The Outdoor Academy staff team’s overall aim is to ensure your day is fun, safe and unforgettable. The team are passionate about the outdoors, have a wealth of knowledge and are highly skilled in outdoor education.  They have been chosen for their relaxed and friendly approach, their professionalism and experience.

The Heart & Soul

  • Dave Hopper
  • Sharon Harrod
  • Jennifer Butler
  • Josh Palmer
  • Conor Holt
  • Chloë Bond
  • Gareth Hewett
  • Dave Hopper

    Dave Hopper

    Managing Director

    Dave has worked in the outdoor industry for over 20 years delivering and managing both water and land based activities whilst specialising in outdoor youth development.  In 2007, using his extensive knowledge, experience and passion for the outdoors, Dave set up and continues to manage, Outdoor Academy, a leading and successful activity centre in Berkshire.

    His dedication in providing a service to engage young people with challenging behaviours and learning difficulties continues to meet education needs and client welfare.  Dave’s ultimate passion is spending time in the outdoors developing skills across a vast selection of sports and sharing his knowledge and expertise with others.

  • Sharon Harrod

    Sharon Harrod

    Operations Manager

    As a director of Outdoor Academy, Sharon works closely with the team to deliver a range of exciting programmes.  Her passion for the outdoors and positive outlook combined with her vast amount of knowledge equips her to work with all ages and abilities.  Sharon has been honoured with a Long Service recognition from the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for her commitment and dedication to young people.  Sharon is a keen Mountain Biker and travels all over Europe to enjoy the technical terrain.

  • Jennifer Butler

    Jennifer Butler

    Business Manager

    Jen works in the main office and will be your first point of contact, she will happily talk through the products and services that Outdoor Academy offers and answer any questions you may have. Jen has come from an Events Management background after earning her degree at Bournemouth University.  She enjoys spending time in the outdoors walking and mountain biking but prefers the warmth of the office on those cold and wintry days.

  • Josh Palmer

    Josh Palmer

    Specialist Outdoor Instructor Trainee

    Josh has a boundless amount of energy and in his free time you will find him either climbing, biking or on the water somewhere.  Josh continues to increase his leadership knowledge and coaching skills whilst specialising in youth development.  Josh has successfully passed his S.P.A Climbing, UKCC Level 2 Coach and Mountain Bike Skills Instructor qualifications.  Our new generation of highly skilled Outdoor Academy Instructors ensures the continuation of professional programmes.

  • Conor Holt

    Conor Holt

    Specialist Outdoor Instructor Trainee

    Conor joined our Instructor Training Programme after completing a foundation course in Social Work.  Conor is driven, fun and has an approachable personality with a desire to become a qualified outdoor pursuit instructor.  He is already developing the core skills essential for working in the outdoor industry and has achieved a number of qualifications with an ArcheryGB Instructor Award, CWA, BCU Level 1 Coach and Mountain Bike Skills Instructor.

  • Chloë Bond

    Chloë Bond

    Specialist Outdoor Instructor Trainee

    Chloë achieved an Outdoor Education degree at Liverpool University, she has a determined and driven personality and has already achieved a number of outdoor qualifications since joining the team last year.  Chloë is a keen paddler and enjoys spending time on the local waterways, she holds a UKCC Level 2 qualification and hopes to move up through the levels.  She has recently achieved the CWA Award and is working hard towards the SPA and BEL Award.

  • Gareth Hewett

    Gareth Hewett

    Foundation Outdoor Instructor Trainee

    Gareth is the newest member of the team, he has joined our Instructor Training Programme to further develop his skill and qualifications in the outdoor industry.  Already holding a UKCC Level 2 certificate, Gareth is well on his way to increasing his qualifications with an ArcheryGB Instructor Award, Basic Expedition Leader and Climbing Wall Award.  It is great to have Gareth as part of the team and we are looking forward to seeing him progress in the coming months.