Year-Round NH Team
|Misha Golfman, Founding Director and Senior Leader |
MISHA GOLFMAN, M.Ed. co-founded Kroka Expeditions in 1996. He graduated from the Soviet National Outdoor Leadership School and earned degrees from Leningrad Politechnical and Pedagogical Universities, Plymouth State College and M.Ed. from Antioch, NE Graduate School. As a child he spent every summer expeditioning on long Russian waterways with his mother, while foraging and fishing. Misha participated and led many expeditions including several in the Russian and Canadian Arctic. He founded several initiatives, including the Russian American Outdoor Educators Exchange, Adventures in Russia and Piermont Outdoor Program. Misha was a guide for Mahoosuc Guide Service for 15 years and Outward Bound for 3 years. He also was a public school and college teacher for 10 years. Read more...
|Silvano Biffis, Farm Educator
SILVANO believes that growing good food will help heal people and the earth. Food is love and love must be the way! He believes that it is our obligation to heal and preserve the earth for future generations. For this reason Silvano joined a pacifist movement in Italy in 1977. In 1983 he began his experience with organic and biodynamic farming, working full-time on organic and biodynamic farms and dairies from 1989 to 2004 and part-time from 2005 to 2012. Both modes of farming not only aid the earth in repairing its many damaged elements and promoting new healthy life, but also produces good food that contributes positively to the development of human thought. This is a fundamental element to evolution. Silvano will be 55 years old this year and believes that he can still contribute valuably through his work to the preservation of the earth for the future. Read more...
|Hannah Billian, Semester Programs Coordinator and Guide
HANNAH spends her time working with the Winter and Ecuador Semester Students and the communities in Vermont and New Hampshire that they visit throughout their journey. In her free time she enjoys singing, climbing rocks, eating kale while reading novels, playing pond hockey, biking on forested trails, working with chainsaws, and making pottery. Read more...
|Lynne Boudreau, Founding Director, Farm Programs
LYNNE, M.Ed. graduated from UMass, Amherst and Leslie College with degrees in Education and Creative Arts. Prior to founding Kroka, Lynne taught as a Special Education Teacher, Public School Classroom teacher and Waldorf Nursery Kindergarten teacher. Lynne also worked as a ski guide at Mahoosuc Guide Service. Lynne brings to Kroka a wealth of teaching and life experience combined with a deep understanding of child development and an unsurpassed compassion for all beings. Besides running Kroka and raising a family Lynne manages Kroka’s growing farm.
|Theresa Darling, Business Manager|
THERESA grew up on a homesteading farm in rural Connecticut. Her family moved to New Hampshire in 1986 and she never left. She settled in beautiful Acworth, NH on the Cold River with her small family. She has spent many years working in finance and business. She also enjoys spending time with family, gardening, hiking, foraging, making maple syrup, mushroom hunting, learning about medicinal plants, raising animals, and has a passion for sharing great cooking. She has a small frozen food business making homemade, from scratch, entrees called TC's Pantry. Read more...
|Ezra Fradkin, Program Assistant
EZRA came to Kroka in January after graduating from Sterling College (VT) with a self-designed degree in Civic and Community Agriculture. Since completing Kroka’s Ecuador Semester Program in 2011, Ezra has taken his passion for agriculture, food, and community into the world to face the challenges of our times. Throughout college, Ezra focused his studies on regenerative agriculture, land use planning, and sustainable food systems. These interests brought him to find a home-away-from-home on beautiful Lopez Island in Washington’s Salish Sea. In his senior year, Ezra led the island in a foodshed assessment, engaging the community in a dialogue about self-reliance in an effort to discover where their food was coming from. When not working in the Kroka office or teaching programs, Ezra enjoys writing, skiing, cooking, and directing and performing live theater. Read more...
|Linda Fuerderer, Office Manager
LINDA is our amazing Office Manager/Administrator and she always steps up to do many other tasks. Until the sale in 2007, she worked along side her family in the family business, Jack’s True Value Hardware in Keene, New Hampshire. While working in the family business, she received a Bachelor’s Degree at Keene State College. Here she deepened her passion for archaeology. Linda has participated on many digs and regularly volunteers with the New Hampshire SCRAP program (State Conservation and Rescue Archaeology Program). She is a resident of Marlow and has sat on the Marlow Conservation Commission as well as ARLAC (Ashuelot River Local Advisory Commission). Currently she is the President of the New Hampshire Archeological Society.
