Staff

“I want to keep doing the program because I like the leaders”

Nadav Sprague: Founding CEO and President

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Nadav Sprague received his BA in Environmental Earth Science, Anthropology, and Writing from Washington University in St. Louis and is extremely experienced in outdoor education. He has worked at the Missouri Botanical Garden’s educational department and led canoe trips for six years at Camp Tamakwa in Canada. In college, he ran a backpacking pre-orientation program that took first-year students hiking in the Ozarks. Additionally, he founded Gateway to the Great Outdoors in 2015 in St. Louis. He is a certified lifeguard and wilderness, first responder. Nadav worked for the Curious Mind Fund in New Zealand, evaluating their programming. This program serves at-risk rural youth in the Kaikoura region of New Zealand, teaching them environmental sciences and technology. In his free time, Nadav loves to hike, sail, and box.

Shoshana Fain: Educational Consultant

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Shoshana Fain received a master’s degree from Harvard University in education. She is currently a fifth-grade teacher at a school in Manhattan. Shoshana has over seven years of experience in classroom teaching. Additionally, she is a published scholar in science education. Growing up, Shoshana actively participated in outdoor education and recreation programming. She has been on 13-day canoe trips and continues to hike and canoe with her family. In her free time, Shoshana loves to swim and craft mosaics.

Clarence Robinson: Outdoor Education Consultant

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Clarence is a veteran to outdoor education in St. Louis. For over a decade he worked at Camp Wyman in the St. Louis region. At Wyman, he was a co-coordinator for wilderness treks, outdoor education instructor, and lead adventure programmer; coordinating the high ropes course, hiking, canoeing, and team building activities. It was at Camp Wyman where he was given his beloved nickname of “Bear.” Additionally, to his position at Camp Wyman, he taught conservation and ran youth group programs for Forest Park Forever. He has facilitated several outdoor education programs for people with special needs, such as Stream and Young Dine’. After a few years of retirement, Bear is excited to get back into outdoor education with Gateway to the Great Outdoors.

Becca Andersen: Director of St. Louis Outreach

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Becca Andersen studies Linguistics and Children’s Studies at Washington University in St. Louis. She has extensive experience working with children and has taught figure skating and ice dance for 4 years. She also has been a swim instructor and camp lifeguard. Becca also leads a backpacking pre-orientation program at Washington University, and has volunteered as a mentor at Gateway to the Great Outdoors for over a year. She is certified in Lifeguarding and Wilderness First Aid. In her spare time, she loves to run in Forest Park and has also coordinated volunteers for 5K races for multiple charities and most recently served as the Assistant Director of Sponsorship for Take Steps for Kids. Becca also can be found rock climbing and taking pictures on her film camera.

Ben Aiken: Director of Dallas-Fort Worth Outreach

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Ben Aiken received his BA in Architecture as well as minors in Environmental Engineering, and Education from Washington University in St. Louis. Growing up he volunteered with special needs children and was a leader of his Boy Scout Troop, eventually reaching the rank of Eagle Scout. While living in St. Louis he worked on numerous after school programs and developed a passion for elementary teaching. Before he graduated he helped Nadav start Gateway and also lead a pre-orientation program that took first-year students backpacking in the Ozarks. He currently teaches fourth grade in Fort Worth, Texas and is a Teach For America Corps member. When he isn’t teaching, Ben loves architectural design and can often be found biking and camping.