The team is always growing here at BRLC.
Meet a few folks on our team!
NATALIE MINNICH - Program Coordinator
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.
"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
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.
“No child left inside” – Watauga County Mountain Alliance