Field Instructor - WFA
Kenneth Hippe, WFR, is Field Instructor at The National Center for Outdoor &
Adventure Education (NCOAE). A self-employed options trader by day, Kenneth is much
more comfortable in the backcountry than working with futures and figures.
Hailing from Oakton, Virginia, Kenneth is a 2018 graduate of James Madison University
(Harrisonburg, VA) where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in quantitative
finance. But he discovered that working with the staff at NCOAE, especially with the
leaders of our Outdoor Education Dept., made him feel right at home — in the
This should come as no surprise to anyone who knows Kenneth, who is himself an avid
hiker, backpacker, camper, and kayak and canoeing enthusiast. In addition, he has
always enjoyed sharing the tips and tricks he is learning about the basics of backcountry
Adding to his outdoor expertise, Kenneth attained the pinnacle of scouting with an Eagle
Scout designation and was a crew leader at Philmont Scout Ranch (Cimarron NM), noted
for its 35 staffed camps and 55 trail camps that offer seven- to 12-day adventures.
Kenneth is certified in Wilderness First Aid (WFA) and CPR and holds membership in the
Association for Experiential Education (AEE).
Among his role models is Fred Marks, his Northern Tier Canoe guide in 2010, during
Kenneth’s first exposure to the great outdoors and the backcountry. While on that trip,
Kenneth noticed that Marks was writing a book about a canoe expedition he completed
along a traditional fur-trading route a year earlier. Six men set off, with four dropping
out during the grueling 45-day trip. Kenneth said Marks’ book, “Far Distant Echo,” was
an inspiration to him, and an expedition he hopes to replicate in the future.
In fact, his dreams for the future include guiding trips in Denali, Wrangell St. Elias
Mountains, Yosemite, Rocky Mountains, the Grand Canyon, and maybe east in the
Appalachians. He’s pretty certain it will fulfill his life, especially when compared to
juggling financial papers in an office.
Whenever he’s in the field with NCOAE students, Kenneth says he’s constantly
encouraging them to avoid hiking with their heads down, asking them instead to scan
for wildlife, observe the rocks and geology around them, and attempt to identify plants
and flora just off the trail.
Bachelor of Science degree in quantitative finance
James Madison University
- Wilderness First Aid (WFA)