Alumni Profiles: Where Are They Now?

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Zipline catches up with alumni of the A/U Ranches and DiscoveryBound – Dane Iwata, Steve Ledbetter, Kathy Linehan, Grant and Mandy-kay Pécheck – as well as Adventure Unlimited’s newest National Alumni Board (NAB) member, Allison Abdelnour.

 

Allison Abdelnour with her husband, John

Allison Abdelnour

Having spent several summers at the A/U Ranches as a young camper, Allison learned early on just how much she loved to be in the mountains and be on a horse. While in college, she worked on summer staff as Round-Up Corral program head and then as head wrangler in the late 1990s to early 2000s. 

For many years after, she, along with her husband, John, had the special opportunity to drop in on camp every so often to capture the adventures and stories as told by campers and staff as they filmed promotional videos for the A/U Ranches and DiscoveryBound (DB). In 2015, together they led the DB Compass group for the program’s pilot year. 

Allison has in recent years felt a growing desire to serve the Christian Science movement in a more intentional way. Currently, she is working as the Reading Room librarian and on the executive board of her branch church. As she puts it, “Finding ways to expand and invigorate the church and CS movement is meaningful and important to me, which is a big part of why I am enthusiastic about joining the alumni board. Adventure Unlimited played such an important role in my life in gaining confidence as an individual, learning about God and my true identity, and experiencing healings firsthand.”

Now residing in California, Allison loves to be outdoors, especially while hiking and skiing. Currently, she plays music in a band with three other Adventure Unlimited alumni, and they are in the process of recording an album of Christian Science music. 

 

Dane Iwata

Dane Iwata

Dane first came to Adventure Unlimited as a youth camper when he was 13 years old. Later, he moved into roles as a counselor in training (CIT), rafting guide, counselor, 100 Elk staffer, and more. Dane attended Principia Upper School; currently he creates professional videos for Adventure Unlimited documenting events like the Hub dedication, Christmas Camp, Family Camp, DiscoveryBound and more.

Dane shared that he has always felt like “the Ranches are my ‘home away from home.’” When he thinks back on growing up, most of his formative memories took place at the A/U Ranches. He strongly believes that’s why he’s an avid outdoor enthusiast who couldn’t stay away from Colorado for too long. “This organization shaped me as a young adult, and I love giving back to it whenever I can.”

Dane attended the University of Missouri – St. Louis, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in communication. In 2012 he started Iwata Productions, a media production company, and also works as a videographer for the Department of Defense and Space Force. Over the years, he has produced a variety of video and photo content ranging from instructional, marketing, weddings, journalism/news and non-profit work.

Dane currently lives in Colorado Springs with his wife, Emily, and spends as much time as possible exploring the mountains. You can find him outside camping, rafting, biking and enjoying everything Colorado has to offer.

 

Steve Ledbetter (right) with his family at a Youth Camp banquet

Steve Ledbetter

Steve’s connection with Adventure Unlimited began in the summer of 1993, when he was a CIT in the Explorers program at age 18 after graduating from Principia Upper School. Previously, he had attended other Christian Science summer camps, but at his father’s urging (Davie Ledbetter, a camper in the 1950s and 1960s and a member of the Board of Trustees 1997-2008), he headed to the Rocky Mountains. It was that summer that he fell in love with backpacking, climbing and whitewater rivers, returning to camp after a NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) course to work as a counselor at Round-Up Ranch (for high school campers).

After working at the A/U Ranches, Steve moved to Portland, Oregon, to attend law school and explore the whitewater rivers of the Pacific Northwest, working weekends as a white-water rafting guide. There, Steve and Lissa (Simmons) met and, after graduating from law school, moved to Dallas, Texas, for several years before the birth of their twin boys, Calder and Fisher, in 2006 prompted the move back to Florida and closer to “free babysitting.”

Steve opened his law practice in Venice, Florida, in 2007 as a sole practitioner and now works with a staff of 13 plus two associate attorneys. Ledbetter Law Group is a boutique law firm specializing in estate planning, probate and trust administration, corporate and real estate law. A past president of the local bar association and member of several local non-profit boards, Steve currently is serving with The Venice Symphony, is a member of the Sertoma Club of Venice, and holds a leadership position with The Sandalwood Foundation.

