I was referred to Adventure Treks from another AT family. Hearing their daughter describe her own experiences year after year with AT got my kids really intrigued. We watched each of the videos to decide what would be the best fit for one of my kids, and by the time we had decided, another one of my kids had decided that she also wanted to go. The excitement built for more than six months as they each looked forward to their trips. They both returned home on the same day, and hearing them share stories with each other and comparing their trips was so much fun for me. They were both sad to be leaving their friends and getting back into the real world. My daughter shared with me when she returned that she was sad to be home because AT had become her life with her new friends. Two weeks just wasn’t enough! We can’t wait to go back and try other destinations! – Meredith Alderson, parent from Austin, TX
Dave “Dmac” McGlashan, executive director
Dave, or “Dmac,” has been with Adventure Treks since 2006. Originally from western North Carolina, he grew up going to summer camps in the area. He attended the University of Tennessee and earned a bachelor’s degree in human ecology, and then a master’s degree in recreation and leisure studies. After graduate school, Dmac came back to the Blue Ridge Mountains to be the associate director of Camp Arrowhead; he also spent time working for the Multnomah Education Service District Outdoor School in Oregon. He went on to work for a non-profit in Maine providing after-school programming for middle and high schoolers, focusing on outdoor adventure, community service, and life skills.
Dmac is the president of the board for the America Outdoors Association, graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School, and wilderness first responder. He has explored the outdoors of Italy, Thailand, Vietnam, Nepal, France, Germany, Australia, and many more. In his free time, Dmac can often be found mountain biking in western North Carolina’s forests.
Amanda Fox-McGlashan, director
Amanda is a North Carolina native and an honors graduate from Appalachian State University with a bachelor’s degree in communication and journalism. After graduating, she moved to Boulder, CO, to be an editor for Climbing and SNEWS magazines; she also reported for the Outdoor Retailer Daily at the outdoor industry’s namesake twice-yearly trade show.
Later, she moved on to work for a digital marketing agency and gained a certificate teaching Bikram yoga. Her passion for teaching, communications, and being in the outdoors collided when she joined Adventure Treks and Camp Pinnacle in 2014. Amanda is a wilderness first responder and spends time in the field during the Adventure Treks fall school group and gap semester programs. In her free time, Amanda can be found trail running, mountain biking, and cycling in the beautiful western NC mountains. She also serves as the vice president of the board for the Friends of DuPont Forest.
Roisin Low, gap programs director
Roisin (pronounced Ro-sheen and known as “Ro” to our students) grew up in Cairns, Australia. She attended the University of Vermont, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies. She’s spent several years as a program instructor, teaching forest ecology and geology to campers 5 to 16 years old at the Keystone Science School in Keystone, CO. She’s also led multi-day canoeing trips on the 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail; served as a Nature Conservancy intern, studying urban ecology; worked as a ski instructor in Colorado; and volunteered for the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Center in Australia.
Ro joined the Adventure Treks team in 2019, working in Alaska with our oldest students, and then returned for summer 2020. She was also an integral part of our staff team for our inaugural fall 2020 gap semester program. Ro loves to travel and has visited Cambodia, Canada, many countries in Europe, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam. She is a wilderness first responder and spends her free time skiing, mountain biking, and rock climbing. Fun fact about Ro: She is not only an Australian citizen, but also one of Ireland and the United States!
Jess Myer, logistics director
Jess joins Adventure Treks as the logistics director after four years as a trip leader! She hails from Asheville, NC, in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. During her time at Emory & Henry College, Jess was the Outdoor Program intern, coordinating hiking and backpacking programs for students. She also led backpacking, whitewater kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, sea kayaking, canoeing, and rock climbing expeditions for underclassmen. She has worked on photo and video production for the non-profit organization Appalachian Sustainable Development, and she spent the past two winter seasons as a ski instructor at Steamboat Resort in CO.
In her free time, Jess loves swimming and backpacking, reading, running, and skiing.
Sara Valentine, staffing director
Originally from Virginia, Sara earned two bachelor’s degrees in history and recreation, parks, and tourism resources from West Virginia University. She spent several years as a trip leader for Adventure WV, leading backpacking, kayaking, and canoeing trips across the state for college students. She has taught college courses in expedition planning, outdoor leadership, and experiential education, both in the field and classroom settings. Sara also worked as a ski instructor at Big Sky Resort in Montana and volunteered as a coordinator for Outdoor Women’s Alliance.
In her free time, Sara loves to find swimming holes, kayak, ski, and read. Now that she’s living in western North Carolina, she’ll plans to begin mountain biking, too!
Dr. Andrew Morris, medical advisor
Dr. Andrew Morris is a family physician in Hendersonville, NC, where he serves as the assistant program director of the MAHEC Hendersonville Family Medicine Residency Program; assistant clinical instructor of Family Medicine at UNC School of Medicine; medical director of Blue Ridge Community Health Services; and medical director for four regional summer camps. He began his career as a full-time volunteer for two years at Clinica Hombro a Hombro in Intibucá, Honduras, and continues his involvement in global health as the course director of the Missionary Medicine for Physicians course at Equip International. He currently provides inpatient care at Pardee Hospital in Hendersonville, NC, and full-spectrum outpatient care at Blue Ridge Community Health.
This summer, Dr. Morris will be our COVID protocols advisor and medical director.