Our Staff

Our Guides

The Lord has blessed ACO with a truly incredible staff. The men and women that have chosen to be part of this organization all enjoy the same common bond of wanting to share the rivers we paddle with you, our guests. They range in age from their late teens to being “seasoned citizens” and come from all walks of life. They are some of the most caring, dedicated, and professional raft guides you’ll ever paddle with. All together, our guides have 445 years of river running experience! We are very proud of each and every one and wanted to give you this opportunity to meet them before your next trip with us.


Select a guide here to jump to his or her bio:  

Allison Stein

Portrait of Allison Stein

What drew you into becoming a raft guide?

I love being outside and being active in the outdoors, especially anything on the water. Rafting combines all of these!


What do you enjoy most about your job?

Every time you go down the river it is different from the last time. And the people.


Hidden gem in Western NY to recommend to others?

The Genesee Country Village and Museum in Mumford NY


Duties

  • raft guide


Year Hired

2015


Art Kretschmer

Portrait of Art Kretschmer

What drew you into becoming a raft guide?

I wanted to be involved with what my dad was doing and loved being outdoors.


What do you enjoy most about your job?

Interacting with the guests.


Most memorable outdoor experience?

Searching for the 6’ rabid squirrel at Letchworth State Park.' (ask him to tell you the story)


Hidden gem in Western NY to recommend to others?

Genesee County Park – there are lots of nice hiking trails and it’s a great place to take our dog.


Duties

  • raft guide
  • bus driver
  • site manager


Year Hired

1999


Bill Gross

Portrait of Bill Gross

What drew you into becoming a raft guide?

Invitation by guides, since I had river experience years before I accepted the invitation.


What do you enjoy most about your job?

Sharing with customers a safe, great time.


Most memorable outdoor experience?

Besides rafting, skiing in Colorado.


Hidden gem in Western NY to recommend to others?

Zoar Valley. Some old-growth trees and home of one of the largest wild grape vines in the USA.


Duties

  • raft guide


Year Hired

2011


Bill Jamison

Portrait of Bill Jamison

What drew you into becoming a raft guide?

I went rafting as a Boy Scout in 1984 on the Salmon River with 'Adventure Calls' and fell in love with the sport.


What do you enjoy most about your job?

Meeting new people and seeing their smiles at the end of every trip.


Most memorable outdoor experience?

Falling out of a raft I was guiding and watching the guests continue on downstream as if nothing had happened.


Hidden gem in Western NY to recommend to others?

Bradner Falls in W. Sparta, NY. It's a double-drop that is absolutely stunning. I have many fond memories of playing there as a child and am looking forward to taking my boys there.


Duties

  • trip leader
  • safety boater
  • bus driver
  • bsa merit badge counselor


Year Hired

2004


Brian Castner

Portrait of Brian Castner

What drew you into becoming a raft guide?

I can't think of a better way to spend so much time on the water.


What do you enjoy most about your job?

Teaching people about rafting, especially those that have never gone before and are apprehensive. Watching their transformation from being afraid to really enjoying themselves is the best.


Most memorable outdoor experience?

Hands down so far, taking two of my sons on a five-day wilderness camping trip in the Adirondacks.


Hidden gem in Western NY to recommend to others?

Buckhorn Island State Park on Grand Island - the hiking/cross-country skiing trails are amazing, especially being able to make your way out to the Niagara River just above the falls.


Duties

  • raft guide


Year Hired

2008


Brian Swart

Portrait of Brian Swart

What drew you into becoming a raft guide?

I came as a guest and fell in love with it.


What do you enjoy most about your job?

The whitewater on the river and the family atmosphere within ACO.


Most memorable outdoor experience?

I took a road trip to S. Dakota and tent-camped all the way out and back. I saw so many beautiful things as I traveled.


Hidden gem in Western NY to recommend to others?

Webster Park - there are lots of great hiking trails and the sunsets are beautiful.


