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About Us

About Us

Facilities

Verdun Adventure Bound (VAB) facilities cover 55+ acres of natural habitat that are ideal for groups seeking team building in an outdoor educational and adventure experiences. VAB 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 the facilities (pdf). Already know you want to experience at Verdun? Click here for instructions on how to book your experience at Verdun Adventure Bound.

Verdun Adventure Bound facilities includes:

The Anne Marie Sheridan Amphitheater for the Performing Arts. The VAB “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 VAB 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 VAB, 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.

Campsites. VAB has twelve defined and improved campsites. There are additional cleared areas that are available for large groups. There are also several small areas for camping for those wanting a more primitive camping experience. In these areas, we recommend a backpacking stove for site cooking. In the twelve improved campsites, each has at least one fire ring and most have one cooking grate. Picnic tables and benches are available for use at each site.

Challenge Course. VAB has one of the East Coast’s premier pole-based Challenge Courses on fifty-five acres of impeccably maintained land. Tucked into the picturesque and tranquil groves of trees are twenty-one low rope elements and thirteen 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 go to our Challenge section. 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. VAB hosts two runs a year: the VAB Wounded Warrior 5k in the month of April and the Girls on the Run Piedmont 5K in November. The course is also a training home to several school cross country running teams and several competitions a year. The course is routinely maintained and mowed for frequent use. Interested in joining the VAB 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 VAB for securing a reservation for school field trips.

Eagles Nest Conference Center. This large building boasts several amenities including an existing classroom, a conference room, meeting room, permanent restrooms and a kitchen equipped with a large refrigerator, freezer, counters and a warming kitchen. 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.

Games. VAB 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 and Canoes. Guests may use the VAB canoes and kayaks for an additional fee. The VAB Lifeguard will help access the equipment which are located next to 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.

Multi-purpose building. The VAB office is located in this building. Campers are asked to come by the office to check in and out. Permanent restrooms are housed in this building which also has a handicap restroom facilities. If necessary and for an additional fee, portable toilets are placed strategically throughout the facility. This building has a first aid station although medical facilities are very limited. If necessary, the Little Fork Volunteer Fire Department is located next door.

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 VAB 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 VAB water rules and make a reservation for a minimum of two hours. There is an additional hourly fee for an on-duty VAB lifeguard.

Team

We invite you to read through our qualifications.  VAB is extremely proud of its skilled and devoted staff and the customized programs they accomplish with both adults and youth.  Another recent qualification for VAB staff was to receive the Mental Health First Aid for Youth training.

Paula Cheatwood, lifelong outdoorswoman who studied education, psychology and sociology before going on to help develop and run the Adventure Challenge School in Manchester, Connecticut. The school gave inner-city youth a taste of the great outdoors through rock climbing, caving, cross-country skiing, sailing, ropes courses, and other challenges.

Paula is a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School. She has summited Mt. McKinley, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Devil’s Tower and spent quite a bit of time backpacking in the Absaroka Mountain Range, Wind River Mountains and Canyonlands. Paula also participated in a mapping expedition of virgin parts in Wind Cave, South Dakota.

Paula now works as a team-development facilitator for companies across the country. (Action Learning Center, Adventure Associates Inc., Adventure Links, Ascend, Ascend Development Group, Grand Dynamics International, InnerQuest, InnerWorks, Outward Bound Professional and Verdun Adventure Bound). She works with youth and adults in an outdoor setting on low and high ropes courses and indoors using initiatives, games and problem-solving activities to encourage conversation amongst the group and increase the possibility of growth, change and productivity.

A few of the clients she has worked with include: Altria (Territory Sales Managers, Taste Department, Human Resources Department, Inner Communication), Clark Construction, Clark Realty Capitol, CVS  District Managers and Pharmacy Supervisors, Leadership Washington, Leadership Baltimore, Leadership Philadelphia, Leadership Culpeper Chamber of Commerce, Merrill Lynch, Philip Morris International, State Department (A-100 Class, CS, FSI) The World Bank, US Army, US Postal Service, Wedding Wire.

Paula is certified in First Aid, CPR, AED and has Lifeguard Certification. She has had more than twenty years of experience in facilitating with youth and adult programs on low and high element ropes courses.

Molly Fairhurst has worked with kids in professional outdoor settings for over fifteen years; from teaching sailing, working at an outdoor alternative school to working as the Recreation Director and Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist at a residential treatment facility for kids.  She believes in the power of play and the outdoors, knowing that both offer kids and adults alike the chance to grow in ways they wouldn’t in other settings. Molly has worked professionally with children ranging in age from five years old through adolescence and teenage years.  She prefers to let the group dynamics and process dictate much of what is done throughout an activity knowing the real learning and growth that can occur can’t be planned. Molly has experience managing a facility pool, lifeguarding, teaching water safety and basic swimming skills as a Water Safety Instructor.  She has been certified as a Wilderness First Responder for over twelve years and has had other extensive trainings in both first aid and CPR through various jobs and organizations.

