Our Idaho Team

Leadership Team

Alex & Shayla

Owners

Shayla and Alex grew up in the wild and are so thrilled to be raising our children in Boise where they get to experience 4 seasons and enjoy many opportunities for outdoor adventures. Alex was raised in Flagstaff, AZ where the woods were his backyard. Hiking, building forts and games with friends in the forest were some of his favorite adventures. Shayla grew up on a small farm in Buhl, ID and appreciated a free range childhood with farm animals and making up games with her siblings. When we had our fourth child we knew we wanted to cultivate a love for nature and adventure in our children as they grew. Wild Beginnings feels like the perfect space for us to teach and work with youth. We love creating opportunities for children to problem solve and get excited about new experiences. We hope to meet you in our nature classroom soon!

Karyssa Tilden

(aka Miss Ryss)

Karyssa has been dreaming of opening Wild Beginnings Nature School in the Boise area for years. Her eyes were really opened to how beneficial and life changing a nature immersed program can be for families and individuals while working for the Anasazi Foundation in 2013 (an outdoor survival therapy program for at-risk youth). She then pursued a career in the outdoors which has included being a Wildland Firefighter, Backcountry Backpacking Guide, Whitewater Rafting Guide, Tinkergarten Leader and Head Nature Teacher at Wasatch Nature School. She is married to the love of her life, Michael Tilden, an adventure therapist, and they have three adorably sweet girls. As a family they love to backpack, rock climb and do anything else that gets them outside. Since moving to Boise in March 2020, Karyssa has really focused on how to bring out the light in others, especially children, during the difficult time of this pandemic. The time has finally come for the realization of her dream with the opening of Wild Beginnings Nature School! Karyssa has training in early childhood education and development, Nature Teacher Certification, The Cedarsong Way, the Waldorf Method for early childhood, Waldorf Foundations Certification through Lifeways of North America and currently working on full Waldorf Early Childhood Development certification from Lifeways. She has an innate love for children and believes that the greatest work we can do is to invest our time and energy on enriching the lives of all children. So get up, gear up and get out! Let’s have some fun!

Alison

Caregiver and Me Coordinator

alison@wildbeginningsnatureschool.org

Alison has always been drawn to nature from roaming the riverbanks, to going to camp and from eating fresh fruit from her grandparent’s orchard to hiking the foothills. Alison finds comforting moments in getting her hands dirty in mud, watching the sunrise, and being at the lake.

Alison pursued a degree in History with an emphasis on secondary education and a minor in Dance Education through Central Washington University.

For over fifteen years Alison has been working with children and youth and in the past five years she has been connecting them with their natural world. Within the past three years her path has brought her to Wild Beginnings Nature School as a Nature Teacher and now the Director of Idaho managing eleven staff members, four programs and twenty four classes.

Alison is excited to see how Wild Beginnings continues to grow and help individuals make connections with nature.

Melissa

Forest Kindergarten & Pathfinders Coordinator

melissawildbeginnings@yahoo.com

M– makes adventuring in nature a top priority for herself, her own family, and now your child.

E– elementary school educator was her previous title. She also holds a degree in Early Childhood Education and is an avid life-long learner. 
L– loves to hike, bike, paddle board, camp, garden, read, try out new hobbies, vacation, and plan the next fun day.
I– is a mother to four awesome outdoor loving children. Sometimes she feels like her children are trying to turn her home into a zoo. Currently there are chickens, a dog, frogs, a lizard, fish, the occasional ant farm or beloved roly-poly. Who knows what else is currently waiting to be discovered living in a mason jar in the corner of someone’s closet. 
S– sharing her love of nature through fostering adventure, sparking creativity, discovery, excitement, kindness, and learning stewardship are ways she’ll help your child grow.
S– she is excited to be sharing her passions in the Wild Beginnings team and looks forward to leading your child on their next immersive nature adventure.
A– aspires to live a big beautiful joy-filled life. 

