Trails Guides

GW Trails offers a leadership program where students lead their peers on weekend and break trips outdoors. This experiential leadership opportunity provides students with outdoor skills, leadership training, planning, and trip preparation. Trails Guide volunteers devise and plan all the outings, organize the logistics, and provide support to ensure a safe, educational, and fun-filled adventure.

Trails Guide Applications

Trails Guide appliactions are current closed and will reopen in spring 2022 for first year, sophomore, and junior GW students. The process to become a Trails Guide involves completing an application, participating in a group interview, and concludes in an individual interview. The entire process will be virtual this semester to accommodate students that are in virtual learning. No outdoor experience is required and we encourage everyone to apply that is interested in leading others in the outdoors. 

Trails Training

All incoming Trails Guides complete a 10-week virtual/in-person training program to build outdoor and group leadership skills. View our syllabus for more information about the weekly training. 

Training and Qualifications

All Trails Guides are certified in Wilderness First Aid (WFA), Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), and Leave No Trace (LNT) wilderness ethics. Trails Guides receive regular outdoor skill training, social justice and diversity training, group facilitation training, and other opportunities created by GW students. Our Trails Guides regularly participate in environmental stewardship service opportunities and other ways to engage the GW campus in outdoor adventure.

Meet the Guides

Biz Rhodes

Biz R.

Senior, Public Health

Hey there! My name is Biz, I'm a senior studying public health in the Milken School. I grew up in Westport, Connecticut and in my family I'm the middle child. I love traveling, art, and obviously, the outdoors! When I'm outside I like to hike, go backpacking, read in the grass, and run. My dream is to copy a backpacking trip my dad did and motorcycle around Alaska. My favorite part of being a guide is trying to engage every participant and motivating people to push through the tough sections of trails!

Liz Sun

Liz S.

Senior, Biology & Public Health

Your local Jersey girl who loves watching dumb cartoon shows, listening to funky jams, reading, and cooking/baking. When I'm not enjoying the great indoors, I'm often biking or chilling out in the beautiful greenery of Kogan plaza. All forms of water are my best friend; I feel most at home either by the ocean or in the middle of a snow storm. Tea is especially my favorite, I keep over 10 different types in my arsenal at all times!

Ethan Thomas

Ethan T.

Senior, Political Science & Geography

Hello friends! I’m Ethan Thomas, a senior studying political science and geography originally from Atlanta. I love the outdoors and have been camping, backpacking, rafting and adventuring since I can remember. When I’m on campus, you can find me reading a good book or hanging out with friends. Can’t wait to see y’all on the trail!

Natasha Raynovich

Natasha R.

Training & Recruitment Coordinator 

Senior, International Affairs, Minor in Public Health & Computer Science

I'm an ENFP from the wonderful town of Bozeman, Montana. I love hiking, climbing, and kayaking but nothing beats my love of skiing. You'll find me recklessly biking around campus, spending excessive amounts of time in various coffee shops and getting overly excited about the next time I get to venture into the outdoors. Come on our trips to explore the unexpected beauty of the east coast!

Jack Mueller

Jack M.

Senior, International Affairs, Minor in Sustainability & Spanish

Hey! I’m a senior in Elliot studying IA with a concentration in contemporary cultures. I’m really really into food, especially if it's cooked over the fire outdoors! If I'm not cooking because I'm out of GWorld, I try to spend as much time as possible on long strolls wherever I happen to be. I’m from Boston so I miss the four distinct seasons here in DC, even though it's nice not contemplating life while walking back home from school in - 10 degree weather. Hope to see you soon!

Zoe Kusnick

Zoe K.

Senior, International Affairs & Environmental Studies, Minor in Sustainability

I am a Pisces from the San Francisco Bay Area who lives nothing more on this planet than her doggy & feeling small around some big ol' mountains! If I had the choice, you would catch me backpacking, climbing, playing music, or taking photos at all times. Possibly all at once, but definitely in the company of some good friends, old or new. I have a particular love for finding humor in all of life & can't WAIT to giggle & explore with all of you. See you on the trails!

Matt Brady

Matt B.

Senior, International Affairs, Minor in Geography

Hi there, I'm Matt Brady. I'm a senior from NW Connecticut studying international affairs and geography. When I'm not cooking or playing minecraft with my roommates I'm probably teaching myself the rules to a trading card or board game. If I were an animal in another life I would be a black bear because they're big, strong, food motivated, and generally scared of people!

Alexa Greig

Alexa G.

Senior, Interior Architecture, Minor in Business Administration

I'm a senior majoring in interior architecture with a minor in business administration. I am from the beautiful country of South Africa. Since moving to the States two years ago I have lived in Vermont, Connecticut, Colorado and DC. My goal is to live in many more places throughout my life, with the next stop hopefully being in Europe. I love the outdoors, especially if snow or water is involved, and going on adventures. Come join us outside!


Abe Merker

Abe M.

