It goes without saying that the principals of Adventure Out are all avid outdoor enthusiasts and intrepid businesspeople. Combined, they have surfed, climbed, scuba dived, biked and hiked their way across the globe. Their common love for empowering people and being active in the great outdoors, together with an entrepreneurial spirit, brought them to the creation of Adventure Out.
CEO & Founder – Cliff Hodges
Cliff holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) where he was a Tau Beta Pi and Eta Kappa Nu national collegiate scholor. He is an accomplished entrepreneur and outdoor guide; traveling the world to climb mountains, surf big waves, study with indigenous tribes, and lead groups of clients ranging from school groups to corporate executives to tap in to their true potential through wilderness adventures. Hodges also sits on the board for several nonprofit organizations and is the owner of CrossFit West – the largest CrossFit facility in the western United States. At the heart of his management style and mission statement is the desire to cultivate environmental stewardship. Hodges has been featured in international publications such as Outside Magazine and Popular Mechanics, and has starred as a survival instructor on MTV’s hit television show MADE.
- Oct 2013 Speach at Event Santa Cruz (local version of TED Talks)
- Outside Magazine Profile
- Preview of Hodges discussing survival curriculum
- Santa Cruz “Nextie” Award Interview
- MTV’s MADE – Full Episode
- Popular Mechanics Article
- MIT Technology Review Article
- Santa Cruz Good Times Profile
- San Francisco Chronicle Article
- Cliff Hodges discusses Survival on ABC News
Program Coordinator & Lead Survival Instructor – Jack Harrison
Jack has spent over a decade teaching people how to survive. As a lifelong student of nature, Jack has made conservation his priority and in his words: “there is no better way to conserve, than to educate”. Jack’s training began at age 3 with famed naturalist Elizabeth Terwilleger and by 18, Jack had spent more time in the woods than most people will in a lifetime. Jack spent a year at the renowned Wilderness Awareness School – one of the only accredited wilderness studies programs in the world. As a result, Jack has mastered a range of survival and primitive living skills and it’s that experience & passion for the natural world that helps make the survival program at Adventure Out what it is. As the driving force behind expanding our programs to Marin, Jack has played a large role in growing Adventure Out’s survival curriculum. When he’s not teaching, you can find Jack working on his collection of beautiful flintknapped arrowheads, hand-crafted bows and arrows, and honing his stalking and tracking skills for hunting season. Jack is also an expert fly fisherman and can be found chasing “hard to catch” species such as Pacific Steelhead, West Coast Striped Bass, Surf Perch, Halibut and those ever present Small and Largemouth Bass.
See related media: Jack teaching survival at the California Academy of Sciences.
Follow Jack on Instagram
Rock Climbing Program Manager – Melinda Reece
Melinda began rock climbing at Pacific Edge Climbing Gym in 2004. Melinda has developed a profound appreciation for the emotional and physical challenges of the sport of climbing. For Melinda, climbing is much more than a sequence of movements; it is a dynamic expression of beauty, strength, and passion. She is dedicated to a life of self discovery and adventure, and effortlessly shares that joy her community and students. Melinda completed a Single Pitch Instructor training with the American Mountain Guide Association in 2011. She has been guiding for Adventure Out since 2011 and teaching climbing since 2006. In addition to guiding others on climbing adventures, Melinda continues to explore rock climbing throughout the world for her own personal adventures.
Surf Program Manager – Joey Evans
Growing up in a surfing family, Joey began surfing at five and has been hooked ever since. So far, he has followed his passion through North America and has surfed the coasts of Florida, California, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. In undergrad, he surfed in the collegiate level of the National Scholastic Surf Association (NSSA). During this time, he was invited to surf in Nationals at Salt Creek in 2004. Since graduating, Joey has shared his love of surfing with others and managed surf camps in San Diego before joining Adventure Out in 2011. He really enjoys teaching people to surf and coaching them to help the transition from beginner to advanced. Joey’s other passion is art and he earned an undergraduate degree from Florida Atlantic University in Graphic Design. Currently he is attending Academy of Art for a masters of fine arts in Web Design & New Media. Recently he has found a way to merge his passions by focusing his masters thesis on designing a top secret surfing app. .
See related media: Watch Joey & the AO Crew teach a surf lesson!
Program Consultant, Tom McElroy brings decades of wilderness experience to Adventure Out. As the former head instructor at The Tracker School, Tom has taught thousands of people primitive skills and wilderness survival across North America. A graduate of Rutgers University, Tom studied Geography and Anthropology and has spent time volunteering for outreach work with various indigenous peoples throughout the world in the arena of native land rights.
See related media: Tom McElroy discusses Survival on Fox News
Visit Tom’s Photography Business