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About Us

About Us

VERDUN'S MISSION
 

Verdun Adventure Bound received its 501 (C)(3) Non-profit status in 1999. Verdun Adventure Bound's Non-Profit Mission is to support and promote youth and adult personal growth through experiential learning and to teach stewardship of the land.

FOUNDER OF VERDUN ADVENTURE BOUND

Dr. David M. Snyder

“Doc”

VERDUN ADVENTURE BOUND FACILITIES

Verdun Adventure Bound (Verdun) facilities cover 65+ acres of natural habitat that are ideal for groups seeking team building in an outdoor educational and adventure experiences. Verdun may be reserved for use by a variety of groups: church youth groups to youth and adult retreats (excellent in preparation of sacraments); scouting; youth sports teams; adult sports teams; schools classrooms to entire school team building; civic organizations including chamber of commerce; corporate organizations.

Reserving the facility may include camping, adult and youth team building, team building weekend program or corporate group team building. All groups need to complete the reservation and registration process. Overnight stays are limited to camping (campers provide their own tents and equipment). All other facilities are limited to day (8am-4pm) and evening (4pm-10pm) use.

A detailed list of our facilities appears below. Click here  to see a map of Verdun's 65+ acre facility. 

ANNE MARIE SHERIDAN AMPHITHEATER

The Verdun Adventure Bound “theatre in the woods” enjoyed its grand opening in May 2013. The theatre has been graced with several local and national bands, including bluegrass and blues bands. The theatre is also being used for annual Summer Stock productions along with the Verdun Adventure Bound summer camp program. The Anne Marie Sheridan Amphitheater for the Performing Arts was built by donations from the community and we invite and encourage the community to visit on a regular basis. Anyone wishing to rent this beautiful facility to showcase your own concerts, productions, or other performance events is encouraged to contact us.

APIARY

Every February at Verdun Adventure Bound, the Northern Piedmont Beekeepers Association hold their annual six week beekeepers course. Students are given a classroom and a live laboratory for learning about bees and honey production. There is a fee for this class.

THE ART & SPIRIT BARN STUDIO

        

Click Here for more information

Sara Bywaters-Baldwin:

Sara Bywaters-Baldwin, MD, DVATI, is the owner of Willow Circle Art, and has a passion for helping people experience holistic wellness through creativity and spirituality. With over 15 years of international experience working with adults, children, and adolescents, Sara has enjoyed bringing art and creative experiences to new environments. She has worked with the general public, in communities with dual diagnosis (behavioral health/addiction) as well as serving as a community support among licensed therapists, FAPT, clergy and school systems. Sara has witnessed the power of art unleashing communication and transformation among individuals and communities who want to grow. Though a local to Fauquier County, she earned her Master of Divinity at Regent College and a 2 year post graduate Diploma of Art Therapy from the Vancouver Art Therapy Institute, both in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. 

Amanda Findlley:

Amanda Findley, MSW, LCSW, is the owner of Hope Water Wellness, LLC, and is deeply motivated to see our community members live vibrant and resilient lives. With over 20 years of experience working with children, adolescents, and their families, she is able to skillfully pull from a number of theories to provide clients with tools to move towards emotional wellness. She heavily favors Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Mindfulness, and Strengths Based Perspectives in a client centered fashion. Amanda favors the approach of Acceptance and Commit Therapy due to it's principles of being present with whatever life brings us and to align with the client's valued behavior. She earned her Master's in Social Work at Gallaudet University in the District of Columbia and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. 

VERDUN'S CAMPSITES

Verdun has fifteen defined and improved campsites. There are additional cleared areas that are available for large groups. There are also several small camping areas avalible for those wanting a more primitive camp experience. In these areas, we recommend a backpacking stove for site cooking. All fifteen campsites include at least one fire ring and most have one cooking grate. Picnic tables and benches are available for use when requested. 

THE VERDUN CHALLENGE COURSE

Verdun has one of the East Coast’s premier pole-based Challenge Courses on sixty-five acres of impeccably maintained land. Tucked into the picturesque and tranquil groves of trees are twenty-one low rope elements and twenty-one high rope elements. These courses are surrounded by open field space used for opening and closing activities, and large group games. For a complete list of all low and high rope elements, please contact the office at 540.937.4920. All challenge course activity is in close proximity to the Eagle’s Nest, enhancing the comfort and safety of our participants.

