Our Guides

Our experienced guides are CPR and Wilderness First Aid certified, trained in BRDC’s discovery method of leadership, have years of experience in wilderness, and hold knowledge across all facets of natural history. In addition to our staff, we hire seasonal counselors each year from area universities that are studying in the fields of biology, outdoor recreation and environmental education.

Joe Flowers

Joe Flowers is an avid outdoorsman and enthusiastic instructor. He graduated from NC State University with a bachelor’s degree in zoology, and a minor in entomology.  His love of animals and the outdoors has taken him around the United States, South America, and Europe. A talented writer, he has published articles in Self Reliance Illustrated, Backpacker magazine, Backwoodsman, New pioneer, Master Woodsman, and more. Joe’s experience in true wilderness is a perfect fit for our explore mentality.

Lisa Benish brings an unrivaled passion for exploring and has a broad knowledge in natural history, but her experience is honed to all things aquatic including aquatic insects, fish, snorkeling and fly fishing. After graduating from East Carolina University and becoming a Registered Dietitian, she moved to Grayson County to be closer to the Blue Ridge Mountains. In addition to leading our programming, she meticulously plans out meals to ensure the health and happiness of all. She has been a scout leader for 14 year and is certified as a Virginia Master Naturalist.


Aaron Floyd is one of our fearless guides, leading the way into remote stretches of the Blue Ridge. Born and raised in these mountains, he has had a life-long love of all wild things and a passion for exploration. His skill set covers a broad range but his expertise includes birding, fly fishing, primitive technology and art. His love of these subjects has taken him on adventures across North and Central America, forming a treasure trove of knowledge through years of experience in the field. With a degree  in Architecture and minor in Art, he brings a unique analytical approach to observation.

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Vincent Benish attends  the University of Colorado Boulder, where he is majoring in geography.   Born and raised in the Blue Ridge, Vincent is an Eagle Scout, fly fishing bum, and outdoor enthusiast with seven years of wilderness camping experience. From campfires to lashings, Vincent brings a wealth of skills, knowledge and outdoor ethics to camp. He is excited to return to the Blue Ridge for his second year of BRDC camps.

Devin Floyd grew up in the highlands of NW North Carolina and SW Virginia...playing, exploring, and collecting in the outdoors. His professional background includes prehistoric and historic archaeology, illustration and fine art, teaching music, and guiding in the outdoors.  With a BA in Anthropology from James Madison University, his other interests are geology, natural systems study, and architecture. As a guide, Devin continues to lead us with his stead-fast vision of the power of drawing connections within the world around us.

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Darin Handy is a Virginia wildlife rehabilitation specialist who works with both injured and orphaned wildlife and exotic animals. Darin is known for captivating youngsters and adults alike with a host of creatures great and small, furry and scaly. Never hesitant to get in knee-deep in muck, he uses hands-on activities to teach the importance of research, responsibility and respect for animals. His enthusiasm and local knowledge is unmatched!

*Payment can be made online through the sign-up button above or through the mail. Please make checks payable to Blue Ridge Discovery Center, 6402 Whitetop Rd., Troutdale, VA 24378

**To complete registration please download and complete the Camp Registration Form and mail to: Blue Ridge Discovery Center, 6402 Whitetop Rd., Troutdale, VA 24378