Since the 2015 inception of the BOSS Scholarship Program, we’ve been proud to sponsor a number of incredible individuals. All of our recipients are doing important work for the world that may not be financially lucrative, are willing to take the challenge, and are at a stage in their life where BOSS can benefit them either personally or professionally. We know our alumni will be proud to see them cross the finish line.
Mac MillanHello, my name is Mac Millan and I build scenery for stage and film in New York City.
It’s a job and career I love but freelancing in such a competitive industry in a competitive city can really obscure what’s important. Every day is spent worrying about the next job, the next bill, the next paycheck – with workdays that routinely stretch past 12 hours it’s easy to forget to actually live your life until all of a sudden years have gone by. What initially drew me to BOSS and the 28 day course is a chance to find center away from the distractions and abstract worries of everyday life. When was the last time most of us spent an entire month without looking at a screen?
I see BOSS as an opportunity to be pushed further and harder than I could ever hope to reasonably do on my own. Beyond that as a lifelong outdoorsman I haven’t seen a tree not planted by human hands in half a decade and it’s really been killing me! I would like to express my deepest gratitude to those who have made my attendance possible, it absolutely would not have been possible without your generosity. I’m sure there will be times in the cold and the wet I may second guess myself here but I can tell you right now I haven’t been this excited in years.
Mac has been awarded a $2000 BOSS Grant to attend a 28-Day Field Course.
Kris ReedKris attended a BOSS field course when he was seventeen, and it changed the course of his life. Afterword he dropped out of high school and took to Montana where he interned at a primitive and sustainable living skills school. He spent the next fifteen years learning, teaching and sharing ancestral skills throughout the northern rockies, but the desert kept calling him back at all times of the year. With his wife, Bartle, he lived an eighty day survival trip in southern Utah during winter, walked the Grand Enchantment Trail in early summer, and did numerous multi week trips exploring all over the southwest. He coauthored the book Foraging the Mountain West and has spent the last six years hosting a gathering to honor and celebrate the deer, elk and antelope through learning how to tan hides, make clothing and preserve and eat the whole animal. Together they’ve scavenged and saved thousands of hides and pounds of meat from the waste stream, but there was still something missing: the spiritual connection and dance of the hunt. Now that the kind patrons of BOSS have extended him this $1000 grant, Kris is able to further engage in relation with all animals through hunting by attending the Hunter Gatherer course. “Thanks so much to all of you for this opportunity and keeping this school going through all the modern struggles of our time.”
There comes a time in everyone’s life when they come face to face with the wild nature of the world. This moment can be life-changing as the person is faced with the challenge of survival. For me, this moment came in a Title I Classroom. Funny, I know, to feel so strongly about a group of 8-year-olds, but a classroom candidly reveals the wildness of humanity and its need to survive. I grew up with a love for the world outdoors. I spent a Thai Thanksgiving in a mountain village with stars so bright and beautiful I could hear their whispers. I’ve climbed trees ever since concluding opposable thumbs are made for more than finger paint. However, I have grown up in a society with an urbanized agenda, and like most first loves, Mother Earth was replaced with a cheap imitation. I cannot quite explain it, but some way or another the wildness of these children has rekindled the fire within: to know our Earth and her wisdom on an intimate level. I am incredibly grateful to the supporters of BOSS and the Nikhil Bhatla scholarship for creating one of the greatest opportunities of my life, an opportunity for survival.
Sincerely, Addison Hubbard.Addison has been awarded the Nikhil Bhatla Scholarship to attend a 28-Day Field Course.
Becka ThompsonBecka Thompson is a teacher, artist, mother and survival enthusiast. She has taught math and theater all over the country and looks forward to taking the skills learned at BOSS back to Minneapolis to lead trips with some of her high risk students. Becka works toward restorative justice in her classrooms every day and thinks that exposure to and experience in the outdoors can connect today’s young people to a more confident and capable future. She is an alum of the University of Minnesota and the Juilliard school with degrees in mathematics and theater respectively. Her son Patrick is her first and favorite student and, of all the young lives she seeks to influence from this experience, his is the one she cherishes the most.
Becka has been awarded a $750 BOSS Grant to attend a 7-Day Field Course.
