08 Apr Jim Campbell
Jim’s childhood was spent outdoors exploring the woods and streams of rural northeastern Pennsylvania. His world changed drastically at age 19 when he was drafted into the Army and sent into the jungles of Vietnam, where he chose to become a point man, the soldier up front leading patrols through enemy territory. After Vietnam, Jim exited the army in Colorado and had to then find his own path out of the effects of his war experience. He sought out the healing and spiritually renewing qualities of wild places, first in the mountains of Colorado, and then when Colorado began feeling too crowded, he jumped on an opportunity to head to Alaska. Driving a semi-tractor trailer up the Al-Can Hwy to Fairbanks was an adventure in itself, but it wasn’t until he went north into the Brooks Range prospecting for gold, in an area that is now Gates of the Arctic National Park, that true adventure and the wanderlust for exploring real wilderness began for him. After 40+ years of leading Arctic trips, Jim is widely recognized as THE master of designing and organizing trips in this remote, demanding wilderness. His uncanny ability to carry a mental map of the entire Brooks Range and Arctic in his head, plus his comprehensive knowledge of complex air logistics are key to the high standard of Arctic Treks trips. He has also long been recognized for his simple, gentle way of opening up and sharing the healing potential of wilderness with others, both out on trips in the Arctic and in the halls of Congress in Washington DC. In his multiple trips to DC, lobbying and testifying before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Jim’s articulation of the value of wild places to the human spirit helped shift awareness and key votes in the ongoing effort to protect the wilderness of the Arctic Refuge and the Western Arctic.