KAROL RAJSKI

Age: 26
Birth of Place: Proszowice, Poland
Raised: Lake Zurich, Illinois 
College Education: Northern Michigan University 
Degree: Wild Life and Fisheries Management 

My family and I moved to the U.S. when I was very young and was raised in Chicago. I first discovered my passion for the outdoors thanks to my Dad. He took my brother and I fishing every weekend. At one point my Dad said that my brother and I played our Sega Genesis too much, so he cut the wires and we cried ourselves to sleep. The next day my Mom bought us a butterfly net and we started catching butterflies, moths, and even crayfish and snakes at the nearby pond. Then came a microscope and we would look at all the insects we caught under it and eventually pin them to cork boards and put them on display at our home. Since living in Marquette I have found so many passions in the outdoors that it makes it difficult to decide what activity to partake in when I have free time. Throughout the past years I have been fortunate enough to travel to different countries and experience different cultures. I’ve had many backpacking trips and even lived out of my tent with Drew and Ryan for a whole summer while guiding on the Pictured Rocks. Paddling around Lake Superior has been a dream of ours since our first season guiding, and it is amazing to have this opportunity and be able to learn, educate, inspire and spread awareness of how important our Great Lakes are to us.

DREW ETLING

Age: 26
Place of birth: Springfield, Missouri
Raised: Lake Zurich, Illinois
College Education: Northern Michigan University
Degree: Environmental Studies & Sustainability
I grew up playing naked in the mud and drinking "coffee" a delicious mud and water mixture. On the weekends I floated the rivers of the Ozarks with my family and dogs. My Family and I counted turtles by the hundreds and pointed out the spirits in the gorgeous limestone cliffs. From a very early age my Dad and Mom had instilled nature into my soul. Since then I have migrated Northward to Lake Michigan, and ultimately Lake Superior. Right away she took my breath away. Lake Superior has especially fascinated me with her enchanting beauty and her many precarious moods. This Lake has given and sustained life for thousands of years. The life source has changed my life and touched my heart and soul. It is up to us to protect the Lakes, and reciprocate the gift of life. The most beautiful gift of all. Paddle Hard!!

JARED VANOORDT

Age: 23
Place of birth: Grand Haven, Michigan
College Education: Northern Michigan University
Degree: Environmental Science 
Concentration: Water Resources  

Since I was a youngster growing up on Lake Michigan, I've always been drawn to the waters of the Great Lakes, which eventually lead to school at NMU and guiding along Pictured Rocks. Throughout my experience with the lakes I've been inspired by the beauty and adventure they hold. So naturally, a journey to see what other beauties and mysteries Mother Superior holds is only necessary. The lakes have taught me so much, and showed me so many amazing times. I want to be able to share that same feeling with others. By studying the environment and water resources I aim to further educate myself and to share that knowledge to help protect this incredible, unique resource of the Great Lakes. I can't wait to spend the summer visiting the wonders the lake has to offer!

RYAN BUSCH

Age: 25
Place of birth: Holland, Michigan
College Education: Northern Michigan University
Degree: BFA Digital Cinema

I have two energetic, loyal, brilliant, and absolutely humorous Australian Shepherds with my best friend, Anna, who has always encouraged our passion for the lakes.  I spent my summers in Glen Arbor, Michigan, home to the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore where I was lucky enough to spend most of my time interacting within Glen lake and Lake Michigan. I was truly unaware of how fortunate I was,  to be so greatly impacted by such a precious body of water and lake shore.  A small portion of my life ( 9-11th grade) I focused strictly on tennis in Fishers, Indiana. I met some truly wonderful folks - you know who you are.  Everything led me north to college in DA YOOP. After a couple of years, I set my education to the side and  lived in Colorado and the Outer Banks of North Carolina before realizing the Great Lakes have impacted my life more than I could ever imagine, so I moved back to Marquette to finish my studies. I can't wait to share our story and give back to our roots and continue to motivate the future.

Jared hard at work