Fletcher is a diet / detox coach and practitioner of a shamanic medicine tradition from the high Andes of Peru – a path he was inspired to explore after the loss of his mother in 2015. In his practice he has helped clients make great strides towards health and wellness who have suffered from drug addiction, past trauma, panic disorders and chronic health issues. A certified Wilderness First Responder, Fletcher hopes to put the added skills and experience he gains during his time with BOSS into practice by leading clients out in the backcountry where he will facilitate healing work and initiation rights, such as the Vision Quest. A former reporter, Fletcher has worked and lived in Latin America, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Europe. Today he calls Park City, Utah home where he’s an avid skier, mountain biker and rock climber.
Fletcher has been awarded a $1000 BOSS Grant to attend a 14-Day Field Course.
Audrey De La Rosa
My name is Audrey De La Rosa from Kayenta, Arizona located on the Navajo Nation.
First of all, I would not be able to attend this program without the support of the BOSS alumni that make this grant possible. Thank you for this incredible opportunity!
Second, I’d like to share that it was an emotional and vulnerable experience in the process of writing for this grant. Why? It was trusting that I am worthy and there is nothing wrong with asking for help to make dreams come true. I allowed space to trust and know that no matter what, my heart knows where it is going and it is my duty to listen and to follow it.
Last, I am extremely grateful and humbled to accept the BOSS grant and look forward to sharing this experience with y’all and future students. May the journey continue!
Cheers to the trails and relations ahead.
Audrey De La Rosa
Audrey has been awarded a $750 BOSS Grant to attend a 28-Day Field Course.
Hi all! First off I want to give a big thanks to BOSS and BOSS alumni for offering scholarships so that people like myself can attend. It is a tremendous opportunity that will forever change me and positively for the better. I was born in Nashville, TN. I grew up roughing around in the outdoors and spent as much time as I could outside with nature. I joined the United States Navy as a young adult. After one enlistment and an extension, I got out with an honorable discharge to finish up the last two years of my bachelor’s degree. I graduated with a bachelor’s in Biology and joined the workforce. I currently spend most of my free time backpacking, hiking, rafting, scuba diving and anything else outdoors related. I am an adrenaline junky and love extreme activities. I have a passion for learning new skills and participating in new activities. I am super stoked to attend a BOSS 7-Day Field Course this summer. I look forward to the adventure and to learning new skills and methods. This challenge will benefit me both physically and mentally. I will walk away a stronger person and more educated in order to help myself and others. I hope that many of you reading this will join me on this challenge. See you out there!! Utah here I come! Thanks again to BOSS and all they do for us!
Kimberly has been awarded a $1000 BOSS Grant to attend a 7-Day Field Course.
Growing up in Michigan with the scenic lakeshore and changing landscape, I have always loved the outdoors and felt drawn to explore. After moving to Utah, this perception of exploring the outdoors has changed drastically. In Michigan, my experiences with camping always felt structured and safe. There was always someone close by and you never felt entirely alone or self-sufficient. Now living in Utah, I am constantly drawn to pursue “bigger” experiences, but unfortunately my lack of experience with the landscape and admittedly horrible sense of direction often prevents me from pursuing these adventures.
Thanks to the BOSS Scholarship program, I am excited to complete the 7-Day Field Course to gain the confidence to comfortably explore on my own. Working as an environmental educator, I am eager to more effortlessly apply the “Know more, carry less” principles taught in the course and set an example while working with youth outdoors. In addition, I’m constantly seeking opportunities to learn from others in the outdoor industry to better improve my teaching style as well, and I couldn’t think of a better way than through learning by doing.
Natalie has been awarded a $1000 BOSS Grant to attend a 7-Day Field Course.
Hello, my name is Michael Poole. I completed the 14 day field course in spring 2017. The course fell at the beginning of my second stint as a wilderness therapy guide here in the deserts and wilds of Utah. As the bite of winter sinks in, I am grateful for the lessons I learned and the strength garnered from my BOSS field course. I watched my field instructors gently yet firmly push my group members and me towards our limits. I have adopted their edge-finding impact days and gentle push into my own life and guiding style for myself and my students for the living dreams these days bring and the concrete walls they break down. I also remember the hope of attaining more that filled the empty spaces opened by living with less. The breath, the clarity, and the harsh reality of a warm spring day and a mountain field of flowers were some of the things that settled out of the empty space and an empty stomach away from modern things and modern foods. Yes, harsh and real and beautiful. I am grateful that the more you know the more you see and all the knowledge the BOSS instructors shared with me. I am also grateful for a vision I had shortly after my BOSS experience. Maybe 15 years from now, tucked somewhere in the hollows and folds, in the wild places the Appalachians still hold, my son and I will take shelter and we will take the life of a deer. We will make survival camp there. Maybe we will not talk for a whole morning or a whole day. Maybe only the sounds of the forest will rain. Sweat will drip as we work the hide. And then we will learn the meaning of feast, sipping pine needle tea, eating the praises of our campfire’s flames gorging on life as we sit side-by-side. On the coming of this day I will think back at BOSS, pause in a moment of appreciation and then thank God for this slower greater speed. May we all find adventure and may we all participate in nature and life and love a little more earnestly. Thank you, BOSS for proving a space for us to remember how.
