Change is good, right? As humans, we often don’t like change. We tend to like things just the way they are, the way we know them to be. GOAT (legally speaking, Great Outdoor Adventure Trips, Inc) officially became it’s own organization on March 20, 2009. In just over 10 years since, we’ve seen a lot of change. On our first trips, iPhones were a weird, new thing that some of our kids had only heard about. Ten years later, every single kid brings their smart phone on our trips, and we spend our time pulling their faces away from screens.
2019 was our first summer (and school year) run from our new home
In our early years, we worked out of Ryan’s home – washing bottles in his kitchen, storing gear in his extra bedroom, meetings around his dining room table. Eventually we moved into our indoor climbing gym, Mountain Goat. In 2018 that changed again and we moved with Mountain Goat into a coffee shop in the Poe Mill neighborhood in Greenville. And just this year – YOU helped us purchase a piece of property right next door to be our permanent home. We will still use Mountain Goat as our home base, offices, and tutoring space, but we now have our own storage and parking next door – and later in 2020 we’ll have dedicated biking and climbing training as well.
2020 will usher in some new changes
As GOAT has grown over the years, we’ve always had an unbelievable staff to help lead our kids, interns and volunteers. During our first nine years, our founder Ryan McCrary worked full-time as our organization’s director. In 2017, Ryan was able to step into a new career while leading GOAT as a volunteer director. As GOAT continues to grow and change, we have been exploring new ways to run a small non-profit. Many of you may remember a staff member, Cam Hill who worked at GOAT a few years ago. Cam eventually moved into a pastoral role at Summit Church here in Greenville. Cam and his wife, Joy, also moved into the Nicholtown neighborhood and began to work with middle and high school students in that neighborhood. They formed an organization called Éleos which operated as a part of GOAT to allow us to share administrative and overhead costs while they were beginning their ministry. For the past few years, Éleos has grown, purchased a building in the neighborhood and hired staff – all while operating as a program of GOAT. GOAT and Éleos not only share resources, but use many of the same programs and have the same core mission. Because of our shared mission in vision, in 2020 Great Outdoor Adventure Trips, as a legal entity, is becoming the LEAD Collective and bringing Cam on full-time to lead our new parent organization, as well as the staff of GOAT, Éleos and another ministry we recently added called GirlUp. Ryan will still be involved with GOAT in a volunteer leadership role and will be the president of the LEAD board, helping Cam step into his new role. We realize this may seem a little confusing or even unorthodox, but we believe this is a huge step forward to the long term viability of GOAT and our ministry in Greenville. In reality, not much will change – you can still give directly to GOAT and our programs, or volunteer with our ministry. GOAT is not changing names, or mission – were simply adding a layer of accountability and leadership that we believe will help us grow and serve more students all over SC. If you have any questions, you can check out www.leadgvl.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and we’d be happy to discus our plans moving forward.