Staff Spotlight: Sean Botzenhart

By Avery McGaha

For today’s Staff Spotlight, we caught up with Sean Botznhart!

Q: What is your position at GRP this Summer?
A: Outer Banks Expedition Leader

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

Q: What are you currently doing?
A: I am currently going to school. I will graduate from Southwestern Community College with a Associates of Applied Science Degree in Outdoor Leadership in May of 2017.

Q: What is your spirit animal and why?
A: My spirit animal is a duck. They are adaptable. They can swim, they can walk on land, and they can fly. Adaptability is important in life. Other than that they always seem so at peace in their natural setting. I just get a general sense that ducks are always in a fluid state of being, something I try to emulate in my day-to-day life.

Q: What are you passionate about?
A: I am passionate about being outside and visual storytelling. My ultimate aspiration is to one day become an adventure cinematographer. I want more than anything to travel around to beautiful places, meeting inspiring people, using those experiences to spread knowledge, wisdom, cheer, laughter, and curiosity.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do outside?
A: I love running! My favorite part is the head space I get into while I am in the middle of a long run. My mind shuts off for a bit and all my worries and stresses fade away, I can just relax. Besides doing it to start my day off right or relax after a busy day, I also frequent various running endurance competitions. I don’t do it to win but rather to just make me feel good, it helps motivate me to try harder in other areas of my life.

Q: Tell us about your favorite trip/experience.
A: One of my favorite trips I have taken thus far would have to be the backpacking I went on in False Cape State Park on the Southeast coast of Virginia. It was my good friend, my mom, and myself, and we covered 30 miles in 3 days. We went all the way to the North Carolina border and back. There were low hanging gnarly and untamed tunnels of live oak surrounding our campsite. As we walked inland clusters of large pine trees separated by rolling sand dunes covered in sea oats made for quite the scenery. With the Chesapeake Bay close to one side of us, and the Atlantic Ocean just to the other side, the smells of the salt air and the somewhat fishy smell of the muddy muck on the bays edge mixing with the smell of pine was very immersive. And if the natural setting wasn’t enough, scattered throughout were remnants of an old settlement from the 1800s, headstones and old structures, it was eerie. All that topped of by the fact we got to start and end our journey in the Back Bay Wildlife Refuge, so there was a lot of wildlife to be seen. Snakes, turtles, nutria, mice, fox, raccoons, opossums, and an abundance of fish and bird species. It was amazing.

Q: Why did you choose to come back to GRP this summer?
A: I wanted to come back to Green River Preserve because before I worked at GRP last summer I thought something like this was only a place of dreams. The sense of community is like nothing I have experienced anywhere else. The environment made me a better worker and a better person. It helped me bring out and strengthen some of my best qualities. I wanted to come back so I could learn even more from the people at GRP from the staff to the kids, new comers and old, and everyone in between. I can’t wait to see what is in store for me this time around.

Q: What is something interesting that happened to you this year?
A: Between October of 2016 and January 2017, I took a job as a special event sales photographer on the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad in Bryson City, NC. For two months I took photos of families on a Polar Express themed train ride. It was crazy, hectic, fast paced and tiring, but I really liked it. It became repetitive by the end of it all, but it was such a unique experience. I would certainly do it again to see all the happy families.

Q: Where is your favorite place to hike?
A: Panther Town Valley just outside of Cashiers, NC is my favorite place to hike. I have been going there for almost 7 years now and I never get tired of it. It is one of the most quiet places I have ever been. Even better there are several waterfalls and amazing viewpoints that you can get to all in one day. It is a hiker’s paradise.

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!