Guides and Instructors

Staff Bios

JJim-Bio-Picim Cochran

Jim is an avid whitewater kayaker and has been guiding rafting trips for over a decade. He has worked in the experiential education field in a variety of positions which include the development of summer programs ‘and an alternative education school. He is also a former director of an adventure travel company. He is a high and low ropes courses facilitator, and has certifications in swiftwater rescue, wilderness medicine and CPR. He is a Licensed Maine Guide and is working toward his master’s in education. On weekends he can be found hunting, kayaking and skiing with his wife and daughter.


maine-rafting-guide-clay-vetterClay Vetter

Clay is our non-stop voice on our trips. His great sense of humor makes him a favorite guide among clients. He has been guiding raft trips for several years. Clay is a Licensed Maine Guide and has certifications in First Aid and CPR. He is also a high and low ropes course facilitator and a vocational rehabilitation counselor. When not guiding, Clay enjoys playing drums, skiing and hiking with his Black and Tan Coonhound.


ropes-course-guide-nick-rudowskiNick Rudowski

Nick is a talented musician, he shoots video, takes pictures, and makes music to document our ELC Outdoors experiences. A former Boy Scout, he has led backcountry trips with youth for many years. He is a high/low ropes course facilitator, mountain biker, skier, snowboarder and writer who has been published in Powder Magazine as well as a teacher. When not working, he can usually be found skiing or biking.


whitewater-rafting-guide-eugene-jordanEugene Jordon

Eugene is one our Maine resident guides. He has been guiding rafts “down South” for over a decade on several rivers in West Virginia and North Carolina, including the Upper and Lower Gauley River where he was a guide trainer. He is often the trip leader and his on-water expertise, professionalism, and laid back Southern style make him a favorite of our guests. He is a Wilderness First Responder and Licensed Maine Guide. He is a skilled whitewater kayaker and in his spare time enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters. His favorite regularly run rapid is the First Pitch on the Rapid River.


backwoods-chef-eric-tonkeryEric Tonkery

Eric is the resident backwoods chef at ELC Outdoors. He is the lead facilitator for our high and low ropes course programs, a Red Cross First Aid and CPR Instructor, a wilderness first responder and holds a master’s degree in Education from Plymouth State University. Eric is a Maine Certified Raft Guide and has guided commercial and private trips for over ten years. He is currently on a quest to hike all the 4,000 footers in New Hampshire with his wife Kelly.


kayak-instructor-ed-sawtellEd Sawtell

Ed is a recent transplant from the mountain west, where he was involved in coaching a kayak team, and paddled over 150 days a year for several seasons on many of the classic western rivers. He is a Licensed Maine Raft Guide, certified in First Aid/CPR, and an American Canoe Association Level IV Kayak Instructor. Ed is the lead instructor with our ELC kayak club and instructional program. He has led several multi-day trips on the Salmon, Snake and Colorado rivers. Ed is also a vocational educator in Career Technical Education. He enjoys whitewater kayaking, and playing fetch with his dog Elwood.


whitewater-guide-maine-darron-laughlandDarron Laughland

Darron has been a raft guide in New York and Maine for over 10 years. He has taught whitewater kayaking, canoeing, and river rescue as well as recently helping to create Mt. Washington Valley River Rescue. He is a NOLS Semester Course graduate, an EMT, and member of the Cranmore Mountain Ski Patrol in the winter. Off river, he is a teacher at Kennett high school and enjoys spending time with his wife and two boys. His favorite rapid is Smooth Ledge on the Rapid River- “A great place to surf a raft!”


nh-guide-naturalist-eric-southerEric Souther

Eric joined ELC last year, bringing his years of insight and experience to the company. Our senior guide on the Rapid, he has made 150+ trips down the Rapid River. He is also our resident naturalist and is the man behind our wildlife tours on Lake Umbagog. He is also an avid fisherman. When not piloting rafts, kayaks, or boats, Eric enjoys telemark skiing and spending time with his wife and two children. His favorite rapid is “S-Turn” on the Rapid River.


maine-whitewater-guide-anthony-brezzoAnthony Brezzo

Anthony is an avid backcountry skier and White Mountains enthusiast. He joined our team after spending countless seasons working in the backcountry for the Appalachian Mountain Club, including working as the caretaker at Hermit Lake Campsite at the base of Tuckerman Ravine for 2 years. Anthony is certified as a Wilderness First Responder, Leave No Trace trainer, and Avalanche Level 2, Swift Water Rescue and is a certified Maine white water guide. During the winters he can be found chasing down secret powder stashes on his skis and working as a behavior specialist. His favorite river to raft is the Rapid.


whitewater-guide-beech-richardsBeech Richards

A native New Englander, Beech has been an ELC guide for several seasons. In addition to raft guiding, Beech runs his own wilderness tour company, Coyote Ridge Guide Services, and spends his winters as a snowmobile guide. He currently resides in Maine with his wife and children.