All of our guides are experienced and trained Coastal Kayaking Guides or Instructors with First Aid, CPR and other certifications. Several also have their wilderness First Responder and other certifications as well. We simply have the best staff you could ask for and they've been with us for years.
Nature Adventures was established in 1999. We are a permitted National Forest Service outfitter and are fully licensed, insured and accredited. Certified ACA coastal and river kayak instructors and dedicated naturalists bring to the camp many years of experience. We are the company that environmental groups and universities choose for their outdoor expeditions in our area.
Owner and founder of Nature Adventures. Kathie started this company in 1999 and has led professional Naturalist Guided Tours since 1984. She graduated from the University of Michigan with honors, obtaining a Bachelors of Science Degree in Resource Planning. She is also a Certified ACA River Kayak Instructor and has over 30 years in paddling and naturalist guiding experience. She worked as the City of Charleston, SC Head Park Naturalist and Environmental Education Director for over 7 years teaching Marine, Wetland and Forest Ecology. Prior to this she worked for National Audubon as a Naturalist and Canoe Guide for 4 years. Her love for paddling started as a teenager, when she and her mother won a 20 mile canoe race, involving over 40 participants on a swift water river in Michigan. Founding the company's mission to help preserve the environment and to donate proceeds to benefit environmental organizations, it is upon this basis that Nature Adventures has excelled at being the lead kayak, canoe and hiking tour company in the Charleston, SC area. Kathie is a proven leader in the outdoor world. Locally, she's known as the area "woods woman" and the "kayak lady".... Kayaking and love of the outdoors is a passion and a way of life to her. Even on her days off, she paddles!
Elizabeth comes with a B.A. in U.S. History from the College of Charleston and specializes in Cultural History and Ornithology on our tours! She is also a Master Naturalist and renowned pro birder who gets requested by major birding groups. With experience as a Girl Scout Leader for over 17 years, she is great with kids on our outdoor expeditions and helps with our women's and couple's retreats. Elizabeth is a Certified ACA Level 1 Coastal Kayak Instructor.
Tillman is Kathie's (the owner's) son and grew up kayaking since the age of 2. He has been helping guide trips for years and is excellent in interpreting the flora and fauna on our trips. Tillman is Certified Master Naturalist, a Certified ACA Adaptive Paddling Instructor, a Certified Level 1 ACA coastal kayak Instructor, and a wilderness First Responder. He is an outstanding paddler who aspires to pursue a career in an environmental field. He recently obtained his degree in Business Entrepreneurship. He has a great love for the outdoors and for animals. We receive wonderful testimonials from our clients about him. His love for kayaking is felt by others and his customer service is excellent!
An incredibly gifted and talented Wildlife Biologist, Diane received a BS in Wildlife Biology from UGA and an MS in Environmental Education from WVU. She has done mammal research off the Georgia coast, bat research in New Mexico for the Forest Service, and currently teaches wildlife biology at a local high school. She believes that environmental stewardship and respect is fostered through education and outdoor experiences. Diane works part time for Nature Adventures during school months and full time during the summers. She is also certified in river and coastal kayaking and is an excellent guide.
Craig grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, moved to SC to gain a few years of teaching experience expecting to move back "home," but fell in love with the SC lowcountry and couldn't leave!!! He holds a B.S. degree in Chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh, and is working on completing an M.S. in Environmental Studies at the College of Charleston. Craig has taught in several different high schools including a bilingual school near Tegucigalpa, Honduras in Central America. Craig also sponsors outdoor/environmental education clubs in every school he's taught at and has helped lead several nature based tourism trips for students around the SC lowcountry, to the North Carolina mountains, to Florida, and even international trips to Honduras, Costa Rica, Mexico & Panama. He's a certified SCUBA diver and also a certified Wilderness First Responder, and life guard.
Sarita recently finished her degree in Business Entrepreneurship and has worked for NAO for several years as a Certified ACA kayak Guide, camp Counselor and wilderness First Responder who helps out NAO with multitudes of skills and always brightens up our day!