|Antje Hornbeck, Marketing and Outreach Coordinator
ANTJE wants to live in a world where emails are short, love letters are brave and every “thank you” note is scribbled by hand. As a marketing professional with over 20 years of experience, she’s worked in Europe and the US. Antje is passionate about Waldorf education, chickens, and books. When she’s not taking photos, exchanging ideas with and beyond the Kroka community, or creating Kroka's print publications, you can find her baking up a storm, running barefoot, or optimistically checking her mailbox for brown-paper packages tied up with string.
|Hanah LaBarre, Expedition Leader, Food Programs|
HANAH enjoys rising with the mist on the summer pond and collecting the dew-wet vegetables needed for the day's nourishment. She relishes each chance to create an intimate hearth at the center of Kroka's action, especially in sharing practical and playful kitchen conversation and the work of transforming life into more life (i.e.: the bounty of our dear earth into a delicious moment for dear friends!). She is an epic walker, skier, runner and swimmer in cool fresh water. Read more...
|Nathan Lyczak, Systems Manager, Navigation Instructor
In addition to his eight-year tenure at Kroka, NATHAN has spent the past 20 years working to develop thriving non-profit, farming, and educational communities. His diverse passions include: designing physical and technological information systems that balance technology with humanity, writing policies and procedure manuals that define and shape a healthy organizational culture, and transforming social groups through retreats, exercises, and rituals. In addition to networking and general software support, he is also a master at Filemaker Pro database development and building responsive websites using Ruby on Rails. He lives in Keene, NH and follows his wife Hanah to Kroka each summer for the pleasure of living in a canvas wall tent and the privilege of supporting the many amazing expeditions that depart from Kroka’s base camp throughout the year. Read more...
Year Round Ecuador Team
|Mathias Dammer, Senior Leader
Co-Founder of Nahual Expediciones MATHIAS (Thomson River University, Canada) was born and raised at Palugo Farm in the core of the Andes Mountains, where he learned to love nature and developed passion for outdoor sports. Mathias is a professional mountain guide, farmer, and father. Mathias' legendary strength and determination has inspired generations of Kroka students. Mathias is an Ecuador Semester Senior Lead Teacher. He lives with his partner Nicole Marchan and their daughter Ayra in the homemade tent at the top of Palugo Hill. Mathias has been teaching at Kroka since 2004.
|Michael Dammer, Nahual Programs Director, Senior Leader
MICHAEL is one of the founders of the NH-Ecuador Semester and has been involved as teacher, coordinator, climbing specialist and support staff for all Ecuador semesters. Born and based on Palugo Farm, he has been a key part of Kroka for many years. In both places he has been a driving force for the development of education systems. He has been involved in agricultural initiatives and sustainable and traditional building projects. He is a professional mountaineer and rock climber. He lives with his partner, Marcela and son Koru in their handmade home on Palugo farm. Read his blog here.
|Thomas Dammer, Senior Leader
Senior Lead Teacher THOMAS (BS San Francisco, EC.) was born and raised on horseback at Palugo Farm. Through wrestling his brothers, roping horses, climbing trees, hunting, shooting bows, and racing wooden boats, he developed an understanding of community and a love for nature. He has an independent personality and a great talent for different sports; he is a passionate paddler, climber, biker, and an overall adventurer. He has done much traveling and has dedicated a great deal of his life to being outdoors, guiding, and working with young people in nature. The practice of permaculture encompasses much of his interests, with bio-construction as part of it. He and Marcea MacInnis enjoy living in their hand built wood and adobe house at Palugo Farm with their daughters Naya and Nina. Thomas has been teaching at Kroka since 2004.
|Marcea MacInnis, Senior Leader
MARCEA MACINNIS (BA, Marlboro College) is a native Vermonter. Growing up immersed in nature, she developed an understanding of the beauty, forms, and cycles of the living Earth. While traveling, she developed her expression through crafts, music, and art. Marcea moved to Ecuador in 2006. She lives with her partner Thomas Dammer and their two daughters Nina and Naya in their hand built wood and adobe house at Palugo Farm. She has worked at Kroka since 2005, teaching students the beauty of nature through leaves, flowers, and roots, both as a teacher during the summer and for the Ecuador Semester. In addition to teaching Marcea runs a medicinal herb and balm company called Yuyos.
|Nicole Marchan, Senior Leader
Accomplished climber, Galapagos guide, herbologist, and mother, NICOLE (BS, Biology, Universidad Catolica, EC) has a deep respect and knowledge of Andean nature, people and traditional ways. She teaches yoga, studies the magical healing properties of herbs and coordinates the Ecuador Semester Program. Nicole lives with her partner Mathias Dammer and their daughter Ayra in the homemade tent at the top of Palugo Hill. Nicole has been teaching at Kroka since 2008.