CROSS COUNTRY 5K COURSE

The Verdun 5K course is used as a training home to several school cross country Verdun also hosts running teams and several competitions a year. The course is routinely maintained and mowed for frequent use. Interested in joining the Verdun Walking Club? Please contact the office for more information.

 

DUCKS UNLIMITED WETLAND MITIGATION SITE

The special pond is approximately two acres in size and is located in the floodplain of Delridge Run. It is an ideal location for environmental studies and school science experiments. School are encouraged to contact Verdun for securing a reservation for school field trips.

EAGLES NEST CONFERENCE CENTER

This large building boasts several amenities including a large conference room, permanent restrooms and a kitchen equipped with a large refrigerator, freezer, counters and a warming oven. The large meeting room has a 120 person capacity and has a stately stone fireplace. Please note that warming kitchen facility is very limited and intended to be for holding and serving only. Please Click on the link below for pricing. 

 

GAMES

Verdun facilitators are known for their expertise using our thirty field games to transform individuals into functioning team members. What is better than that – fun and learning?!

GREENHOUSE

The greenhouse serves dual purposes: the propagation of native plants for use on Verdun property and for our art education program. The ideal setting for artists, the building is filled with light and may be used year around with controlled air flow of heat and air conditioning.

KAYAKS & CANOES

Guests may use the on-site canoes and kayaks for an additional fee. A Verdun Adventure Bound Lifeguard will help access the equipment located next to the beautiful three acre pond.

KIOSK

The Kiosk is located next to the multi-purpose building and the parking lot. It serves as a welcome to all of our guests and all current information. There is a map of facility, additional release of liability forms, listing of all emergency numbers and a lock box for any payment due.

THE VERDUN PINE FOREST

PAVILION

The natural covered pavilion near the pond with a concrete floor and a stone fireplace, water faucet and electricity. This area also have a permanent grill ideal for family and group cook-outs. A near-by fire ring with a circle seating area is perfect for an evening under the stars while enjoying s’mores. Pond. The Verdun three acre pond is visible from the pavilion. A beautiful gazebo sits on an expanded fishing pier. Fishing piers are available as part of our catch and release program. Any group interested in the pond for any and all water activities must abide by all the Verdun water rules and make a reservation for a minimum of two hours. There is an additional hourly fee for an on-duty Verdun lifeguard.

  

THE VERDUN ADVENTURE BOUND TEAM

Verdun is extremely proud of its skilled and devoted staff and the customized programs they accomplish with both adults and youth.  

*WE INVITE YOU TO READ THROUGH OUR QUALIFICATIONS*

Greg Cronin: 

Greg, aka Moose, is the manager of Philip A. Bolen Regional Park in Leesburg, VA. He is a nationally known speaker, staff trainer, consultant, conference presenter, author, and facilitator with over thirty-five years of high and low ropes experience.

Greg was first introduced to challenge course programs as a wilderness instructor in 1980 and has been active in the field ever since. With extensive knowledge in the industry, Greg has worked all over the country with corporations, government agencies, teams, non-profits, businesses, sports teams, universities, and camps. His energetic and dynamic facilitation style is informative, relevant, and filled with “Moose Nuggets.” As a corporate trainer, Greg has a unique understanding of what it takes for people in the business community to be successful. All of his initiative scenarios are carefully planned to produce teachable moments which lead to critical outcomes and improved job performance. Each training is conducted with relevant terminology, current corporation issues, and critical transition points.

Since 1979, Greg has been leading outdoor adventure trips including whitewater rafting, canoeing, kayaking, backpacking, and camping. He actively trains whitewater guides and has personally lead over 3,000 whitewater trips. His backpacking include: over 1,900 miles of the Appalachian Trail, time on the Pacific Crest trail, Long Tail, Tooth of Time Trail, Tahoe Rim Trail, and the Tuscarora Trail. As a bass tournament fishermen for more than twenty years, Greg is a perennial contender for top honors in the circuit.

Based out of Falls Church, VA, Greg has an masters from George Mason University and a Bachelor of Science from Pennsylvania State University.

