From NASCAR to Woodshop Renaissance Man: Jeff Schlosser

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Jeff Schlosser is a man of few words and deep skills. Listen well when he speaks. After a successful career in NASCAR as a body/aerodynamic fabricator for seven championship seasons with drivers like Jimmy Johnson, Jeff Gordon, and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. among others, Jeff returned to a 30-acre farm on the eastern slope of the Blue Ridge near Saluda, NC, and looked around for the next thing to do. He’s a man who appreciates the well-crafted object in any material: metal or wood.

He has taken on the successful program of building canoes in the Mondamin Boatshop and every year or so, produces one or two wood and canvas canoes for the Mondamin fleet. He also maintains and repairs the beautiful fleet we have, including the majestic war canoes.

Most importantly, he loves to teach the campers from Mondamin and Green Cove the attention to detail, the love of the process of patient attention that craftsmanship can provide, and the safety processes needed to work with the machinery that shapes wood.

We are proud of him and the engaging work he provides for our campers. When visiting camp, make sure you drop by to see what’s going on. You may get lucky and get recruited to work with Jeff and his crew and therefore become a small part of a team creating part of a beautiful canoe for the next hundred years of camp.

About Gordon Grant

I came to Mondamin as a 14 year old camper in 1969, and have followed what I learned here in adventure and academic education for 54 years: at Mondamin and Green Cove, Nantahala Outdoor Center, NC Outward Bound, Asheville City Public Schools, and UNC Chapel Hill. I still practice deep play in whitewater, rock climbing, and hiking, and am still working on my kayak roll…

I have worked closely with the Bell family in these years, from the founders of the camps, Chief and Calla Bell, through their son and daughter Frank, Jr. and Nancy Bell, and their grandchildren Andrew, Calla, and David. Each generation has taught me something.

My wife, Susan, is my partner of 40+ years; we have shared outdoor adventures around the world. Susan has headed canoeing at Green Cove. Our daughters, Rachel and Glenna, were Green Cove campers, and our granddaughter, Virginia Rugh, will be at August camp this summer. We intend that our grandson Grant will be at Mondamin in 2028. I am working with David Bell and the Mondamin staff to assure that he, and many other boys, will be having adventures on their personal frontiers at camp for years to come.

Gordon Grant