George Lampe

New York, New York

Growing up, I spent a lot of time in the outdoors in upstate New York, hunting and fly fishing with my father. Whether it was 80 degrees and sunny, or 10 degrees and snowing, we were out there— these are my strongest childhood memories. In my teenage years, I spent 4 years outside of Dubois, Wyoming at Teton Valley Ranch Camp, where the Give'r philosophy began to take shape within me. There, all that mattered was that I gave all of myself to my environment, and it was there that I learned the extent of my passion for this way of life. 

The Give'r philosophy stuck with me through high school, and evolved further while at the High Mountain Institute, where I met countless people who shared a similar mindset. Backpacking through the Colorado Rockies and the Utah Canyonlands, we grew closer through every climb, hike, or run. This is what choosing to Give'r means to me. It’s putting every ounce of yourself into everything you do, and gaining genuine connections through each experience. Today, most of my closest friends are people who share that understanding.

A few weeks ago, I set my alarm early and set off with five friends to the top of the local ski area here at Middlebury College. I couldn’t help but be reminded of the early mornings I spent in my childhood preparing to fish. We watched the sun emerge from over the Green Mountains, then unclipped our skis from our packs and rushed down the previous night’s fresh snowfall. Whether it’s a thrill like that, or just biking to a nearby waterfall and jumping in, my favorite way to Give’r here in Vermont is through total spontaneity. It’s the only way I know how to live.