The Secret to Making the Best Person

Now I see the secret to making the best person: it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.

Walt Whitman

At LFFE we take pride in our trips being more than fly fishing camps. We educate young people in a supportive and fun environment that allows them opportunities for unparalleled personal growth. During our adventure education expeditions participants practice a variety of important life skills like leadership, independence, and being a positive group member.

Discover Your Own Leadership Style: Each day a different participant has the opportunity to step into the role of “Leader of the Day” (LOD).  After receiving the honor during our evening circle, the LOD meets with the trip leaders to discuss the next day’s agenda. For the next 24 hours the new LOD practices leadership amongst their peers.  The LOD wakes the group and  prepares for breakfast. While eating breakfast, the LOD announces the day’s schedule of events. With the help of the trip leaders their responsibilities include; making sure camp is broken down in a timely manner, using what they learned about orienteering to keep the group on the right track, setting a group friendly pace, selecting an appropriate campground, etc.

Trip leaders work with the LOD during the course of the day to help them develop their own leadership style, but the most constructive feedback often comes from their peers. Before passing the LOD responsiblies during evening circle the LOD receives feedback from the other trip participants and leaders. Each participant learns what about their LOD opportunity was successful and how they could improve as a leader in a supportive, friendly, and familiar environment.

Gain Independence While Becoming a Part of a Team: Living out of a backpack while traveling in small groups requires both personal responsibility and the ability to rely on others. Space in our packs is limited. Each piece of clothing and equipment we carry is crucial to our successful expedition. As we pack all we need into our relatively small backpacks, we rely on each participant to take responsibility for their personal gear, as well as their allotment of group gear. This makes each member of our group an integral part of our trip’s success. As you rely on others in the group, the group will be relying equally on you.

Our meal planning and preparation highlights our participants’ need to be both independent and part of the team. On our expeditions all meals are chosen and prepared by participants under the supervision of trip leaders. During the meal planning process participants must practice making concessions and compromises to help form a group consensus. At meal time, students practice independence as they take turns preparing meals for the group with the help of a trip leader. Meals are eaten together.

When our expeditions are complete, LFFE graduates return home feeling more confident and eager to take on new challenges. LFFE Graduates have a new set of tools to help them take on leadership roles in their schools, extra curricular activities and communities.

Ready to Enroll?

Click "Enroll Now" or give us a call to get started. You can also send us an email at [email protected].

If you have any questions you can Request Information and we will contact you soon with answers.

Lillard Fly Fishing Expeditions was started in 2010 as a graduate thesis for my Master's Degree in Environmental Conservation Education at NYU. The operating premise was simple - by coupling amazing wilderness fly fishing camps for teens with environmental education and service learning we can help inspire future generations of fly fishing conservationists. We have been growing our unique list of trips and experiences ever since.

When it comes to choosing a summer program for your teen the options are endless. For the teen who loves to fish, be outside, and has a strong sense of adventure we have made the choice easy. We are the leader in teen fly fishing adventures and are dedicated to providing the best backcountry fly fishing experience with opportunities for teens to engage in leadership training, community service, and backcountry camping.


Will Lillard signature

Will Lillard, Founder/Director/Guide

Contact Us

[email protected]

Lillard Fly Fishing Expeditions
2540 King Road
Pisgah Forest, NC 28768

(828) 577-8204