Who Are We?
We are adventure seekers and play experts. We are educators and outdoor enthusiasts. We are the team ready to bring your vision to life.
Our team will partner with you to develop the customized outdoor education and adventure experience that’s right for you. Whether that’s a field day on our challenge course, a family reunion under the stars, a camp, or anything in between; The Peaks is ready to serve you.
Come meet the team that can’t wait to work with you.
Meet the Team
Susan has spent the last 20 years teaching and facilitating in outdoor spaces—from challenge courses and summer camps to backcountry trails, rivers, lakes, and beyond. She is excited to bring her passion for connecting people to the outdoors and finding those shared “a-ha!” moments. In her free time, she enjoys getting outside with her family and connecting her two small children to the natural world, preferably hiking the Appalachian Trail.
Chief Experience Officer
Rusty’s extensive background in teaching, facilitation, and curriculum development coupled with his experience in non-profit operations, business strategy, and event management makes him uniquely qualified to lead the CustomED charge. He has coordinated international events, trained students, and directed curriculum at schools both private and public, international and domestic. A recent recipient of the Drexel University EMBA Alumni Award for Entrepreneurship, Rusty’s past professional experience includes acting as CEO and creative director of the world’s largest creativity program. When not at work, Rusty is always in motion—taking planes and trains to see the world.
Camp Program Manager
Mackell holds an interdisciplinary B.S. degree in Cultural Studies, Psychology, and Business Administration. He has been a full time middle and high school teacher for the past five years and loves helping students see the importance of trying new things and expanding their horizons in the classroom and beyond. In his free time, Mackell loves distance running, camping, and road tripping with friends—only eight states to go to visit all fifty!
Facilities & Grounds Coordinator
Marco is endlessly passionate about the outdoors. After earning a B.S. in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Resources at West University, he has cared for several outdoor adventure centers before joining The Peaks team as our Facilities and Grounds Coordinator. When he’s not at work, you can find Marco spending time with his daughter and taking care of their farm.
A native of Thaxton, Virginia, Sarah earned her bachelor’s degree in History and Education from Lynchburg College and has been a teacher in the county for more than a decade. As the Community Ambassador, Sarah is looking forward to building relationships and enriching the community she loves so dearly. When not working, you will likely find her at sporting events or enjoying the outdoors with her husband and their dog—gardening, hiking, hunting, or fishing.
The Peaks’ facilities are tailored to support a wide variety of events and experiences. We’re proud to offer our Swimming Pool and Low Ropes Course, a Climbing Wall and 400-ft gravity Zipline, on-site accommodations for up to 80 guests, 8,200 ft of event space, and extensive athletic facilities all designed to help work with you and turn your vision into reality. How can our facilities help bring your event to life? Let’s get in touch and find the ways The Peaks can elevate your plans.
Our mission is to provide extraordinary educational experiences that inspire and motivate learners of all ages. CustomED is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that designs and implements extraordinary programs and experiences to solve challenges in education, training and outreach efforts for a variety of organizations.