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Our Vision

To promote outdoor recreation as a life style choice that benefits one’s health and that builds a stronger community by bridging the gap between nature and our technologically driven society.

Our Mission

To provide an environment that facilitates the exploration and development of an outdoor ethic through interaction with nature.

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Our Values

  • Wilderness education

  • Environmental Stewardship 

  • Community 

  • Challenge

  • Fun

Employee Bios

David Mildenberg

Founder of Valley to Summit;

Instructor, Guide, Educator

Born and raised in Philadelphia, David’s passion for the outdoors was inevitably sparked in high school when he read Henry David Thoreau’s Walden. His outdoor adventure experience ranges from multiple American national parks to even Patagonia, Chile! It was in Patagonia where David learned the meaning of exploration, remote living, surviving in harsh weather conditions, communication, risk assessment, teamwork and tolerance for adversity. David’s favorite back country meal is Gado-Gado Spaghetti. 

Carlos Gil-Gonzalez

Guide

Since a very young age, Carlos has always been in love with outdoor activities ranging from land to sea. From backpacking, hiking, mountain biking and more—to surfing and standup paddle boarding. Carlos’ deep passion for helping others has led him to supporting, teaching and inspiring people throughout their outdoor experiences in Valley to Summit. A few of Carlos’ favorite local places to climb include Ralph Stover High Rocks Vista, Birdsboro Quarry, Safe Harbor and Peterskill & the Gunks.

Damon Sechler

Guide

Born and raised in Central Pennsylvania, Damon’s passion for the outdoors began at a very young age on family climbing, backpacking and camping trips. His experience in the Boy Scouts and his love for the outdoors took off like a rocket, and he began working at his local Boy Scout Camp years later. Damon has worked as a BSA Climbing Instructor, BSA C.O.P.E. (Challenge Course) Instructor, and Climbing/ C.O.P.E. Director for Susquehanna Council, BSA and currently still runs the program. He enjoys climbing all over the eastern United States, but his favorites areas are The New River Gorge, Coopers Rock, and Mt. Gretna. Damon enjoys skateboarding in his downtime.

Faydra Getner

Guide

Faydra holds a true passion for climbing and enjoys it the most when she’s educating others. Faydra has worked part-time at Earth Treks in Timonium, MD helping kids develop confidence in their climbing abilities and pushing them to make it to the climbing team. She loves the expression “Life begins when you step out of your comfort zone” and practices this expression by helping adults push themselves out of their comfort zone. Her “big girl job” as a Nuclear Medicine Technologist specializing in Cardiac Nuclear Medicine is “less exciting, but just as rewarding”. Faydra has climbed various places such as Oahu, Hawaii; Sugarloaf Mtn, MD; Rocks State Park, MD; Great Falls, Carderock; SafeHarbor, PA; and Birdsboro; PA.

Don Heinz

Instructor, Guide

Although Don was born and raised in Philadelphia, it wasn’t until after moving to Boyertown, PA that he discovered his love for the outdoors. His experiences in boy scouts, backpacking and hiking was only fueled by the altitude of the Andes Mountains and the dangers of active volcano Mt. Villarrica. After returning to the U.S, Don began rock climbing, peakbagging, and gained a certification in Wilderness First Aid and CPR.

Cory Janusz

Guide

Born near the Shawangunks in New York and raised in central New Jersey, Janusz’ love of the outdoors stemmed from boy scouting, summer camps at the local environmental education center, and long island vacations. After spending most of his life in outdoor adventuring and field work in Costa Rica, he was introduced to rock climbing. From simple passion to lifelong pursuit; Cory’s love for climbing and hiking has taken him all over the country to places like Big Bend in Utah and The Red and New River Gorges, to the Galapagos and the rainforests of Costa Rica. In the future, Cory plans to visit Kenya with big plans to explore even further.

Chadd Sechler

Guide

Born and raised in Central Pennsylvania, Chadd’s love of the outdoors began during his Boy Scout Troop backpacking and camping trips. He found a lifelong passion after being introduced to climbing on a troop outing, as what started off as a hobby quickly became a lifelong pursuit. Chadd has experience in the field working as BSA Climbing Director, BSA C.O.P.E (Challenge Course) Director and part-time guide.With many more work related experiences, Chadd inevitably found that his passion trickled down towards educating children and sharing the sport with the youth. His favorite areas to climb are The New River Gorge, Seneca and The Red River Gorge.

Deborah Krabbendam

Guide

Deborah is a lawyer by vocation, and outdoor adventurer by avocation; she has always enjoyed hiking, camping and various other outdoor activities. Deborah’s first experience backpacking was shared with her two sons, a seven week old puppy and a 50 pound pack filled with car camping gear. Hooked and inspired by this experience, Deborah has since logged hundreds of backpacking miles on Pennsylvania and New Jersey trails. With Valley to Summit, Deborah hopes to inspire people of all ages who are wary of the back country/wilderness setting to try something new.  When she’s not in the wilderness or at work, Deborah plays soccer, reads, hikes with her friends and frequents Philadelphia’s great theatres and music venues.

Contact Info

Phone: (215) 543-6171

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