Willow’s love for the outdoors began at a young age. While growing up on Vancouver Island, she would spend her days exploring the tidepools and rain forests of the west coast. Her love for the outdoors led her to study forestry at the University of British Columbia and it was during this time, while working as a volunteer educator for the Vancouver Aquarium, that she discovered the joy of sharing her love of nature. After earning a Bachelor’s of Education (U.B.C.), Willow had the opportunity to teach at a progressive day school in Connecticut, where she was encouraged to entwine her love of the outdoors with the daily curriculum. In 2006, she moved to Missoula where she was astounded by the beauty of the surrounding mountains and by the enthusiasm of locals for everything outdoors. She currently teaches in the science department at Hellgate High School, where she continues to share her love of the outdoors.
Tim served as District Ranger for the Seeley Lake Ranger District on the Lolo National Forest for nearly twenty years. He started with the USDA Forest Service in 1975 and served in a variety of capacities on the Custer, Lewis & Clark, & Lolo National Forests. He served in the US Air Force following high school, and then returned to his home in Missoula where he received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Montana and is a Certified Forester with the Society of American Foresters.
Tim is currently serving as Coordinator for the Montana Forest Collaboration Network & as an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Forestry at the University of Montana.
Tim remains active in forestry and has served on numerous community and non-profit Boards. His wife Donna is author of children’s nature books. The couple has three grown children and two granddaughters.
Missoula Native Don Collins is probably best known in the state as the Co-Founder (with Jim Caron) of the Missoula Children’s Theatre (MCT). Don lives in Seattle where he works as a professional singer and actor, arts development specialist, and entrepreneur businessman. He is currently working on a new meal planning and cooking website and app to help tired or novice cooks plan and cook daily healthful meals.
From his childhood, Don remembers watching his older brother go through his boy scout paces in the summers at Camp Paxson. He was reintroduced to Camp Paxson through his development activities with MCT during the time they were managing the camp previous to the formation of CPPP. During that time Don led numerous educational outreach programs including an outdoor education partnership in conjunction with the US Forest Service. He has become a firm believer in the power of experiential education and feels strongly that outdoor education accomplishes profound results by taking kids out of the classroom to learn through the outdoor experience while developing an understanding of their “place” on this planet they call home.
Board of Directors
Born in Missoula, Montana. When I was 14 I spent a year in a girls’ school in Fribourg, Switzerland. This started my life’s trajectory into studying the French language and culture. I attended Middlebury College in Vermont for my B.A. and Master’s degree from UC Santa Barbara in California.
Returning to Montana I taught French at Frenchtown High School. Later I taught Middle School French in Spokane, Washington. Most of my teaching career has been here at Bozeman High School where I taught all levels including Advanced Placement. Retiring in 2014 after a 33-year career, I still miss the classroom and have recently signed up to substitute teach. Raising 2 girls has been my biggest accomplishment.
Here in Bozeman, I participate in a book club, a French conversation group, a retired teachers’ group, and also serving on the Intermountain Opera Board.
My favorite season is summer when I can go to Seeley Lake where I share a family cabin. Swimming, canoeing, hiking, and reading in the sun are my favorite activities. I look forward to returning to the cabin in June and I look forward to serving on the Board of Camp Paxson Preservation Project! I so enjoyed several summers at Camp Watinopa (Paxson) as a child.
Board of Directors
“Andrew is an attorney with a solo practice focusing on the representation of disability claimants in appeals before the Social Security Administration, both at the administrative level and in federal court. After graduating from the University of Colorado School of Law in 1991, where he met his future wife, Missoula-native Gwen Jones, Andrew worked as a legal aid attorney in Ventura County, California, from 1992-1996, after which he opened his own law practice. In 2004, he and Gwen moved to Missoula to raise their three children and enjoy the outdoors and beauty that Missoula and Montana have to offer. Now that all three children are grown and in college and beyond, Andrew is excited to put his time and energy into helping Camp Paxson provide outstanding outdoor educational opportunities to school children all over our beautiful state.”
