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Meet the Trailblazers

Students in the OL program venture off the beaten path—and have unique stories to tell.

joshua schrader

HOMETOWN: dahlonega, GA

Other YHC Involvements: President of the Trail Club, Corncreek Review literary magazine staff, Creative Writing double-major  
I choose outdoor leadership because… I’m a non-traditional student who helped raise nine younger brothers and sisters who did not attend public school. I’d take them out into the vast nature preserve behind my parent’s house and we’d adventure and explore and talk about any subject they wished. I love nothing more than leading others out into the wilderness and showing them wonders they might not otherwise experience. 
My favorite thing about YHC is… the teachers. I have met so many kindred spirits who aren’t just interested in imparting facts to their students, but inspiring them to seek their own paths and answers to life’s questions.
My favorite memory/moment (so far) is… Walking the beach the morning after our sea kayaking trip to Caper’s Island during Water Pursuits and watching the sun rise over the Atlantic. 
My future plans are… To go to graduate school in Alaska for Outdoor and Environmental Education focusing on interpretive education and storytelling. Possibly even to write for National Geographic.
I have already gained experience in my field by… Taking a road trip across the U.S. during the summer of 2016. I slept every night in a different national park on my way to work in the high sierra camps of Yosemite for hikers of the John Muir and Pacific Crest trails.
To me being an Outdoor Leadership major means… Taking mindful control of my journey through life and not just bouncing around at the whim of chance. It means making every day an adventure, whether outdoors or not, and striving to reach one’s full potential. It’s walking with others on this journey, guiding and aiding them until they are ready and willing to seek out their own unique direction.

 

 

chris yenney

HOMETOWN: snellville, ga

Other YHC Involvements: SPAT Club, SOLE Program, Gent for Gamma Psi  
I choose outdoor leadership because of… I wanted to live a fulfilling life following my passion. Outdoor Leadership provides me with the tools to become a successful outdoor educator in the field.
My favorite thing about YHC is… YHC is amazing!! Close knit community and friends are so easy to find here; it’s just a different environment. It’s also so close to premier rivers, climbing spots, and beautiful hiking trails!
My favorite memory/moment (so far) is… Running a 40 ft. waterfall in a kayak down in Dahlonega, Georgia!!
My future plans are… I aspire to be a lead instructor for Outward Bound or NOLS. I also want to work in river conservation.
I have already gained experience in my field by… Being a kayaking instructor in North Carolina and also being a trip lead for muti-sport adventures for a camp in Colorado.
To me being an Outdoor Leadership major means… Pursuing a degree that helps me grow in all aspects of my life. Outdoor Leadership is my commitment to live an awesome life, doing crazy stuff, while in the company of good friends. 

 

 

levie lines

HOMETOWN: kennesaw, ga

Other YHC Involvements: Rock Climbing Club President, JV Soccer  
I choose outdoor leadership because of… I want to spend my life doing things I am passionate about and sharing those experiences with other people.
My favorite thing about YHC is… The close knit community.
My favorite memory/moment (so far) is… Partaking in mock trauma injury scenarios at WFR (Wilderness First Responder).
My future plans are… I would like to lead backpacking and climbing trips.
I have already gained experience in my field by… : I was a rock climbing guide at Camp Illahee in North Carolina. I also went on a 2 month backpacking trip in the Wind River Range!
To me being an Outdoor Leadership major means… Creating meaningful experiences for other people in the outdoors.

 

 

Liam cunningham

HOMETOWN: savannah, GA

Other YHC Involvements: President of the Fly Fishing Club  
I choose outdoor leadership because of… I love the outdoors and I want to give people an experience so that they will have a greater appreciation for the outdoors.
My favorite thing about YHC is… I love the location and community. We are so close to just about any outdoor pursuit.
My favorite memory/moment (so far) is… Our 9-day course to become certified as Wilderness First Responders.
My future plans are… I plan on becoming a fly fishing guide in Florida that takes out inner-city kids out and introduces them to fly fishing.
I have already gained experience in my field by… I work on a tarpon fishing guide boat during the summer.
To me being an Outdoor Leadership major means… Meeting some of the best people at the school, and learning how to give people a memorable experience that hopefully has a positive impact on their life.

