Our Team

We aim to provide the necessary support to Backcountry Squatters’ chapters in their establishment, growth, sustainability, and leadership transition. 

SQUATTERS STAFF

DARBY KNOLL

executive director

darby@backcountrysquatters.org

Darby’s joy for the outdoors started at a young age somewhere between the mountains and rivers of Teton Valley, Idaho and northern New Mexico. While attending Montana State Univrsity Darby earned a dual degree in Microbiology and Animal Science but her free time was quickly focused on making Backcountry Squatters the best club that it could be. Her attention to detail, commitment to the shared vision, and ‘get it done’ attitude made Darby a valuable asset to the initial success of the MSU club and has made her the right person to take charge of this nonprofit.

She thrives on a passion to share her greatest outdoor experiences with others. Darby realizes that she is lucky to have all of the opportunities that Bozeman has to offer, and hopes to make outdoor recreation more attainable for young women across the country. 

ERIN BOLGER

director of outreach

erin@backcountrysquatters.org

Erin moved to Bozeman from Northern Wisconsin to pursue a degree in Exercise Science at Montana State University. Being from Wisconsin, she looked to Backcountry Squatters to help her get involved in the activities that the Montana Mountains provided. After graduating, Erin realized she still wants to be a part of this organization and is excited to use her personal experience to encourage more women to join, the oftentimes, intimidating outdoor community. Erin works full time as a HomeHealth aide and gives back to the ski community by volunteering with the adaptive ski program in Big Sky. Outside of her professional world, you can find Erin mountain biking, skiing, running or enjoying a good beer with friends. 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Backcountry Squatters boeard members are dedicated to unleashing college women’s full potential as tomorrow’s leaders

ANDIE CREEL

president

andie@backcountrysquatters.org

Andie grew up in Bozeman, Montana, and stayed to attend Montana State University. She co-founded the first Backcountry Squatters club in 2015 with Kit Kocha. She gained professional skills and personal confidence from the club and is grateful for the opportunity to continue honing these skills while sitting on the nonprofit’s board. These lessons have assisted her when working as a journalist across Montana, testifying in front of state legislators, coaching the Big Sky Big Mountain Freeride team, and creating space for herself at an Ivy League graduate school. Her favorite parts of being on the board are gaining energy from new member’s passion and expanding the club to different communities. Andie is currently a graduate student at Yale University getting her Ph.D. in natural resource economics. She is researching how natural amenities — like parks, open space, clean air, and clean water — are distributed across communities. She hopes that her research will assist in more equitable access to natural resources for all people living in the United States. 

SAGE JACKSON

treasurer

sage@backcountrysquatters.org

Sage graduated from Montana State University in the spring of 2018 where she studied Economics, International Business and Latin American studies.  A born and raised Montanan, Sage always considered herself “outdoorsy” spending her summers hiking in Glacier National Park and winters skiing at Big Mountain.  After joining Backcountry Squatters in college her world was opened up to so many new activities.  Thanks to Backcountry Squatters, Sage has since picked up backcountry skiing, climbing, mountain biking and even had a short stint riding with the MSU Cycling Club.  One of Sage’s favorite aspects of Backcountry Squatters is the opportunity for women to share their expertise and knowledge with individuals who aren’t as well versed.  Jack of all trades and master of none, Sage’s favorite days are some form of a multi-sport day.  Sage now lives in Jackson, Wyoming and works in web development.  She is thrilled for the opportunity to give back to this community that supported her in so many ways. 

KELLY BALFANZ

secretary

kelly@backcountrysquatters.org

Kelly graduated from Montana State University in the spring of 2019 with a degree in Business marketing. Growing up on the mountains of Colorado, her passion for the outdoors developed at a young age. While attending school at Montana State University, Kelly was introduced to Backcountry Squatters freshman year by a friend from high school. Her realization of the importance of camaraderie among women in the outdoor industry led her to being an active leader in Backcountry Squatters club in college and the development of the nonprofit after graduation.  Kelly currently resides in Denver, Colorado. She works with her family who owns and operates a small company that sells and overhauls aircraft parts. A self-appointed “weekend warrior”, you can typically find Kelly in the Grand County area on the weekends or enjoying one of the many great mountain bike rides the front range has to offer.