Michael Poole has been awarded a $750 BOSS Grant to attend a 14-Day Field Course.
My name is Jinlong Lin (Alfred). I moved to San Francisco from the southern part of China a few years ago. I studied environmental studies at San Jose State University and proceeded to work in the outdoor educational industry. I am passionate about going outdoors and love doing all kind of activities such as hiking, running, and swimming. I did my first full marathon in July 2017 and finished at 03:08:00. In my free time I enjoy watching TV, and going to the gym, book stores & coffee shops. I love going on adventures and always looking for challenges for myself. Thank you so much to the BOSS Alumni for making this possible for me.
Jinlong Lin has been awarded a $1000 BOSS Grant to attend a 7-Day Field Course.
Hi, my name is Kristen Kartchner. I just turned 29 years old and live in the fabulous state of Utah. I graduated from Brigham Young University- Idaho with a BS in Paramedicine. I currently work with people that require dialysis treatments. Ever since I was young I have loved the outdoors. I find a lot of peace and tranquility when I am surrounded by wildlife and nature. For me, there is a freedom that comes from being away from the busyness of the modern world. I want to learn how to work with nature, and to survive in and be a part of it. I have wanted to enroll in a BOSS course for a long time. I finally decided that I want to live my dreams instead of wishing for them. For the last few months I have worked very hard to get to the point to experience these courses. I want to be prepared. I feel that is part of my purpose in life. I also want to be able to use what I learn in this course to help others be more prepared and to show others how awesome it feels to be one with nature. I know that what I learn in this course will define me for the rest of my life.
Kristen Kartchner won the Nikhil Bhatla Scholarship in 2017 and was awarded $4000 to attend a 28-Day Field Course.
Keith grew up in Hawaii surfing, spear fishing in the ocean, hiking, & cliff diving. He loves 70’s/80’s music, snakes, reptiles, dogs, camping, hiking, hunting, fishing, the ocean, & the outdoors. He rarely gets to do these things though. As a father of 5 step-children: 3 grandchildren and 2 young children of his own, he spends most of his time helping them & providing as an industrial plumber & pipe fitter. In his down time he enjoys watching TV, and going to Pawn shops, antique stores, Gun & reptile shows. He loves to collect and trade watches, knives, Guns, & old nostalgia. He has always wanted to go on a survival expedition. Thank you BOSS for helping with this dream come true!Thanks to his lovely wife Jolyn, Keith Holladay has been awarded a $750 BOSS Grant to attend a 7-Day Skills Course.
I am a 22 year old student from Montreal, Quebec, and will be challenging myself on the 7-day field course with my best friend Kayla. We were both granted scholarships that allowed us to join BOSS together. In my home town, I’m finishing my BA in philosophy and mathematics, while tutoring math full time. To keep active, I spend my time casually bouldering and practicing Brazilian jiu-jitsu. My passions include caring for my animals, origami, and studying logic. There is a direct correlation between how happy I am, and how much time I spend challenging myself outdoors. This opportunity is beyond a privilege.
Lauren Fagen (right) has been awarded a $750 BOSS Grant to attend a 7-Day Field Course.
I am currently a student at Hawaii Pacific University (HPU) with a 4.0 GPA. I am majoring in Pre-Medical Studies: Biology Human and Health Science, minoring in Psychology, and currently studying for the MCAT. I graduated from high school with distinguished honors, representative citations, and a national interscholastic record, for academics and competitive swimming. To attend college, I have worked as a waitress, disability note taker, Zumba instructor, bookseller, lifeguard, facility attendant, nanny, and a Medical Scribe. I also enjoy volunteering my time and knowledge at Ronald McDonald House Charities and Family Room. I love anything outdoors including running, cycling, swimming, hiking, rock climbing and competing in trail marathons and triathlons. I moved to Hawaii in order to pursue and explore my passions about nature, the wilderness, and primitive lifestyles. I have been dreaming of an opportunity provided through BOSS since I was a little girl.