Greg currently sits on two corporation boards, and is a former member of the American Camp Association’s National Board. Greg is a camp standards visitor, advisor to Operation Respect, and frequent speaker at national conferences. Greg’s corporate clients include: the State Department, Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Washington Nationals, Sprint, DC Public Schools, George Mason University, John’s Hopkins, Travel and Adventure Show, Boy/Girl Scouts of America, River and Trail Outfitters. He has also worked with in the federal sector including the Department of Education.

Honore Hastings: Executive Director

Honore graduated from the University of Maryland with a General Studies/Physical Education Degree.  She taught kindergarten through eighth grade in Montgomery County public and Parochial schools for approximately eight years.  Honore changed career paths when she was asked to manage a for-profit equine corporation in Chevy Chase, and then was instrumental in the conversion of that business to a 501(C) (3) nonprofit organization. In 2005, Honore and her husband, Rick, moved to a horse farm in Marshall.  She continued her work in the non-profit field and in May of 2013, she was asked to join the Verdun Adventure Bound team as the executive director. She is the proud mother of two grown children: Eric is an Air Force Major and is currently teaching mathematics at the Academy; daughter Erin is a professional horse trainer and rider in Marshall, Virginia.

Amber Holmes: Mental Health professional/Lead Facilitator

Amber came to Verdun as a volunteer first, logging multiple summer camp hours on the challenge course and upon her graduation from Simmons College, Amber recently joined our staff as a challenge course facilitator. In addition to her duties on the challenge course, Amber supports Verdun in a crucial role with Verdun’s multiple youth grant programs

Amber graduated with her Master of Social Work degree in 2018 from Simmons College (Boston, MA). Certifications and licenses include: Qualified Mental Health Professional (QMHP), CPS and APS Mandated Reporter Training, Therapeutic Options Virginia (TOVA), Youth Mental Health First Aid (MHFA), and Homeless Population Sensitivity Training. Amber has a working background in Out-Patient and In-Home Mental Health counseling services as well. Coupled with her love of youth and the great outdoors, Amber is a believer in Verdun Adventure Bounds' model and a wonderful addition to the staff.

  • Master of Social Work in Social Work, Simmons College - Boston, MA
  • Bachelor of Social Work in Social Work,Virginia Commonwealth University - Richmond, VA
  • Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies, Virginia Commonwealth University - Richmond, VA

Sean McElhinney: Challenge Course Director/Lead Facilitator

Sean is the Challenge Course Manager and Lead Facilitator here at Verdun. He also serves on the program development team, working to create new and innovative programs for youth and adults. Sean possesses two graduate degrees, an MS in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University and an MA in Conflict Resolution and Mediterranean Security from the University of Malta. As a certified Wilderness First Responder, his favorite program to facilitate is the Muddy Tracks off campus program believing in the power of the wilderness to positively change the lives of youths and adults in our community. Sean is a Red Cross certified First Aid CPR/AED instructor, High Ropes Rescue certified, and lifeguard trained. He is passionate about what we do and excited to build new programing.  

Ashley Shilling: Executive Assistant/Office Manager/Lead Facilitator 

Ashley Shilling spent the last ten years expanding her knowledge and training on the Verdun high and low rope Challenge Course. She is Certified in First Aid, CPR, AEDMental Health First Aid for Youth; Wilderness First Aid (WFA); Suicide PreventionHigh Ropes Rescue; and Trauma Focused Equine Assisted Psychotherapy

Ashley is the Office Manager/Executive Assistant to Director, Honore Hastings, and is one of Verdun's head challenge course facilitators. She is also the lead member in many of our programs, including but not limited to, The Groundwork Project, a leadership development and career readiness program and Adventures In Learning, a program designed to teach the Fauquier County Public School Botvin Life Skills curriculum.  Ashley also works closely with Verdun's development team in creating new and exciting Summer, Spring and Fall programs for youth and adults.    