Duties

  • trip leader


Year Hired

2005


Chuck Evingham Jr. (in memoriam)

Portrait of Chuck Evingham Jr. (in memoriam)

Note

Sadly, following a courageous battle with cancer, Chuck passed away in the fall of 2016. He will be missed by many however his legacy will live on forever in the hearts of all whose lives he touched over the years.

What drew you into becoming a raft guide?

The adventure, being outdoors & interacting with people.


What do you enjoy most about your job?

The endless variety of people I meet and experiences to enjoy.


Most memorable outdoor experience?

I had an out-of-boat experience (i.e. - a flipped raft) while on the Lower New in WV., which led to a great deal of celebrating life!


Hidden gem in Western NY to recommend to others?

The bike paths through Clarence, Newstead, and Akron are very scenic and pleasant.


Duties

  • trip leader
  • safety boater


Year Hired

2006


Dan Schrantz

Portrait of Dan Schrantz

What drew you into becoming a raft guide?

I enjoyed being outdoors on the water as much as possible and to be paid for it was an added bonus.


What do you enjoy most about your job?

Introducing others to experiencing the joy of paddling and showing them the beauty of the local waterways.


Most memorable outdoor experience?

Canoe camping down the west branch of the Susquehanna River with some close friends.


Hidden gem in Western NY to recommend to others?

The cross country ski trails at Allegany State Park, they are incredibly serene.


Duties

  • trip leader


Year Hired

1987


Danica Stewart

Portrait of Danica Stewart

What drew you into becoming a raft guide?

I needed some extra cash, wanted more time outdoors and love being in, on, or around the water. The solution seemed obvious.


What do you enjoy most about your job?

The scenery - no matter what the day brings I need only look around to realize how lucky I am.


Most memorable outdoor experience?

I once co-led a group of at-risk boys on a 30 day canoe trip down the Suwanee River. We paddled from the very start in Georgia, through Florida and into the Gulf of Mexico. The trip in of itself was amazing, but the way the whole experience transformed the boys in such a positive way is what really made it memorable.


Hidden gem in Western NY to recommend to others?

Conklin's Gully in Naples, NY. 'Although you can take the path along the edge of the gully to see the cascades, I prefer walking in the stream and climbing up the waterfalls because it makes me feel like a kid again.'


Duties

  • trip leader
  • site manager
  • lead team-building facilitator


Year Hired

2005


Dave Cornell

Portrait of Dave Cornell

What drew you into becoming a raft guide?

I’ve always enjoyed being in the outdoors especially around streams and rivers. Having been a guest in 2009, when I was given the opportunity to change careers, Raft Guiding with Adventure Calls Outfitters was the first thing that popped into my head.


What do you enjoy most about your job?

I love seeing the smiles on our guest’s faces and hearing the laughter (and screams!) as we go down the river.


Most memorable outdoor experience?

1) Riding horses and fly fishing with my wife in the Rocky Mountains of Montana. 2) Kayaking fishing offshore Cape Cod with whales surfacing close by.


Hidden gem in Western NY to recommend to others?

Kayaking Canadice Lake at dawn, the water like a mirror, not another soul in sight.


Duties

  • raft guide


Year Hired

2015


David Ireland

Portrait of David Ireland

What drew you into becoming a raft guide?

The fun and excitement of going through the rapids in a raft and enjoying nature.


What do you enjoy most about your job?

Being in a raft with the guests.


Most memorable outdoor experience?

I cannot pick just one.


Hidden gem in Western NY to recommend to others?

Wolf Creek Waterfalls at Letchworth State Park.


Duties

  • raft guide


Year Hired

1993


Dick Grainger

Portrait of Dick Grainger

What drew you into becoming a raft guide?

I absolutely love whitewater paddling, started at the age of 25.


What do you enjoy most about your job?

Taking a boatload of first-timers on the Salmon.


Most memorable outdoor experience?

Rescuing one of my IBM account reps and his wife on the Cattaraugus after they fell out of the raft and thought they were drowning. I sold ALOT of IBM equipment to Bell Aerospace after that day!


