ACE guide trades sorority life for Gorge life

There’s one thing I want to get straight, and I’m just going to say it – I was in a sorority in college. Yes, I proudly wore Greek letters emblazoned across my T-shirts, hooded sweatshirts and sweatpants at Indiana University.

It begs the question everyone wonders about, “What are you doing in the middle of West Virginia?” It all started years ago, back in Indiana.

I grew up in Indianapolis, so I’m a proud Hoosier through and through. I went to Indiana University in southern Indiana, about 45 minutes south of where I grew up. While there, I thoroughly enjoyed the college life: living in a sorority house, cheering on my favorite sport (Indiana basketball) and, of course, studying!

One day, during my last semester of college, while walking through the Student Union, I stumbled upon the Summer Camp Counselor job fair. I’d never been to summer camp as a kid, so I decided to give it a shot. I majored in Spanish and Telecom, but hadn’t yet landed a job after graduation. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to get my parents off my back for a couple of months before I got a “real” job.

I was hired by a summer camp in Ohio. As I mentioned, I was a sorority girly-girl, but never an outdoorsy kid growing up. After being thrust into the outdoors every day as a camp counselor, I found I was hooked on being outside. I was spending my days hiking and by the lake, and getting paid to do it! Even better, I began leading teen trips to West Virginia to go whitewater rafting. I ended up making six rafting trips to West Virginia in two summers.

As it came time, yet again, to satisfy my parents by getting a “real” job, I realized, why not be a raft guide? It was one of the highlights of my summers, so I did just that. I haven’t looked back since. Besides rafting, I’m also the activity manager for Paintball, Mud Obstacle Course, the Team Building program and Kids Day Camp.

Life in West Virginia is a change from city life, but there’s nowhere I’d rather be.

So that’s the story about how I got to ACE. What’s yours? Share your stories below!

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