Kassie Kehrer is our new executive assistant, tasked with ensuring the efficiency of our Wilmington, N.C., office here at The National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education (NCOAE). In addition, Kassie is responsible for enrolling students in our many medical trainings, outdoor education courses, and backcountry trips. She’s also the go-to person when it comes to customer service and support, collecting enrollment paperwork, and making sure things are running smoothly for students and staff members alike.
Born in Schenectady, N.Y., and raised in Washington State, Kassie attended Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash., where she majored in recreation with a concentration in Recreational Therapy & Child Life Services.
Prior to joining us at NCOAE, Kassie spent the past six years working for the YMCA of the Triangle in Raleigh, N.C., with four of those years in the position of director of Camp Rising Sun. She said the job gave her the opportunity to coach and hire staff and build an inclusive environment for kids of all abilities.
Prior to that, Kassie worked in a variety of roles, ranging from counselor to kayak instructor, at places like Camp Wingate Kirkland in Yarmouthport, Mass.; Brookline Parks and Recreation in Brookline, Mass.; Camp Indianola in Indianola, Wash.; and Camp Greenville in Cleveland, S.C.
In college, Kassie was a recreational therapist and Child Life intern at Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Boston. She then went on to work as a program coordinator at the Henderson School for Inclusion in Dorchester, Mass., and served as a behavioral therapist at The May Institute in Boston.
We asked Kassie to tell us a little bit about herself, and here is what she had to say:
NCOAE: In your own words, what makes you qualified for your job?
Kassie Kehrer: I am highly organized and love to develop a good system. I always try to work smarter and not harder! Being able to bring these skills and my passion for recreation together will help me continue the hard work that has made NCOAE what it is today and support its future growth. I am excited to get to interact with students and help set them up for success. I think that my experience having worked with lots of young staff in the camp setting will help me to build strong relationships and help our students to connect with our organization and brand. I also hope that I am able to bring my sense of humor and fun to the team at NCOAE headquarters. I definitely plan to lead the way for office pranks.
NCOAE: What you enjoy doing in your free time?
Kassie: In my free time I really enjoy any type of creative activity. Most notably, I enjoy doodling funny cards, trying to cook new recipes, and sewing baby quilts for my friend’s newborns. I also really enjoy being out on the beach or on the water. I find I am happiest sitting on the beach, reading a book, and hanging out with my dogs.
NCOAE: Tell us about your dogs.
Kassie: Well, Mowgli is a seven-ear-old brindle mix. He is incredibly smart; can do tons of tricks like spin, play dead, and even jump through a hula hoop. He’s the first dog I ever adopted so he’s my real baby. Dewey is an 11-year-old cocker spaniel. He is the grumpy old man of the group who will beg you for attention and play catch. Being the grumpy old man, he’s never afraid to throw a fit to get what he wants. Finally, there’s Willy — a five-year-old fluffy mix breed. Willy is super timid and shy but once he warms up to you, he’s incredibly affectionate and will poke you with one of his paws whenever he needs attention.
NCOAE: Who is your role model and why?
Kassie: I find Michelle Obama to be a good role model. I love that she is a strong-willed woman who has triumphed over adversity and sought to provide equity to those in her community.
NCOAE: If you were granted one superpower for the next 18 months, what would you want it be and why?
Kassie: If I could have any superpower for the next 18 months, I would want it to be the ability to shoot mac and cheese out of my fingertips whenever I wanted. That would be great because you never know when you might need a bowl of mac and cheese.
NCOAE: What do you think about when you’re alone in the wilderness?
Kassie: I try to be as present as possible. It’s easy to get caught up in things that have already happened or that may or will happen, so I try to just be in the moment and leave my worries behind.
NCOAE: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Kassie: Ten years from now I will be enjoying life at the beach because I made the big move from Raleigh in 2020. I hope to take many walks on the beach with my dogs, have lots of visitors, and keep chickens in my backyard.