Board of Directors
“John was born and raised in Missoula and spent his childhood summers on Seeley Lake just down the shore from Camp Paxson. After graduating from the University of Montana, John’s career led him to LA, NYC, and SF where he worked for tech companies including Apple, Twitter, & Google.
John returned to Montana in 2020, and now splits time between Missoula and Seeley Lake with his wife, Ana, and two young children. John is passionate about immersive outdoor education and hopes to inspire more children with the magic and beauty of Camp Paxson.”
“Calida (she/her) is originally from the verdant, rolling farmlands of Pennsylvania, but since moving to Montana in 2012, has fallen completely in love with the mountains and rivers of the west. She obtained her undergraduate degree in Psychology and English, and a master’s in Leadership for Sustainability and spent time teaching in the United Kingdom and Uganda before touring the world with Missoula Children’s Theatre. Calida finally decided to trade in her suitcase for a garden and has been exploring the outdoors of Montana through the eyes of children ever since. After working in outdoor-based preschools as head of facilities and executive director, Calida is thrilled to be focusing on Larch Outdoor Education at Camp Paxson! She ardently believes in the importance of connecting students to the natural world and can think of no better place to do so than on the beautiful shores of Seeley Lake. When not teaching about beavers or lichens, Calida can be found watching her chickens with her baby son, reading about social justice, or hiking with her two dogs and her family.”
Anne Des Rosier Grant
Indigenous Education Director
Anne Grant is an enrolled member of the Amskaapipikani (Southern Band of Blackfeet) and a descendant of A’aninin, also known as People of the White Clay located at Fort Belknap. She earned an M.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana in 2015. Her interdisciplinary thesis focused on the resilient social-ecological systems stemming from Traditional Ecological Knowledge and cross-cultural communication of environmental science through art. Anne has collaborated with a number of diverse organizations, including the Piegan Institute, Big Sky Documentary Native Filmmaker Initiative Film Club, the Native Science Field Center at Blackfeet Community College, Nizi Puh Wah Sin Blackfeet Language Immersion program, Montana’s Office of Public Instruction (OPI), and Hopa Mountain. Prior to working with the University of Montana Willow Alliance for Graduate Education, Anne was an Elouise Cobell Fellow for the UM College of Humanities and Sciences. She has been a classroom teacher for every age group from Pre-K to 50+. She enjoys beading and berry-picking with her granddaughter and spending time in the summer in and around Glacier National Park and the Blackfeet Indian Reservation where she grew up. Anne is passionate about place-based outdoor education and an advocate for the implementation of Indian Education For All in all subjects.
Libby has been involved with Camp Paxson for almost 30 years, first as the daughter of the Facilities Manager, then as the property manager of the Lessee, Camp Paxson Preservation Project, and now as the Executive Director. Her education and professional experience as an educator and her love of the land that Camp Paxson is a part of what has grounded her in the mission to develop the Larch Outdoor Education Center at Camp Paxson. Along with her husband and two children, she spends as much time in the space as possible, always learning, appreciating, and serving the land in whatever capacity she can. It is her goal to share that love of the old-growth larch forest and all that lives in it with regional students to grow a new generation of stewards of this place.
John Torma and Libby Schneider took on the management of Camp Paxson in 2013 with the vision of becoming the region’s Center for Outdoor Education. John brought with him over 25 years of management experience, and with that, the facility has become an iconic piece of land appreciated by everyone who has had the opportunity to experience it.
After John’s retirement in 2020, Calida Davis and Anne Grant joined the CPPP staff to develop and launch the Larch Outdoor Education Center at Camp Paxson. Through our shared desire to serve the youth of all backgrounds, we pride ourselves in our mission-based work to advance the public’s knowledge and appreciation of the cultural and natural legacy of Camp Paxson.