The team is always growing here at BRLC.

Meet a few folks on our team!


NATALIE MINNICH  - Program Coordinator 

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Employment & Community involvement:  I have worked for BRLC since the summer of 2014.   I spend time training new facilitators and operators for our training division of Challenge Towers, Inc.  And last I have a shift here and there for Camp Coffee Roasters of Blowing Rock.  Nothing but playing outside and drinking coffee. 

Why are you excited to be a BRLC facilitator:  There is something about being outside in nature, and seeing a group bond with one another.  The experience as a facilitator, the outside perspective, has it moments of reminders.  I get to see people become humble, support friends, laugh, be in the moment, and learn.  I find that these are held to the most value in my life as well. 

Hobbies:  I enjoy all aspects of rock climbing….bouldering, sport, multi-pitch.  I also love to spend my free time hiking in the mountains with my family and crazy pups.  In my other free time, I am a full time artists…painting and creating crafts.

Favorite Quote:

"Climbing here saved my life from the confines of the materialistic illusion that we're taught as children in school. The way I see it, there are two worlds: There's the world where nothing is sacred except money, and the other world where everything is sacred."    - Ron Kauk


ALLAN JOHNSON - Lead Facilitator

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Employment & Community involvement: Began working with Blue Ridge Learning Centers in 2008.

Coordinator of Academic Advising Center, CCC&TI – Watauga campus

Coordinator of Student Ministries, High Country United Church of Christ

Public School Counselor

Why you are excited to be a BRLC facilitator?  Outdoor experiential education offers incredible opportunities for personal growth and group-building.  Opportunities to facilitate these kind of experiences for people of all ages are a dream come true for me.

 Memorable programming moment or experience you have had:

1)  On more than one occasion, I have seen groups cheer & congratulate one of their members who overcame their fear, made it to the Challenge Tower zip platform and chose to climb back down rather than zip out.  To affirm a team member for staying true to themselves and their own boundaries, even when everyone else in the group is making a different choice, is a priceless gift.

2)  Hearing “I’m proud of you for what you did today”, father to son, daughter to mother, sister to brother, leader to group member, peer to peer… is a HUGE payoff for facilitators.

Really cool life experience:  I’ve been a part of a lot of very cool experiences in the classroom, counselor’s office, Sunday School classroom & church sanctuary.  Challenges such as those facilitated by BRLC, initiatives that draw “your whole self in” significantly increase the chances of “cool experiences”… of lasting growth & change.

Hobbies:  Reading, spending time with my family, aerobie golf (not to be confused as aerobic golf), traveling, finding humor in just about everything.

Favorite quote:

“No child left inside” – Watauga County Mountain Alliance


BRLC facilitators -