We had the good fortune of connecting with Paul Dreyer and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Paul, what role has risk played in your life or career?
We live in a world that has become more and more risk adverse. From all directions – media, teachers, parents – we are all bombarded with messages about avoiding risk, keeping ourselves safe. My take on risk? We need to manage risk, but not avoid risk. In fact, I look for opportunities (and try to help others look for opportunities) to lean in to risks – positive risks. Sure, risk avoidance leads to safe spaces, but I believe that safe spaces lead to lack of growth and development. Risk management leads to increased situational and personal awareness, which helps us recognize and step into brave spaces. Whether it’s biking down a trail, climbing on a crag, or making business decisions, I welcome opportunities to enter brave, learning zones through positive risk taking.
What should our readers know about your business?
Avid4 Adventure is on a mission to empower kids to choose active and healthy outdoor lifestyles. We run summer camps – day camps, resident camps, and expedition camps for kids, starting at the very youngest ages. We help kids get away from screens, and connected to themselves, new friends, and the outdoors. A couple of things that make Avid4 different from other summer camps – our staff and our commitments to “B Corp” values. Our staff are older, more experience, and better trained than many other camps. And, Avid4 Adventure is the only certified Benefit Corporation (B Corp) in the world, which means we make decisions thinking about issues relating to the environment, our staff, our extended communities.
At Avid4, I serve as our CEO, which stands for Chief Empowerment Officer. ow did I get to this position? Well, it’s been a very long journey. The very, very short version – I grew up in New England, and I lived a pretty traditional, high-paced, high-pressured Northeast existence for about 22 years, which led me to a “good” college and then a “good” job at a large corporate bank. I worked at that bank for about 1 year, and then I started a new (and different) existence when I moved West to be a ski bum. From there, I said yes to a ton of outdoor guiding opportunities, lived mostly out of my car for about a decade, ended up getting a Masters degree in counseling, and then (ok, there were a few more steps) became CEO at Avid4.
Of course, along my journey, and along Avid4’s journey, there have been so many challenges, so many successes, and so many learnings. Perhaps one thing that has proved to be particularly helpful – both personally and for us as a business – is the ability to be nimble, flexible, and curious, especially during times of adversity and uncertainty.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I moved to Colorado over two decades ago, and I love welcoming guests to my adopted home. I am so grateful to live in Lyons, which is a great basecamp of adventure for all visitors. My most favorite places to take visitors….
– Mountain bike ride at Hall Ranch.
– Hike at Rocky Mountain National Park or Buttonrock Reservoir
– Standup paddle board at McIntosh Lake
– Happy hour beer at Oscar Blues of Mainstage
– Dinner at West End Tavern in Longmont
– A day in Boulder to hike, explore, and eat at Chautauqua
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would love to give a shoutout to my friend, mentor, and colleague – David Secunda. David is also the Avid4 Adventure founder.