Scholarship Recipients

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.

Michael Poole

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.

Jinlong Lin

Jinlong Lin

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.

Kristen Kartchner

Kristen Kartchner

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 Holladay

Keith Holladay - 7-Day Skills Course grant recipient

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.

Lauren Fagen

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.

Past recipients

Samantha Surfus


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.

Tyler Murchie

Tyler Murchie

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.

Jen Mitchell


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.

Brodie Meche


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.

Margaret Eisenberg


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. 

Joseph Miller


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.