Hidden gem in Western NY to recommend to others?

Little Rock City - Ellicottville, NY | Griffiths Sculpture Park - East Otto, NY | The Lower Niagara Gorge - Niagara Falls, NY


Duties

  • trip leader


Year Hired

1981


Don Nelson

Portrait of Don Nelson

What drew you into becoming a raft guide?

I really enjoyed rafting and was looking for a part-time job at the time.


What do you enjoy most about your job?

Showing people a fun, safe time on the river!


Most memorable outdoor experience?

Rescuing a raft that was stuck in the hole at 'Grand Finale' Rapids on Cattaraugus Creek.


Hidden gem in Western NY to recommend to others?

Hi Tor Wildlife Management Area, specifically Conklin's and Clark's Gulleys.


Duties

  • trip leader
  • safety boater
  • paddle Instructor
  • merit badge counselor
  • bus driver


Year Hired

1999


Ella Wynn

Portrait of Ella Wynn

What drew you into becoming a raft guide?

I came on a trip as a guest while visiting Letchworth State Park and instantly fell in love how beautiful the park is and how awesome the guides are.


What do you enjoy most about your job?

I love meeting new people and sharing what I love with them. I also love working with such knowledgeable and friendly people.


Most memorable outdoor experience?

Swimming in the Caribbean Sea with the ancient Mayan City of Tulum in the background.


Hidden gem in Western NY to recommend to others?

Griffis Sculpture Park - E. Otto, NY


Duties

  • trip leader
  • site manager


Year Hired

2011


Emily Reichert

Portrait of Emily Reichert

What drew you into becoming a raft guide?

I wanted to go out of my comfort zone and try something new.


What do you enjoy most about your job?

My ACO family and seeing the smiles on the guests faces after a trip.


Most memorable outdoor experience?

Rafting on the Black River with my fellow raft guides!


Hidden gem in Western NY to recommend to others?

Little Rock City in Little Valley, NY


Duties

  • raft guide


Year Hired

2016


Glenn Anderson

Portrait of Glenn Anderson

What drew you into becoming a raft guide?

I knew I wanted a summer job that would keep me outside and active. I have been around water since I was little having grown up on Lake Ontario. I started whitewater rafting in college and thought there would be no better way to spend my summer.


What do you enjoy most about your job?

The chance to go rafting and enjoy the summer weather.


Most memorable outdoor experience?

Rafting the New River in West Virginia for my brother in-law's bachelor party


Hidden gem in Western NY to recommend to others?

Allegheny Reservoir. My favorite wakeboarding spot.


Duties

  • raft guide


Year Hired

2014


Jim Janora

Portrait of Jim Janora

What drew you into becoming a raft guide?

I would have to say it was the opportunity to spend more time on the river with a group of safety-conscious people.


What do you enjoy most about your job?

Seeing a client have an aha moment when they realize the magnitude of the canyons through Zoar Valley.


Most memorable outdoor experience?

Backpacking in the Grand Tetons during a thunderstorm. I was focused on the trail immediately in front of me due to the conditions. I looked up at one point and stopped dead when I saw a moose calf standing in the trail about 25 feet away. It was great, until the mom came crashing out of the thicket and placed herself between me and the calf.


Hidden gem in Western NY to recommend to others?

Little Rock City – geologically unique, and very photogenic


Duties

  • raft guide


Year Hired

2012


Jim Whittemore

Portrait of Jim Whittemore

What drew you into becoming a raft guide?

My love for the outdoors, canoeing, kayaking, and just about anything around water. ( and bonus … my wife said I could!)


What do you enjoy most about your job?

This is a job? No, I’ve had many jobs and this is far from it. The fun and camaraderie between the staff and customers brings a family atmosphere to every day. I raft with ACO as a way to relax and enjoy the great outdoors in a way many never get to at their jobs.


Most memorable outdoor experience?

Our family took a trip “around” the Grand Canyon in 2011. You see pictures of the canyon but until you actually see it… it is surreal. That trip we visited many national parks and rafted the Colorado River out of Moab Utah. This is a trip I would recommend to anyone.


