Ethan Gehl, BS

Field Manager


Ethan originally hails from a small town south of Atlanta where he grew up building forts in the woods with his older brother. During his childhood, he and his siblings were routinely locked out of the house on weekends and forced to play outside. There, in the acres of woods behind his home, Ethan developed an active imagination, a longing for adventure, and a deep-rooted sense of appreciation for the wilderness.

Throughout Ethan’s life, his overwhelming passion for travel and adventure have been balanced by a down-to-earth sense of personal responsibility and professionalism. After earning a Bachelor’s of Science in Civil Engineering, Ethan embarked on a 14,000-mile, cross-country solo road trip during which he discovered his passion for service to others.

Following that trip of self-discovery, Ethan joined AmeriCorps NCCC, serving two 10-month terms in communities throughout the Atlantic and Gulf regions of the United States. There, he built homes with Habitat for Humanity in New Orleans, responded to a flood disaster in rural West Virginia, performed prescribed burns in Maine and New Hampshire, and mentored inner-city youth at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington DC. From there, he went on to lead trail crews and volunteers in the wilderness, performing trail maintenance on the Pacific Crest Trail in 2011 and the Colorado 14er summit trails in 2012. Next, Ethan co-led a cross-country bicycle trip for the non-profit Bike & Build during which his team of 30 riders stopped a dozen times along the way and volunteered with affordable housing organizations throughout the United States.

Ethan came to Open Sky in September of 2014 following a long distance thru-hike on the Pacific Crest Trail. Here at Open Sky, he has matured as a guide and is excited to now be in a support role where he gets to help steer our culture in a way that creates a space for all staff and students to thrive. When he’s not challenging thinking errors and holding up an often-uncomfortable mirror for our students, Ethan enjoys mountain biking, backpacking, and photography.