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River Riders - Family Adventure Resort

Our Staff

River Riders Staff

Our guides separate us from the competition. With experience on world-class Whitewater Runs in North, Central, and South America, our staff leaders have the seasoned skills and know-how to provide you with the most enjoyable trip possible. The guides pride themselves on your positive experience. The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources certifies all guides at River Riders.

With our new staff, we train on customer service skills, river ecology, wildlife, flora and fauna. In addition to learning how to skillfully maneuver river craft, new staff are trained in First Aid, Professional Rescuer CPR, and Basic Swift water Rescue. Among our senior staff we have in house First Aid and CPR instructors, Swift water and Whitewater Rescue Technicians and Instructors, EMT's, and First Responders. Jefferson County Emergency Services calls River Riders to assist with all river related rescues in the Harpers Ferry area.

 

 


Steve Smith

Hometown: Harpers Ferry, WV
Position: Raft Guide Trip Leader
Hobbies/Interests: Boatin', Boatin', Boatin'!
What I like about working in this industry: I love nature, freedom, eagles, and good vibes.
Guest reviews: "Steve was our raft guide. AWESOME GUIDE!!! He handled the raft with excellence. Made turns and circles that only the most experienced rafters can do. GREAT FUN!!"
"Steve is very knowledgable and competent. Contributed greatly to our great, fun experience."



Al Rubio

Al Rubio

Hometown: Martinsburg, WV
Position: Raft Guide, Kayak Guide
Hobbies/Interests: Paddling whitewater, mountain biking, disc golf, hiking, backpacking, natural beauty, tinkering with computers, freelance web design, computer networks & network security, fresh juice
What I like about working in this industry: High Water! I get paid to meet new people and take them rafting. What's not to like?!?
Guest reviews: "Rubio, he was the head guide of the whole group. Very, very wonderful guide!"


 

Dusty Willis

Hometown: Charleston, WV
Position: Raft Guide/Bicycle Manager
Hobbies/Interests: Bikes!
What I like about working in this industry: I love boatin' and sunshine!
Guest Review: "Dusty was really funny and he even sang with us! We felt really comfortable and he was good at showing us how to paddle and such. He was the best."


Harrison Hatcher

Harrison Hatcher

Hometown: Charles Town, WV
Position: Raft Guide
Hobbies/Interests: guitar, piano, music, gaming, having a good time
What I like about working in this industry: You get to go down a river all day, can't beat it.
Guest Reviews: "Awesome energy, humor, skills, info, and safety. I'll be back tomorrow if all goes well!"
"AMAZING! Great day and super great guides. Thanks, Jack and Harrison!"


Jared "Patches" Tomlin

Hometown: Shepherdstown, WV
Position: Raft Guide
Hobbies/Interests: Whitewater, music and science.
What I like about working in this industry: My coworkers!



Ben Johnson

Hometown: Shepherdstown, WV
Position: Raft Guide
Hobbies/Interests: Boating, writing/reading, spending as much time outside as possible.
What I like about working in this industry: Love of the water.
Guest review: "Ben was an outstanding guide. As soon as we met him I was hoping he was our guide and we lucked out and got him! He was so pleasant, upbeat, personable, warm, engaging and very professional and an ACE at this whitewater rafting! We will be back and ask specifically for him and definitely pass our great experience onto our friends and family! You all have a GEM in Ben!!!"




Kaitlyn Unger

Hometown: Harpers Ferry, WV
Position: Raft Guide, Zip Line Guide, and Camp Guide.
Hobbies/Interests: Gardening, art, boating, hiking, and music.
What I like about working in this industry: I get to meet some truely amazing people that are looking to have an adventure! I love being on the water with my friends and "guide family!"
Guest reviews: "Kaitlyn was an awesome guide. She seemed to be really experienced and gave us a lot of different options throughout the trip for trying out different things. I think we got our money's worth with the extended time on the water. Good mix of rafting and taking it easy. "


Joe Martin

Hometown: Morgantown, WV
Position: Raft Guide
Hobbies/Interests: Camping, climbing, whitewater rafting, & kayaking.
What I like about working in this industry: All the nature and meeting lots of new friends.




