Lydia Showalter

Field Instructor - WFR

Lydia Showalter is a field instructor at The National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education (NCOAE). Like many of our field instructors, Lydia has plenty of experience as an outdoor educator — much of which was acquired well before her arrival at NCOAE. For instance, she wore many hats while working with Avid4Adventure in Boulder, Colorado, including positions as a whitewater specialist and backpacking specialist. While at Avid4, she was also an adventure multisport residential and day camp instructor.

At Mountain Trail Outdoor School in Hendersonville, North Carolina, Lydia served as an instructor, facilitating various environmental and adventure education classes. She has also been a field instructor for the Academy at SOAR (Waynesville, NC), gaining experience while leading a group of young people through front country and back country expeditions.
Lydia says it was her personal and professional background in experiential education that provided her with a solid foundation of skills to guide her as an instructor for NCOAE. Her priorities for the job? She has three: Risk management, the power of empathy, and having fun.

In addition to being surrounded by exceptional mentors and role models during her career in sustainability and the experiential education fields, Lydia highlights a former Avid4Adventure employee named Alli, who served as the company’s Director of Happiness. According to Lydia, Alli built authentic relationships, created joy at every turn, and stayed fully present in each moment. She said her leadership skills were grounding, her boldness was purposeful, and her energy was inspiring. And she strives to model her own personal leadership style to mirror that of Alli.

Born in Wytheville, Virginia, Lydia finds joy and peace off the job by reading, thrifting, kayaking, finding cool plants, and being outside. She is inspired by her parents and three older sisters.

As for those moments alone in the wilderness, Lydia says she, “finds herself able to fully experience the world as it is and truly just exist in the moment, listening to the birds, feeling the earth beneath me, and seeing the natural world in action.”


Bachelor of Science in Communication Studies, minor in Leadership Studies
Christopher Newport University (Newport News, Va.)

  • Wilderness First Responder (WFR)
  • CPR

Field Instructor - WFR

Field Instructor - W-EMT

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