Meet Our Team

Meet the team of professionals dedicated to promoting the mission of Prescott Farm Environmental Education Center

Jude Hamel

Executive Director

Jude was fortunate to make connections with nature at a young age through her experiences hiking the Long Trail, fishing, camping and cross country skiing with her family. A graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and Southern New Hampshire University where she earned an MS in Community Economic Development, Jude has spent most of her career working in the nonprofit sector with a commitment to building community. Still an avid lover of the outdoors and nature, Jude enjoys beekeeping, gardening, raising chickens and goats, hiking, and spending time with her family.

Phoebe VanScoy-Giessler

Development & Communications Director

Phoebe joined the team in December 2018 and is thrilled to be able to tell the inspiring stories of Prescott Farm. She received her BA in journalism and politics at Ithaca College and completed Masters level work in Education at Plymouth State University. Formerly a classroom teacher and school librarian, she has previously worked at social services, environmental and educational nonprofits from Los Angeles, CA to Albany, NY. Phoebe lives in Tuftonboro with her husband and 3 boys. Her favorite way to enjoy the natural world is by running on the trails and roads of the Lakes Region.

Shannon Marden

Preschool Programs Director

Shannon is the PreK Programs director. She studied Early Childhood Education at Lakes Region Community College. Shannon has taught early childhood educations programs in the Lakes Region for 22 years and is arts & crafts director at a seasonal campground – a job she has enjoyed for over 20 years! When she can get outside, she enjoys camping, kayaking to Blueberry Island (and then picking the berries, of course!), swimming, and walking nature trails. Miss Shannon has four children… and over 40 puppets!

Chris Wellens

Camp and School Age Programs Director

Chris grew up exploring the woods behind his house and looked forward to his family’s regular camping trips. Originally from Wisconsin, Chris earned a BA in International Studies from Northern Michigan University. Since moving to New England in 2011, he has worked at various camps and environmental centers with roles including program instructor, wilderness trip leader, environmental educator, nature director, farm camp director, director of education, and most recently camp director at a residential camp. He is also an avid gardener, beekeeper, food preserver, traveler, hiker, and cross-country skier.

Ashleigh Roberts

Environmental Educator

Originally from Ohio, Ashleigh joined Prescott Farm in 2020. Ashleigh began teaching outdoors as a summer camp counselor while earning a BA in Middle Childhood Education from Ohio Northern University. Since then, Ashleigh has worked as an outdoor/environmental educator across the United States from Virginia to California and earned an MA in Education from Muskingum University. Ashleigh enjoys hiking—with lots of stops to enjoy the tiny things, being curious, and learning about how people relate to the outdoors.

Mary Doyle

Environmental Educator

Mary’s nature connection journey formally began while studying at Tom Brown’s Tracker School. She was hooked and continued her studies with various Wilderness Awareness School and 8 Shields programs. Mary has worked as a classroom teacher and an environmental educator in public and private schools and nonprofit organizations. She holds English, Psychology, and Secondary Education degrees from Alma College and Central Michigan University and an M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction from Plymouth State University. She is also a NH certified ELA teacher. Mary lives on an old farm with her husband John and daughter Joanna. She loves to garden, cross country ski, listen to the birds, practice qigong, and discover nature’s stories.

Renee West

Fledglings Associate Teacher

Renee was born and raised in South Africa and has been living in the U.S. since 1998.  She studied Dance and Exercise Science at Palm Beach Atlantic University, and went on to get her masters in Leadership Studies.  Renee has worked with children as a gym teacher, camp counselor, My Gym Children’s Fitness Instructor, Music Together teacher, and an elementary school teacher in Florida.  Renee loves dance, music, nature and is passionate about child development and working with children.  She is excited to be a part of the Fledglings’ Team!

Nicole Sturgeon

Associate Teacher

Nicole  has been working in early childhood for 20 years.  Nikki worked for Belmont Parks and Rec planning family and playgroup programs, and at a large childcare center in Tilton.  She has always loved being outside and exploring nature with her own children.  Since high school she wanted to be a preschool teacher, and she enjoys crafting, yoga, and spending time with her family at the beach.

Nila Morrison


Nila was raised in Abington, MA and fell in love with the Lakes Region during childhood vacations to the area. She moved here with her family in 1996. Nila has been working in accounting and bookkeeping since 1986, most recently at LRGHeathcare in the ER, Orthopedics, Finance Departments. For the last four years she has owned and operated a bookkeeping business. She has a love for nature, hiking, and gardening and jumped at the opportunity to join this amazing team.


Christopher Connors


Christopher joined the Prescott Farm team in September 2020. He  lives in Gilmanton Iron Works where he cares for chickens, goats, and a dog named Rex. Christopher participated in the CRAVE (Centerplate Recruiting and Assistance for Valuable Employees) program at Gunstock. He has also worked at Shaw’s grocery store and the Common Man. When he’s not at work he likes to listen to ’60s music. His favorite thing to do in nature is go fishing.

Locate Us

Prescott Farm Environmental Education Center
928 White Oaks Road
Laconia, NH 03246
(603) 366-5695
(603) 366-5720 (Fax)

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