 

Noah hamilton

HOMETOWN: rome, GA

Other YHC Involvements: Alpha Omega, Fly Fishing Club  
I choose outdoor leadership because of… Outdoors has always been my passion and I figured having a career in my passion would be cool.
My favorite thing about YHC is… The small, close community and all of the adventurous students.
My favorite memory/moment (so far) is… Our Wilderness First Responder course and our Land Pursuits classes and getting ‘lost’ on the Appalachian Trail with Katie McNutt.
My future plans are… Go work for an Adventure Therapy Program and possibly start my own program.
I have already gained experience in my field by… I have worked as a counselor for 7 years.
To me being an Outdoor Leadership major means… Being intentional with others and leading individuals to a better understanding on themselves, others, and the environment they live in.

 

 

ryan tate

HOMETOWN: grayson, GA

Other YHC Involvements: Sigma Beta Sigma, SPAT Club, IRC (Inter-Religious Counsel), CDN (College Diabetes Network)  
I choose outdoor leadership because of… It gave me an opportunity to get to know myself through outdoor challenges and grow as an individual.
My favorite thing about YHC is… The small class sizes, the close relationships, and the culture!
My favorite memory/moment (so far) is… Flipping my kayak at Nantahala Falls during Water Pursuits! It was pretty tight!
My future plans are… To experience the world as it comes.
I have already gained experience in my field by… Embarking on a 40 day road trip through 16 National Parks from YHC to Big Sur and back!
To me being an Outdoor Leadership major means… Being accepting of new challenges with a positive attitude and willing to share that experience.

 

 

katie mcnutt

HOMETOWN: acworth, GA

Other YHC Involvements: FCA, Underground, Women’s Lacrosse  
I choose outdoor leadership because of… Intro to Outdoor Leadership, I was drawn to the major. I liked the idea of being able to learn in a setting of the outdoors instead of a classroom.
My favorite thing about YHC is… the mountains all around us!
My favorite memory/moment (so far) is… getting ‘lost’ on the Appalachian Trail with Noah Hamil.
My future plans are… to do Adventure or Wilderness Therapy
I have already gained experience in my field by… being a part of this major, coming in I did not have a lot of experience or knowledge but after this semester I cannot wait to further my experiences!
To me being an Outdoor Leadership major means… having the opportunity to educate others but also be educated in the aspect of the outdoors.

 

 

chase adams

HOMETOWN: duluth, GA

Other YHC Involvements: Kappa Sigma, SPAT, Fly Fishing Club  
I choose outdoor leadership because of… I grew up in a very outdoor-oriented family and wanted to pursue a career that gets others passionate about outdoors.
My favorite thing about YHC is… the people on campus, the people around town, and atmosphere of the school, and the breath taking beauty of the area around.
My favorite memory/moment (so far) is… our 9-day Wilderness First Responder course.
My future plans are… I want to teach outdoor education to high school students or work for a river conservancy.
I have already gained experience in my field by… having worked for multiple day camps and many personal trips with friends and family.
To me being an Outdoor Leadership major means… living the dream every day of the week!

 

 

jack orr

HOMETOWN: gainesville, GA

Other YHC Involvements: Alpha Xi, Gent for Gamma Psi
I choose outdoor leadership because of… I love the outdoors and I want to share that love.
My favorite thing about YHC is… the location of the college and the community that surrounds it.
My favorite memory/moment (so far) is… our 9-day Wilderness First Responder course.
My future plans are… continue to work for White Water Express on the Nantahala River.
I have already gained experience in my field by… 3 years experience at Rainey Mountain boy scout camps instruction to gain Waterfront Merit badges. I have also had more than 2 years’ experience as a whitewater instructor at White Water Express.
To me being an Outdoor Leadership major means… being a good steward of the outdoors. Share and promote passion and respect for the outdoors in a safe and professional manner.

 

 

 

adam trull

HOMETOWN: peachtree city, GA

Other YHC Involvements: President of BMMG
I choose outdoor leadership because of… to enhance the way wisdom is instilled.

My favorite thing about YHC is… the community.
My favorite memory/moment (so far) is… Joshua’s death grip on his kayak going down a rapid.
My future plans are… bringing experiential education to English Literature.
I have already gained experience in my field by… all of the personal trips that I have taken.
To me being an Outdoor Leadership major means… changing the way people view education.