WHO IS THE WILD GUYde?
Lester R. Zook
Lester has been leading wilderness adventures and training camping leaders for over 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, a certified member of the American Mountain Guides Association (Single Pitch Instructor), and the Professional Climbing Instructors’ Association (Instructor-Provider).
- He is a member of the National Speleological Society (NSS), and has cave rescue training with the National Cave Rescue Commission (NCRC).
- In the Summer of 2021, he released the 3rd edition of CLIMBING ROCKingham County – a guidebook to local crags around Harrisonburg.
- In January of 2022, he released Better to Be Aware Than Smart: An Outdoor Guide on Leading in the Mountains and Other Places. This is Lester’s confession of 4 decades of mistakes, learning, and leading.
- 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 [email protected] if you want to be on the mailing 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 Child 1, and enjoys helping guests have great experiences on the crags, in the caves, 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.
Want to grab a delicous and locally sourced meal? Or some international cusine after your day out? Aaron knows the downtown!
Mary, Wild Child 4, briefly studied Adventure Education at Messiah College before transferring 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.
ABOUT WILD GUYde Adventures
We are a small family business intent on serving by providing high quality adventure leadership and learning since we opened in 2004. WILD GUYde Adventures LLC is incorporated in Virginia, and is fully insured for both general liability and major medical.
WILD GUYde holds commercial-use permits with the George Washington National Forest, the Monongahela National Forest, and along Virginia’s Blue Ridge. WGA holds a current West Virginia Outfitter and Guide license, and we are an equal opportunity employer and provider.