Staff Weekend


Staff from all four trips gathered at the Deaton house over Memorial Day to talk about all things TWB. We laughed at the good memories from past years, learned important details of our trip, and even practiced pitching tents. We are SO excited to be traveling out west with you all this summer, we can hardly wait! For now, here are some highlights from this weekend as we plan for the big trip out west!

Staff from all four trips!

Reminiscing about our days as participants on TWB.

The one and only, Dennis Deaton!!

Oh yes, we stuffed our faces with BBQ.

Capped the first day by watching viral youtube videos. 

Taking selfies across America is one of our favorite hobbies.

Practice makes perfect when pitching a tent. Fingers crossed we won't have to use them.
Session 2 Trip 1 counselors can't wait to see you on July 14th!

Meet Your Counselors

Teens Westward Bound Session 2 Trip 1!!

Hi America! Meet your 2018 TWB counselors- we are so excited to learn all about you while traveling America this summer. For now, here is a little information about us. We cannot wait to see you on July 14th!!

Grant Deaton: Program Director
HELLO AMERICA! My name is Grant Deaton and this is my 18th year traveling across this amazing country with TWB. I started going out west in 1996 and 1997 as a participant. In 2001, I began traveling as a counselor and became the tour director in 2003. It was such an honor and privilege to take on the role of Program Director in 2016. Words cannot express how excited I am about traveling out west again this summer with such an incredible group of young people. We are going to have a blast!

I have worked as a Marketing teacher for 13 years in North Carolina. I enjoy golfing, mountain biking, backpacking, as well as hanging out with my family and dog. My wife, Kitch, and I are extremely blessed to have three wonderful little boys in our lives. Connor (7 years old), Brandon (5 years old) and Samuel (3 year old) bring so much joy to our family. I will miss them so much this summer.

Enjoying every minute of life is so important to me. Going out west every year with the best young people God has to offer is the best way to spend a summer in my mind. I can't wait to see you soon!!

Dallas Godbold (TWB 2010-1): Co-Trip Director
HELLO TWB Session 2 Trip 1!!!!! I am counting down the days until we meet on July 14th!
I’m Dallas Godbold and I am from TWB Headquarters, Mooresville, NC! I was lucky enough to have the one and only Grant as a teacher in high school! I had the amazing opportunity to go on TWB in 2010 and it forever changed my life. It was always a dream of mine to be able to go back as a counselor one day. This is my third summer traveling out West as a counselor, and I could not be more excited! I am so excited to take on the role of Co-Director with Katie, we are going to have the best summer!!!  
I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in May of 2015 with a degree in Elementary Education! I am currently about to finish my third year teaching 4th grade at Jamestown Elementary School! I absolutely love teaching, everyday in 4th grade is exciting (get ready for some good 4th grade stories)!  My students claim that I have song for everything, which is probably true!
I loved Greensboro so much, I decided to call it “home” and bought the cutest house!  I have loved decorating it, but I have learned I am not a huge fan of yard work. In my free time I enjoy sitting on my front porch, drinking coffee, watching HGTV, and occasionally running. You will see me with coffee in my hand every single morning and probably catch me snacking on peanut butter cups.
I hope you are ready for a fun filled summer, I promise it will be a summer you will ALWAYS remember! We are are going to have 23 days filled with loads of sunshine, happiness, and excitement.  TWB holds a special place in my heart and I can’t wait to experience it with you!

Katie Gardner (TWB 2009-1): Co-Trip Director

TWB TRIP ONE! Hey there! My name is Katie Gardner and I CANNOT WAIT to go out west with you!! I had the privilege of traveling west with TWB in the summer of 2009 and that's when I fell in love with this trip. This is my THIRD summer as a counselor, first as a co-director, and I can’t even begin to tell you what an incredible summer we are about to have together!!! A little bit about me – I was born and raised in Laurinburg, NC! I am a loud and proud Meredith College grad (go angels!!!) and I now teach the most precious first graders on the planet. I live in Raleigh with my sweet hubby and our PUPPY named Joy! A few of my favorites things – coffee (and lots of it), ice cream (lots of that too), Meredith College, any and all breakfast foods, pizza (last food favorite I promise!!), my sweet pup, my supportive, loving, big family, the WOLFPACK, and the Carolina Panthers – and above all else, this breathtaking country of ours!! Okay enough about me…. Is it JULY 14 yet?!?!?! I can hardly wait. I’m so looking forward to meeting each and every one of you and sharing my TWB love with you!! Trip 1, I hope you’re ready for the best summer ever!!!
(PS - Naturally I'm finding any and all excuses to flip through my wedding photos... but ladies and gents, take a good look because you'll never see me looking this good (or clean) during our 23 days together!!! hehehe)