Hidden gem in Western NY to recommend to others?

Grab a kayak and find one of the many quiet creek that runs throughout western NY. We are blessed in our area that we have so many creeks, rivers and streams that offer incredible views. (If you need paddling ideas, check out any of the books by Rich & Sue Freeman … they have these books at the library!)


Duties

  • raft guide


Year Hired

2012


Joan Anderson

Portrait of Joan Anderson

What drew you into becoming a raft guide?

The beauty and freedom found on the river and the opportunity to share the experience with others.


What do you enjoy most about your job?

I truly enjoy interacting with new people and seeing the enjoyment on their faces, whether it be from the thrill of the rapids or the profound peace floating through the calm sections.


Most memorable outdoor experience?

I have two - a guide-only raft trip on the Genesee at very high water, we did the entire 5 1/2 miles in 19 minutes and witnessing 11 people being baptized on a river trip at Letchworth, one of whom was my husband.


Hidden gem in Western NY to recommend to others?

The Eternal Flame in Chestnut Ridge Park.


Duties

  • site manager
  • raft guide
  • team-building facilitator


Year Hired

2005


Joe Driscoll

Portrait of Joe Driscoll

What drew you into becoming a raft guide?

I saw an ad in the paper and it sounded like fun.


What do you enjoy most about your job?

Interacting with & teasing the guests, watching them having so much fun!


Most memorable outdoor experience?

The day I got to guide a raft at Letchworth in big water. I always bring spare clothes w/ me just in case, except I forgot them this particular day.


Hidden gem in Western NY to recommend to others?

Almost any of the State or County Parks in this area. There are so many close by, people should take advantage of them.


Duties

  • bus driver
  • cat herder


Year Hired

2007


John Swan

Portrait of John Swan

What drew you into becoming a raft guide?

I started as a guest on a trip in Letchworth a few years ago. Several trips on all three rivers and countless conversations with guides later, I realized I wanted to be a part of this awesome family.


What do you enjoy most about your job?

The people and being out in nature.


Most memorable outdoor experience?

Two week canoe trip through the boundry waters between Minnesota and Canada.


Hidden gem in Western NY to recommend to others?

Lockport Nature Trail


Duties

  • raft guide


Year Hired

2016


Karen Covell

Portrait of Karen Covell

What drew you into becoming a raft guide?

I have loved white water rafting since I was 12 when my parents took me for the first time, when I learned about ACO I had to jump on the opportunity


What do you enjoy most about your job?

The people I work with!! You will never have a bad day when you work with some of the most awesome, honest and reliable people on the planet.


Most memorable outdoor experience?

Rafting down the Black River with my fellow guides in August 2016


Hidden gem in Western NY to recommend to others?

Golden Hill State Park in Barker, NY on Lake Ontario


Duties

  • raft guide


Year Hired

2016


Kelsey Reed

Portrait of Kelsey Reed

What drew you into becoming a raft guide?

Being outdoors and paddling w/ my dad


What do you enjoy most about your job?

Interacting with the guests, seeing all the smiles on their faces after the first set of rapids.


Most memorable outdoor experience?

Jumping off a 20' high rock into the river when our Church Youth Group went rafting in Tennessee several years ago.


Hidden gem in Western NY to recommend to others?

Walking along the Erie Canal foot/bike paths. It's very pretty and quiet.


Duties

  • raft guide


Year Hired

2008


Ken Ahlstrom

Portrait of Ken Ahlstrom

What drew you into becoming a raft guide?

I was friends w/ Jim Redline and he asked me to help him out when he started Zoar Valley Canoe & Raft.


What do you enjoy most about your job?

Being on the water and the challenge of running every single trip down the river as safely as possible.


Most memorable outdoor experience?

A canoe trip on the Bloodvein River in Manitoba, CA. It is an absolutely beautiful river.


Hidden gem in Western NY to recommend to others?