Senior, History, Minor in Creative Writing

Hey y'all! I'm from Fredericksburg, Virginia, but have lived all over the U.S. I'm passionate about music (check out GW Sirens!), writing, movies, and finding the best egg and cheese bagel everywhere I go. I'm obsessed with dogs, the great state of Virginia, bad reality T.V, and anything chocolate. My life goal is to teach and write about history, especially about people who have been left out of your mainstream textbooks.

Sarah Kallgren

Sarah K.

Senior, International Affairs & Geography, Minor in Sustainability

I love to hang out with friends on and off the trail, make and listen to music in equal measures and enjoy all the amazing food that D.C. has to offer (Tibetan Dumplings are real and they are outstanding). In the summers you can find me in the White Mountains of New Hampshire or at my home in northern Wisconsin!

Luna Garcia

Luna G.

Marketing Coordinator 

Senior, Political Science & Criminal Justice, concentration in Latin American Studies

Hello everyone! I am a senior majoring in political science and criminal justice with a concentration in Latin American Studies. I LOVE being outside and exploring new places (I mean obviously, I am a Trails guide). Reading books (poetry books especially) and going for runs are my favorite activities. I am still looking for someone that loves the 90's hit "Never Gonna Give You Up" as much as I do (yes, I run to that song). Helping others is one of my biggest passions, knowing that I've made a positive change (no matter how small) in someone's life makes me extremely happy. Anyways, I hope to meet you all and have lots of fun!!!

Joshua Erhard

Joshua E.

Senior, Environmental Studies

Hey! My name is Josh and I am a senior guide here at the university. I hail from a small town north of Boston called Hamilton. There’s a lot of horses there. I’ve grown up my entire life skiing, hiking, and downhill longboarding all over the northeast and love all the opportunities that our surrounding area has to offer. Hopefully I’ll get to see you out on a trip!

Isabel Sherman

Isabel S.


Junior, Sociology

I'm a junior from the best of the Midwest (St. Louis) majoring in sociology, and I grew up canoeing on the wild, wild rivers of Missouri. I love hiking, biking, reality TV, and long, long road trips. My dream outdoor adventure is either to go bikepacking across the US, or to see a moose in person. Hope to see you guys (and a moose?) on the trails!

Margaret Evered

Margaret E.

Vice President 

Junior, Political Science & Russian Language and Literature

Hey! I'm a junior hailing from lovely New Jersey, studying political science and Russian. I joined Trails to challenge myself to try new things and get outside and I haven't looked back since. Big fan of dog sightings, walks in the woods, and getting to know the super cool people (+ who come on our trips). 

Emmy O'Brien

Emmy O.

Junior, Public Health, Minor in Japanese Language and Literature

Hi everyone! My name is Emmy, and I study public health and Japanese. I’m always down for a new adventure whether it be through a mind bending novel, awesome guest lecture, or (of course) the fascinating outdoor world. My passion for helping people runs deep, and I love learning new skills and perspectives from our amazing participants and community partners. Come play outside!

Karen Hunter

Karen H. 

Junior, International Affairs

Hey! I’m Karen, a junior studying International Affairs and Anthropology. I grew up loving the outdoors, but I only started backpacking and going on serious adventures in college with the help of Trails! I am absolutely committed to bringing the GW community into outdoor spaces, and I am equally committed to rubber straws and Bear Naked granola.

Gabby Napolitano

Gabby N.

Diversity, Inclusion, & Accessibility Committee

Junior, Speech Pathology & Hearing Science

Hey guys, I’m a junior from Connecticut majoring in speech pathology. I love being ~outdoorsy~ whether that be hiking, kayaking, or doing yoga outside. You can usually find me blasting my 90’s rap way too loudly in my headphones or eating a solid diet of kind bars. I’m really passionate about early childhood intervention and spend my summers at a therapeutic preschool for toddlers with special needs(aka the best job ever). I can’t wait for a year full of guiding trips and being outdoors!!!

Clare Maves

Clare M.

Junior, Undecided

I'm a junior from Columbus, Ohio. I am thinking about studying anthropology/archaeology, peace studies, or sustainability (I am very undecided). I love hiking (obviously), biking, flying kites, going to concerts, looking at plants, and petting cats. Coming from a flat state, I am thrilled to have mountains close by––don’t take it for granted and come play outside with Trails!

Sarah Urtz

Sarah U.

Junior, International Affairs, Minor in Computer Science

Hello GW! I am a junior studying international affairs with a minor in computer science (as of now). I hail from the great state of Colorado, where I enjoy frequent strolls across mountainous terrain and riding my horse, Roxie. Some of my other hobbies include photography, making short films, and finding new breakfast spots. I feel most at home in the mountains, but am happy as long as I am outside. Hope to see you on the trail!

Constantine Decoulos

Constantine D.

Junior, International Affairs

I'm from Boston and love spending time outside with friends. Some of my favorite ways to do that are backpacking, climbing or snowboarding. When I'm in the city I'm on the hunt for the best vibes and even better music.

Henry Spilker

Henry S.

