Jess Bauman grew up caving, climbing, hiking, trail running, and mountain biking in the hills of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. She attended The University of the South, which offered excellent student outing programs. It was in this student atmosphere that she developed a love for the outdoors and a great passion for sharing it with others. Just as she learned from her own mentors, Jess eventually found herself in the midst of an opportunity to share that love and knowledge with others after college. In a wilderness therapy setting in the Cherokee National Forest, she mentored troubled teens while teaching them backpacking and survival skills surrounded by beautiful, remote backcountry. This experience was an intense insight into the human condition and the healing role that nature can play. It was also her first experience, and possibly the most demanding to date, as a trip leader and guide.
A few years and a few states later, Jess found herself living by the sea in beautiful Charleston, SC. A local surfshop and a few kind pals introduced her to surfing. It was a totally new kind of outdoor sport for her and one she immediately fell in love with. She discovered the healing properties of communing with nature in the ocean (much like the backcountry) and the bliss of riding waves (somewhat comparable to the bliss of submitting to a mountain that kicked butt for thirteen miles). On a two second ride, another world opened up in the low country.
Jess eventually found her way to the Charleston County Park & Recreation Commission as an L2 SUP instructor. Here she teaches others how to paddle in the flatwater and surf of local waterways, imparting as much knowledge about safety and the environment as she can.