I am an Appalachian educator who loves to visit campuses all around the East and Midwest to share some of my experiences. I am easy to work with and my compensation is flexible and based on a school's ability to pay. Here are some programs I offer:
36,000 Miles on the Appalachian Trail
I have walked the entire Appalachian Trail more times than anyone else - seventeen times. I have organized and led nine groups of college students and adults the entire distance. I have a slide/music/lecture presentation that has been often described as informative, inspiring, and entertaining. All I need is a large screen and a lecture hall. The presentation is 90-120 minutes long depending on the number of questions. I also will stay after the talk to answer more questions.
Stories from the Appalachian Trail
These are nine true stories from my trail experiences. Some are philosophical, spiritual, warm, funny, and thought-provoking. The nine stories are: The Three Elders; Halloween Eve along Nuclear Lake; Bear Mountain Zoo (and a conversation with Walt Whitman); Bear Mountain Buffet & Disco; Floyd's Gorgy; The Three Louts; A Service Contract with an Act of Compassion; Personal T-shirt Journeys; and, Pink Legs and Camouflage. This program takes from 75-90 minutes.
The Poetry of Don West
Don West, Appalachian poet and activist, was my mentor, hero and friend from 1971 until his passing in 1992. I continued on his work at the Appalachian South Folklife Center in Pipestem, WV for a few years. I have heard him read his poetry more than anyone else not in his intermediate family. His work needs to be kept alive. It speaks to the heart of people. His poetry evokes great feeling. The poetry readings can last from 30-90 minutes depending on the discussion.
I also have academic/teaching interests in the following areas:
- Outdoor experiential education
- Contradance; square dance; clogging; couple dancing, especially waltz
- How to organize long distance hiking expeditions
- Appalachian studies
- Wilderness studies
- Foundations of education