Making The Grade, We Give ACE An A

Let me start by telling you a little about myself and how it all began.

Originally from Florida, transplanted to coastal North Carolina, I’m a 24-year veteran educator, who finds herself always learning something new. This time however, it wasn’t in a traditional classroom, but through experiencing some of the best whitewater in the world!In mid-July, a few years ago, my husband and I decided to take our first whitewater rafting trip with ACE. We were hooked!
Something unexplainable happened and that was the beginning of what I jokingly call our mid-life crisis. A better description would be the intense draw of the rivers.

Some may compare it to a drug, a natural high indeed, and so it began. I called it the river bug, feeling great when you were on it, and awful when you aren’t! I still don’t think my doctor really understands the situation but does enjoy the perks of the monetary gains from my visits. (That’s a joke folks, lesson one, river guides love to tell them as well as hear them from customers.)

By the time October rolled around we had taken 13 trips on the New and Gauley Rivers. We met many unique individuals, all of whom had something to share. Each trip was different and left us wanting more!

The guides were awesome, and everyone from the office, bus drivers to the food service staff were always helpful and friendly. We met many new friends and felt as if we were part of their family.

We’d often ask ourselves when we got back home, if they really liked us, or was it just because we were customers. In today’s fast-paced society it is rare to find those who go the extra mile in the service industry but that was the norm at ACE!

Genuine, down to earth people from all walks of life who wanted us to have the best customer experience possible. Pinch me, I thought, there must be a catch right? No, there wasn’t.

Some might ask, “So what’s the big deal?”

Nothing really, in our opinion, but we have encountered some – family included – who think we’re nuts and possibly suspect that we have fallen victim to some new cult.

Why, you may ask? For starters, we drive 6.5 hours each way to satisfy our whitewater addiction. In early spring, after all of our customer experiences the previous summer and fall, we began guide training complete with 6 inches of snow and bitter cold temperatures.

We were known as “weekend warriors,” driving up after school on Fridays and driving back when training ends on Sundays, but I’ll save that story for another time!

The lessons learned in self- discovery are endless. Follow your heart and live each day as if it’s your last. I’ve learned that it takes special people to do what we do here at ACE. Just like a puzzle with all of its pieces, we each are the pieces that fit together to make a beautiful picture.

I love meeting so many new people from all over the world. I believe that everyone is unique and has something to share, and that helping people have a wonderful vacation is a privilege.

The excitement of seeing someone’s eyes after their whitewater experience, hearing their stories, and knowing that you helped make that happen is priceless!

I invite you to visit us at ACE and explore a whole new world of adventure! Many lessons are yet to be learned on this journey. I hope to give you a glimpse of some of mine.

What would you like to learn?

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