Thoughts from WV Leaders

By wpdev February 3, 2010

Michael Alexander
Birmingham, Alabama

Trips as a Student: Grand Teton, Hawaii, Alaska College
Trips as a Leader: Cascade Olympic, Puget Sound, Rocky Mountain, Jackson Hole

“My first Wilderness Ventures trip, the Grand Teton Adventure, was a huge turning point in my life. It was my first experience in an extended group living situation. When I walked away at the end of that first summer in the Rocky Mountains I felt as though I understood myself better than I ever had before. Wilderness Ventures taught me to appreciate beautiful outdoor environments like Prince William Sound in Alaska and the Na Pali Coastline in Hawaii, but when I really look back on my time as a student, I’m especially thankful for the leadership and group interaction skills that are such an important part of any Wilderness Ventures trip.”

Denali Barron
Boulder, Colorado

Trips as a Student: Rocky Mountain, Alaska, Australia

Trips as a Leader: Northwest

“As a teenager, I was sure of little in my life except an instincual desire to explore. As a student, I spent three consecutive summers with Wilderness Ventures. Each trip brought me closer to the realization that living in the outdoors was one of my greatest passions. My trips with Wilderness Ventures gave me balance, simplicity and strength. Spending weeks in the open inspired a sense of self-reliance and connection with place that is easy to lose touch with in a life bounded by concrete and convenience. As a Wilderness Ventures staff member, I learned to share my passion for the outdoors with others. I highly recommend this program for any young adult with a penchant for exploration and adventure.”

Will Lillard
Mason, New Jersey

Trips as a Student: Cascade Wilderness, Alaska College
Trips as a Leader: Yellowstone Fly Fishing, Hawaii

“As a student, Wilderness Ventures allowed me to explore new lands. I had been backpacking before, but I had never been to the Cascades of northern Washington or the wilds of Alaska. Wilderness Ventures gave me the opportunity to go to places I would never have had the opportunity to visit otherwise. Most importantly, I was able to experience these wild lands in the most hands-on way imaginable. As a Wilderness Ventures Trip Leader, the  most rewarding part of my job is seeing students discovering the wilderness for the first time. It’s amazing to see students’ self-sufficiency grow as their trip progresses. Every summer I have a truly fantastic opportunity to show teenagers how simple, fun and rewarding life can be.”