Katie Snyder:

Katie has worked in the nonprofit industry for over 15 years. Her specialty is program and talent capacity building. Katie has worked and volunteered for American Forest, Sundance Institute, Kimball Art Center, Virginia Gold Cup Association, Saltus Grammer School, United State Ski and Snowboard Association and Salt Lake City Organizing Committee. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Park City Film Series, the Upperville Colt and Horse Show and Verdun Adventure Bound. Katie grew up on farm in Rixeyville, Virginia. She attended high school at Notre Dame Academy in Middleburg, Virginia. Her undergraduate degree is a BA in Business Administration from Boston University. She also holds a M.B.A. from Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia, and a J.D. from University of Richmond. She is currently enrolled at University of Pennsylvania for a M.S. in Organizational Dynamics with concentration in executive coaching and organizational consulting. Her intent is to use her M.S. to help nonprofit leaders and staffs maximize their abilities and resources to advance philanthropic causes.

VERDUN'S BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Michael (Mike) D. Ball:

Mike is the Senior Managing Director with BB&T Scott & Stringfellow.  His expertise is as the Financial Advisor and Regional Manager and a CPWA (Certified Private Wealth Advisor).  Mike is a Member of the IMCA (Investment Management Consultants Association). Mike graduated with a B.S. in Economics from Radford University and continued his education with the Securities Industry Institute from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

Mike enjoys tennis, cycling, skiing, hiking and river sports – a perfect fit at Verdun Adventure Bound!  He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife Jenelle, son Charlie and faithful companion dog, Rocco Ball.

Kendal Blaser:

Kendal is a physical therapist and owner of Blaser Therapy, a private physical therapy office.  She has been practicing since 1985 and opened her own office in Warrenton in 1996.  A native to Baltimore, Maryland, Kendal graduated from Frostburg State University with a BS in Philosophy and later from Old Dominion University with a BS in Physical Therapy.

Kendal has been active in community service and youth development for over twenty years, specifically youth development when she began assisting with her son’s recreational sports teams and later when she was one of the founding members of the Fauquier County Youth Lacrosse League.  During her involvement with the league, she acted as Women’s Commissioner and Coach of the girl’s team.

Kendal has traveled with Dr. Snyder on medical mission trips to China and Haiti.  Kendal has been actively involved with Verdun Adventure Bound both as a board member and volunteer for over 10 years. She also serves on the Fauquier Free Clinic Board and is very active in both organizations’ fundraising events.

Mrs. Blaser has been married since 1986 to Tom Blaser and is the proud mother of their two sons, Sam and Tyler.

Jeff Hollis:

Jeff is a certified public accountant and has managed medical practices since 1990. He is currently the CEO of Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center, Warrenton, Virginia. Jeff has served on Verdun’s board since 1997 and has served as the secretary and now the position of Treasurer. Jeff is excited about the growth at Verdun. He has witnessed the evolution of the organization it is today, and is proud to be a part of it.

Dr. David Snyder (Doc): 

Doc grew up in a military household as the son of a Navy Admiral. His father’s service required the family to regularly move from one military base to another. Doc changed schools several times, but always attended parochial schools. He graduated from Georgetown University Graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. His interests in medicine lead him to the University of Maryland School of Medicine where he graduated in 1967.

Doc enlisted in the U.S. Navy for four years where he served as a physician in Trauma Surgery and Ortho-Trauma Surgery in Vietnam and at the Bremerton Naval Hospital as an E.R. Physician & Orthopedic Surgery.  He completed his Orthopedic Surgery Residency, M.C.V. Richmond in 1975.

Doc is the co-founder of the Blue Ridge Orthopedic Association in Warrenton in 1978 and remained there until his retirement in 2011. He has served as the Virginia Hospice Association President and to this day, Doc continues to serve as an Orthopedic Surgeon for the Medical Missionaries, Thomassique, Haiti. 

Nick Zajkowski:

Nick is a Health & PE teacher at Culpeper County High School and has been teaching there since 2017. Along with teaching he also coaches football and lacrosse at the school. Nick graduated from Mississippi State University in 2015 with a BS in Kinesiology where his interest for health and fitness eventually led him to teaching and coaching.

Nick grew up locally in Culpeper, VA where he attended Culpeper County High School and graduated in 2011. After returning from Mississippi State University he got involved in the community by coaching basketball for two years with Culpeper Youth Basketball. Before getting into teaching he worked at Blaser Physical Therapy in Warrenton with Kendal Blaser where she introduced him to Verdun Adventure Bound. Nick became a member of the board in 2019.

Nick currently lives in Fredericksburg with his fiancé, Keeley.