Justine Kies

As program director, Justine Kies facilitates groups’ goals at the Campsite at Shield Ranch, implements nature immersion programs, and works to expand audiences accessing the Campsite. Since 2016, her boots have been walking along the trails of Shield Ranch Barton Creek with youth and adults connecting them to the beauty and significance of the land. She has led seven Camp El Ranchito seasons, five as camp director. Her natural abilities to facilitate community and create excitement, along with her love of the natural world add a special element to Shield Ranch Foundation programs.

Justine has 20 years of experience leading experiential education programs. Her career began leading study abroad programs in Latin America and Europe and later encompassing outdoor and environmental education, as well as special education. In January 2020, Justine trained with the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy as a certified forest bathing guide.

Her involvement in the field extends beyond Shield Ranch Foundation, as a dedicated member of the Texas Children in Nature Collaborative and the Texas Informal Science Education Association, both of which she has served in leadership positions. Justine and her husband David have a little boy named Caleb and they love spending time with their community of family and friends and relishing simple joys together.