Helen is senior Parks Recreation and Tourism major at UVM. This summer, she spent almost entirely outside, it did not matter whether she were guiding on the river, living out of her car, or climbing one of the tall peaks in the Adirondacks. She’s also an avid skier when she’s not guiding through white waters or bagging peaks. Here is what she had to share after her summer:


This summer was amazing! I ended up living out of my car in the field behind the guiding business I worked for. I set up a bed and storage and kitchen supplies all in the back of my Volvo wagon. A bunch of my other coworkers also camped back in the field and we had a great little community we built. I learned how to live a nomadic lifestyle, showering in lakes, living without a grocery store nearby, and having the ability to travel and camp wherever I wanted. I was able to hike and fish all over the Adirondacks and explore lots of new places.

It was hard living in this community as a young woman on my own, but I met lots of people who helped me feel safe and at home. It was really cool to embrace the community that I worked in and live in such a rural place. I had always vacationed in the area, but really living there gave me a new view of it all.

I learned how to be a rafting guide, but I also learned many valuable life skills. I learned how to have excellent customer service, how to engage with a large group of people, how to keep people safe and communicate effectively. I learned how to be a woman in a male dominated field and stand my own. I am really proud of all that I accomplished this summer and cannot wait to go back next summer!

The adventure scholarship helped me in getting to my goals by allowing me to pay for my guiding license, all the gear I needed to be on the river, and supplies I needed to live out of my car. I am so appreciative of the Flyin’ Ryan Foundation for helping me start on my journey towards reaching my career goals and for helping me have the greatest summer!