The Pinelands Adventures Team
Meet the Pinelands Adventures team of expert guides and educators.
Krissy Raudys, Director
Krissy leads the Pinelands Adventures team. Krissy’s enthusiasm for adventure and passion for the outdoors brought her to the heart of The Pinelands. With years of experience leading trips and developing programs in many different outdoor industries, her expertise and creative ideas are a welcome addition to the Pinelands Adventures team. Coming equipped with an adventure degree, naturally she spends her free time in other outdoor pursuits playing with nature and gravity. When not doing the work thing, she loves to travel, ski, hike, swim, and play volleyball (in no particular order). She digs extreme weather, baking, music, photography, watching sunsets while sipping adult beverages, and is freakishly good at jigsaw puzzles. Being very observant and thoughtful when it comes to the guest experience, Krissy works hard to add in special moments and is excited about making others excited about the outdoors.
Allison Hartman, Assistant Director
Allison runs the day to day operations of Pinelands Adventures. Allison is a beach kid who feels like she’s won the job lottery: she’s made paddling into a career. She’s a South Jersey native and has been leading kayak and paddleboard tours through the salt marshes for years. With a background in marine biology and environmental education, Allison is always excited for a chance to “nerd out” and share her passion for anything in the natural world, but especially aquatic plants and animals. When you meet her, she’d love to hear your best nature-based fun fact!
Charles Johnson III, Director of Education
Charles joins the Adventures staff in May of 2021. He has returned to the Pine Barrens after spending 12 years in Virginia gaining a vast amount of knowledge in natural resources and environmental education. Charles was born and raised on the sandy shores of Monmouth County, New Jersey, growing up in a family of outdoorsmen, and quickly fell in love with nature as a child. He loves paddling, swimming, and trail running. In 2014 he graduated from Virginia Union University with a degree in criminology and criminal justice. After Charles’ undergraduate degree, he served two years with AmeriCorps through their Virginia Service and Conservation Corps which fostered his love for stewardship and environmental education. Charles worked for many years as an American Canoe Association Instructor, Program Director at Camp Hilbert of Weinstein Jewish Community Center, and Senior Environmental Educator with the James River Association. He is a member of numerous professional, civic, and academic organizations, currently serving on the Board of Thrive Virginia, member of the Virginia Association for Environmental Education, and is a member of Virginia Master Naturalist. He is always excited to see students grow in their knowledge of environmental sciences and immerse themselves in hands-on learning. He’s looking forward to working with specialists throughout the watershed to create Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences for their students.
Glenn Adams, Yard Supervisor and Driver
Glenn has helped introduce area residents to the Pine Barrens since 1978! He worked as a driver and guide with Adams Canoe Rental and continues to work with Pinelands Adventures. Glenn’s knowledge of the business and the forest has been invaluable to us. Glenn’s full-time job is as a civil engineer with the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
Jeff Larson, Driver and Guide
Jeff Larson has been a pinelands resident for most of his adult life. He is an avid pickerel fisherman who has spent countless hours exploring the watersheds within the Pine Barrens. He has enjoyed many years of exploring the deepest, most remote areas of the woods and has a profound respect for the history and culture of the region. A professional musician and guitar teacher, Jeff released two albums with a pine barrens related theme that have been well received in the community and internationally.
Drew Doughty, Driver and Photographer
Drew Doughty joined Pinelands Adventures in 2018. He is a natural fit for our team who loves spending time in the pines and traveling to other beautiful natural places whenever he’s not working or at a concert. Drew is a talented tie dye artist and recently opened an Etsy shop under the name “Jersey Devil Tye Dye”. Check out his work here!
Hometown: Mays Landing
Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience.
Monica Cahill, Driver and Guide
When Monica joined Pinelands adventures as a driver in 2019, she fulfilled her lifelong dream of working in the great outdoors in ecotourism. A South Jersey native who eventually settled down in Folsom (just outside Hammonton), she enjoys sharing her ever-growing knowledge of the history and ecology of the New Jersey Pinelands. Her passion for protecting and conserving our last remaining wilderness comes straight from the heart. Monica has quickly become a customer favorite by sharing her experiences in the forests and talking about the unique flora and fauna she’s encountered during her explorations of rivers and trails. Nature is her church. Monica also works at Rancocas Creek Farms, a restorative farming project sponsored by the Pinelands Preservation Alliance. She enjoys creative cooking with all the fresh veggies grown at the farm. As a yoga practitioner, Monica has also earned her 200-hour yoga teacher training certificate and is continuing her studies. Favorite quote: “Heaven is under our feet, as well as over our heads” ~Henry David Thoreau
Eric Ascalon, Driver
Eric enjoys partaking in trail running, triathlons, and paddle sports when he’s not injuring himself on a ski slope. He has long found refuge and adventure in the Pine Barrens, and cherishes the opportunity to instill in visitors an appreciation for this wondrous place. Eric is an attorney by profession (please don’t hold that against him); and Chair of the nonprofit Garden State Film Festival — New Jersey’s largest independent film event — which takes place each spring at venues throughout Asbury Park.
Jason Howell, Driver, Guide, Riverkeeper, & Photographer
Jason Howell is an NJ Volunteer Master Naturalist, Wilderness First Responder, and is a volunteer with Mid-Atlantic Search and Rescue covering Southern New Jersey and The Pinelands National Reserve. Jason works full-time as Stewardship Coordinator with the Pinelands Preservation Alliance and helps us at Pinelands Adventures whenever he gets the opportunity. Jason is an avid canoeist, hiker, and wilderness skills enthusiast.
Mike Neral, Driver
Mike arrived at Pinelands Adventures in 2018 not a moment too soon. At the time we needed another driver and Mike hit the ground running knowing just what to do. You might find him wandering anywhere in the Pine Barrens when he’s not helping launch customers or regaling them with stories about the Pines. Be sure to ask him about his cats!
Currently on leave
John was Pinelands Adventure’s first Director of Education guiding trips and education programs. He has extensive history as an educator working and exploring in the Pinelands. Most recently he served as an environmental science teacher for more than two decades at the Indian Mills Middle School in Shamong. John facilitated Pinelands Preservation Alliance’s annual teacher education program for ten summer sessions. He is the driving force behind the Black Run Preserve and is the Chair of the Friends of the Black Run Preserve.
Mel Jaggard, Driver
Mel found us in 2019 and it was like he’s been here all his life. An avid kayaker, fisherman and hummingbird whisperer, Mel spends all his free time outdoors in the Pines or at one of his favorite local breweries.
Steve Luell, Driver and Guide
Steve brought vast knowledge of Pine Barrens flora and fauna to Pinelands Adventures. He’s worked as a teacher, researcher and watershed ambassador. Steve also leads Pinelands Adventures popular Cranberry Farm Tours as well as a number of our guided group programs.
Bryan Mitchell, Driver and Guide
Bryan is an avid kayaker, kayak instructor and school teacher who we finally convinced to join the Pinelands Adventures Team in 2019 after years of trying. We met Bryan as a customer who loved to escape for a paddle in the Pines. He is an elementary school teacher when not working with Adventures.