Deerlick Nature Preserve - it's an incredible hiking area along the South branch of the Cattaraugus Creek.


Duties

  • trip leader
  • guide mentor
  • safety boater


Year Hired

1983


Lisa Roof

Portrait of Lisa Roof

What drew you into becoming a raft guide?

What!? You mean I can hang out with awesome people, enjoy one of the most beautiful places in the state, get a workout, and GET PAID TO DO IT!!??


What do you enjoy most about your job?

Seeing a guest go from 'How come these boats don't have seat belts?' to 'That was totally wicked!


Most memorable outdoor experience?

Cliff-jumping into a lake in the Adirondack Mountains.


Hidden gem in Western NY to recommend to others?

Tannery Creek Falls in Naples. You might want to bring your water shoes!


Duties

  • raft guide


Year Hired

2012


Lorri Soto

Portrait of Lorri Soto

What drew you into becoming a raft guide?

The fun and adventure, plus it is way better than a summer part-time job mowing grass.


What do you enjoy most about your job?

Taking people down the river that never ever thought they'd be able to do it.


Most memorable outdoor experience?

Seeing the fog over the gorge at Letchworth State Park in the early morning. It is such an inspiring sight.


Hidden gem in Western NY to recommend to others?

The South end of Letchworth State Park. It's amazing how many people, especially from the Rochester area, never venture past the North end of the park.


Duties

  • trip leader
  • site manager
  • team-building facilitator


Year Hired

2008


Lynn Mancuso

Portrait of Lynn Mancuso

What drew you into becoming a raft guide?

I saw a commercial on tv that featured whitewater rafting and knew it was something I had to do.


What do you enjoy most about your job?

Meeting new people and showing them the beauty of the natural world.


Most memorable outdoor experience?

Watching the sunset over Half Dome at Yosemite National Park.


Hidden gem in Western NY to recommend to others?

Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve in Depew, NY. It's hard to believe this untouched natural wonder is in the middle of suburbia.


Duties

  • raft guide


Year Hired

1989


Margaret Siller

Portrait of Margaret Siller

What drew you into becoming a raft guide?

I organized a raft trip of ski bum friends w/ a Canadian River Outfitter and fell in love with the sport. Years later I wanted to go again and found ACO on the internet, saw they were hiring, and decided to take a shot at being a guide.


What do you enjoy most about your job?

Hands down, the adrenaline rush. I'm an adrenaline junkie, just ask my friends.


Most memorable outdoor experience?

Umm.....can I pick two? 1.) Backpacking with my sister and one of my dogs in Allegheny National Forest. The weekend was totally amazing, can't wait to go again. 2.) Skiing in the Swiss Alps. An unbelievable experience. Ask me about either one and I'll talk your ear off.


Hidden gem in Western NY to recommend to others?

Eternal Flame Falls - Chestnut Ridge County Park in Orchard Park, NY


Duties

  • trip leader
  • safety boater


Year Hired

2009


Megan Specksgoor

Portrait of Megan Specksgoor

What drew you into becoming a raft guide?

The river was calling and I had to answer.


What do you enjoy most about your job?

I get to play in the water with great coworkers and the occasional beaver in a beautiful state park. What’s not to love?


Most memorable outdoor experience?

Camping in Tanzania, East Africa and backpacking in the Scottish Highlands


Hidden gem in Western NY to recommend to others?

Panama Rocks, the Eternal Flame


Duties

  • raft guide
  • site manager


Year Hired

2013


Melissa Maze

Portrait of Melissa Maze

What drew you into becoming a raft guide?

I have fun every time I go rafting. It may be a trip down a familiar river but it's always a new adventure, beautiful scenery, and a great crowd of people - both the guests and the guides.


Most memorable outdoor experience?

Camping with friends a few years ago - a huge rainstorm came out of nowhere. We frantically made a shelter out of a tarp, zip ties, rope, a tree branch, and the final side of the tarp was secured in someone's car door. We got soaked since we didn't finish before the storm hit but we packed all 12 of us in our little 'tarp city' and had a blast.


