REC-SPECS (aka Recreational Specialist) was founded in the 1980s by Steve Shively and Gerry Blundell, two Southern California youth ministers, who love God and experiential adventure education as a vehicle for sharing the Good News with youth.
When the school’s making up Steve and Gerry’s church youth-groups had their spring breaks spanned both sides of Easter, they started to invite other youth groups to join them for a week of camping, climbing, and campfires in Joshua Tree. Soon the interest expanded and X-C skiing, river rafting, bike tours, backpacking, etc. were added to the offerings, and REC-SPECS was born!
Eventually, Gerry moved into school administration and Steve moved into administering Presbyterian Camps and Conference/Retreat Centers throughout the West. REC-SPECS offerings were expanded thanks to the dedication and savvy of Steve’s brother, Scott, and their dad, Richard.
Strategic partnerships with Gene Allred of Adventure Whitewater and others enabled REC-SPECS to grow beyond So. Calif. to having satellite offices and operations in Central California and the Pac Northwest (aka Klawata Adventures). At one point our tag-line was “From Baja to B.C. (“British Columbia”), REC-SPECS delivers faithful adventure throughout the West!”
Hard skills in safely running trips were always critical. Softskills in faith-based hospitality that related to youth were essential. Developing and maintaining our line-up of skilled guides necessary to cost-effectively run our growing number of trips, eventually was our weak-link.
In 2009 REC-SPECS officially closed its doors. Today Steve still utilized experiential education in his team-building and corporate management consulting efforts. REC-SPECS still offers support and referrals to a new generation of youth-workers seeking to use adventure recreation as a means to reach a deeper spiritual dimension with today’s youth
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