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Meet the Staff


Yeti (Chris Little)

Christopher Storm Little, better known as “Yeti”, is the Director of Shady Creek Outdoor School and Event Center. He started his career at Woodleaf Outdoor School sixteen years ago and was part of the original team that helped move the program to its current location. Chris was very lucky to have met his future wife Shannon Cueva or “Quail” during his first year at Woodleaf, and takes great joy managing the Shady Creek program with her. One of his favorite highlights was in 2010 when he, along with his twin brother Jason Little, were honored by being named the Environmental Educators of the Year for the state of California.

Echo (Bethany Thomas)

Bethany Thomas is the Program Coordinator at Shady Creek Outdoor School and Event Center. She grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. While at Penn State, she participated in an Outdoor School program and saw how important it is for kids learn about the environment they live in. After a few years of being a part of such an amazing program, she realized that she was on the path she wanted to continue after graduating. Her goal at Shady Creek is to provide students with an opportunity to find something they care about in nature and grow as an indvidual. She truly believes that students can take what they learn during their week at Shady Creek and use it to make the world a better place.

Rhododendron (Michael Shanahan III)

Michael Shanahan is entering his sixth year at Shady Creek. He considers teaching in the garden, exploring the creek and hiking the hills with students the most rewarding part of Shady Creek. With a background of working at San Joaquin Outdoor Education in the coastal redwoods and graduating from Humboldt State (Go Jacks!), he is excited to continue to apply inquiry- based teaching in the mountains. Receiving a Bachelors of Science in Environmental Policy and a Bachelors of Arts in Recreation Administration, he is passionate about the garden as well as growing leadership and facilitating new nature experiences in others. Michael's top stories to read on trail is ‘Just a Dream’, by Chris Van Allsburg, and the ‘Lorax’, by Dr. Seuss, along with telling nature legends on night hikes.
Bonsai (Beth Myers)
Bonsai is a Naturalist that is currently working on her Bachelor's in Elementary Education and her teaching credentials at Chadron State College in Nebraska. She grew up with both parents in the military. Through this she learned the importance of connection, friendship, and new experiences.  Bonsai's love for outdoor education started when she attended Woodleaf as a 5th-grade student. She continued to be impacted by Shady Creek in 8th grade, as a high school cabin leader and a Student Naturalist in 2014-15. After her Student Naturalist year, she continued to serve her community with six years of experience in outdoor education, after-school programs, non-profit organizations, and public schools. Bonsai is not only passionate about education, but she also has a love for the planet, skateboarding, creativity, traveling, and family. Bonsai's goal while at Shady Creek is to share her love of learning with her future students

Grizzly (Logan Peterson)

Grizzly first fell in love with outdoor ed when he visited Shady Creek as a cabin leader. The next year, he joined the program as a Student Naturalist, when he realized working with students in education was his passion. In the following years he attended Cal Poly Humboldt, studying Environmental Science, growing his understanding of education and interpretation. Grizzly has returned to Shady Creek as a Naturalist in hopes to inspire students to discover more about the natural world and themselves.

Squirrel (Spencer Faith)

Squirrel is back as a full-time naturalist after attending Butte College to study Communication. He worked as a student naturalist from 2017 to 2018 and fell in love with outdoor education. He enjoys climbing trees and exploring with his friends in his hometown, Chico. He sometimes will play the drums for the band but loves dancing with the kids during electric music and fun night. His favorite part of Shady Creek, aside from living in the forest, is when the kids participate and get out of their comfort zones. It pushes him to get out of his comfort zone and inspires him to be a better educator and person. 

Tahoe (Tyler Brown)

Tahoe is an outgoing, fun loving, spontaneous person who loves to make new friends! He worked at Dutch Bros for a few years before returning back to Shady Creek after his Student-Naturalist season. He loves spending most of his time with friends and family while also making time to travel. He goes to House and EDM music festivals regularly. Some other things Tahoe enjoys doing are snowboarding, DJing, hiking, going on road trips, and finding ways to give back to his and others communities. Tahoe is also a huge D&D, sports, and video game fan when he finds the time to enjoy those!


Teal (Raina McConnell)

Teal is a Naturalist from Orange County, Ca. She graduated from SDSU studying graphic design but her love for the outdoors and working with children brought her to shady creek. She works at River Way Ranch camp during the summer and in her free time she enjoys camping, reading, painting, slack lining, and watching the clouds go by

Yarrow (Lynsey Brydon)

Yarrow grew up just outside of San Francisco in San Mateo county exploring the seemingly endless foggy beaches, tide pools, marshes, and Redwood forest (her favorite type of habitat!) with her family. Her love for the natural world was truly unearthed in 5th grade when she attended an environmental education program in the Santa Cruz mountains with her school. It was during that week in the forest that Yarrow discovered that being a Naturalist was what she was destined to do with her life!! Yarrow worked as a Student Naturalist during the 2017 to 2018 school year and is now back for her first year as a Naturalist. In May 2022, Yarrow graduated from CalPoly Humboldt with a degree in Environmental Science and Management with a focus in Environmental Education and Interpretation and is so excited to bring her knowledge and perspective back to the Shady Creek Program! In her free time Yarrow enjoys high-fire ceramics, swimming in the South Yuba River, hanging out with her two cats Amanita & Biscuit, and exploring the natural hidden gems of Nevada County! 
rosebud 2
Rosebud (Emma Cope)
Rosebud fell in love with the magic of shady creek many moons ago during her week as a fifth grader and is now back to give all that she gained and then some. People say home is where the heart is and though it may have took some time she managed to make her way back to what she knows to be the true happiest place on earth first as a cabin leader and now as a student naturalist. Rosebud loves getting to have conversations and laughs with anyone and everyone within five feet from her. She is beyond excited to experience magic with all of the students this year!

From the entire Shady Creek Staff, a big BOOMSHAKALAKA!

We look forward to meeting you!