Luis Viteri (Luey)

Hometown: N/A
Position: Raft Guide, Adventure Park Monitor
Hobbies/Interests: I like water boating, bikes, traveling, music, and sports.
What I like about working in this industry: The enjoyment of working every day here.
Guest review: "Luis was fun and educational. I'd definitely come back again!"

 



Jacob Castillo

Hometown: Adamstown, MD
Position: Raft Guide
Hobbies/Interests: Movies, ice hockey, snowboarding, camping, music, board games, pinball, crabing, underwater basket weaving, base jumping, and treasure hunting!
What I like about working in this industry: I don't know who you are, I don't know what you want. If you are looking for a good time, I will provide it. What I have are a very particular set of skills; skills I've acquired over a very short career; skills that make me a great guide for people like you. If you have a good time that will be the end of it. I will not annoy you, I will not bother you but if you don't, I will look for and I will find you, and I will provide excellent guest service.
Guest reviews: "Jacob was a lot of fun - he did a great job with navigating the river, fun person, kind and patient. Good experience."




Kyran Soleil Dawe

Hometown: Fresno, CA
Position: Raft Guide
Hobbies/Interests: Theatre/film
What I like about working in this industry: The sense of community & I get paid to boat, & play with kids.
Guest reviews:
"Our guide Kyra was excellent, fun, friendly, knowledgeable, was wonderful. Kept us all safe but still allowed for a lot of fun."
"Everything was great, but really - Kyra made the whole thing truly memorable. On top of her expertise and fun vibe, she gave us constant compliments and positive energy, and we all appreciated the ego boost. :)"




Colleen Seager

Hometown: Shepherdstown, WV
Position: Raft Guide/Camp Counselor
Hobbies/Interests: Working with kids, educating about environmental issues, & taking care of it. I love the outdoors, I love people, and I LOVE the river!
What I like about working in this industry: Pretty much everything.
Guest reviews: "The staff was outstanding. We had Old Colleen as our guide. Not really old at 23. She was fun, professional and passionate about river rafting. We might have to adopt her ??"





Emily Hayes

Hometown: Charleston, WV
Position: Raft Guide
Hobbies/Interests: Rafting, contra dancing, and backpacking!
What I like about working in this industry: I get to spend my days doing what I love and meeting all kinds of interesting people.
Guest reviews: "Emily knew the river well. She did a great job explaining what to do and it was very easy to follow her instructions. Emily had a very cheerful positive attitude. She put our nervous and cautious daughter at ease and made her feel more confident. She also pointed out historical places and gave us little history fact/tidbits along the way. Very happy with Emily."


 

Jack Dorsey

Hometown: Millington, MD
Position: Raft Guide
Hobbies/Interests: Camping, hiking, gourmet cooking, and of course RAFTING!
What I like about working in this industry: Helping people enjoy the outdoors, saving the planet one raft at a time.
Guest Reviews: ""AMAZING! Great day and super great guides. Thanks, Jack and Harrison!"
"Jack was an excellent guide. He was very personable and knowledgeable about rafting and the history or the area."




Jacob "Idaho" Butler

Hometown: Frederick, MD
Position: Raft Guide
Hobbies/Interests: Rafting, snowboarding, climbing, and sleeping.
What I like about working in this industry: Being on the river and getting to meet new people every day.


 


Kaitlyn Andrews

Hometown: Harpers Ferry, WV
Position: Raft Guide
Hobbies/Interests: artist, dancer, outdoor enthusiast
What I like about working in this industry: I am constantly meeting new and extraordinary peopleto create a fun and wild experience. One is constantly learning and each day is different. I love that i can professionally make people happy and have fun myself.
Guest reviews: "She was so nice, friendly and very enthusiastic!"


