Parks!

In between traveling and working seasonal jobs, Kayla started planning her big dream to open a K-12 outdoor school that would run like a summer camp. She saw how the outdoors impacted so many kids in a positive way and realized that kids would learn so much better if school operated like summer camp and the kids could learn in an environment where they could increase their self-confidence, social–awareness, and life skills in the outdoors. Kayla started looking into forest schools as a start and learned about Wild Beginnings Nature School. She realized that being a part of Wild Beginnings would be an amazing start to taking the first step to open the outdoor school of her dreams! She is very excited to be a part of this team and work toward making outdoor education accessible to kids of all ages. Kayla started working for Wild Beginnings Nature School while she was a nanny for a nanny share in Colorado, and she loved helping raise two babies into smart and loving toddlers. She just had her first baby boy in February 2023! She is very excited to help grow and expand Wild Beginnings Nature School in Colorado.

Allison

Summer Camp Teacher

Allison’s love for the outdoors started with hikes around trails in Colorado Springs with her mom when she was a kid. She hiked up Pikes Peak with her sister when she was 14. She spent two summers doing trail work in areas around Colorado and Wyoming in College. Now she’s passing on her love of the outdoors to her two year old daughter. Together with her husband, they hike, camp, and work in the garden. Allison has also been a 1st and 2nd grade teacher, preschool teacher, and a reading interventionist in public schools around the Denver area. She is excited to combine her love of teaching and the outdoors with children and their families.

Chelsea

Nature Explorers Teacher & Forest Preschool Teacher

Chelsea is a Colorado Native who loves the outdoors, art, and science; but most of all being the mom to a little nature lover! Growing up in an adventurous family who were involved in girl scouts, camping, and road trips shaped Chelsea into someone who loves exploring, traveling, and taking care of the planet. 

While pursuing her first degree in Biology, Chelsea worked as a lifeguard and swim instructor to children of all ages. After graduating and working in a cancer research lab for several years she decided that she needed to be involved with something more meaningful and people oriented. In 2019, she graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Colorado. 

Working in her first job as a RN with children in crises during the pandemic and expecting her own little one was an adventure within itself. Chelsea and her husband Stefan welcomed their sweet girl Lydia in December of 2020 and the greatest adventure of all officially began.

Since becoming a mother, Chelsea has continued to work as a Registered Nurse once a week in the Neurology Department at Swedish Medical Center. During the other 6 days of the week she and Lydia (and dad too) love to bake together, swim, play music, go to the zoo, and much more! They are currently in their second year of trying to be outside for 1000 hours in one year! Every year the little family looks forward to hiking trips as well as out of state and eventually international trips! Chelsea and Lydia are especially excited to be a part of Wild Beginnings in order to share their love of the outdoors with others.



Jocelynn

Nature Explorers Teacher & Forest Preschool Teacher

Jocelynn is a Colorado native that has lived in places all beginning with the letter C, Connecticut, Chicago and California. Colorado is her favorite “C” place to live in and she takes advantage of the beautiful scenery to go hiking, skiing, rafting, climbing and biking. She graduated from Colorado College with a major in Biology. At CC, Jocelynn took every field class possible. Students at CC only take one class at a time, so each field class took field trips all over the region to study the flora, fauna and geology of Colorado outside of the traditional classroom setting.

Upon graduation, Jocelynn accepted a job as a professional dancer in Denver. Ballet and Contemporary Dance were always what Jocelynn wanted to pursue. She relocated to San Francisco to continue her career in dance. Along the way, she discovered Aerial Arts and much prefers dancing in the air on Trapeze, Rope, Silks or Lyra. She became an instructor in Aerial Arts and Aerial Yoga. Jocelynn soon after became a teacher who trained teachers how to teach Aerial. For the past 25 years she has toured nationally and internationally teaching and performing in Central America, Mexico, Scotland, France, India, and Thailand.

To pay the bills as an artist, Jocelynn taught Environmental Education, tutored Middle and High School students in Math, Science and SAT prep.and was a personal assistant to the owner of the San Francisco Gyrotonic.  She has always had a passion for the healing arts and studied Clinical Herbalism at the Ohlone School of Herbal Medicine, Northwest School of Botanical Medicine and the Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism. She started Radicle Remedies, a line of hand-made herbal products. Most recently, Jocelynn graduated from the Institute of Taoist Education and Acupuncture with a Masters in Acupuncture. She is excited to open her Acupuncture practice in the summer of 2024.

Jocelynn loves teaching and Wild Beginnings Nature School is a great place for her to get outdoors with her daughter, Acacia, and share her love of nature with other children and caregivers. If you have the pleasure of taking her class, Jocelynn can give you fun facts about the plants and animals that are along the Clear Creek Greenbelt.

Lauren

Nature Babies Teacher

Lauren loves to live life outdoors. She is an Ohio native, but has lived in North Carolina and Michigan before landing in beautiful Colorado. Lauren grew up camping and on the water of the Great Lakes and has always enjoyed outdoor activities from soccer and ultimate frisbee to snowboarding, mountain biking, fly fishing, and her favorite way to spend time, hiking. When she’s not teaching Nature Babies classes, she can be found on the local trails with her two Yellow Labradors in tow.

It was an easy decision for the path that Lauren decided to follow for her career. Taking a page from her Mom, Lauren taught Physical Education and Health and coached for 9 years before moving into an administrative role. During this time, she got to spend countless hours outside with her students and found ways to incorporate lessons like orienteering, Leave No Trace, and trail running into her classes. Lauren has a passion for working with children and spreading the joy of living a healthy and active lifestyle. She is so enthused to be able to pair her love for the outdoors and nature with influencing our future generations.

Lauren and her husband welcomed a baby girl in August of 2023. Lauren is grateful and excited to have the opportunity to work with Wild Beginnings Nature School and aspires to connect with families and build their love for the outdoors through her teaching.

Kevin

Summer Camp Teacher

Kevin grew up in Connecticut where he fell in love with autumn leaves and cold frigid winters. He is a school psychologist at an elementary school in Denver Public Schools and loves to connect student’s mental health with nature, through walks and pauses during the day outside.

Prior to being a school psychologist, Kevin worked for a non-profit that hosted large and small scale events for adolescents with an emphasis on mentorship and identity. Kevin worked for a for-hire entertainment company that specialized in circus skills, which allowed Kevin to become proficient in juggling, fire eating, aerial acrobatics, trapeze, and balloon juggling. That was over a decade ago, so his skills may have deteriorated since then.

Kevin earned a bachelor’s degree in Architecture where he always found inspiration from nature and often his design had some connection to the natural world or a focus on allowing the designs to integrate with the natural landscape. He is married with two wild and fun boys, who all love to spend time in the mountains and playing outside.

The Chao family moved to Denver the summer of 2023 from Philadelphia and love calling Denver home. In his spare time, which is limited, he enjoys baking with sourdough, eating dumplings, playing ultimate frisbee, woodworking, tinkering on the family’s bikes, going for leisure bike rides, planning bikepacking trips, backpacking and hiking, and lounging on the couch as his boys jump on him as he tries to take a nap.