Nathan has been learning from the Southern Appalachians since he was a boy and professionally teaching in these mountains for over twenty years. He has worked as a private outdoor educator, teaching at many types of scholastic facilities, public & private organizations, and educational workshops. He has been involved as a leader (from small groups to directing whole programs) in many outdoor education programs including Medicine Bow Wilderness School (Dahlonega, GA), Eagle’s Nest Foundation (Brevard, NC), Hampshire College Outdoor Programs (Amherst, MA), and Turtle Island Preserve (Boone, NC) before starting Buffalo Cove in 2001.
He is a diligent student of the history of the Blue Ridge and has a degree in American Indian Studies, his specialty being the history and lessons of the Cherokee Nation. Nathan first began his training in Wilderness Medicine in 1993 and still maintains his certification as a Wilderness First Responder. He has been a dedicated student of Martial Arts for many years and is a Master Instructor at the Blue Ridge Kung Fu Arnis Academy.
Whether strolling on a nature hike, paddling a roaring white water river, or disappearing into the woods for a week with only a knife, you’ll find Nathan there both as a patient, veteran instructor and as an avid student. It has become his life’s work to help others see the beauty and wisdom in the Southern Appalachian Mountains and the strength that we all possess within ourselves.
Emery was born and raised in Durham NC and has lived in Boone since 2011. Since graduating from Appalachian State University with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Outdoor Education, they have been continuing to live an active lifestyle running, climbing, and biking to keep them going new places and finding fun adventures. They also spend time playing guitar, writing, and simply enjoying this beautiful world we live in!
Atlanta native exploring the North Carolina Mountains for the first time. Lifelong traveler,
camper, and story teller with a degree in philosophy. Teacher of woodworking, survival, traditional archery, and using hand tools of all kinds. Bringing a lifetime of wonderful experiences and adventure to help children grow and gain confidence.
Caitlin has been studying and working with plants for the past 6 years. Through her experience of homesteading during the last four years, she has gained experience in hunting, butchering, gardening, weaving, woodworking, hide tanning, food preservation, “sugaring” (making syrup), and much more! She has been actively involved in the Earthskills Rendezvous program for several years in the southeast where she excitedly learns new skills and refines old ones. Caitlin finds much joy in bringing her skills and experience to her community where she loves to share, learn, and create a positive impact!
Mad Dog (aka Madison) is an adventure enthusiast, MSW, and van dweller turned outdoor
educator. Her passions include really strong coffee, exploring new places, scoping out swimming holes, rapping, and going on long hikes. Being outside is what makes her come alive and is what led her to Buffalo Cove. Loving Mother Nature and being loved in return is what drives Mad Dog to get stoked on the outdoors in a meaningful and intentional way.
Sierra lives on a small homestead in the mountains of North Carolina. She is interested in
connecting to natural skills and a more sustainable lifestyle. Her passion include expression through movement, growing and gathering foods and medicines, and sharing nourishing food and communication with community!
Callie grew up in the mountains of eastern Tennessee. She studied outdoor leadership for a few
semesters but transitioned to land surveying and mapping. She has worked as a raft guide and loves adventuring on rivers in canoes and rafts. Outdoor Education is her path until the winds blow her in a different direction...
Will recently graduated from ASU with a degree in Cultural Anthropology. He has been working in Outdoor Education for the past five years. Some of his favorite things include hiking, reading, playing in rivers and painting his face! William’s favorite part about summer camp is seeing the happiness that comes when a camper does something that they thought was challenging or impossible. Will plans to continue on adventuring through travel and working outside.