Sam Surfus was awarded a $1,000 BOSS Grant in 2015 to attend a 14-Day Field Course.
My name is Tyler Murchie. I’m 26 and currently living in Calgary, Canada, finishing my master’s degree in archaeology from the University of Calgary. I will be moving to either Hamilton, Ontario or Oxford, U.K. in September 2015 for my doctoral program in archeology. My hope is to research the first peopling of North America using ancient DNA. Prior to university, I was in the Calgary Highlanders Reserve Infantry Regiment, Canadian Armed Forces for approximately 1.5 years. I fell in love with archaeology during my first field school because of the remote, outdoor nature of the discipline, and the puzzle solving aspect of trying to understand the lifeway’s of ancient peoples. I’ve enrolled in BOSS to learn how to survive in nature as humans have for the majority of our existence, to push myself harder than I have before, to redefine what my perceived limits are, and to gain a better understanding of hunter-gatherer lifeway’s in order to become a better archaeologist, but also a well-rounded person.
Tyler Murchie won the Nikhil Bhatla Scholarship in 2015 and was awarded $4,000 to attend a 28-Day Field Course.
Hi, I’m Jen Mitchell and I am a girl. Those words are significant in my life as I have taught my two daughters that because they are Mitchell’s and because they are girls, they can do anything they put their minds to. This adventure with BOSS is a culmination of the challenges that I have put my mind to. I am a second year Public Policy grad student whose adventure will start just 8 days after graduation. While on my BOSS adventure I will celebrate my 50th birthday and cannot think of anything I would rather do than challenge myself in the most natural of settings, starting the second half of my life relying on only my own abilities and determination. I am a mom, a student, an athlete, and soon to be an alumni of BOSS, but first and foremost I am a Mitchell and I am a girl. I accept this challenge and I will succeed!
Jen Mitchell was awarded a $750 BOSS Grant in 2015 to attend a 7-Day Field Course.
I am 28-year-old biologist from Opelousas, Louisiana. In the spring of 2010, I received my B.S. in Biology from University of Louisiana at Lafayette. During this time, I worked closely with Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging public conservation and enjoyment of wildlife and fish resources. With the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, I have led workshops, demonstrations, and summer camps for thousands of women and children throughout the state of Louisiana. I’m also a biologist for the Southeast Region Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Stranding Network, and respond to almost every stranded (sometimes called “beached”) animal in the entire coastal area of Louisiana. As a lover of outdoors, I’m also the founder of a tent camping club that teaches campers how to utilize Louisiana’s flora and fauna for a more enjoyable camping experience. When I’m not camping or leading workshops, I enjoy hiking, kayaking, fishing, and learning.
Brodie Meche was awarded a $500 BOSS Grant in 2015 to attend a 7-Day Field Course.
I grew up in northern California and currently work as a Bodyworker in San Francisco. I am also training to be a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, in order to help people heal their trauma. My life-adventures include attending college in Vermont, founding an eye clinic in rural Cameroon, volunteering with Zen Hospice Project in San Francisco, attending a BOSS Skills Course, and many meditation retreats. The deep pull of nature calls loudly, and I look forward to connecting on a deeper more primal level than ever before, with the wilderness, with myself, and with community through the BOSS Hunter Gatherer course. I am very excited to discover what this year’s BOSS experience will instill, into my healing work, my spiritual life, my friendships, and my connection to the Earth/environment as manifested in all my life-choices. Thank you so much to the BOSS Alumni for making this possible for me!
Margaret Eisenberg was awarded a $750 BOSS Grant in 2015 to the attend the Hunter Gatherer Course.
I recently completed a PhD in ancient philosophy. Over the course of my studies, it has become more and more apparent to me that ancient people are interested in and involved with Nature as many of us (their modern descendants) are not. As I seek to understand and share with others the goods I find in ancient philosophy, I find myself requiring experience and understanding that I am never going to find in a book or a classroom. I grew up in Northeast Georgia, where my first adventures with nature came courtesy of the Boy Scouts and the very large cow pasture around my parents’ house. I spent two years living as an urbanite in northern Spain, working as an intern in sales. After this adventure I went to school for more than a decade to acquire a doctorate in classical studies. Along the way, I met a very nice girl in Latin class, and we had two boys. Today, my family and I live in an apartment in Orem, Utah. While my wife works full-time in academia, I adjunct at local universities, write, and take care of our kids.
Joseph Miller recieved a $750 BOSS Grant in 2015 to attend a 14-Day Field Course.