Meet Our New National Program Director, Jason Yale
We’re excited to introduce you to the newest BCM member, Jason Yale, National Program Director. Learn more about Jason below and make sure to welcome him on board if you get a chance to meet him in person!
Where are you from?
- I was born in Omaha, Nebraska, but did the majority of my growing up in Denver, CO. Over the years, I have lived and worked in WI, MN, OR, NY, CA and FL. But I have to say, it feels good to be back home.
What’s your favorite outdoor memory?
- One of my favorite outdoor memories stems from my time as a young trip leader, tasked with leading wilderness canoe trips in the Boundary Waters of Northern Minnesota. I was assigned to lead a trip along the historic Grand Portage route, which culminates with an eight and a half mile portage. The trip was meant to be a culminating experience for our students, and as such, they were responsible for running many aspects of the trip. Well, after one day of strong instruction from myself and my co-leader, the students were off and running. They created the schedule for the day, cooked all of the meals, and navigated. At times, my co-leader and I had to remind each other that we were still working, as the students were the ones doing all of the work! In the end, we completed the Grand Portage and leapt into Lake Superior to celebrate their accomplishments. The students were beaming and the smiles on their faces told the story. It was just one of those serendipitous trips and an experience that I now, only look back on with a feeling of pure joy and nostalgia.
What’s your favorite backcountry meal?
- My favorite backcountry meal is Cheesy Pesto Pasta. Why? First off, lots of calories!! Second, you can add at least one pound of cheese per one pound of pasta (I guess that plays into the calorie count as well…) And lastly, it brings me back to my first canoe trip as a twelve year old camper. The first day of this canoe trip was wet and cold. We toughed it out all day, but by the time we made it to our campsite, I was wiped. I crawled into my sleeping bag to try and sleep off my hesitations about this whole canoe tripping thing. Well, an hour later, I was awakened by our trip leader and told I had to come out of the tent to eat dinner. Apprehensively, I followed his direction. Upon exiting the tent, I was handed a bowl of steaming hot Cheesy Pesto Pasta. Let’s just say, the rest is history…
Why are you excited to be part of BCM?
- I am excited to be part of BCM because I have witnessed the power that organized wilderness tripping has to positively affect those who are fortunate enough to participate. I believe that the skills our students learn out in the wilderness will not only serve them in their outdoor pursuits, but also will serve them in all of their academic, professional and personal ventures. I also believe that overcoming challenge in the wilderness leads to self confidence and self-reliance, both traits our students will find immensely helpful as they navigate young adulthood. I am honored and grateful to be in a position that allows me to share the wilderness experience with others and I am thrilled to be part of such a positive and dedicated team here at BCM.