Liz Shirley

Director of Outdoor Education

Liz Shirley, a native of Bixby, Okla., joined the NCOAE family full-time in the spring of 2017 as a Program Director, responsible for directing field operations and staff training. She also oversees the safety, quality and educational effectiveness of NCOAE’s field courses and leads NCOAE outdoor adventure expeditions.

Liz brings 17 years of youth development and outdoor education experience to NCOAE — much of it with the Girl Scouts. She began her career in the outdoors as a camp counselor, most recently working as a program coordinator for Sea Turtle Camp. In between, Liz has worked with many nonprofit organizations across the country — most notably as camp director for the Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast and assistant director for The AnBryce Foundation.

Other positions have included working as a program director, trip and travel director, environmental educator, field teacher, wilderness canoe guide and primary trip leader.

Her passion with the outdoors began as a teenager when she participated in a five-day wilderness trip in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. As a result of this and many additional backcountry experiences, Liz has developed an enthusiasm for using intentional, experiential outdoor programming to create life-changing experiences for youth and adults.

Liz graduated from Oklahoma State University in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and minor in Leisure Service Management. She is a member of the Association for Experiential Education & American Camp Association, where she volunteers as an Accreditation Visitor. Liz also volunteers locally with the Girl Scouts of North Carolina Coastal Pines. She is a certified Wilderness First Responder (WFR).

When not planning field courses, Liz can be found cooking, reading, trail running, rock climbing. In addition, she enjoys exploring Eastern North Carolina by foot, pack, and paddle.


Bachelor of Arts in English, minor in Leisure Service Management
Oklahoma State University

  • Member of the Association for Experiential Education & American Camp Association
  • Certified Wilderness First Responder (WFR)

Director of Admissions and Office Administration

Director of School Partnerships and Staff Development

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