Moonshadow Challenge Course Experience

Provided by Moonshadow Learning Services, Inc.

Moonshadow Challenge Course  activities are designed to present individuals and groups with a series of problems, scenarios, and situations that must be solved by using cooperation, creativity, and problem solving skills.

It always includes a big dose of fun and laughter, in addition to the serious work of becoming a high performing team. In the hands of a skilled facilitator, a challenge course (sometimes called “ropes course”) is one of the most powerful tools available for exploring team dynamics.

Our facility:

  • Nestled in a beautiful mountain cove near Whittier, N.C.
  • Over 20 course elements
  • Physical and mental challenges
  • Endless supply of thought provoking, engaging activities

Types of groups:

  • School Group
  • College Group
  • Sports Team
  • Corporate Group

A Challenge Course experience is in many ways just what you make of it. Although we can give you some ideas of what other people have gained from the experience, what you and your group actually take away from the experience, will be highly dependent upon what you put into it.

Using the Moonshadow Challenge Course as the setting, your staff will spend the day solving problems, learning more about each other, practicing the behaviors of high performing teams and working on priorities that are determined by you and your staff. Our high energy facilitators will make it a day to remember with powerful connections to your daily tasks.

  • One day, 2 day, and 3 day sessions provided for up to 60 employees per session
  • Incorporates engaging, hands on learning techniques
  • Team members learn the characteristics and behaviors of “high performing teams”
  • Great for exploring leadership issues and qualities
  • Measured by use of pre-/post testing on the content presented and by participant satisfaction

For more information or to schedule your Challenge Course Experience, contact Kathy Payne-Davis.
Phone: 828-506-0076
617 Olivet Church Road Whittier, NC 28789

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Our Founders and Inspirers

Earl Davis

Earl Davis was trained in clinical psychology at Western Carolina University and is licensed as a Psychological Associate in the state of North Carolina. Earl’s passion is the use of experiential training techniques to create effective teams and high performing individuals. He uses this approach with school systems in Western North Carolina, the Indian Health Service, and businesses, including Chevron Oil company, BMW, Shell Oil, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino, Shaw Industries, Eli Lilly, the National Fish & Wildlife Service and others. Earl provided training services for Project Adventure for many years, is a Certification Instructor for the Wilderness Education Association, and is an adjunct faculty member at Western Carolina University. Earl founded Moonshadow Learning Services, Inc. in 1995.

Kathy Payne-Davis

With over 20 years experience in the medical field as a microbiologist, Kathy has a vested interest in working with health care professionals as a trainer. With a master’s degree in Health Sciences Administration, Kathy is one of those rare combinations of front line experience and administrative vision. She is on the adjunct faculty of Western Carolina University and Southwestern Community College. Whether in the office, leading wilderness leadership courses, or teaching college level courses, Kathy brings a dedication and commitment to making each training or workshop engaging and at the same time practical.

Challenge Course and Office Crew

Clint Menacof

Clint graduated from Florida State University in 1987 with a B.S. Degree in Hospitality Administration. He has spent over 20 years in business management gaining extensive experience in both personnel management and customer service. Clint has worked in a variety of training capacities in the business sector, providing training to personnel from entry-level to middle and upper management. He joined the Moonshadow team in 1999 and has served as a lead instructor and program designer. Clint has worked for a number of years as a leadership and professional performance coach for employees and managers at all levels within organizations. He is a firm believer in the value of possessing strong skills in the areas of interpersonal communication and relations, and is passionate about growing and developing these skills in leaders at any and all levels.

Russ Harris

Russ Harris graduated from James Madison University in 1996 with a B.S. Degree in Marketing and holds a Masters degree from Radford University in Experiential Education.  Russ spent two years as a supervisor at New Dominion Wilderness School and two years working in the schools for Smoky Mountain Mental Health.  He has spent the last 10 years working for Western Carolina University as a college access counselor, helping first generation and low-income students from western North Carolina to attend college.  In 2000, while attending graduate school, Russ attended a program at Moonshadow Learning Services and vowed to return as a staff member.  He began working for Moonshadow as a ropes course facilitator in the winter of 2002.

Kathy Allison

Kathy graduated from Sonoma State University in 1989 with a B.A. Degree in Geography and Economics. She brings a diversity of work experience to Moonshadow, ranging from corporate trainer, graphic design, cartography,accounting, event director and  challenge course facilitator.  She began working with Moonshadow Learning Services in 1999, after being introduced to the fascinating world of experiential education by Katy Travitz.  She works on our challenge course with groups, corporate to school kids, creating a safe and fun environment for all to excel and meet their group and individual goals.

Troy Adams

Todd Murdoch

Todd has 29 years of work experience with youth and adults in the outdoors as well as in the classroom. He has supervised Project Discovery since 1994, helping youth of western North Carolina to be the first in their families to go to college. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor in North Carolina with a M.A. Ed. in counseling, from Western Carolina University, where he is adjunct faculty. He is a certified instructor trainer for the Wilderness Education Association. He has guided on many of the rivers, cliffs and caves in the southeast, and led youth on cross country cycling tours.

Jessie Nosworthy

 Jessie graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a bachelor’s degree in International and Area Studies and a minor in French.  She spent one year earning a certificate in Intermediate French at the Sorbonne in Paris.  After school, Jessie taught English at an elementary school in Korea, giving her teaching experience and an interest in working with students.  She has since worked as an outreach counselor at Project Discovery~ Talent Search, encouraging low-income students to go to college.  As an outreach counselor and a Wilderness First Responder she has gotten the unique opportunity to lead groups of youth through adventure activities ranging from rock climbing and rappelling, to biking, canoeing, and caving.  This is her second year at Moonshadow and she is so thrilled to be a part of the challenge course team!

Bill Sparks

Bill graduated from Utica College of Syracuse University with a BS in Public Relations. After graduating Bill entered the world of outdoor education and led biking, backpacking, canoe, and rock climbing trips. Bill went back to school in Maine for a teaching license, and has been a science teacher for Jackson County Public Schools in western North Carolina for 10 years. He is currently working on his masters in science education through Montana State University. Bill keeps his skills strong by working with groups at Moonshadow since 2006, and on the Mountain Top Zipline at the Nantahalla Outdoor Center.

Our History

Moonshadow Learning Services, Inc. began as Moonshadow Services in 1990 and was incorporated in 1995 when the business bought 6 acres for the construction of an outdoor learning center complete with classroom. Construction was completed in 1996. The name “Moonshadow” was chosen because of the intense shadows seen during full moon visits to the property before we purchased it. A great outdoor leader, Paul Petzoldt, was visiting with Earl and Kathy Davis, the owners, when he remarked on the “Moon Shadows”. Shortly thereafter, someone began humming the Cat Stevens song “I’m Being Followed By A Moon Shadow” and the name stuck. Moonshadow seemed a natural choice since much of our work centers on the outdoor learning environment and the philosophy that learning has to touch our whole selves, the mental, physical, and emotional. That philosophy colors all the work done by our trainers whether it is a coaching session, a workshop on communication, a challenge course program, or a strategic planning session.