Junior, Mechanical Engineering

I am a junior from Bellingham, Washington majoring in mechanical engineering. I love to ski, hike, bike, kayak, and cliff jump. I can't wait to guide as many trips as possible this year!

Shriya Shinde

Shriya S.

Diversity, Inclusion, & Accessibility Committee

Junior, International Affairs, Minors in Journalism/Mass Communication and Italian

Hey guys! I’m Shriya and I’m currently a junior studying international affairs with a concentration in security policy. I’m from just outside of Boston and other than hiking I enjoy playing tennis, biking, swimming, and being with my family and friends. I can’t wait to see all your beautiful faces on our trips!

Lauren Babinetz

Lauren B.

Diversity, Inclusion, & Accessibility Committee

Junior, Environmental Studies

Hey! I’m an Aries from PA majoring in environmental studies with a dual minor in biology and GIS. Some of my favorite things are cooking, hiking and making art. If I’m not chilling around campus double fisting a smoothie and an iced coffee, you can find me kayaking on the river and hanging with some friends playing music. Can’t wait to see you outside!

Lily LaMattina

Lily L.

Diversity, Inclusion, & Accessibility Committee

Junior, International Affairs

Hello my name is Lily and I’m a junior studying International Affairs. I’m from Buffalo, NY (one of the most underrated cities - just come see for yourself!), but I love traveling and exploring new places. You can spot me on campus walking freakishly fast with a large cup of coffee in my hands at all times. Some of my favorite outdoor activities include wakeboarding, swimming, skiing, and yoga. I can’t wait to see you on the trail!

Jacqueline LaBruzzo

Jacqueline L.

Sophomore, History

Hey guys! I'm a sophomore studying history and doing Navy ROTC. I've lived all over, but Portugal's my home. You can find me drooling over mountains and rivers and fields any day, and usually with my dog, Bosco! If I'm not outside, I'm probably reading a good book, watching Star Wars or history documentaries, or playing some Nintendo classics. Can't wait to see you out on the trail! 

Rachel Brown

Rachel B.

Sophomore, International Affairs and Finance

Hey, I’m Rachel and I’m from right outside of Philly. I’m majoring in international affairs and finance with a minor in Spanish. I love to travel, hike, bike, geocache and run. When I’m procrastinating you can find me planning backpacking and traveling itineraries all over the world (that I may or may not ever actually go on) and listening to George Harrison. The dream is to backpack through India one day. Catch you on the trails!

Emily Levin

Emily L.

Sophomore, Public Health

Hey all, my name is Emily! I’m from Seattle, WA (the better Washington, but I am biased) and a public health major here at GW. I’m happiest when I’m breathing fresh air and on the move, hence my love for the outdoors. You can also find me exploring the city, on a run, or hanging out with friends! I am excited to continue to hike, ski, camp, boat, swim and laugh in the DC area with all of you!

Lucas Laingen

Lucas L.

Sophomore, International Affairs and Arabic

Howdy folks! I'm a Midwest boy from the Twin Cities (Yes, that's Minnesota) and I'm a sophomore studying international affairs and Arabic. Some of my favorite outdoor activities include hiking with my dog, sailing with my dog, walking my dog, cross country skiing with my dog, kayaking with my dog, and paddle boarding....with my dog. I hope to see y'all on the trail!

Yonatan Altman-Shafer

Yoni A.

Sophomore, International Affairs, Minor in Arabic and Hebrew Languages and Cultures

My name is Yoni and I'm a sophomore hailing from the glorious Midwest-- Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to be specific. I like to spend as much of my time outdoors as possible, and would never turn down an impromptu road trip. Some of my dream hiking trips would be to Nepal, Argentina, or Japan. But for now, come explore the DMV area with us!

Liz Szafranski

Liz S.

Gear Manager 

Sophomore, Biology and Geography

Hey y'all! I'm a sophomore from Houston, Texas double majoring in biology and geography. I'm an enneagram 5 and an aspiring plant lady. I love everything outdoors, especially hiking, backpacking, camping, hammocking, swimming, and canoeing. Fun fact: I have fallen off cliffs twice in my life, but I promise not to fall off any on Trails trips. I can't wait to see you on the trail!

Elena Mantilla

Elena M.

Sophomore, International Affairs

Hey everybody! My name is Elena and I’m proudly from Rochester, NY but I love love love living in DC! I have always been into running, hiking, and adventuring in new places with new people. I drink way too much Peet’s, eat an unnecessary amount of flaming hot cheetos, and give out more hugs than is probably asked for. I’m so grateful to have such a devoted group of guides to work with and I can’t wait to see what adventures this year brings! Catch ya on the trails!

Trey Walker

Trey W.

Gear Manager

Sophomore, International Affairs & Asian Studies

Hey y’all! My name is Trey and I am a sophomore studying Asian Studies at the Elliott School. Coming from the great state of Georgia, the backcountry, sweet tea and banjos run through my veins. I love backpacking and any kind of white water. I am excited to explore the woods around DC with y’all!