More about us...

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Bryan

46 years old

Bryan was born and raised on Long Island, New York.  Locked into an ever spreading pavement covered landscape, Bryan’s love of nature emerged early and was “fulfilled” in the treed buffer between his backyard and Wantagh Parkway and at his grandmother's house out east on the island.  The sump was the next best thing.  After high school, Bryan explored different paths and found his way to Winchester, VA enrolling in the  Environmental Studies Program at Shenandoah University. Perfect fit. 

 

Moving to Winchester, VA was like moving to the moon, for us, for our families who stayed put on Long Island.  We loved the lure of the rural atmosphere and never turned back.  As our comfort in this new place grew, we moved from apartments in the city to an old farm house on an enormous apple orchard. At this point, our travels truly began. We picked up a VW Vanagon Westfalia (actually on Long Island--for $1500 in the place we fled)!  Crazy, right! Fortunately thanks to Bryan’s mechanical and resourceful abilities/skills, we bolted a rubbermaid tote to the roof with spare parts and tools to fix the Vanagon along our travels out west! We would drive cross country. We actually kept this vehicle for 10 years throughout our college years and early adult life. 

Bryan is a science teacher, and has been for the last 18 years.  He has a passion for science and teaching. He loves sharing his enthusiasm for science, the natural world, and life in general with youth. Last year (2018), Bryan won the honor of Frederick County, Virginia’s Teacher of the Year Award.  Aside from teaching, Bryan’s strong desire to be in nature is seen through his love for all things outdoors;  hunting, fishing, backpacking, hiking, canoeing, biking. He is also quite the writer of poetry.  Two back surgeries later, Bryan is stronger than ever. Thanks Dr. Subach for the final surgery, a double fusion. The metal in his back, bolts and screws, has given him a new lease on a healthy and active life.  Hands on, do-it-yourself-er, Bryan cannot be found on social media!  

Dr. Subach Article

Teacher of the Year Speech (skip ahead to about 8:25 in the video)

Teacher of the Year Interview and Video

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Carla

44 years old

Born and raised on Long Island, NY to a wonderful, loving, hard working family who taught me to love each other and about the value of family.   The moments that stand out for me and seem to have shaped the person I am today...  riding my bike, free in the streets of my neighborhood in Levittown, Hurricane Gloria--losing power watching the trees literally come down, music in my dad’s car, sitting with mom watching the Mets baseball game, mom's awesome dinners, dad building my loft bed as a surprise, lots of laughter with my family, my 10th grade English teacher reading Beowulf, the pages of Thoreau that spoke directly to me, earth science class, my nana’s bananas, my grandfather’s art room, and my other grandfather’s birds, vegetable garden, and the evasive, unclear, but powerful pull towards something expansive and wild….always there evading me but felt.  Freedom began when I could drive, driving to work, smashing pumpkins on the radio, earning my own money waitressing, and when the need for freedom and beauty called (daily), getting in my car and driving.  And so, not enough, college was the way out. And here, Bryan and my paths converge.

 

 I have worked as a counselor, stayed home with the kids till all were in school, and am now a special education teacher. My loves are my family, nature, being outside, hiking, backpacking, biking, running, animals, reading, cooking, sewing, learning, being in the moment.

Click the link below regarding my experiences with a BRCA 1 Gene Mutation diagnosis and the choices that have ensued.  

BRCA 1 Gene Mutation

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Isabella

15 years old

Tough, stoic, compass dialed in to what’s good and right, Isabella is forging a beautiful path.  From the very beginning, Isabella made her voice heard!  An excellent observer and thinker, always watching, listening, taking it all in...you gathered information and now, we see you with that foundation and building your own way...just as it should be!  Isabella lands all As and puts the time in to earn them. An excellent writer, Isabella analyzes and thinks. And boy, does she have wings on her feet! Running has been an incredible force for her as she continues to knock down PRs, one by one, earning her varisity letter as a freshman in Cross Country.  She is a lover of running, reading, learning, animals!

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Grace

13 years old

Amazing Grace, it has always been there since she was a teeny tiny baby with itty bitty feet.  Grace is in 7th grade and continues to amaze us. A steady brave heart. She stands up for what she knows is right and isn’t afraid to speak up about it. She is a lover of animals, reading books, travelling, being creative with many mediums.  And boy, she has some lungs! She can sing! This year she made Allstate Choir! Quite an accomplishment when only a small group from around the state are selected from recorded audition tracks. Although, here’s the kicker….we have never heard her sing...what….yup….she won’t sing for us.  I tried to sneak up on her at voice lessons, but it didn’t work out. Keep singing Gracie!

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 Thomas

11 years old

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!  Thomas is a 5th grader with a zeal, passion, and fire for fishing, hunting, trapping, bball, running, and Gary Paulsen books.  He loves Fords, camping, hamburgers, and ice cream. Luckily he has the metabolism to handle it! He is part of the Frederick County Bass Wranglers Group and fishes competitively which has been an exciting addition to all our adventures!  He plays for Frederick County American Little League and is happiest when playing short stop...yeah, he loves action!