LRZ Seneca Photo


Lester on the South Summit of Seneca Rocks, WV

Logo WildGUYde 3 colors




Learning and leadership resources from our experiences, contemplations, conversations, and mistakes



L, E, and A at VAEC


Lester, Ethan, and Aaron at the 2018 VA Adventure Education Conference



WILD GUYde Adventures, LLC

1047 Stuart St.

Harrisonburg, VA 22802

(540) 433-1637



First, he should never show fear.  Second, he should be courteous to all, and always give special attention to the weakest member in the party.  Third, he should be witty, and able to make up a white lie if necessary on short notice, and tell it in a convincing manner.  Fourth, he should know when and how to show authority, and, when the situation demands it, should be able to give a good scolding to whomsoever deserves it.” 


(Conrad Kain, 1934,

On Being a Companionable Guide)

Who are these WILD GUYdes?


Lester R. Zook has been leading wilderness adventures and training camping leaders for 30 years.  He served as director of the Outdoor Ministry program at Eastern Mennonite University, and he loves to take people outdoors!


·        He is a Wilderness First Responder, and is a certified member of the American Mountain Guides Association (Single Pitch Instructor), and the Professional Climbing Instructors’ Association.

·        He is also a member of the National Speleological Society (NSS), and has cave rescue training with the National Cave Rescue Commission (NCRC).

·        In the Spring of 2006, he released the 2nd edition of CLIMBING ROCKingham County – a guidebook to local crags around Harrisonburg.

·        He climbs and backpacks frequently in Virginia and West Virginia, but has also clambered on big rocks in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Vermont, New York, Wyoming, Colorado, New Hampshire, Oregon, and California.

·        Lester has his B.A. in Health and Physical Education from Messiah College (1982), his M.Ed. from Temple University in Recreation and Leisure Studies (1985), and his Ed.D. from the University of Virginia in Higher Education Administration (1995).  He will allow you to call him "Doctor" if you give him free gear.

·        He publishes the quarterly e-newsletter, GUYdelines – thoughts for outdoor lovers and leaders -  four times a year (email if you want to be on the receiving list). 

·        Lester is married to Robin, his birthday is in September, and his favorite colors are blue and green.  Anything else you want to know?



Ethan is WILD CHYLD 1, and enjoys helping guests have great experiences on the crags, in the Ethan bio photocaves, and on the rivers around Harrisonburg.  In addition to guiding for WILD GUYde, Ethan is a nationally-registered Paramedic and Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician (WEMT) and has spent time working with mountain SAR and urban emergency medical services; additionally, Ethan teaches Wilderness First Aid (WFA) and Wilderness First Responder (WFR) courses for NOLS Wilderness Medicine and for Landmark Learning.  In his spare time, Ethan enjoys long, exposed, moderate climbing routes on West Virginia sandstone, searching local creeks and rivers for trout with his fly rod, and exploring every rock, stick, puddle, and crevice while hiking with his kids, Eli, Ezra, and Ellie, and his wife Melissa.


Aaron is a Red Cross Lifeguard, a PCIA Top Rope Climbing Instructor, paddler, and caver, and has been through Wilderness First Aid.  Aaron is a distance runner, and is more fit than anyone else in the family! 


Mary  (WILD CHYLD 4) briefly studied Adventure Education at Messiah College before Happy Mary Ztransferring to the Adventure Sports Institute at Garrett College to join their Adventure Sports Management program.  She is a certified Wilderness First Responder, Red Cross Lifeguard, Maryland Top Rope Site Manager, and Leave No Trace Master Educator.  Additionally, she has worked at three youth camps, facilitating adventure activities and sleeping many consecutive nights in a canvas platform tent.  Mary enjoys trail biking, running, climbing, backpacking, and all that sweaty stuff, but her truly favorite outdoor activity is hammocking




·        WILD GUYde Adventures LLC is incorporated in Virginia, and is fully insured for both general liability and major medical.  We are a small family business intent on serving by providing high quality adventure leadership and learning.

·        WGA practices environmental stewardship and is a member of the Access Fund.

·        WILD GUYde holds commercial-use permits with the George Washington National Forest, the Monongahela National Forest, and along Virginia’s Blue Ridge.  We are an equal opportunity employer and provider.

·        WGA opened in 2004, and has been a member of the Harrisonburg Rockingham Chamber of Commerce since 2006.  WGA is a member of the Christian Adventure Association, the National Speleological Society, the Access Fund, the Shenandoah Valley Travel Association,  and the Virginia Tourism Corporation.