Somewhere along the line each member of our staff received a gift, the gift of being introduced to the outdoors.
It might have occurred at a farm pond with a grandparent, fishing for bluegill. It might have occurred on a single track fighting to keep up with a parent on a mountain bike, or it might have occurred at Summer camp.
Regardless, we were changed and would never be the same.
Those experiences steered the direction of our lives, and we recognize that life would’ve be the same if someone hadn’t taken the time to introduce us to the outdoor pursuits that we cherish.
With that knowledge comes the responsibility of passing on our passions for the outdoors to the next generation. It’s why we do what we do.
After starting Virginia Fishing Adventures summer camp in 2005, Tee Clarkson has spent the summers guiding youngsters into countless fish, and more importantly many enjoyable days outside. Virginia Outside seemed a natural progression based on his love of the James River Park and desire for children to have the opportunity to spend quality time outdoors. Tee has written more than 500 articles on fishing, hunting, and conservation in Virginia for publications like, The Richmond Times Dispatch, Virginia Wildlife, and The Virginia Sportsman. He also owns and operates a conservation consulting business, Atoka Conservation Exchange, where he works with landowners to protect properties throughout the state.
Shay grew up in Virginia spending a lot of time in the forests and playing on the river. After graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University she moved to North Carolina to work in a Wilderness Therapy program where she worked with at risk youth teaching them to live primitively. Since returning to Richmond she has enjoyed painting along the James River as well as hiking in the Shenandoah mountains. She is passionate about helping kids to explore all of the fun of being in the outdoors! She recently became certified in Mindful Outdoor Guiding and is participating in the Virginia Master Naturalist program.
Brittany grew up in Northern Virginia, fishing in her backyard and spending as much time outside as possible! She loves anything outdoors and has a passion for sharing the experience with as many people as she can! In her free time she enjoys being active around Richmond, biking and fishing whenever she can! Brittany is the Northern Virginia Program Manager and lives for Summer months! Brittany is excited to guide more girls camping trips and girls fishing adventures.
Ben started with Virginia Outside as intern from Radford University in 2018. He heads up the fly fishing camps, overnight camps, runs merit badge programs for Scouts, and is our awesome Gear Manager! He grew in the Shenandoah valley fishing and paddling in the waterways in the Blue Ridge. Contact Ben for private guided fly fishing trips. Ben heads up our programs in NC Outside. Check out the NC Outside webpage.
After working with Virginia Outside in Richmond for 6 years, Ben moved back to Roanoke where he grew up and now operates Virginia Outside- Roanoke. He spent his summers fishing the streams of Southwest Virginia as a kid and now is excited to help young people discover the abundance of outdoor opportunities in the area. Ben also teaches Civics/Economics at William Byrd Middle School in Roanoke County
For information about programs in Roanoke, contact Ben at: Ben@virginiaoutside.com
Rhys is a personal fitness instructor and former high school coach for Manassas City Schools. He grew up in Upstate NY and in Northern Colorado where he developed a strong connection to the outdoors. Rhys is an avid runner and competes in long distance races and obstacle races. In addition, he enjoys rock climbing, kayaking, hiking, camping, and mountain biking. Rhys is the head mountain bike counselor in Northern Virginia.