Reflections from an Adventure-Seeking Outdoorswoman

By Eliza Moyer

I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that GCY changed the trajectory of my life– the few short weeks I spent rowing boats, sleeping under the stars, and exploring canyons transformed me from an anxious and shy child into an adventure-seeking and ambitious outdoorswoman.


“…if there’s one thing that has stuck with me, it’s that growth happens outside of your comfort zone.”

Beginning with my first GCY trip in high school, each trip has built upon the last, with different connections and meanings arising out of each experience as I’ve grown up and changed through many chapters of my life. The lessons I learned during my time on expedition continue to inform my “real” off-river life in so many ways. I do my best to stay curious about things and explore what I find exciting– no matter if that’s a beautiful side canyon or just a class that sounds interesting in college. I respect my environment and the power it holds, practicing gratitude for my adventures and leaving each space better than I found it. But most importantly, I say “yes” to opportunities and appreciate the value of diving in headfirst to new situations, because if there’s one thing that has stuck with me, it’s that growth happens outside of your comfort zone.

It’s difficult to do these experiences justice when I try to put them into words, but their impact continues to shape my current life and my goals for the future. Right now, I am studying environmental education in university and have returned to GCY as both an intern and a river guide for the summer. Through these opportunities, I am building a skill set that will allow me to work from the other side of the equation as an educator and leader, but most importantly, to pursue my dream job of river guide. Whether it’s through GCY or not, I hope that my future career will embody the values of this organization by fostering the same supportive, loving, and silly environment I experienced on my trips as a youth, allowing many others to discover themselves and build community through the outdoors.



My love of boating and rivers, and a deep connection with the Southwest have all been crucial in shaping the path of my current life. Without Grand Canyon Youth, it’s very I likely never would have discovered these passions. I’m so grateful for the time I have spent and continue to spend with this organization, and I look forward to being a part of the work they do for many years to come.


Eliza Moyer grew up in Flagstaff, and has been a GCY alumni since her first trip in 2017. In addition to boating, she loves climbing, running, and playing music. Eliza will graduate from Western Washington University in March with a degree in Environmental Studies & Education. After graduation, Eliza plans to continue guiding with Grand Canyon Youth, exploring, and teaching others about the magic of the Southwest. 


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