Nature Teachers

Sarah

Forest Preschool Teacher

Sarah was born and raised in Idaho, spending as much of her childhood and teen years as possible in the beautiful mountains and especially rivers that abound here.  She received a bachelor’s degree in Recreation Management and Youth Leadership with an emphasis in Recreation Therapy and found a lot of joy through that program helping people of all ages and abilities find ways to enjoy nature and recreation.

She has spent most of the last 8 years raising her 3 kids and has truly found a love for creating adventures and learning experiences to have with them.   After a time of living in Michigan and Texas, Sarah is thrilled to be back in Idaho to bring her family to the places she loved as a kid and for the opportunity to be a part of Wild Beginnings!

Ashley

Forest Preschool Teacher

Ashley’s love of nature began as a child attending camp, hiking, skiing, and camping with family in the Sequoia National Forest. She began her career in childcare at a young age and has over 15 years of experience working with children. Ashley has 3 children of her own that she loves to spend time outdoors in nature taking her children on hikes and to the river and incorporating learning in the outdoors.

Tana

Forest Preschool Teacher

Tana grew up in Emmett Idaho. She loves spending time with her farm animals, family dogs, chickens, and spending time in the orchards and rivers. Her family would often go camping and fishing in the sawtooth mountains and the Idaho Oregon area. She worked at a summer camp in Stanley for 6 years.   After high school graduation and college she went on to work at Disney World making magic for thousands of families. She loves long road trips, exploring different national parks and going to historical monuments. Tana has years of experience working with kids in nature and loves the joy, questions, and peace that nature can bring to anyone. Watching the children find their confidence in nature through exploring and asking questions is how she grew up and she loves being able to help children grow up the same way.

Christina

Forest Kindergarten Teacher

Christina was born in Idaho and spent most of my life traveling the west coast. She loves anything and everything that has to do with nature and the earth we live on. She is a senior in high school and this will be her second year being a teacher’s assistant.

Corinne

Forest Kindergarten Teacher

Corinne spent nine years in early elementary education, before transitioning out of the classroom to be home with her two children. After moving to Idaho, she and her kids have spent these past two years learning and exploring together in nature. Corinne enjoys camping, fishing in the river, sledding in the winter and going on nature walks with her family. After experiencing Wild Beginnings last year with her children in preschool and Caregiver and Me classes, Corinne is excited to bring learning and nature together for other children as well.

Jessie

Substitute Nature Teacher

Jessie is an Idaho native and has always loved an outdoor adventure! Growing up she spent her summers in Palisades and couldn’t wait to be out exploring nature.

She graduated from ISU with a degree in Human Resources and Training Development. A large focus was adult education but now that she has her own children she is diving into childhood education!

With two kids of her own she loves learning with other parents and helping kids grow and learn new things! She excited to be apart of Wild Beginnings!

Holly

Substitute Nature Teacher

Holly is always up for an adventure and loves sharing her love of nature with others and inspiring families to get outside year round. She has four kids of her own and has seen the many benefits that living a nature-immersed life has had for her and her family. She truly believes that small backyard adventures are just as important as the big epic ones, and tries to find a good balance with that.

Holly is currently in the process of writing a Hiking With Kids Idaho book (set to be published by Falcon Guides in 2025) that will feature 50 great hikes for families in Idaho! She also creates adventure kits for kids to get them engaged with and learning from nature. You can find her adventure kits and more at

Holly loves being a substitute teacher at Wild Beginnings, and is always excited to get out in nature with kids and teach them through play and exploration.

Danae

Caregiver & Me Teacher

Danae spent 7 years in the classroom teaching students ranging from kindergarten to university level before becoming a “stay at home” parent to her daughter, Coraline. Among all ages, she has observed that students come alive when they’re outdoors. She believes that children and nature are inherently magical—put them together in a learning setting and you’ll be amazed! Nature is a wonderful teacher, healer, and joy-bringer! Danae loves getting to know each student as an individual and learning how to best support them in growing and harnessing their strengths to be a joyful force in the world. Danae loves exploring, crafting, walking, and gardening in beautiful Nampa.