Timmy Foulkes

1. What year did you graduate and what degree program?

I graduated in 2002 with a Major in Recreation with an emphasis in Outdoor Leadership and a Minor in Environmental Studies.

2. Where are you now?

I currently work for the U.S. Forest Service (San Juan NF, Columbine Ranger District) in the summer as a Trails Crew Leader and a Wildland Firefighter and for Colorado Firecamp in the winter as a Resident Instructor and Outreach Coordinator.  Colorado Firecamp is a non-profit Wildland firefighter training facility based in Maysville, CO (east side of Monarch Pass), oddly with a Salida address.

3. What did your degree at Western prepare you for?

Timmy Foulkes
In the year 2000 while still in school, I got a job for the summer with what was then the San Luis Valley Regional Youth Corps based out of Monte Vista, CO as a crew leader taking high schoolers onto public lands and doing work such as trail construction and maintenance, fence construction, and campground maintenance and improvements. I returned to that the summer of 2001 as well. It was then I realized this was the job/life for me. In 2002, I worked for the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps based out of Steamboat Springs, CO and moved up the ladder a bit as a Project Coordinator where I was the liaison between field crews, crew leader support, technical project support and also there got the opportunity to directly with our Project Partner contacts where I learned how to design and layout new trails or existing trail re-routes. Also, I was responsible for Risk Management and planning and implementing weekend recreation for the high school crews who were out for four week strait. In 2003, I got an overwhelming opportunity to become the Program Manager for the Canyon Country Youth Corps, a program of the Four Corners School of Outdoor Education based in Monticello, UT. It was an interim position to fill a gap as I was not qualified for that position but I continued there until 2010. That was one of the most challenging experiences of my life as I then became responsible for all I listed with my previous Corps jobs but much more including budgeting, grant writing, federal land management agency contracting, planning and implementing soft and hard skills trainings, Americorps grants management, hiring (& firing) and an immense multitude of other duties. My biggest and proudest accomplishment with that position was that I increased program capacity massively as when I arrived in 2003 there was just a few summer high school crews running in the summer to serving upwards of 100 youth and young adults and an increase in program budget from approx. $150,000 in 2003 to $650,000 in 2010. I left that position and moved to Durango, CO. In early 2011 I went to work for Southwest Conservation Corps (SCC) (now Conservation Legacy) where I happily stepped down the ladder and became a Crew Leader again for the Veterans Fire Corps where we trained military veterans coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan to get the training and skills necessary to become wildland firefighters for the land management agencies. That was a great honor for me as it was my opportunity to serve those who had served us and it continues to be as I get to still train veterans at Colorado Firecamp. I left SCC in early 2014 to work for Firecamp and the USFS and I feel I will continue on this current path for some time as I love it. I also spent some time climb guiding in Telluride in 2011 and 2013 with San Juan Outdoor Adventures where I got work work with the late great Jack Roberts. I love teaching folks new to climbing, especially working with the adaptive population. I live for the "lightbulb moments"!

Western State College (thats the school I went to : ) ) also gave me many other things: While I attended, I was part of the WSC Mountain Rescue Team where I learned about everything technical and non-technical rescue, pushed me to get medical certs and technical rope rigging certs and along with the Land, Snow and Water-Based classes not only taught me about logistical planning for outdoor activity programming but where I also gained a deep and life-long love for climbing, skiing/snowboarding and river rafting. With all of that I gained a multitude of life long friends who I continue to recreate with.

Western showed then gave me a life of amazement, wonder and love not only for the out-of-doors but for a love of the people who continue to push and inspire me daily.

4. What would you recommend to students who are currently in the ROE Program?

Do this because you love it, what feeds your soul, not your wallet. Do this to bring more like you to the outdoors in whatever aspect inspires you. Show this next generation that is stuck in-of-doors and in their phones what it means to push to the next level that includes hard physical exertion and hard mental exertion that can only bring life. Do it for those who have left this life in search of these pursuits but more importantly, do it for yourself and your own transcendence to something greater. Shoot for those "lightbulb moments"!