Hante Adventures takes pride in its quality of instructors. We hire well-trained, experienced instructors with demonstrated good judgment and decision making abilities. Hante instructors are positive role models and outdoor educators who are mature, adventurous and fun loving. They seek challenges and embrace the beauty of the wilderness and other lands. There are 2-3 instrcutors per group, which are limited to 10-14 participants. Lead instructors are at least 21 years old and are certified Wilderness First Responders.
Click on Hante leader’s photo or name to learn more about each person. The following are fulltime staff members who plan, organize and support Hante Adventures.
- Salem College, B.A in English
- National Outdoor Leadership School, Baja
- College International de Cannes, France
- Associate Director, ENC 1996-1999
- Hanté Director, ENC 1994-1997
- Wilderness Instructor, Birch Tree, ENF 1992
- Camp Counselor, ENC, Summers 1990-1993
Paige Lester-Niles is the Director of Eagle’s Nest Camp. She graduated with a B.A. degree in English from Salem College in Winston-Salem. While studying education in college, she applied to work at Eagle’s Nest Camp because she loved her own camp experiences as a child and thought that working at a camp would give her invaluable teaching experience. Her first summer at camp, Paige helped direct the musical and taught soccer. Throughout college, she continued to spend her summers at Eagle’s Nest teaching everything from ceramics to swimming to Explorer’s Club and leading Hante Appalachian Trail treks and bike treks. After graduating, she started working full time with Eagle’s Nest and has now worked here for more than 15 years. During that time, she served as the Hante director, Head Counselor, Junior Counselor Coordinator and Associate Director. Her husband, Andy, whom she met at Eagle’s Nest, is also an educator.
Eagle’s Nest Foundation
- Wake Forest University , B.A. in Anthropology
- Wake Forest in London Program
- Camp Director , ENF 1993-2003
- Business Manager, ENF, 1989-1999
- Assistant Camp Director, ENC 1984-1986
- Developed Eagle’s Nest Whitewater Canoeing and Hante Bicycling Program
Elizabeth Waite-Kucera (Noni) is the Executive Director of Eagle’s Nest Foundation and serves on The Outdoor Academy Advisory Board. She graduated from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., with a B.A. degree in anthropology. Previously, Noni was Camp Director at Eagle’s Nest Camp and Business Manager for Eagle’s Nest Foundation. She has also been the Swimming Director, Paddling Director and Hante bike trek leader.
Noni’s grandfather, Alex Waite, head of psychology at Rollins College, founded Eagle’s Nest Camp in 1945. Helen and Mo Waite, Noni’s parents, served as directors for the Eagle’s Nest Carolinas’ Camp for Diabetic Children. Her mother served as director of Eagle’s Nest Camp and executive director of Eagle’s Nest Foundation for many years. Noni spent her childhood years growing up at camp and is honored to carry on the mission of Eagle’s Nest as Executive Director of the foundation.
Wilderness Program Manager
Eagle's Nest Camp
- Florida State University, B.S. Recreation and Leisure Services Administration
- Youth Coach, Climbmax Climbing Center
- Kayaking Instructor/Lifeguard/Swim Instructor, YMCA of Western North Carolina
- Head Resident, The Outdoor Academy
- Assistant Program Director/Counselor/Hante Instructor, Eagle’s Nest Camp
Marlin is a passionate outdoor educator who is excited to share his love of adventure with others. He has worked as a member of the Eagle’s Nest summer staff team for several years in the roles of Assistant Program Director, Cabin Counselor, Climbing Specialist, and Hante Instructor. Marlin enthusiastically joined the full-time team as Wilderness Program Manager in April 2014. In his free time, Marlin can be found chasing the various rivers, rocks and downhill trails of the southeast and around the country. Whether he is on wheels, skis, or his feet, expect to see him moving.
Assistant Camp Director
- B.S., Recreation Management, Appalachian State University
- Wilderness Instructor, SOAR
- After School Activities Director, Ashe County 4-H
- Junior Ranger Crew Leader and Trailhead Maintenance Coordinator, City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks
- Account Manager, The Marketing Group
- Intern, Glacier Raft Company and Outdoor Center
- Project Wild Environmental Education Certification
- North Carolina Outward Bound graduate
A native North Carolinian, Liz grew up attending camp in the mountains of North Carolina before heading to college in Boone at Appalachian State University where she studied Outdoor Experiential Education. Liz enjoys being active and getting outside to backpack, canoe and rock climb. She also enjoys playing guitar and sports of all kinds. She’s very excited to join the Eagle’s Nest Community.