When not working or volunteering, Steve is on the golf course honing his skills or spending time with Lissa, Calder and Fisher, and the newest addition to their family, Aaron, as well as their three dogs.

It was the friendships, opportunity for leadership, and opportunity to be in the most beautiful place in the world that inspired Steve to bring Calder and Fisher to the A/U Ranches eight years ago to Sky Valley (for 2nd- to 8th-graders), where they were campers and Steve volunteered as a bunkhouse dad, adding a third generation to the Ledbetter legacy at Adventure Unlimited. This past year, all three boys attended Round-Up, and hope to be on staff in the coming years. Calder and Fisher are also in the DiscoveryBound National Leadership Council.

 

Kathy Linehan

Kathy Linehan

In early 2022, Kathy wrapped up nearly 30 years of dedication and devotion to Adventure Unlimited as finance director, following an earlier role as an administrative assistant. During her tenure, Adventure Unlimited experienced significant growth and changes, which she helped steward. With Kathy’s steadfast leadership, can-do attitude and deep love, the organization navigated two successful capital campaigns as well as numerous increases in HR compliance and IT data integrity demands. The impact of her many contributions to the organization continues to be felt in every department. 

In addition to her full-time work, Kathy also was a camper parent, Family Camp guest and Bible Study participant, and each year she comes to the A/U Ranches to lead a crew at the Memorial Day Service Weekend. In fact, her whole family is part of Adventure Unlimited’s story. Kathy’s husband, Mac, has been the summer rafting bus driver for 22 years while her son, Jeffrey, has been working at the A/U Ranches in the dish room and helping with facilities projects. Her daughter, Nicole, a former camper, DiscoveryBound Outreach participant and A/U Ranches seasonal staff member, lives in Colorado and was recently engaged.

Since leaving Adventure Unlimited, Kathy has helped several other non-profit organizations and is currently serving as chair of Rainbow Valley Resource Network – an organization that serves Christian Science families and their loved ones with special needs. She admits she is loving retirement, which has allowed more time for family, church, reading and studying the Bible.

 

Grant and Mandy-kay Pécheck

Grant & Mandy-kay Pécheck

Mandy-kay and Grant have been connected to Adventure Unlimited programs since childhood. The pair currently live in Los Angeles but plan to relocate to Denver permanently after the completion of Grant’s upcoming and final year of law school at UCLA Law.

Though the two both spent multiple summers at the A/U Ranches as campers and as staff members, the Ranches holds a particularly special place in Grant’s heart. Grant has spent a total of 13 summers there, 11 as a Youth and Family Camp participant and two summers working as a rafting CIT/counselor. 

Grant is grateful for the robust spiritual foundation and sense of purpose that Adventure Unlimited has instilled in him and credits his sense of calm under pressure to his many years of relying on spiritual thought in intense situations on and off the river. The A/U Ranches has been a second home for Grant since he was a little boy, and he hopes to live closer to it in the near future. Additionally, Grant is excited to return to camp this summer as a Family Camp participant — his first time back since 2018. 

Mandy-kay’s deepest connection to Adventure Unlimited lies with the DiscoveryBound National Leadership Council (NLC). Since graduating from the program in 2016, she has chaperoned four NLC All Class Retreats and one NLC summer trip and is currently a mentor for a teen in the 2026W class. Additionally, she serves the program as an alumni class representative for the 2016W class and an alumni resource for two sets of current NLC leaders — Mandy-kay’s mom and stepdad, BK and Brett Grimmer, and Grant’s parents, Wynne and Mark Pécheck. 

Mandy-kay is grateful to be able to give back to the NLC program and stay connected in such a meaningful way. The bonds she made with her classmates, other NLC alumni, her class leaders, and her mentor remain incredibly important. A recent NLC-related highlight for Mandy-kay was getting to have her class leaders, Ed and Jeni Sammons, and her mentor, Debbie Palm, attend Grant and her wedding this past August. 

Additionally, she and Grant are both incredibly grateful for all of the good that the program did for Mandy-kay’s younger sister, Molly Johnson (2018M class), who now works for Adventure Unlimited full-time, and Grant’s younger sister, Grace Pécheck (2019P class), who recently graduated from Principia College.

Mandy-kay now works as a promotion association for the Christian Science Publishing Society. She and Grant look forward to many more years of Adventure Unlimited memories to come!

Where are you now? Let us know! Email [email protected].

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