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.
WHAT WE OFFER
Verdun Adventure Bound provides team building experiences for youth and adults which supports and promotes personal growth through experiential learning on our pole based challenge course. Youth organizations are provided customized team building programs to fit the needs of local public, independent and parochial schools along with church groups. Beginning at 8 years of age, these inclusive programs also serve at-risk youth with economic, mental and/or emotional needs. Verdun Adventure Bound is also strongly committed to providing support to the Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts of America in Culpeper, Fauquier and Rappahannock Counties.
Corporate organizations are offered multiple customized team building options on and off campus, from hiking and river trips to testing your ability on our pole based challenge course. These programs are ideal for company excursions, trips and outings, fun group activities or a wonderful getaway from conferences and meetings.
Verdun’s primary focal points of its programs include the exploration of self, group dynamics and community service. Our curriculum reflects a wide range of life skills and subjects designed to broaden the outlook and education of our youth and adults.
At Verdun Adventure Bound, the outdoors is our classroom. All exercises emphasize safety first and contain educational components that help create a strong sense of environmental conservation and stewardship.
FOUNDER OF VERDUN ADVENTURE BOUND
Dr. David M. Snyder
COVID 19 Summer Camp Protocol
These protocols are all to be followed in addition to current safety protocol and operating procedures. All modifications to activities in accordance with these protocols must be approved by the Challenge Course Manager for the purposes of maintaining safety.
Additional required equipment for all staff and campers:
•Personal face mask (worn or carried at all times)
•Personal bottle of hand sanitizer
•1 pair Latex free gloves (staff only)
•Personal water bottle (to be refilled only by staff, who will sanitize before and after handling
•Parents will drop off campers one at a time.
•Parents are not to exit their vehicle during the check in process.
•Parents must show check in staff member Covid-19 check list before camper may exit vehicle.
•Campers must be wearing a mask upon their arrival and will keep their mask on until instructed otherwise.
•Campers must hand sanitize at the sanitizer station prior to approaching staff for their screening.
•Check in staff will take temperatures, complete the verbal screening process, and record their findings at the time of check in.
•If any camper self-reports symptoms listed on the screening tool or if they are found to have a fever of 100.4 or higher, they must immediately return to the vehicle and exit the premises.
•Staff will wear masks for the duration of the check in process and will be responsible for depositing all lunches in the refrigerator.
•Screening staff will report any irregularities to their supervisor immediately.
•Staff and campers are required to wear masks any time the 6-foot distancing cannot be maintained. It is strongly recommended that activities be modified to maintain this 6-foot distancing at all times.
•If objects (such as balls) are required for an activity, campers and staff must hand sanitize before and after the activity. Staff will remind all participants to refrain from touching their face during the activity.
•If several objects are used for an activity, participants are to label the object as their own and are required to not share any of these objects with other participants.
•All objects that may have been touched throughout the course of the day will be sanitized by a staff member at the end of the day.
•Restroom breaks will be scheduled throughout the day.
•Only one person is to be permitted in any one restroom at a time.
•Staff and campers will need to hand sanitize before entering the restroom and wash hands before exiting the restroom.
•Staff are required to exclusively use the Eagles Nest restrooms; campers are required to exclusively use the annex building restrooms.
•All restrooms are sanitized by staff after conclusion of day.
•Campers are allowed to swim and to kayak following all the pond rules and regulations with a maximum of 10 campers in the water at one time
•Campers and staff must maintain 6-foot distance at all times while in and around the pond
•Campers will be assigned one kayak per person at the beginning of their pond time. Participants are not share boats and all boats must be sanitized before being put away
•Campers will be given life jackets by the lifeguard; this life jacket will be assigned to them for the duration of camp. Each camper is to remain in their lifejacket for the duration of the time at the pond. Life jackets will need to be sanitized before they are put away.
•One staff member will retrieve all lunches from the refrigerator, using hand sanitizer or glove before retrieving and after
•Campers will eat lunch at the pavilion or at their desks, maintaining social distancing at all times
•One staff member will collect lunch boxes once lunch is finished and return them to the Eagles Nest, hand sanitizing before and after handling any containers or using gloves.
•All lunches will be labeled with campers’ name.
•The campers will not be permitted to share/trade lunch items
High Rope Activities:
•Staff and participants must wear masks for the duration of the high rope activity and while putting on equipment
•A harness and helmet will be assigned to each participant and labeled with their name at the beginning of the week. The equipment will be used by the same participant for the duration of the week. All assigned helmets and harnesses will be stored separately inside the container and will only be handled by staff and the participant to which they are assigned. Staff are to hand sanitize before and after handling all equipment.
•Harness and Helmet checks are to be conducted whenever possible through staff supervised camper self-checks and staff visual inspections.
•If it is necessary for staff to touch the participant or the participant’s equipment for safety reasons, the staff member must hand sanitize before and after doing so.
•Campers must hand sanitize before being clipped into any climbing equipment and after completing the activity.
•Staff must hand sanitize between each participant.
•Ropes, carabiners, and belay devices should only be touched by staff whenever possible.
•Harnesses and helmets must be sanitized upon completion of the high rope activities each day.
•All other equipment must be sanitized at the end of each week.
•Camp groups will be assigned equipment to use for the week, this equipment is not to be used by any other camp group unless absolutely necessary.
•Campers will be assigned seating that is social distanced from other campers
•Campers will have classroom time outside if weather permitting
•In the case of inclement weather, campers will be inside, they will again be assigned seating and must wear their mask, properly, for the duration of time spent inside and maintain social distancing.
•Tables and chairs will be sanitized after every day
•Campers are required to bring their own school supplies (pens, pencils, paper, books etc.)
•Suggested that campers download appropriate assignments ahead of time
•Check out staff must wear masks for the duration of the check-out process.
•Parents are not to exit their vehicles during check out.
•Check out staff will greet each parent at their vehicle and call the camper over to the vehicle (one at a time) once they have identified the parent.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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?!
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.
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
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*
Sean McElhinney: Executive Director/Challenge Course Director/Lead Facilitator
Sean is not only Verdun's Executive Director he is also the Challenge Course Manager and one of our Lead Facilitators. Sean's drive for success doesn’t stop there. Sean is often found working with the Verdun program development team creating new and innovative programs for youth and adults in our Community. 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.
John P. McCulla: Facilities Manager & Verdun Facilitator
John graduated from James Madison University with a B.S. in Health & Human Sciences and later went on to receive a career studies certificate in Recreation & Outdoor Leadership from Lord Fairfax Community College. After graduating from James Madison, John became an Executive Chef at a restaurant in Warrenton where he maintained that position for five years. Looking for a change John attended LFCC where, as part of the certificate program, he interned at Verdun Adventure Bound, staying on to volunteer well after the internship had ended. John became a facilitator at Verdun and is now the Facilities Manager. He holds certifications as a Wilderness First Responder, Leave No Trace Trainer, American Red Cross Adult & Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED, ServSafe Manager, and FEMA Emergency Management Institute Leadership & Influence.
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 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 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 istoday, 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 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.
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. She was the Executive Director of Verdun Adventure Bound for six years.