ROBERTO was born at 9,000 ft. in the Ecuadorian Andes. From that height he could see Kroka and his future working there so many years later. Roberto was a student on the 2010 Ecuador semester and has been an apprentice then teachers on many of the semesters since.
|Marcela Restrepo, Senior Leader, Theater Instructor
MARCELA, also based in Palugo Farm, is Colombian born but has been based in Ecuador for more than 25 years. She has been working with Kroka for eight years as a lead teacher both for the Ecuador Semester, as well as school and summer programs. Before this, she was based in New Zealand, where she worked with a small, experimental theatre company. She has been part of several projects in ecological reserves and communities in Ecuador involved in restoration and alternative agriculture. She has a diploma in Waldorf education from Taruna college in New Zealand. She is currently immersed in many farm projects, runs an artisanal cheese and yogurt industry as well goes on wonderful expeditions with Michael and Koru. Read more...
|David Silva Alvarez, Expedition Leader, Climbing Specialist
DAVICHO, a rambling rock climber, originates from Colombia, but has lived and raised his beautiful daughter, Violeta, in Ecuador for the last decade. At the age of twelve, he earned enough money selling hot dogs on the street to buy his first pair of climbing shoes. He has gone on to become a professional mountaineering guide as a member of the Asosacion de Guias de Alta Montaña of both Ecuador and Bolivia. In Ecuador, he works as a high-altitude mountaineering guide for Nahual Expediciones. Around Kroka, Davicho can be found collecting poison ivy, while exploring new heights and terrain. Read more...
Seasonal Staff and Guides
|Pasha Belenky, Science, Art, and White Water Specialist
PAUL, known as Pasha, has been with Kroka since he was a little boy. Practically born into a kayak, he grew up paddling with his family, and is now one of Kroka's prized white water specialists. His Russian fisherman roots run deep, and on trips he can often be seen with a fishing rod in one hand and paddle in the other. Pasha is a total goof ball and always brings a light humorous energy with him wherever he goes. When not at Kroka or paddling down a river, he can be found making art in the greater Boston area. Watch "Palms in the Water," a video on a recent paddle tour in Newfoundland.
|Lisl Hofer, Senior Advisor, Sewing Instructor|
LISL, M.Ed. was born and raised in a small village in the Austrian Alps in the family of a forest ranger and teacher. She climbed, backcountry skied, and hiked extensively. Lisl has been a teacher all of her adult life, having taught elementary as well as high school grades. After moving to the United States in 1985 she studied at the Rudolf Steiner College in California. For 13 years she taught at the Kimberton Waldorf School in Pennsylvania, where she carried the Movement and Outdoor Education Department. Lisl devoted seven years of her life as director of Kroka's semester programs, building Vermont and Ecuador semesters, and mentoring hundreds of young adults through life-changing experiences. We are grateful that she continues to serve Kroka as a guest teacher and mentor. Her son Stefan is an alumnus of VSP ’04 and has taught many programs at Kroka.
|Laurel Iselin, Expedition Leader, Arts, Crafts, and Singing Instructor|
LAUREL first came to Kroka for her 8th grade class trip. She has since participated in many advanced expeditions, including those in Canada and Ecuador. For her senior class project Laurel studied about traditional lodge building with Cree Natives in Canada and then guided Kroka students in the process of building our Cree lodge alongside Grandfather Ray Reitze. Laurel attended Waldorf School through grade twelve. She completed a year of study at Fosen Folk School in Norway and spent another year traveling by bicycle in South America. Laurel completed a foundation year in painting at Harlemville Free Columbia School in New York where she built yet another Cree lodge, and is now living in Acworth, NH. She is an incredible fiddle player who also enjoys circus arts and horses. Laurel is currently teaching a Wild Girls program.
Raised in the woods and waters of both Richmond Virginia and mid-coast Maine, MORGAN studied theater and activist art at NYU then leaped out in to the world to hone her skills and passions as a traveler and trip-leader. She has lead trips throughout Maine and in the UK, explored Patagonia first as a student of NOLS, then on her own bicycle. She has been an urban farmer in NYC, studied permaculture in New Mexico and WWOOFed her way through New Zealand. We welcome Morgan's steady energy, bountiful experience and tremendous leadership to Kroka, both as a Seasonal Wilderness Guide and as the assistant teacher in our Ecuador Semester.
KAT was kidnapped from the woods near Keene New Hampshire and dragged to Kroka in the spring of 2016, leaving behind her many friends, co-workers and yoga students in order to meet a new generation of adventuring Kroka children. Originally from Massachusetts, Kat is a professional yoga instructor, a graduate of Keene State College, a rock climber and cyclist, and loves to be playing outdoors doing headstands on her slack line.