 

Stacie Farmer

 

Stacie Farmer (In Memorium)

Hometown: Whidbey Island, WA
Position: Camp Director, River Guide
About: Stacie was a wonderful, valued friend and Camp Director at River Riders whose life was cut short in a bicycle traffic accident in 2010.  She is fondly remembered by all those whose lives she touched.
What I like about working in this industry: Sharing my love of the outdoors with others


 


Dakota Slay-Vincent

Hometown: Glen Burnie, MD
Position: Zipline Canopy Tour Guide
Hobbies/Interests: Music, reading, running, and cooking
What I like about working in this industry: I like how I am constantly in motion. It's refreshing to break a sweat at work instead of just sitting around.
Guest reviews:"Dakota is an excellent guide and made the whole trip fun and exciting."


 

Rachael Hirsch

Hometown: Capon Bridge, WV
Position: Zipline Guide
Hobbies/Interests: I'm an avid reader who enjoys hiking and exploring abandoned places. I'm also a professional bear boxer.
What I like about working in this industry: I like meeting a wide variety of people. I also like to show them West Virginia and expressing my pride in our state.




Matthew Pennock

Hometown: Shepherdstown, WV
Position: Zipline Canopy Tour Guide
Hobbies/Interests: Doing anything outside, playing guitar, and gaming.
What I like about working in this industry: Meeting new people.




Brennan Ferneyhough

Hometown: Jefferson, MD
Position: Zipline Canopy Tour Guide
Hobbies/Interests: I enjoy science and improving my physical fitness.
What I like about working in this industry: Working outside gives me an excuse to get a tan. I also love my co-workers and being outside.




Michael Nesslerodt

Hometown: Inwood, WV
Position: Aerial Adventure Park Monitor
Hobbies/Interests: Aesthetics, Kanye West, Literature
What I like about working in this industry: My coworkers.






Heilea Cates

Hometown: Charles Town, WV
Position: Aerial Adventure Park Monitor
Hobbies/Interests: I love music and play clarinet. I would love to evetnually travel through Asia and Europe to discover my heritage.
What I like about working in this industry: I love the people and being outside.



 

Chace Jones

Hometown: Martinsburg, WV
Position: Aerial Adventure Park Monitor
Hobbies/Interests: I love to write and play with my chickens!
What I like about working in this industry: I enjoy being outdoors and working with my best friend, Michael.



Madison "Madi" Nittinger

Hometown: Boonsboro, MD
Position: Aerial Adventure Park Monitor
Hobbies/Interests: Getting lost while driving, going on adventures with friends, hanging out with my dog, anything outdoors, and teaching the next generation.
What I like about working in this industry: I love being outdoors and going on adventures, and working in an industry that supports it.


 


Jessica Antolini

Hometown: Martinsburg, WV
Position: Aerial Adventure Park Monitor
Hobbies/Interests: Snowboarding, running, economics (my major at WVU), beauty & fashion, and music festivals.
What I like about working in this industry: I love being able to interact with new people every day and be able to give them such an incredible experience that they want to come back and experience again.

 
Renzo Reno Velez

Renzo Velez

Hometown: Lima, Peru
Position: Sales and Service Shift Supervisor
Hobbies/Interests: Painting, Drawing, Printmaking, Photography, Soccer, Foosball, Pool, Fried Chicken, Mac n Cheese, Burrito Deluxe from Mi Degollado, hats and hanging with my beautiful kitty Ghost.
What I like about working in this industry: I love working in a fast paced environment where every single day is different. I love meeting guests from all around the country and world, and introducing them to beautiful West Virginia, my second home.


 



Raykelle Higgins

Hometown: Harpers Ferry, WV
Position: Sales & Service Representative
Hobbies/Interests: A lover of all things the universe offers to explore.
What I like about working in this industry: River Riders is a family of fun & friendly people!




