Meet Your Counselors

Teens Westward Bound Trip 2!!

Hi America! Meet your 2018 TWB counselors- we are so excited to learn all about you while traveling America this summer. For now, here is a little information about us. We cannot wait to see you on June 18!

Grant Deaton- Program Director

HELLO AMERICA! My name is Grant Deaton and this is my 18th year traveling across this amazing country with TWB. I started going out west in 1996 and 1997 as a participant. In 2001, I began traveling as a counselor and became the tour director in 2003. It was such an honor and privilege to take on the role of Program Director in 2016. Words cannot express how excited I am about traveling out west again this summer with such an incredible group of young people. We are going to have a blast!

I have worked as a Marketing teacher for 13 years in North Carolina. I enjoy golfing, mountain biking, backpacking, as well as hanging out with my family and dog. My wife, Kitch, and I are extremely blessed to have three wonderful little boys in our lives. Connor (7 years old), Brandon (5 years old) and Samuel (3 year old) bring so much joy to our family. I will miss them so much this summer.

Enjoying every minute of life is so important to me. Going out west every year with the best young people God has to offer is the best way to spend a summer in my mind. I can't wait to see you soon!! Life is so important to me. Going out west every year with the best young people God has to offer is the best way to spend a summer in my mind. I can't wait to see you soon!!

Vickie Wilkins (TWB 1906)- Trip Director/Site Managers
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD MORNING AMERICA - I am "the V", and I have been blessed to travel across this breathtaking land we know and love for 35 plus years with TWB, and the DEATON Family!  23 days of discovering who you are along with 86 other new found friends, and falling in love with AMERICA - this is the summer of your life!!!!!I have been educating students for the last 43 years, and boy have I learned so much from them.  I teach at Southern Lee High School, Health and PE, Teacher Cadet, and PEPI! I coach Girls and Boys Tennis, and I am the SGA Advisor.  In my spare team I teach a Sunday School Class of Wild Women at Jonesboro Heights Baptist church in Sanford, NC, and I work part time for the UNC-Chapel Hill Athletic Department.  I am an Usher Supervisor in Football and Basketball (Yes, my blood runs that shade of Sky Blue), and other Olympic sports as needed.

This is the adventure of a lifetime, and I am so excited to share it with you.  As we travel, you will see me enjoying my favorite snack - any flavor and size of Fritos, and I love Ice Breakers, Ice Cubes Peppermint gum.  Water, flavored water, any H2O can quench that thirst and going into dry heat, we will all need to be saturated with H2O!!!

I love Maya Angelou, and I leave you with one of her quotes that has meant so very much to me throughout my life:  "People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."  I look forward to your smiles, your encouraging words, and all of your determined efforts that will make our adventures across AMERICA life changing!!!!

Heather Welch (TWB 2013-1) Blog

Hi America! My name is Heather Welch and I will be one of your Teens Westward Bound counselors this summer!
I was a participant on TWB in the summer of 2013 (s/o to my Trip 1 pals) and a staff member for the first time on Trip 2 last summer. I am so excited to be going on TWB Trip 2, for round two with you all this summer!!

Here's a little info about me: I am a high school teacher at Porter Ridge High School in Indian Trail, NC. I teach Honors Accounting and Microsoft Word and PowerPoint and I am the head Volleyball coach as well. I just started teaching in November 2017, as I graduated from UNC Wilmington (Go Seahawks!) in May 2017 majoring in Business Administration and a minor in Leadership studies. I just had to find a way to go on TWB for the rest of my life (kidding, kind of) so I completely changed my career from Business to being in the classroom and teaching business! I felt that God was calling me to work with young people just like you year around, not just during the summer out west, and it's been an amazing journey so far! I truly love being a teacher and a coach, and it allows me to do my favorite thing ever: be a TWB Counselor.

I am an Ohio native but moved to Charlotte, NC when I was 10 years old. I have a HUGE passion for travel and the outdoors - I have been to 40/50 states and 17 countries! In college I studied abroad twice: Valencia, Spain, and Prague, Czech Republic. In my free time, you will probably find me on a mountain, playing any type of sport, making GoPro videos, and spending time with family and friends.

Get excited, because even though you might not know it yet, you all are so very blessed to be selected for this trip! It is such a unique way to see America and I cannot wait to have the BEST SUMMER EVER with each and every one of you! See ya June 18! (Be sure to follow @twbrocks on Instagram and Twitter and "like" Teens Westward Bound on Facebook as I will be posting important updates and fun pictures before the trip!)