Jay is a native of South Carolina and has lived in the Charleston area since 2009. He has a B.S. in Biology from the University of South Carolina and a Master's in Biology from the Citadel. He is also a Certified coastal Master Naturalist. Jay loves the outdoors and is very knowledgeable about the natural history of the Charleston area, and he loves sharing that knowledge and his experiences with others.
A native of Florida and a world traveler, Clark has a great love of both people and the outdoors. He has led backpacking trips, served as a canoe instructor, and feels right at home in the salt marsh. Clark splits time working on the Pastoral Staff of the local Presbyterian Church and paddling with Nature Adventures. Clark is certified as a Master Naturalist for Coastal SC, a Level 1 ACA Kayak Instructor, and is certified in Wilderness First Aid.
Eddie and Gabe
A father and son team! Eddie comes to NAO as a retired forester with the National Forest Service and his knowledge of the geology and ecology of the forest is wonderful. When not kayaking, he's a landuse planner and professional clam farmer! Gabe is an avid outdoorsman and a student focusing on a career in an environmental field of study.
Ben-Jamin Toy is an avid adventurer and quite possibly an adrenaline junkie. He was reared in the woods of Western PA and spent summers in the Shenandoah Valley. He studied a Industrial Engineering and German at Clemson University, falling in love with backpacking and day hiking. He is the owner of On Purpose Adventures, an adventure event planning company, and has a wealth of knowledge in many subjects.
Chandler Bold is a native of Charleston and graduated with a BA in Biology from the College of Charleston. Chandler has been on the water her whole life, spending most of her free time boating, fishing, and swimming in the local water ways. She grew up deep sea fishing and was lady angler for the state of South Carolina in the Governors Cup Billfish series when she was in college. Upon finding paddle boarding she developed an immediate love affair with the sport, which completely transformed her life. She enjoys everything about paddle boarding, from the relaxation aspect of the sport to the fitness and competitive side. Her goal is to share her passion with anybody interested in paddling. She especially loves taking beginners and teaching them to feel comfortable and confident on the board as well as helping more advanced paddlers push their limits with fitness and technique. Chandler is WPA and Paddlefit Level 2 certified, and currently gives private instruction, teaches Paddlefit and leads paddle tours. She also travels and competes in paddleboard races.
Kent is a native to Charleston and graduated from the University of South Carolina with a degree in Hospitality and Tourism. She tied in her degree with her love for the water and became a Paddle board Guide; these passions lead her to travel to Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Canada. Along her travels she started practicing yoga and realized the healthy benefits it had for her body and well-being. She completed her 200 HR teacher training in Vinyasa Flow and Hatha on Vancouver Island, Canada in the fall of 2015. And of course took her practice right to the water, now teaching Paddle board Yoga for us on Shem creek.
George is a Marine Biology major at the College of Charleston. He's been with NAO for several years now and has multiple skills. He's a Certified ACA kayak Guide and has a great rapport with clients.
Matt is a South Carolina native but recently moved to the Charleston area from Charlotte, NC. He has a B.S. in Marine Science from the University of South Carolina and has been an avid outdoorsman for most of his life. Although he enjoys backpacking, rock climbing, whitewater paddling, caving, and camping, his true passion lies with the saltmarshes and lowcountry living. His thirst for adventure will be sure to take him to many exotic places in his life!
Cindy has lived all over the world, and decided almost 20 years ago that South Carolina just can't be beat. After settling in the lowcountry Cindy started giving kayak tours, and has been an excellent guide for many years. Cindy is a Master Naturalist, has a business degree, a nursing degree, and is currently pursuing a Masters in Health Sciences. Cindy uses kayaking as 'water therapy' after long shifts at the hospital, and she is passionate about sharing her appreciate for Charleston's beauty with the guests on her tours. When you go on a tour with Cindy, part of her goal is to leave you with breathtaking memories as you explore all that Mother Nature has to offer.