Jason Drevenak is president of the North American Bushcraft School and began his relationship with the outdoors as a child on the same property where the North American Bushcraft School operates today. He spent over six years in the U.S. Army as an Airborne combat medical specialist, created and operated The Conch Republic Kayak Company, a sea kayak company and summer camp in Key West, Florida, and has worked at several ACA white water and ocean kayaking schools on the east and west coasts of North America. Jason was the Manager and Head Instructor for The Nantahala Outdoor Center’s Wilderness Survival & Primitive Skills School for several years. Jason is also the Lead Instructor for the Outdoor Leader Degree’s Primitive Living course offered at Southwestern Community College in Bryson City North Carolina. Some of Jason’s mentors include Dr. Erret Callahan, Nancy Basket, Eddie Starnater and Richard Cleveland. Jason regularly teaches and offeres demonstrations at the Earthskills Rendezvous in Georgia, Firefly and Piedmont Gatherings in North Carolina and the Mother Earth News Fair in PA. He currently holds an NC and WV EMT-Intermediate certification as well as being an AHA CPR BLS and AED Instructor, Jason also teaches wilderness medicine for Stone Hearth Open Learning Opportunities (SOLO) and back-country firecraft at the annual Appalachian Wilderness Medical Conference and the WV School of Osteopathic Medicine. In 2015 Jason trekked the entire Serengeti National Park in Tanzania Africa with the National Geographic channel for a TV documentary called “Mygrations”
Dr. Gary Harold (Director) has a PhD in child development and has taught curriculum development and education in the US and internationally for more than 30 years and specializes in outdoor and environmental education for at-risk youth. When he is not working with NABS groups, Gary spends most days growing his garden and kayak fishing.
Sera Drevenak (Vice-President) hails from the Virgin Islands, and is a professional marine biologist. She has a Master’s degree from Duke University in Environmental Management and has ten years of experience working internationally with non-profits and non-profit management. Sera is also an avid outdoor enthusiast. She has hiked the Inca Trail in Peru, lived on a remote island without electricity or running water in a thatched hut for 2 1/2 years in Panama with the Peace Corps where she studied indigenous culture and sustainable living. Sera created educational curricula about Caribbean sea turtles that is currently used in more than 30 countries and is translated into 3 languages. When she is not at the North American Bushcraft School, she works for the Marine Fish Conservation Network as Policy Director, bringing anglers and conservationists together to influence federal fisheries policy.
Brooke Brody (Director) is the founder and Clinical Director of Potomac Pathways and a member of the Board of Directors at North American Bushcraft School. After graduating with his master’s degree in social work from West Virginia University, he became both a licensed clinical social worker in the state of Maryland and a licensed clinical drug and alcohol counselor. He specializes in working with young people struggling with substance abuse and co-occurring mental health disorders.
Brooke has post-graduate training in numerous areas that affect the treatment of adolescents and young adults including: training in the assessment of learning differences (with the UNC-Chapel Hill “All Kinds of Minds Institute”); relapse prevention therapy (with Terrance Gorski and the Gorski CENAPS program); brief hypnotic psychotherapy (with the Milton Erikson Institute)
Brooke has worked in community based mental health organizations, wilderness therapy programs, managed his own private practice, and is now thrilled to see his vision for Potomac Pathways come to fruition. His approach refreshingly combines clinically proven models with more ritualistic and experiential methods of healing. He has studied with shamans from the Lakota tribe, wandered through India, and learned from Buddhist Masters of Tibet. He is committed to blending these wisdom traditions into his work and life.
Brooke is a passionate hiker, photographer, and gardener. He regularly hosts therapeutic excursions to support recovery. In addition to events at North American Bushcraft School, recent trips have included hiking the Grand Canyon, Basecamp at Everest, and Yosemite.
David Roy Ritter (Director) grew up in Potomac, Maryland along the mighty Potomac River where he turned to the outdoors as a source of confidence as a child. He flourished at Berkshire School in Sheffield, Massachusetts where he found his love for mountaineering, climbing three Mexican volcanoes and the two highest volcanoes in Ecuador, while also founding a mountain rescue team. David discovered Hartwick College in Oneonta, NY and created his own major, Outdoor Education. While in college he spent six months living on and off the street in Northern India and climbed both Denali in Alaska and led an expedition to Mount Aconcagua, the highest point in the western hemisphere. After college he started his own business after traveling /living in his truck for a year exploring all that the United States had to offer. His Outdoor Education school and summer day camp was called “OUTERQUEST”. After six years of running his own business, he merged with CALLEVA based in Poolesville, MD., his biggest competitor and closest industry friend. David is a passionate, life learner, with a growth mindset. He has developed a true skill and drive to help people understand and thrive in the natural world. David’s certifications include:
ACCT Challenge Course Manager, ACA Swift Water Rescue Instructor, LNT Master Educator and Certified Climbing Instructor. He is also certified in Project Wet, Project Wild, and Project Learning Tree.
David is the loving husband and proud father of two young explorers.
Kristen Dorsey has been studying shamanism and plant medicine since the 1980s. Kristen has been a full-time practicing shamanic herbalist since 2004. She makes her own medicines and has an herbal apothecary of over 200 herbs, tinctures and oils. She wild harvests many of the herbs herself each year.
Kristen has studied shamanism with Michael Harner’s Foundation for Shamanic Studies (FSS) and is a graduate of the Advanced Shamanic Training Program “Next Steps” offered by FSS staff Dana & Shana Robinson. She continues her study of shamanism by working with her own Guides and by working directly with Peruvian shamans several times per year.
Kristen is a graduate of the Green Comfort School of Herbal Medicine and holds certificates in medicinal herbalism and herbal apothecary. Kristen continues her herbalism training by studying under many of the great herbalists of the day. Kristen has also completed a 2 yr aromatherapy course of study with the American College of Healthcare Sciences. Kristen is a member of the American Herbalists Guild.
Quantum Touch energy healing and EFT blend well with shamanic healing practices. Kristen has completed Quantum Touch & EFT training and has hundreds of hours of hands-on energy healing experience.
Growing up nearby, outside of Hagerstown, Md, Elet Hall spent his time running, climbing, and jumping through the woods. As a teenager he began practicing and later coaching Parkour. Originating in France, Parkour (French for ‘obstacle course’) is called the art of movement, and is known for its practioner’s abilities to climb, jump, and flip over everything in sight. However, not just extreme or cinematic, parkour is a personal discipline of physical self challenge that strengthens the relationship between mind, body, and spirit.
Elet credits this style of training, specifically in natural settings, for his success on the American Ninja Warrior course. Participating in 4 seasons of the obstacle course challenge he qualified for the National Finals every year, often with the fastest completion times, and also represented Team USA on the international Ninja Warrior Challenge.
Elet has coached parkour around the nation to adults and children alike and is also an Ambassador for the Bay Area Lyme Foundation, a research foundation striving to make Lyme disease easy to diagnose and simple to cure.
Drawing from a background of climbing, backcountry snowboarding, martial arts, fitness, and parkour Elets believes that outdoor exercise is essential for human health no matter your age or previous experience. He hopes to help students increase vitality, strength, and agility, reduce pain, and gain personal insight through individual challenge and experience.
Tanner Craig was born with a rifle in one hand and a fishing rod in the other and hasn’t put either down since. Originally from Boonsboro Maryland, Tanner has hunted and fished in almost half of the 50 states and Canada and teaches deer processing for NABS and the Mountaincraft and Music Gathering. Tanner is also our full time apprentice and is an assistant instructor for the knife making, friction fire and stone tool classes. He often specializes in West Virginia Witticisms.