Anna Heil


Born raised in San Diego, California, Anna fell in love with Northern Minnesota after a dogsledding trip in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness over New Year’s Eve as a teenager. Anna went on to graduate from Colgate University in New York in 2016 with a degree in Environmental Geography. After completing her bachelor’s degree, Anna decided to return to Ely, Minnesota to begin instructing with the same experiential education program that impacted her in her teenage years.

Anna’s background in outdoor education began even before she landed in the Northwoods. She first got into outdoor education during college through her university’s student program, teaching physical education classes, first-year orientation programs, and holiday break trips. Anna has also pursued opportunities in outdoor education in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho and San Diego, California.

Anna is entering her fifth year of seasonal field instructing with the organization, leading flat-water canoe and dog-sledding courses with teens and adults in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Anna is passionate about working with students who have little to no wilderness experience and watching them become competent travelers and outdoors-people. She believes in the power of challenge, vulnerability, and above all, compassion. She loves seeing people learn to work as a team, discover their individual power, and connect on an emotional level that is often difficult to achieve in everyday life.

Anna’s main motivations to join this expedition have been her love of adventure, her belief in the importance of connecting with people through the outdoors, and her excitement in working with an all-woman team.  She is hoping to use this expedition to explore the ways in which we feel and express a geographic “sense of place” and connection to the land.