Austin Shields

Hometown: Charles Town, WV
Position: Sales & Service
Hobbies/Interests: Basketball, rapping and anything that pumps my adrenaline. 
What I like about working in this industry: I like working for a company that makes so many people happy.





Erin Lehman

Hometown: Berryville, VA
Position: Sales & Service
Hobbies/Interests: Taking nature walks and writing.
What I like about working in this industry: I love selling fun to people all day and enjoy supporting local businesses.

 

 



Nick Evers

Hometown: N/A
Position: Shop Staff
Hobbies/Interests: Cooking, being on the river, running.
What I like about working in this industry: Being able to be around a lot of people.

 

 



Matt Holton

Hometown: Oxford, PA
Position:
Maintenance Staff
Hobbies/Interests:
Smoothing out wrinkles in used aluminum foil.
What I like about working in this industry:
Every day is different!




Owen Shiffhaver

Hometown: Harpers Ferry, WV
Position: Shop Staff
Hobbies/Interests: Baseball and the outdoors
What I like about working in this industry: The outdoors and the people I meet.

Janet Nesslerodt

Janet Nesslerodt

Hometown: Harpers Ferry, WV
Position: Driver Manager / Transportation Director
Hobbies/Interests: My two boys, hiking, walking, biking, water activities, baking.
What I like about working in this industry: My co-workers are awesome. I love dealing with nice people.



Debbie Kettells

Debbie Kettells

Hometown: Frederick, MD
Position: Bus Driver
Hobbies/Interests: Crafts, bowling, bingo, family and friends.
What I like about working in this industry: Meeting all of our guests and my coworkers.



Jennifer Kearey

Hometown: Ranson, WV
Position: Aerial Adventure Park Monitor, Canopy Tour Guide, and Driver Staff
Hobbies/Interests: Gardening, kayaking, quilting, and cooking.
What I like about working in this industry: I get to work outside all summer having fun with the best people. I get to share the outdoors with guests and give them great new experiences.

 

Kyle Blake

Hometown: Hedgesville, WV
Position: Bus Driver
Hobbies/Interests: Buses
What I like about working in this industry:


Eugene Whitworth

Hometown: Clarksburg, MD
Position: Bus Driver
Hobbies/Interests: Motorcycles and shooting targets
What I like about working in this industry: It is so much fun!

 


John Allen

Hometown: Kearneysville, WV
Position: Bus Driver
Hobbies/Interests: Flying airplanes, motorycle riding.
What I like about working in this industry: The people. Guests and employees in an environment that promotes fun and having a great time.


Jackie Zachmann

Hometown: Martinsburg, WV
Position: Bus Driver
Hobbies/Interests:
What I like about working in this industry: Fast pace, the outdoors, families and seeing guests enjoying themselves.

 
 


 


Chris Goodell

Hometown: Shepherdstown, WV
Position: Rafting Manager
Hobbies/Interests: Snowboarding, long walks on the beach, plaid shorts & sweet shirts, beards (on men AND women), & speaking Spanish.
What I like about working in this industry: Tubing Guests, meeting lots of people, & the left side of the Upper Staircase at 2.5 feet.

 


Sarah Cartron

Hometown: Martinsburg, WV
Position: Summer Camp Director
Hobbies/Interests: All the activities.
What I like about working in this industry: Every day is different.


 

Knott Family

Matt, Laura, Zach, & Sierra Knott

Hometown: Harpers Ferry, WV
Position: Owners & President
Hobbies/Interests: Whitewater, the outdoors, & camping.
What I like about working in this industry: Started as a raft guide as a teenager & we love being able to share our knowledge & experience of the area with you.



Sierra Knott

Sierra Knott aka Cici (photo from 2008)

Hometown: Harpers Ferry, WV
Position: Thinks she's the boss ;)
Hobbies/Interests: River Riders camp, general mayhem, swimming, soccer, rafting, tubing
What I like about working in this industry: