My name is David Wynn. I’m currently completing my internship with Blue Ridge Treks while pursuing a degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Western Carolina University. I have a deep passion for helping people find their way through the wilderness, both literally and metaphorically. I enjoy bringing nature connection, creative expression, ritual, play, mindfulness, and other experiential techniques into my work.
As a river guide for French Broad Adventures, I love introducing people to the joy of whitewater and while navigating the intricate relationships between water and rocks. Keeping a cool head in crisis is the primary skill of the guide, a skill I have found important in life over and over again. Additionally, the river is rife with metaphors, inviting us to feel when we are in the flow, when we’ve eddied out, and when we need to lean in!
As a nature connection mentor with Earth Path Education, I help organize camps where local children, ages 8-18, come and experience deep relationships with their local environment. Through harvesting plants for food, studying animal tracks, and living out in the weather, we foster a view of the world that places us in the web of life rather than outside it. This relational experience “brings us home,” so to speak, and can be an antidote to some of the stresses we face in everyday life.
As a field guide in wilderness therapy, I worked alongside teens from across the country with diverse backgrounds, spending weeks at a time in deep backcountry. In this role I facilitated therapeutic group activities, conducted rites-of-passage ceremonies, met with students in individual sessions, and took part in some incredible hikes. Through this with, I began to become curious about how I could formally blend my passions for both outdoor experiences and psychological wellbeing.
Right now I’m finishing graduate school at Western Carolina University. My guiding intentions are to continue exploring how to address the need for belonging through connection, empowerment through skills, and meaning through awareness.
I currently live in the town of Hot Springs with my wife and son. I enjoy spending time with family and friends, foraging for wild mushrooms, canoeing down the French Broad, and exploring the Southern Appalachian mountains.