October 15th, 2019
GC graduates, instructor lead students in week-long expedition at Dolly Sods, W.Va.
Students in the backcountry living skills course venture outdoors
From left to right are: Catherine Patterson, Terry Peterson, Audrey Kopich, Annalee Law.
Students enrolled in the adventure sports program at Garrett College recently completed a week-long expedition in the Dolly Sods wilderness in nearby West Virginia. As part of the backcountry living skills core course in the adventure sports program, thirteen students were led by a group of all female instructors, which happened to be a first in the program.
Terry Peterson, associate professor of GC's adventure sports program, served as the lead instructor for the course, along with Audrey Kopich, Annalee Law and Catherine Patterson, all previous graduates of the College's adventure sports program.
"We are proud to have Audrey, Annalee and Catherine back home to share their talents with our new students," said Peterson. "Their confidence and quality leadership skills made for a fantastic course, and an exciting beginning to a new year."
According to Peterson, Kopich, Law and Patterson were chosen due to their wealth of knowledge regarding backcountry travel, extensive experience working and living in remote locations across the globe, and exemplary leadership qualities.
"All of these young women love the outdoors and have unique specialized trainings," said Peterson, who has been a lead instructor for over 20 years at GC. "They are leaders in the field and well respected in the outdoor community."
A current student at West Virginia University, Audrey Kopich (Uniontown, Pa.) is pursuing her Bachelor's degree in adventure journalism/photography. A 2019 graduate of GC, she has earned certifications from the American Mountain Guide Association (AMGA), American Canoe Association (ACA) and the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS).
Earning her master's degree in outdoor recreation in adventure sports from Frostburg State University, Annalee Law (Smithsburgh, Md.) is a certified instructor in several courses through the ACA. She has instructed several courses in the adventure sports program at Garrett. While a student at GC, she received training in sea kayaking and swift water rescue and wilderness survival. She graduated in 2012 from Garrett.
Meanwhile, Catherine Patterson (Bowie, Md.), a 2011 alumna of GC, is currently training with Seneca Rocks Mt. Guides and NROCKS to further her career in the climbing industry. She possess certifications from the AMGA, Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA). Highlights of her work experience include snowboarding and cross country skiing instruction in Breckenridge, Colo., in addition to traveling to New Zealand with Youth with a Mission (YWAM). During the past few years, GC's adventure sports program has witnessed an increase in the number of female students, as opposed to a program that is traditionally dominated by males, which is reflective of the outdoor recreation industry as a whole.
"Our students are exposed to a wide array of collective experiences in the adventure sports program," stated Peterson, who is also a certified instructor trainer and has several certifications in the outdoor recreation field. "As a result, this creates the perfect learning environment for outdoor leadership development." For more information on the adventure sports program at Garrett College, individuals may contact the Adventure Sports Office at 301-387-3330.