John Miller (TWB 2006-1): Bus Cleaners/Packers

Teens Westward Bound again?! I'd have never thought I would be this lucky or blessed to have the opportunity to experience TWB again! I'm John Miller and hail from the metropolitan area of Mayodan, NC (just kidding of course, it's actually quite small!). I went on TWB as a participant in the summer of 2006 (one year prior to the blog, so no going back to look at how goofy I was!!) and then as a counselor in 2012 on Trip 1and in 2014 on Trip 2. I am anxiously awaiting this summer's trek!

After graduating from McMichael High, I went on to Wingate University to pursue a degree in dealing drugs, ooops I mean Pharmacy! I received my Doctor of Pharmacy in the spring of 2014 and work as a Clinical Consultant Pharmacist that services nursing and assisted living facilities across North Carolina, Virginia, & West Virginia. I also push pills at Walmart two to three days a week. During my time at Wingate, I had the opportunity to travel a tremendous amount abroad. My studies allowed me to travel through the United Kingdom, Italy, France, Germany, and the Netherlands, but nothing excites me more than traveling across our beautiful country with the best high school students around!

An easy description of myself would be a sports fanatic and avid outdoorsman! I am an Eagle Scout and still active with the BSA via the Junior Firefighter program at the Fire Department where I volunteer. In my free time, I enjoy camping, kayaking, fishing, and golf. I looove coffee and tea, but unfortunately good tea is only east of the Mississippi!

Looking forward to meeting you all and having a great adventure out west!

Favorite Quote: "All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible."

Kaitlyn Miles (TWB 2014-2): Cooks

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HELLO TWB 2018!! My name is Kaitlyn Miles and I can’t WAIT to meet you all of you! I first went out west with TWB the summer after I graduated high school in 2014 – and (no exaggeration) I have been counting down EVERYDAY until I could go back. I grew up in Indian Trail, NC and attended Piedmont High School. This month, I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a degree in Communication Studies with a concentration in Public Relations. Throughout college, I spent most of my time being active with campus clubs and my sorority. This semester I completed an internship at the Cam Newton Foundation (GO PANTHERS!) and now I am job searching to find a career in my passion of nonprofits. I could tell you guys that UNC Charlotte has given me the best experiences of my life thus far, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that the 23 days I spent as a participant on Teens Westward Bound were the best 3 ½ weeks of my life.  I am ECSTATIC to get to know all of you, but even more excited to witness another group of students have their lives forever changed by the experience that TWB will give them. Get excited… July 14th will be here before we know it!

Daniel Calhoun (TWB 2013-1): Blog

Ahoy there TWB family!

My name is Daniel Calhoun, and I am stoked to meet all of you on July 14th. Our trip is going to be incredible! How do I know this? Well, back in ancient times (2013), I was lucky enough to be in your shoes and head out west with Teens Westward Bound as a participant. The experiences and everlasting friendships I gained within those 23 days were unbelievable. It was so great, that I decided to do it all over again this summer with you guys.

A little more about myself, I grew up in Mooresville, NC. I’m a huge sports fanatic and like to stay active by playing basketball, football, hiking, running, and jamming to new music. This is not my first rodeo of being a counselor. I worked at Camp Sea Gull (hence the ahoy there) for two awesome summers. When I wasn’t on the coast, I was exploring the mountains at college. I graduated this year with a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Appalachian State University. I will continue my education in the fall by pursuing a master’s degree in Sports Management from the University of Florida. Before I pick up another book, let's have the time of our lives traveling across America! This summer is going to be legendary.

My favorite quote: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” – Ferris Bueller