Staff Spotlight: Karin Perk

By Avery McGaha

For today’s Staff Spotlight, we caught up with Karin Perk!

Q: What is your position at GRP this Summer?
A: Counselor and Climbing Coordinator

Q: How many years have you been at GRP?
A: This will be my second year as a GRP staff member.

Q: What are you currently doing?
A: These days, I am studying Biology at Appalachian State University, playing outside as much as possible, and getting giddy to be back at GRP this summer.

Q: What is your spirit animal and why?
A: Today, my spirit animal is a dragonfly because they like spending time around water and bounce between being very still and very energetic.

Q: What are you passionate about?
A: Life, the outdoor community, ice cream, vegetables, and rock climbing are a few things I am passionate about in no particular order.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do outside?
A: My all time favorite thing to do outside is just to BE outside regardless of what I am doing, but if I have to pick a favorite outdoor activity, it is rock climbing. Climbing is a physical and mental practice. It is an incredible way to connect with places and people while learning lessons that transfer over to life as a whole seamlessly. Climbing and all that it entails for me gets me psyched to be alive. I really like trying new things outside that make me feel like a beginner again though.

Q: Tell us about your favorite trip/experience.
A: One of my favorite trips involved rock climbing in Georgia and Alabama with my buddy Clare. The climbing was great, but what makes a trip, or any experience in my opinion, is the people you are with. We climbed in the rain, had life-altering conversations in dense fog, made distant friends with a fox, ate a lot of veggies, and did a healthy amount of howling. All around, it was a beautiful time.

Q: Why did you choose to come back to GRP this summer?
A: GRP is one of my homes. Of all the things I can do with my time now that I am graduating, I am choosing to spend my summer at GRP because of the sense of community and place it provides. Few things are as nice as time spent outside with good people of all ages that value growth, learning, and play as much as you do.

Q: What is something interesting that happened to you this year?
A: One day in late March, I decided that I needed to spend a good chunk of a day outside by myself for my soul’s sake. I went to a river outside of town, parked, got out of the car, and was immediately greeted by this big white dog running down the road with his ears and tongue flopping around. We became friends quickly and proceeded to spend the next seven hours together on the river exploring the banks, rock hopping, doing yoga, and watching kayakers. I wasn’t by myself, but it was exactly what I needed. Dogs are great.

Q: Where is your favorite place to hike?
A: One of my favorite places to hike is the Linville Gorge, which is about an hour away from Boone where I currently live. I don’t feel like I can adequately describe it or my connection to it in typed words, so just know that it is a magical place and that you should definitely go if you get a chance. The Spence Ridge trail is about two miles one way from the parking lot to the river if you don’t have days to explore.

We’re always looking to add qualified, enthusiastic, and adventurous people to our team!
Know someone who would make a great Counselor or Mentor? Send them our way!