Scotty Bowman and his wife Laura live in an area surrounded by the Appalachian Mountains and Cherokee National Forest in northeastern Tennessee, where they are raising their three children.
“Basically, these mountains are my home,” Scotty Bowman says. “And without them it feels like something is missing from my life.”
Scotty’s passion for his home is evident in his life as an outdoor businessman, parks and recreation management student and wilderness volunteer.
An Appalachian homecoming
Like a lot of young people, Scotty Bowman fled his hometown after high school and stayed away long enough to realize that he needed the mountains of Tennessee.
“What I didn’t realize for many years was how much of an impact those ‘wooded areas’ of my childhood had on who I am,” he explains. Once he became an adult, Scotty understood how much he had been shaped by a childhood with many unstructured hours that allowed him to explore forests and use his imagination.
“I have come to realize that my time spent exploring the woods were moments of escape from my life,” he adds. “When I was out exploring I was in charge of me, and I could do or be anything that I could imagine. During these times I was engaged in active play which helped me to understand my place in the world around me.”
A calling to work in the outdoors
Nowadays, he spends his free time hiking, backpacking and kayaking. Scotty and Laura own Bowman Adventures, a business that organizes events and outdoor adventures. “I hope to offer programs through Bowman Adventures that provide a path or a trail for others to find a connection to the land and wild places which can inspire them,” he says.
These mountains are my home and without them it feels like something is missing from my life.
Scotty is also enrolled at East Tennessee State University, where he is working towards a degree in parks and recreation management. He spends his summers working with Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards (SAWS) and leading volunteers into wilderness areas to do trail maintenance and other projects.
For Scotty, wilderness is invaluable. “Wilderness provides me with unimaginable beauty, a sense of awe, a sense of place, serenity, a connection to something much bigger than me, and a sense of belonging.”