Meet The Staff
Maeghan began kayaking during her first semester in the Expeditionary Studies Program at SUNY Plattsburgh in New York. Since graduating in 2014, Maeghan has actively pursued certifications and professional development in both kayaking and climbing. In the past three years, she has held a variety of jobs including guiding multi-day kayak excursions in the San Juan Islands, leading groups on multi-day treks in Torres del Paine National Park in Chilean Patagonia, and instructing multi-day kayak and outdoor living skills classes for SUNY Plattsburgh. Maeghan loves helping people safely enter the world of paddle sports in a fun, comfortable, and relaxed way.
Steve began his formal training in outdoor pursuits at Saint Michael’s College as a volunteer guide in the Adventure Sports Center. He filled many roles, including offering instructional programming in rock climbing, ice climbing, mountain biking, and backpacking. Since graduating in 2015, Steve has worked as the manager at Osprey Sea and Surf Adventures in Westport, MA. As an ACA Level 3 Kayak Instructor, Steve enjoys taking new paddlers out on the rivers and estuaries of the South Coast along with catching a good wave every now and again.
Meet The Coaches
Matt began paddling at an early age in wood strip canoes he built with his dad. From there he became involved with other water sports like sailing and swimming. In college, Matt majored in Expeditionary Studies at SUNY Plattsburgh with a focus in Paddle sports. Since then, Matt has had paddling adventures in Scotland, Southeast Asia, Peru, Patagonia, the Pacific Northwest and New England. Matt now works for SUNY Plattsburgh as an adjunct professor of paddling and outdoor living skills, and as an instructor and guide for Osprey Sea and Surf Adventures. Matt is a BCU 4-star sea leader trainee, a BCU level 2 coach trainee, an ACA level 3 river kayak instructor, and he is Wilderness First Responder.
Don Cheyette is a British Canoe Union certified leader and coach. He has been a guide in Alaska, the San Juan Islands, and Patagonia. Expeditions include 30 days in Alaska on the Kenai Peninsula, a 2014 Circumnavigation of Vancouver Island, a 2 day, 80 mile circumnavigation of San Juan County, among many others. His current qualifications include 5* Sea Leader, 4* Open Canoe Leader, UKCC Coach Level 2, and Swiftwater Rescue Technician.
With the exception of a few misguided years a while ago, John has lived on the ocean his entire life. He has been in and around most every type of boat, tending towards the wind and human powered types. Almost 20 years ago, the sea kayak became his vessel of choice, and he has enjoyed adapting his “Big Boat” skills to kayaks.
John’s love of the traditions of the sea is infectious as he passes his seamanship and navigation skills on to his students.
As a Coach, his understanding of the human body and biomechanics, gives him unique insights into what will make his students more efficient, safer from injuries and better able to enjoy these centuries old craft in more exposed environments.John has led trips throughout Maine, the Canadian Maritimes, and the British Isles. He regularly instructs at Kayak Symposiums throughout the US.John is a Team paddler for both P&H Kayaks and Werner Paddle and Ambassador for Kokatat. Among many other certifications, John is a UKCC Level 4 Performance Coach, BCU Level 5 Sea Coach, and an ACA Level 5 Open Water Instructor.
Andrea Knepper, LCSW, founded Chicago Adventure Therapy in 2006 and has been the director since then. She has a broad range of clinical expertise, as well as sea kayaking and wilderness guiding experience. Andrea earned her BA from Oberlin College in 1995 and has been in social services since then. She earned her M.S.W. from Loyola University in 2002. During her career, she has worked closely with teens and their families at Turning Point Community Mental Health Center as both a case manager and therapist, at Volunteers of America as a therapist, and at Open Door Shelter, where she helped coordinate daily operations. From 1998 until 2008 Andrea also provided sea kayak instruction and lead numerous adventure travel trips for Northwest Passage Adventure Travel Company. In October of 2015 she eared her 5 Star Sea Leader Award, becoming one of 7 women in the country to hold the award. In August of 2016 she became the second American to earn the UKCC Level 3 Coach Award. She also holds a 3 Star in Open Canoe and her ACA L3 Instructor.