Program Director/Wilderness Manager, Stonewater
About Rick D’Atre
I first heard about Youth Dynamics at an Urbana Missions Conference in 1996. My wife and I decided to come out as Summer Staff the following summer with the intent on becoming full-time staff. That summer wasn’t without its struggles and disappointments, but it was seeing the heart of the team we got to work with that led us to return home, raise our financial support, and move from the east coast the next summer. It is the heart that has kept us here ever since.
Author and theologian Howard Thurman says, “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
What makes me come alive is taking people on experiences they might otherwise not be able to do on their own, to share the wonder of God’s creation, and provide opportunities for restoration through encountering the Spirit of God.
I have a long history of enjoying the outdoors, from being an Eagle Scout, to involvement in SAR through SWVaMRG in Blacksburg, to guiding backpacking and canoe trips in the Adirondacks with Gordon College’s LaVida program. Wilderness ministry became the natural combination of the things I love to do and the relationship I found with Jesus in high school.
Outside of my administrative responsibilities, I love training staff and equipping them to be effective guides and able to take advantage of opportunities to share the Gospel and impact students spiritually.
Althought I am not getting much use out of my electrical engineering degree, I am, however, an instructor for Wilderness Medical Associates. In the winter, I guide snowmobile tours, and volunteer on the local ambulance. I have guided in the Adirondacks, the White Mountains, the Olympic Peninsula, and other locations around Washington State. In addition, I lead canoeing, backpacking, winter ski/camping, rock climbing trips, and low/high challenge courses.
Oh, and I have five amazing kids!