Hidden gem in Western NY to recommend to others?

Panama Rocks Scenic Park in Panama, NY - it's definitely worth a day trip if you've never been.


Duties

  • raft guide


Year Hired

2010


Mike Meyers

Portrait of Mike Meyers

What drew you into becoming a raft guide?

I became hooked as a customer. Guiding the raft through white water is a respectful way to tap into energy at its most visible state.


What do you enjoy most about your job?

Taking a family of first-timers from fear to exhilaration as a team, going for the gusto and laughing as we hit a hole full-on.


Most memorable outdoor experience?

Turtling a certain blonde guide in 'Cruncher' Rapids on the Cattaraugus.


Hidden gem in Western NY to recommend to others?

The confluence in Zoar Valley. It's where the South branch of the Cattaraugus meets the main channel, pretty spectacular.


Duties

  • raft guide


Year Hired

1998


Paul Brown

Portrait of Paul Brown

What drew you into becoming a raft guide?

Working outdoors running whitewater


What do you enjoy most about your job?

Meeting new people and making new friends



Duties

  • raft guide


Year Hired

2014


Phil Slazyk Jr.

Portrait of Phil Slazyk Jr.

What drew you into becoming a raft guide?

I love driving bus and was given the opportunity to do so.


What do you enjoy most about your job?

The camaraderie among the staff and working at Letchworth State Park.


Hidden gem in Western NY to recommend to others?

Panama Rocks, it’s a great place to explore.


Duties

  • bus driver


Year Hired

2015


Rolf Simonsen

Portrait of Rolf Simonsen

What drew you into becoming a raft guide?

I loved rafting as a guest and decided to take the next step.


What do you enjoy most about your job?

The camaraderie amongst the staff and showing the guests a great time on the river.


Most memorable outdoor experience?

I have two. 1.) Hiking up the back side of Halfdome in Yosemite National Park. 2.) Participating in the 'Face of America' Memorial Bike Ride in 2002 from Ground Zero to the Pentagon. That humbling event will stay with me the rest of my life.


Hidden gem in Western NY to recommend to others?

Zoar Valley. It is an incredible place.


Duties

  • trip leader
  • safety boater


Year Hired

2003


Russ Cornman

Portrait of Russ Cornman

What drew you into becoming a raft guide?

A conversation with Kevin presented a post retirement challenge of learning to drive a bus, getting my CDL, and driving bus for ACO. It is totally different from my career and a job that is fun to do.


What do you enjoy most about your job?

While I haven’t actually done much driving yet, the best part of the job so far is the happy rafters after their trip down the river.


Most memorable outdoor experience?

Over the years I’ve had a lot of outdoor experiences; family vacations camping, life on the farm and my first river rafting trip when I was young, where I lost my glasses & hat as I was knocked out of the raft in a double hydraulic.


Hidden gem in Western NY to recommend to others?

Well if I have to narrow it down to one gem I would have to say the state parks. From Niagara Falls to Watkins Glenn, Hamlin Beach to Allegany State Park but of course Letchworth with its canyon is at the top of the list.


Duties

  • bus driver


Year Hired

2015


Steve Johnson

Portrait of Steve Johnson

What drew you into becoming a raft guide?

I got water on the brain. Really, it's the same thing that draws me to all the other outdoor interests I have, just doing what able able to cuz I can! Bounty is provided to us by God to take advantage of.


What do you enjoy most about your job?

Getting a big group of newbies safely down the Cattaraugus through Zoar on a big water day, without any serious incidents of course.


Most memorable outdoor experience?

The latest would be briefly getting stranded on the summit of the highest peak in Jackson Hole, Wyoming in a zero degree, total white-out while snowboarding with my daughter. I was reminded of the delicate balance between the awesome beauty and the unforgiving wrath of nature.


Hidden gem in Western NY to recommend to others?

The area surrounding Cattaraugus Creek from Springville to Versailles. From hiking to rec. boating to whitewater rafting & kayaking to snowshoeing to camping (if you dare), Zoar Valley has it all!


Duties

  • raft guide


Year Hired

2007


David 'Ted' Nitterauer

Portrait of David 'Ted' Nitterauer

What drew you into becoming a raft guide?

I love adventures in the outdoors.


What do you enjoy most about your job?

Sharing the rafting experience with others.


Most memorable outdoor experience?

Rafting on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.


Hidden gem in Western NY to recommend to others?

The gorges at Letchworth State Park, Watkins Glen State Park, and Chautauqua State Forest.


Duties

  • trip leader


Year Hired

2008


Tim Reed

Portrait of Tim Reed

What drew you into becoming a raft guide?

Wanting to be on the water / in the wilderness.


What do you enjoy most about your job?

Taking people outdoors and teaching them about what we find as we're going down the river.


Hidden gem in Western NY to recommend to others?

The Buffalo River - paddling along it in a canoe or kayak is the best way to see things you wouldn't otherwise. The views of the grain elevators are incredible.


Duties

  • trip leader
  • safety boater
  • merit badge counselor
  • team-building facilitator


Year Hired

2006


Tim Truty

Portrait of Tim Truty

What drew you into becoming a raft guide?

My love of Letchworth State Park & the Genesee River.


What do you enjoy most about your job?

Watching people enjoy nature and seeing the smiles on their faces, especially the children.


Most memorable outdoor experience?

Getting thrown from a raft I was guiding after it hit a rock. I found shortly thereafter the raft was making a strange hissing sound.


Hidden gem in Western NY to recommend to others?

Emery Park in South Wales, NY. It is still very rustic and quite beautiful.


Duties

  • raft guide


Year Hired

2010


Todd Smith

Portrait of Todd Smith

What drew you into becoming a raft guide?

I've always loved the water and paddling so I had to jump at the opportunity to guide.


What do you enjoy most about your job?

Being surrounded by the outdoors and interacting with people from all walks of life.


Most memorable outdoor experience?

Hiking with a friend in Missouri and getting trapped by a flash flood. Needless to say we had to do some swift water stream crossing to get out.


Hidden gem in Western NY to recommend to others?

Stony Brook State Park (Dansville, NY)


Duties

  • raft guide
  • trip leader
  • bus driver
  • bsa merit badge counselor


Year Hired

2015


Tom Anderson

Portrait of Tom Anderson

What drew you into becoming a raft guide?

I love being on the water, the adrenaline rush that comes with the thrills.


What do you enjoy most about your job?

I love interacting with the guests and the camaraderie with the other guides.


Most memorable outdoor experience?

I guess most memorable moment in the outdoors was bringing my Mom and her best friend rafting after her battle with lung cancer and introducing her to all of my new friends.


Hidden gem in Western NY to recommend to others?

Akron Park - it's a beautiful place, especially the waterfalls in winter.


Duties

  • raft guide


Year Hired

2009


Tracy Nelson

Portrait of Tracy Nelson

What drew you into becoming a raft guide?

I enjoy being on the water.


What do you enjoy most about your job?

Sharing the outdoor experience with the guests.


Most memorable outdoor experience?

There's too many to choose just one.


Hidden gem in Western NY to recommend to others?

My backyard in the rolling hills of Wyoming County!


Duties

  • raft guide
  • site manager
  • team-building facilitator


Year Hired

2001


Zach Guerin

Portrait of Zach Guerin

What drew you into becoming a raft guide?

An insatiable thirst, for adventure.


What do you enjoy most about your job?

I most enjoy the interaction with mother nature, the flow of the river, the wild living things amongst us and the joy shared between us


Most memorable outdoor experience?

Testing limitations in nature, ascending mountains, descending rivers, finding the delicate balance and becoming one with nature.


Hidden gem in Western NY to recommend to others?

Uncle Frank's Tavern, New Oregon, NY (Thursday nights for some line dancing, Friday for a fish fry)


Duties

  • raft guide


Year Hired

2016