Meet Your Counselors

Teens Westward Bound Trip 3 2022!

Hello America, meet your 2022 TWB Trip 3 counselors and directors! We are so excited to learn everything there is to know about you while traveling America this summer. For now, here is a little information about us. We cannot wait to see you on July 9th! Let's go west!!

Grant Deaton- Program and Trip Director-Site Managers, Bus Cleaners

HELLO AMERICA! My name is Grant Deaton and this is my 22nd year traveling across this amazing country with TWB. I started going out west in 1996 and 1997 as a participant. In 2001, I began traveling as a counselor and became the tour director in 2003. It was such an honor and privilege to take on the role of Program Director in 2016. Words cannot express how excited I am about traveling out west again this summer with such an incredible group of young people. We are going to have a blast!
I have worked as a Marketing teacher for 13 years in North Carolina. I enjoy golfing, mountain biking, backpacking, as well as hanging out with my family and dogs. My wife, Kitch, and I are extremely blessed to have four wonderful little boys in our lives. Connor (11 years old), Brandon (9 years old), Samuel (7 year old) and Grayson (3 years old) bring so much joy to our family. I will miss them so much this summer.
Enjoying every minute of life is so important to me. Going out west every year with the best young people God has to offer is the best way to spend a summer in my mind. I can't wait to see you soon!! LET’S GO WEST!!!

Alyssa Powell (TWB 2018 Trip 3)-Cooks
Hey Hey Hey!!! My name is Alyssa! I just finished my undergrad at North Carolina State University with a major in International Studies and a minor in Nonprofit studies. I was on TWB Trip 3 in 2018 and had some of the best days of my 22 years thus far! My dream is to provide and promote opportunities of inspiration and healing for all generations; I am incredibly happy to be able to live out my dream with y'all this summer!!
I come from a military family so I've moved around a bit; I lived in Japan for a few years, but the Carolinas will always be my home. <3 Traveling is a life passion of mine - along with car karaoke - both of which I can't wait to experience with you! I've always had a passion for working with kids; I've been involved with a nonprofit based in Pennsylvania for about 7 years now. Outdoor Odyssey is an outdoor adventure leadership academy, and mentoring program. I was a mentor in high school four elementary schoolers with military parents, and I went back as a counselor every summer since. I love finding the best in people and encouraging them to see it themselves! 
I love being outdoors, in nature, living among the wild! I've been on a couple backpacking trips through Shenandoah National Park, and through the Laurel Highlands Mountains in western PA. I also like to run marathons (I know I'm a rare breed of crazy). I'm about to start training for my third marathon, the Marine Corps Marathon, in October. I also like walking barefoot, so I'm especially excited for the river walk in ... you'll see!! :)
This summer is going to be an awesome adventure, and I can't wait to do it as one big TWB family! :)

Brice Helms (TWB 2018 Trip 2)- Dishwashers, Bus Packers

Hey TWB!!! My name is Brice Helms and I am so amped to be traveling out West with you all this summer as one of your counselors! I went on TWB back in 2018 on trip 2 and ever since then I’ve wanted to go back as a counselor. I’m from Marshville, NC and I’m a current student at NC State (GO PACK!) and will be finishing out my degree next year with a major in Computer Science.

A few things about myself: I love traveling and experiencing new places, especially national parks! I haven’t traveled much abroad, but I hope to change that in the future. I’ve swam competitively for over 10 years and absolutely cannot get enough of the sport. I’m also really into music, my favorite genres would be rock, alternative, and folk. Honestly, if anything has an awesome guitar solo I’m there for it! And in my free time (when I actually get it) I enjoy hanging out and spending time with friends.

I’m so excited for you all to experience this life changing trip, as it was for me, and I hope you create memories that last you a lifetime! Can’t wait to meet every single one of you and to see what our amazing country has to offer us this summer!

Kayleigh-Scarlett Hopper (TWB 2012 Trip 2)- Bloggers

Hello TWB! I'm Kayleigh-Scarlett Hopper or KS as most people call me (even my parents), and I am so excited to be going out west with all of you this summer. I went on TWB in 2012 on trip 2 as a participant and this summer will be my third trip out west as a counselor. There are certain moments that stand out in your life and TWB is definitely one of those moments. It instilled a love of traveling, meeting new people, and seeing new places that has forever changed me.

I grew up in Cherryville, NC with my parents and two brothers. I talked about TWB so much that my brother, Aulden, decided to go west in 2016. I now reside in Raleigh and I am a first-grade teacher in Wake County. I absolutely LOVE teaching and my first graders! I graduated from NC State with a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education (2018) and with a master's degree in Literacy (2019.) GO PACK! 

In my free time, I love to attend Wolfpack sporting events, spend time outside especially on a beach, sing karaoke (my carpool karaoke mic will be traveling out west with us), and spend time with my family and friends.
Get ready for the trip of a lifetime! You will laugh, cry, sing, dance, sweat, and maybe even get a little sleep. See you July 9th!

*pro tip: pack your clothes in ziplock bags, in case your suitcase gets wet! You never know when a Grand Canyon monsoon will appear :)

Staff Weekend

In May, the staff of all 3 trips met at the Deaton house to learn everything there is to know about TWB. We all got a little practice packing light, sleeping in close proximity to each other, and waking up early, so we are prepared for our upcoming 23 day adventure. We covered every important detail about the trip and talked about past TWB trips. After a weekend of talking about everything TWB and getting to know each other, we're all so excited for trip 3!

Staff weekend was a success, and we are very excited to meet you. We hope you're getting excited, because the next few weeks will fly by and we will be heading west before you know it! Make sure to check out our "Meet Your Counselors" blog to get to know more about your counselors and trip director. SEE YOU SOON!
Who knew there was so much to learn?!

Counselor Brice is taking notes 

Zipline Break!

Waiting in line for dinner in typical TWB fashion

The legends themselves: the V and the Big D

Alyssa is hard at work

Donuts for BREAKFAST!

Checking out our humble abode for the summer

Checking out our kitchen!!

Professional Tent Setters at your service

(We won't actually use these)

Sleeps 8 staff members quite nicely

YOUR trip 3 staff!
Brice, KS, Alyssa, and Brad Pitt

Brice is preparing for TWB by napping

Bloggers gonna blog

KS took Payton (trip 2) out west in 2018

Dallas (trip 1) took Alyssa out west in 2018