Aspen Roots Collective has been a project in the making for many years. The idea for such a business has roots that reach back as far as childhood memories will go: canoeing through a star-lit night in the Boundary Waters with my family; paddling the New River Gorge with a band of camp sisters on a fall day in college; kicking steps in the snowy shoulders of Mt Massive with co-trainees in Colorado; fasting under the watchful care of an older aspen somewhere in the wilderness of Lefthand Canyon. Each of these memories helped to give shape to my vision of offering to others similar life-giving experiences. When examining the common elements between moments such as these, there are three themes that emerge as foundational to my personal wellness and sense of purpose in life: engaging in activities that prove to me that I am more capable than I previously believed; sharing life, love, and learnings with a community; and exploring and learning from the innate relationship that I have with the natural world around me. With the creation of ARC, my hope is to facilitate aspects of these three growth opportunities with each participant, whether in my office in West Asheville or on a mountain top on the other side of the world. I look forward to the journey!