Our Staff
  • Chris Brickel


    Before founding ESOC in 2011, Chris spent 8 yrs as Head of Outdoor Pursuits at the Perse School in Cambridge leading the Perse Exploration Society on expeditions to Ladakh, Ecuador, Kenya and Sweden. ESOC now runs around 50 expeditions and hundreds of day events a year for both children and adults, and employs 16 full time expedition and admin staff.

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  • Mark Campbell

    Senior Instructor

    Mark has spent the last 20 years working in and managing outdoor activity centres in the UK and aboard. Keen on all things 'outdoors' he has a special love for anything water based and has trained Bucks Fires & Rescue in water safety for the last 10 years. He enjoys a challenge and has competed in DW Kayak Race a number of times.

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  • Craig Coupe

    Head of Outdoor Curriculum

    Craig started out in the Royal Navy before becoming a watersports instructor and then a manager of a large outdoor centre on the South Coast. Craig has always had a passion for the outdoors and has built up considerable experience within the outdoor world. Craig now Heads up our large outdoor education curriculum programme.

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  • Alex Chapman

    Assistant Director

    Alex was Troop Adjutant for the 5th Cambridge Scouts and continues the spirit of that role as Assistant Director. Coordinating between the admin and operational teams, ensuring everything is planned in good time and generally keeping us all on our toes while also watching our backs.

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  • Christabel Davy

    Head of Events

    An expert Horsewoman, Christabel has spent many years before joining ESOC working in stables and teaching young people to ride safely. A classically trained Actress, she has also spent time working on community projects in Kenya and South Africa and as a teaching assistant in London schools. She is one of the longest serving members of The Exploration Society team.

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  • Philip Holman

    Operations Manager

    Phil has spent the past decade working and managing water sports and outdoor centres across the UK and abroad. A keen whitewater kayaker and sailor he can often be found on a river in North Wales on a winter weekend or kayak guiding on the River Thames in London.

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  • Lauran Dees

    Curriculum team

    Lauran has spent the last five years teaching watersports on the South Coast as well as abroad. She’s also spent time teaching primary school PE and is now part of our curriculum team looking after Years 5 and 6.

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  • Verity Odukogbe

    Corporate Events Coordinator

    As a self confessed foodie, Verity loves traveling the globe in search of the most unusual and unconventional dishes. She recently took part in a trek through the Amazon rainforest as a charity fundraiser. With a degree in event management, she now specialises in corporate team building and is keen to develop further events for our corporate clients.

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  • Will Ellice

    Curriculum team

    Will comes to us from ‘Sharky and George’ bringing with him years of experience working with children of all ages. He has organised and run parties of all shapes and sizes in the U.K. and abroad. Will is now part of the curriculum team and looks after the Reception- Year 2 programme. In his spare time Will enjoys Marathon running and all forms of water sports.

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  • Kate Fenton

    Operations Coordinator

    Kate has finally moved indoors (into the office) after nearly 10 years instructing and exploring around the world. She brings experience from her time in the outdoor industry to the role. In her spare time, she loves hiking, travelling and snowboarding - anything that involves using copious amount of energy.

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  • Daniel Chessum

    Admin Team

    Dan joins us after having spent two winters snowboarding through the French alps and two summers teaching Bushcraft in the British woods. He also brings a degree in Accounting and Finance to help us smooth our life in office. You can often find Dan cooking up delicious meals as camp cook, and on as many trips away from the office as possible.

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  • Oli McDonough


    Oli has spent the last 10 years working in the cycle industry, in pretty much every role you can, culminating in an Operation Management position for a large London based cycle repair company. When not working he will likely be found in North Wales putting in miles on his mountain bike, or fixing any damage that's been done to it!

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  • Charlie Astor


    As well as helping found ESOC, Charlie runs “Sharky and George”, a hugely successful children’s entertainment company based in London. After gaining a degree in French and Politics from Bristol, he abandoned a city job to start his own business. Charlie has now run many camps and events for all ages, and is a keen sailor and ski mountaineer.

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  • George Whitefield


    The third ESOC director and the George in “Sharky and George”, George has unlimited enthusiasm and energy. After reading Biology at Bristol, he turned away from Headhunting for the financial sector to run children’s parties and events. A keen sailor, he and Charlie recently swam the Solent for charity and are already planning their next challenge.

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  • Tracy Grant

    Stalwart Freelancer

    A keen mountaineer who also loves canoeing, camping, and any outdoor activities, Tracy also runs the largest D of E Open group in Cambridgeshire. A qualified teacher with 25 years experience, Tracy first got involved as a parent helping with Base Camp sessions at the Perse School and loved it so much she is now a key part of the Exploration Society.

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  • Join us!

    Want to come and work for The Exploration Society? We're currently recruiting for freelance instructors for both day events and residentials. Have a look at our open positions here!


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"There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing." 


Sir Ranulph Fiennes