William Edison Fairhurst is the VAB Challenge Course Manager.  Will has been working with children, adolescents and families on multiple levels since 1997. He began his career in Holyoke, Massachusetts at the Center for School Crisis and Assessment where he grew to be the site coordinator of School Transition and Employment Project (STEP).  Will transitioned to teaching special education in a behavioral modification setting in the Springfield Public School system for two years prior to moving to Virginia.  Will was also a High School Varsity Football coach from 1997-2003.  Since moving to Virginia Will has worked in multiple roles and settings.  From a large residential facility to smaller group homes in the community Will has held such positions as Director of Residential Services, Trainer, Group Home Manager and Supervisor.  Working with individuals and families became Will’s focus and he moved into the field of Community Based Mental Health. Will’s credentials include:  Graduate of Westfield State College 1996 BS in Criminal Justice; Red Cross Instructor CPR/AED and First Aid since 2006; Handle With Care Instructor since 2008; Therapeutic Options Instructor since 2006; VAB Ropes Course Qualified Facilitator since 2007.

Barry Jacobs is a volunteer and adventure facilitator and is experienced working with families and groups. His expertise is in developing creative and innovative programs to support families and groups and then organizes unique training events for professionals and families.  Barry has been instrumental in bringing nationally recognized speakers and trainers to the area to provide professional training, for supporting families and community organizations. Barry is trained in Trauma Focused Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and uses horses to provide a unique and challenging training that facilitates growth, learning and development in individuals, families and groups.  He is very concerned about families with special needs children and is involved in TIME Family Services and Verdun’s weekend adventures for families and individuals.  Barry is developing programing for first responders to meet the challenging and demanding needs of (police, fire, Ems, 911 dispatchers, ER hospital staff and other emergency service providers).  His special interests include sports psychology, challenge and adventure to improve individual and team performance, stress management and resiliency.

Honore Hastings 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.

Dennis O’Neill graduated from Fauquier High School in 1965 and entered the US Army, serving two tours in Vietnam. Upon returning from overseas he worked briefly at Virginia Wire and Fabric before starting a thirty-two year career with C&P Telephone (later Verizon). After retiring from the telephone company he spent six years working for the county of Fauquier as a 911 call taker/dispatcher. In his spare time he enjoyed referring youth and adult co-ed soccer, working with the Fauquier 4H sports shooting club and umpiring Babe Ruth and Apple Valley league baseball. He is now retired and lives in Amissville with his wife Sharon.

Dirk Pitts is an assistant summer camp counselor.  He has been with Verdun Adventure Bound for six years; four years as a camper and the last two years as a junior staff member.  Dirk is instrumental in supporting team building activities with the campers and is also a skilled maintenance worker.  He enjoys working with the children and looks forward to summer programs.  Currently Dirk is a Culpeper High School senior and is a high ranking member of the JR ROTC program.  Dirk was also recognized last year by Verdun and the United Way as one of Verdun’s highest numbered hour volunteer.

Ashley Shilling is a Certified Equine Assisted Psychotherapist and our Director of Equine Program.  With twenty years of horsemanship experience, she enjoys sharing her knowledge with local youth and adults. Ashley is the lead member of the TIME Family Services equine therapeutic team.  She works with both the person receiving therapy and the family to create a unique and fulfilling experience to all. In her spare time, Ashley is available to teach horseback riding lessons at Verdun Adventure Bound.

Katie Snyder 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.

Mike Timm is the artistic director for the Anne Marie Sheridan Amphitheater for the Performing Arts and the Director for Summer Programs.  His college education includes a master’s degree in Curriculum & Instruction.  He taught English & theatre arts in Fairfax County Public Schools for 30 years.  He has worked with youth in leadership & character building programs throughout his career. The two most recent organizations in which he served as curriculum specialist and instructor are People to People Student Ambassadors Programs and the Character & Heritage Institute.

Greg Cronin, 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 is currently a 2015 master’s candidate at George Mason University and has 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.

Board

Michael (Mike) D. Ball 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 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 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.

Shelly Norden is an English/journalism teacher at Kettle Run High School in Nokesville, VA. She is the adviser of the award winning yearbook, newspaper and morning broadcast. This year she was named Teacher of the Year for Kettle Run and Teacher of the Year for VFW Post 9835.

In addition to teaching, she is one of four teachers in the state to serve on the VHSL Publications Committee, the governing organization for all public school publications and broadcasts. Prior to teaching, Shelly worked as an assignment editor and later producer for WPEC and Fox 29 in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Shelly graduated with a BA in Communications from George Mason University.
This is her second year on the Board of Directors for Verdun. Prior to being on the board, Shelly spent two summers helping run summer camps for Verdun.
She currently resides in Broad Run, VA with her husband Chris, three Jack Russell Terriers, and an African Gray Parrot.

David M. Snyder “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, Medical Missionaries, Thomasique, Haiti.