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JUL. 3, 2015

Meet our new Admissions Director

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Julie Holt, Admissions Director

Summer is a magical time in these mountains. The sun and rains of this season have arrived once again to sustain and remind us of the richness and diversity of the flora and fauna that exists in these ancient hills. Yet, as I look out the window here from the Sun Lodge base at The Outdoor Academy, there is a bit of a void. The Sun Lodge does not have the sound of OA students strumming guitars, sharing stories about their lives or lessons of the day, or reflecting on what they can do for the world. While the Admissions team is still busily preparing for the coming semesters without the usual sights and sounds of OA, there is nothing lacking in terms of inspiration. The rest of the campus is bustling with wide eyed and happy children and youth.

I see adventure and exploration, hear the laughter and the singing of the campers and staff, and can feel the enthusiasm that is reflective of the OA semesters. Watching these campers of all ages developing deep friendships and finding great joy in the simple things in life is truly inspiring. Some of them have been attending ENC for years, some of them are being welcomed for the first time, and many are OA alumni who have assumed leadership roles as JC’s or counselors. It is a sweet reminder of the seasons and how they do indeed go “round and round.”

Speaking of seasons, I want to introduce myself to you all and for some, re-introduce myself. I am Julie Holt, the new Admissions Director. I am returning to The Outdoor Academy after having stepped away 8 years ago to open a school for PreK-8th grade with a similar spirit to that of OA right here in Brevard.

I first made my move to these mountains back in 1998 and began working at Eagle’s Nest as the OA Assistant Director. As a Montessori trained teacher, what I saw happening at The Outdoor Academy made sense to me. Having left education and worked in the grassroots political realm for years, this was a welcome change. I was reminded that the education of our young people is where I could have the greatest impact on lasting change! Now, 8 years after I opened Mountain Sun Community School, it was time for me to return to the Nest.

This is an uplifting and exciting move for me. Not only have I returned to a place and in a role that feels like home, I am also bringing a new level of experience having served as a Head of School and as a parent. I believe The Outdoor Academy is one of the greatest experiences to prepare students for life. Many of the alumni I know & supported in the enrollment process over the years are starting their own families now, owning their own businesses, and creating their unique paths to being successful and positive contributors in their communities. They are organic farm owners, doctors, eco-sustainable business owners, non-profit directors, research scientists, to name a few. I think one of the things I like most about OA is that not only does this experience help shape the rest of our student’s lives, it happens alongside the development of life-long friends. Their lives are personally enriched with memories during their four months here that will last a lifetime!

I hope you have either experienced this for yourselves, through your children, or that you will in the future! I would love to hear from you this summer, whether you’re interested in enrolling or if you are a former student, call or email anytime!

Julie Holt, Admissions Director