About EPIC Adventures

EPIC Adventures, formerly known as Wilderness Adventures (WA), began in 1979 under the direction of the late Doris “Mabel” Nielsen, associate professor of recreation and physical education.

Mabel poured her energy into structuring experiences and opportunities for students to enable them to develop their own potential. It evolved into the STEP Program, which provided adventure camping experiences for disadvantaged youth in Allegany County. Over the years, WA expanded to other area youth, saw an offshoot adult-oriented program for counselors, advisers, and psychologists, and provided environmental education programs, team building programs, and ropes course opportunities during the school year.

In recent years, the program has offered opportunities to learn about group dynamics and process experiences through adventure programs, trips, ropes course facilitation, anti-bullying interventions, team building, and leadership development.

Laura on top of a Mountain

Laura Alexeichik Thayer

Director of EPIC Adventures

An avid adventurer herself, Laura has led dozens of EPIC trips with Houghton students around the world.

Meet Laura