We aim to provide the necessary support to Backcountry Squatters’ chapters in their establishment, growth, sustainability, and leadership transition.
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 and gender-queer folks across the country.
director of outreach
Growing up in Northern Wisconsin Erin gained an appreciation for the outdoors. But it wasn’t until she moved to Bozeman, Montana that she fully grasped what an outdoor community entailed. She quickly learned to mountain bike, backcountry ski, climb, raft and backpack all with the support of Backcountry Squatters at Montana State University. Shortly after graduating from MSU in 2018 Erin joined the Backcountry Squatters nonprofit team, where she continues to provide support to college aged women and nonbinary folk to foster an inclusive environment for people to venture outdoors together.
Ibby’s journey with Squatters began five years ago when she established a chapter at Oregon State University of the Cascades in Bend, OR. Post-graduation, she’s continued her Squatters involvement through the ambassador program and now as a dedicated staff writer. Nestled in Bend, Ibby balances her career as a 25-year-old teenage girl at a law firm while dipping her toe into home renovations. A lover of leisurely long runs, unabashedly belting out Taylor Swift tunes, and conquering Type 2 backcountry challenges, she loves a good time. Whether it’s gabbing with her girlfriends or engaging in deep conversations ( asking strangers when is the last time they cried), Ibby’s charm lies in her empathetic ear, self-deprecating humor, and an uncanny ability to bake a moist carrot cake. On top of it all, she’s a pro at shedding public tears and impressively creative parking solutions. Reach out to Ibby for a genuine chat, a good laugh, and some vegetarian recipe recommendations.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Our Board of Directors provides strategic guidance, financial oversight, and community advocacy, ensuring that Backcountry Squatters continues to empower women and non-binary folks in the outdoor community.
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.
Mara grew up in rural northern Minnesota. Growing up she found community and self-confidence through canoeing, trail running, and cross-country skiing, activities which she often accessed through community and scholarship programs. In college, Mara served on the outing club’s board of directors, working to increase access and inclusion. As a Pell Grant recipient, she relied on her outing club to help her access the outdoors by breaking down financial barriers. Mara recently graduated with her MESc from the Yale School of the Environment (YSE), where her research assessed the outdoor recreation industry as a modality for rural community development. Her research suggests that outdoor recreation can be a tool of empowerment, however it requires active dismantling of white supremacy and patriarchy embedded in conservation and outdoor recreation culture. Prior to attending YSE, Mara worked in social services for four years. She has also served as an AmeriCorps VISTA, backcountry canoe guide, Nordic ski coach, and raft guide. Mara currently lives in rural New Hampshire. When she is not playing outside, she works in renewable energy, with a particular interest in just transitions.
Nell grew up among the rivers, lakes, and cornfields on the unceded lands of the Dakota in what is now called Minnesota. They earned a BA in Environmental Studies from Augsburg University. There, they worked in a community garden and at the local community center before spending two semesters canoeing down the Mississippi through the River Semester program. She had never canoed before. These experiences were formative for Nell in that they instilled a commitment to social and environmental justice as well as provided a safe and close community in which they could explore and reflect on their gender and sexuality. They returned to guide the River Semester in 2021. Nell moved to Montana to serve a term with Montana Conservation Corps at the Gallatin Valley Land Trust. They completed two terms. Now, Nell works at the Country Bookshelf. Nell joined the board for the Backcountry Squatters in 2023, and she is looking forward to serving the squatters community to the best of their ability. In their freetime, Nell enjoys going on long walks with her girlfriend and their dog, Chicken.
Born and raised in the front range of Colorado, Kaitlynn has been trailblazing since she was young. With no plans to leave Colorful Colorado anytime soon she attended the University of Colorado Boulder where she was the President of the first Squatter’s chapter at CU. Throughout her undergraduate she would discover her passion for encouraging leadership opportunities and recreational growth for college-aged women and other people of marginalized genders. She found joy in spending time outside with people she loved and fulfilment from passing the experience on! After securing her BA in Sociology in 2022, Kaitlynn traveled the United States in a travel trailer to see what trails across the country had to offer. She just couldn’t leave the BCS community behind and stayed involved by becoming the East Coast Ambassador during the 2022-2023 school year. Kaitlynn continued to be inspired by the BCS community and vision, finding so much confidence and professional skill development volunteering for the nonprofit. She is now back in Denver, CO pursuing a career in Occupational Therapy. Outside of her professional life you might find Kaitlynn enjoying a girl dinner of cheetos and chocolate milk, pursuing rabbit hole passion projects, and maybe just maybe, stuck in 1-70 weekend traffic.