My Outdoor Family

It’s been such a joy to work on this project for MTOP. Middle Tennessee Outdoor Pursuits has been one of the greatest work experiences I’ve ever had. “Getting paid to go outdoors? Heck yes.” It’s been a rewarding experience like none other. Not only was I privileged enough to learn the skills needed to successfully lead trips in the backcountry, but I was lucky enough to have to opportunities to test those skills practically whenever I wanted. I was encouraged to get outside and just to have fun. “Wait, and you call that a job? Yes!”

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Honestly, MTOP has prepared me for the future probably more the credit hours for my degree did. I learned leadership, teamwork, planning, scouting, guiding and safety. I learned how to look out for people and know when to pick people up mentally and physically. I learned that overcoming schedules is just as important as overcoming fears. Life is too short to play it safe and sit on the sidelines. It’s about getting out there and seeing the world through your eyes and not through the eyes of others [online]. Yeah, National Geographic make the Smoky Mountains look really good. (But they look a whole lot better in person.)

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College is an important time in a young person’s life. It’s where you make those life decisions that stick with you into your adult life. What will your career be? Where will you go? Who will you meet? Life is just a series of steps. Will you wait until the last step to take a risk? Will it be too late then?

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As much fun as kayaking down a whitewater river is, the people are what truly make this program what it is: great. I’ve made lifelong friends through this program. While our love of the outdoors is what brought us together, it’s the love for each other that keeps us together. We work together. We plan together. And we live life together. MTOP will forever be a community for young folks who love the outdoors.

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And the best part, their trips are freaking cheap. So go and get involved at MTOP!

And here’s the video….


So happy today because FIGHTER received the “Audience Favorite” award at the MTSU Student Film Festival this past Friday. It’s always a wonderful opportunity when you can present your work before students and faculty. There’s something about being around those who are from the same community that makes you feel like family. At other festivals, you may not know everyone there and the story behind what it took to make each film. So, needless to say, it felt very good to win an award at this one.

Also…… FIGHTER has been accepted into the Festival South Film Expo in Hattiesburg, MS at the Grand Theater! The girls and I couldn’t be happier! This good news is such a blessing! Stay tuned for more info about FIGHTER’s journey.