Favorite Quote: "Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire"

Logan Watts (TWB 2012-2)- Bus Cleaners- Bus Packers

Watts going on, party people!? My name is Logan Watts and I will be one of the counselors taking you out west this summer. I hope you are getting excited! I went out west the summer of 2012 on trip 2, (Shout out to my trip 2 people!!!) and still reminisce about the trip often. The friends you’ll make and the places you’ll see will last a lifetime. I have yet to fly on a commercial airplane, but I have traveled to California and back for 23 days on a bus with 81 other people I had never met and slept outside under the stars almost every night. I would not trade that bragging right for anything!

A little bit about myself: I am was born & raised in the great city of Charlotte, NC. I graduated from Hopewell high school in 2014 (H-DUB, You Know!!) and just graduated from Western Carolina University (We haven’t upset a big school in football, basketball, badminton, underwater basket weaving, or anything cool like that, but Grant went there so I’ll use that as my schools claim to fame. Go Catamounts!). I graduated with a degree in communications, a minor marketing, an all-campus intramural football championship t-shirt, and a Yeti for winning the campus cornhole tournament at the homecoming tailgate my sophomore year!!! I enjoy playing golf, watching about any sport, especially the Panthers #KeepPounding, jamming out to music – particularly some Earth Wind & Fire, and ignoring the one guy at the bar yelling at me to play FREE BIRD when I have the occasional gig.

I look forward to meeting y’all and going on the trip of a lifetime, again!

Whitney Ford (TWB 2013-2)- Cooks

I am Whitney Ford, a native from Lowell, NC (small town outside of Charlotte/ basically Gastonia), a South Point High School Alum, and a 2017 NC State University grad where I earned a Bachelors in Marketing in 3.5 years, GO PACK! I originally headed West the summer of 2013 (Trip 2 4ever) and it has been my dream to return as a counselor ever since!

Although this will be my first summer as a counselor, I have gained a lot of experience working with youth to prepare for this journey! From years of being a nanny, to mentoring new students as an NCSU Peer Leader, to volunteering with Raleigh’s Girl Scout Troops, there is no denying I have a passion for working with young people. I am so HYPE to have YOU all as my first TWB-ers!

A few things about me, I am obsessed with french fries and ice cream (healthy, right?), singing in the car with the windows rolled down, that feeling you get when you see your food coming at the restaurant, Wolfpack sporting events, spending hours in Homegoods, and I could eat spaghetti and meatballs for every meal and never get tired of it (shout out to the Cooks- this is my official request for you to make this). I am also a morning person and am looking forward to waking everyone up bright and early!

The Deaton family and my 2013 Counselors were a reason why I fell in love with this program and I still keep in contact with them today. We are going to have the BEST time. Can’t wait to meet you!

Favorite Quote: The juice is worth the squeeze
2nd Favorite Quote: Don’t give up, don’t ever give up -Jimmy V

God Bless America!

Kendall Romaine (TWB 2012-1)- Dishwashers- Bus Packers
Hey there everybody!!!! My name is Kendall Romaine (first name Adam, but that’s my dad’s name) and I am so excited to be a counselor this summer! I’ve always dreamed of going back out West as a counselor since my trip in the Summer of 2012 (3 for Dale!!!), and I’m so thankful to be able to do it this year! I am from Laurinburg, NC (LBG) and just graduated from Virginia Tech with a BA in History and minors in Leadership and Russian Area Studies (I can speak a little Russian as well)! I really want to be a High School History teacher on day but I will be putting that on hold to start a career in the US Army as an Armor officer. I will start training in Fort Benning, Georgia in August to hopefully be a Cavalry Scout and be stationed somewhere out West, but that’s just the plan for now! TWB fueled me with the love of this country and gave me the passion to go out and give my time and serve for it!
A few things about me: I love America, but I have traveled abroad. I won’t say where though, just to keep you guessing! I play the Trombone, not that good though, and was the Drum Major for the Highty Tighties (not Whitey Tighties…) at Virginia Tech. I am a beast at Karaoke, but it’s the show, not the singing that’s good. Ask me about any sport and I’ll talk to you about it. Not the biggest fan of cricket though, I’ve tried to watch it…. I just can’t do it. And I run for fun. Yes that’s right FUN. Did I say that I love America?
I’m so excited to meet everyone on Trip 2 and I promise you this will be one of the greatest experiences of your life!!! Don’t forget to pack your towel, and make sure your water bottle and camera work BEFORE you leave. Trust me.