Cecily Rouse Timmons
- Trinity College (CT), B.A. History of Art and Architecture
- East Carolina University, Cert. Professional Communication/ M.A. English In progress
- Girl Scouts – NC Coastal Pines, Director of Foundations and Grants
- NC Center for Women in Public Service, Program and Outreach Director
- Four Sisters Hotel Associates, Marketing and Special Projects
- Sotheby’s International Real Estate, Marketing Associate
- Tudor Place Historic House and Garden, Development Associate
- Rock Creek Park Horse Center, Program Manager
Cecily began as the Director of Development for Eagle’s Nest Foundation in April of 2014. She graduated with a B.A. from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut and is completing graduate coursework in Technical and Professional Communication at East Carolina University. Cecily’s most recent position was with the Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines, where she directed foundation relationships and annual United Way strategy for the council.
Having grown up around horses and the outdoors, Cecily relished her childhood summers spent at camp in North Carolina. She believes in the transformational experience of nature and the human connection, and is delighted to help bring that to young people through Eagle’s Nest Camp, Outdoor Academy, and Hante Adventures. Cecily lives in Hendersonville with her husband, Jason, and daughter, Clara.
Molly joined the Eagle’s Nest staff in May of 2014 as the Winston-Salem Registrar/Office Manager.
Previous to joining the Eagle’s Nest, Molly was a PhD candidate at the University of Buffalo in the History Department studying slavery in Charleston, SC. She also graduated with a B.A. in History from UNC Chapel Hill and an M.A. in History from UNC Wilmington.
Molly brings to the Eagle’s Nest her passion for experiential education and a love of outdoor activities. In her spare time, Molly can be found hiking, camping, or playing with her two dogs.
Social Media & Marketing Coordinator
- The Open Window School of Visual Communication, B.A., Visual Communication
- Owner and Founder, Hog In The Fog Creative Media
- Freelance Graphic Designer & Filmmaker, South Africa
- Loerie Award Winner, Student Animation, 2013
- M-Net TAG Award Winner, Best Animation 2012
- Camp Counselor, Eagle’s Nest Camp
Hailing from South Africa, Johan immediately fell in love with the mountains and rivers of western North Carolina as a Counselor for Eagle’s Nest Camp. His current role in Social Media & Marketing allows him to marry his two passions in life: filmmaking and the outdoors. In his free time you can find him bashing drums, running trails, jumping stumps, or grilling meat.
The Outdoor Academy
- University of Costa Rica, B.S., in Chemical Engineering
- Costa Rican Bureau of Tourism, Natural History Guide Certification
- Highlander Research and Education Center: Civil Rights
- Assistant Program Director, Eagle’s Nest Camp
- Naturalist Guide, Costa Rican Sun Tours
- International Hante Leader, Eagle’s Nest Foundation
- Executive Director, El Centro Comunitario Brevard
Rodrigo has served as a strong and enthusiastic leader at Eagle’s Nest Camp since 1996. At The Outdoor Academy, Rodrigo has served as Spanish Teacher and in various leadership capacities for many years. He has been abroad with Eagle’s Nest to Mexico, Costa Rica, Spain, Portugal, New Zealand, Australia, and Iceland. Come join him on Hante Italy in 2016.
Hante Maine 2016
- College of Charleston, B.S. Psychology
- Wilderness First Responder
- Eagle’s Nest Camper 2001-2005
- Hante Participant, Hante Ecuador 2007
- Camp Counselor, Eagle’s Nest Camp 2011-2014
- Hante Leader, AT Trek Virginia 2015, Rock and Rivers 2014
- Appalachian Trail through Hike 2016
Andrew Nelson has been with Eagle’s Nest since 2001. He grew up here as a camper and Hante participant and returned to share his love and experience as a counselor and leader. He is an avid backpacker, climber and runner. He even took 3 weeks out of his Appalachian Trail through hike this summer to lead Hante AT Trek. Come join him on another adventure this summer on Hante Maine 2016.