Meet Your Counselors

Welcome TWB Trip 1 2017!!! 
We are so excited you stopped in to have a first look at your counselors for the best 23 days of your life!!

Grant Deaton - Program Director

HELLO AMERICA! My name is Grant Deaton and this is my 18th year traveling across this amazing country with TWB. I started going out west in 1996 and 1997 as a participant. In 2001, I began traveling as a counselor and became the tour director in 2003. It was such an honor and privilege to take on the role of Program Director in 2016. Words cannot express how excited I am about traveling out west again this summer with such an incredible group of young people. We are going to have a blast!

I just finished my 13th year of working in education as a Marketing Teacher at Hough High School. I enjoy golfing, mountain biking, backpacking, as well as hanging out with my family and dogs. My wife, Kitch, and I are extremely blessed to have three wonderful little boys in our lives. Connor (6 years old), Brandon (4 years old) and Samuel (2 year old) bring so much joy to our family. I will miss them so much this summer.

Enjoying every minute of life is so important to me. Going out west every year with the best young people God has to offer is the best way to spend a summer in my mind. I can't wait to see you soon!!

Matt Harkey - Trip Director

Is it June 17 yet?! The experience of a lifetime is going to be here before we know it. I went on TWB as a participant Trip 1 2004, and it was one of the most formative and greatest experiences of my life. This will be my seventh summer as a staff member, fifth as a director, and we are about to have an unbelievable time together. All staff are fully trained to treat cellphone withdrawal.

Born and raised in Gastonia, NC.  Tar Heel Born and Tar Heel Bred:  The Ceiling, indeed, is the Roof.   Northern High School counselor in Durham, NC, where I've worked since leaving Blue Heaven. I'll play soccer, basketball, and frisbee, and I try to keep up with my Hornets, Tar Heels, Panthers, Braves, and US Soccer. I love to read but don't do it enough and there's no excuse. Same for hiking/camping/backpacking. Play for me the music that you really like.

Participants, do yourselves favors:

1) Do your research.  Make time.  Don't wing it.
2) Underpack - please trust me and/or talk to a past participant.  Trust the packing list.  Really, you'll have everything you need.
3) Show up with an open heart and open mind.

"...even the richest personality is nothing before he has chosen himself, and on the other hand, even what might be called the poorest personality is everything when he has chosen himself. For the great thing is not to be this or that, but to be oneself, and every person can be that if he wants." - Søren Aabye Kierkegaard

Dallas Godbold

HELLO TWB Trip 1!!!!! I am counting down the days until we meet on June 17th!
I’m Dallas Godbold and I am from TWB Headquarters, Mooresville, NC! Grant was my teacher all four years of high school (lucky me!). I had the amazing opportunity to go on TWB in 2010 and it forever changed my life. I could talk about TWB non-stop.  It is a complete dream to get to spend my summer with you as a counselor!
I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in May of 2015 with a degree in Elementary Education! I am currently about to finish my second year teaching 4th grade at Jamestown Elementary School! I love making 4th grade math fun and I am known to bust out in a song to help my students learn something new. I also lead a small group each week for elementary students at the church I attend in Greensboro.
I officially decided to call Greensboro home last June when I bought a house! I have loved decorating it, but I have learned I am not a huge fan of yard work. In my free time I enjoy reading, running, Snapchatting (that counts as a hobby right?), and watching HGTV. Coffee and peanut butter are two of the greatest inventions. Okay I really really love coffee and I collect coffee mugs.
I hope you are ready for a fun filled summer, I promise it will be a summer you will ALWAYS remember! TWB holds a special place in my heart and I can’t wait to experience it with you!

Jon Alliss


I'm Jon "America" Alliss and I can't even begin to describe how pumped I am to be out traveling the United States of America with y'all for my first year as a counselor! I went on TWB in 2012 and I can confidently say it is still the best 23 days I have ever had.  I'm originally from Gastonia, NC but I just graduated from UNC Chapel Hill (go heels!) this year with a degree in Math and Education.  I love playing and watching just about any sport.  I love Mountain Dew so if ya find one of those on the bus it's probably mine!  Most of all, I absolutely love America.  There is so much out there to learn and explore and this experience is going to be one that very few people will be able to have so get pumped! It's gonna be amazing!

Hannah Tulloch

Hellloooo, Trip 1 2017! I bet you are reading about your counselors and thinking to yourself, “What have I gotten myself into with these crazy people???” Well good, that’s what you should be thinking! My name is Hannah Tulloch (Don’t worry; no one can pronounce my last name correctly). I just graduated from Appalachian State University (Michigan, who????) in May with my Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, majoring in Marketing. I was lucky enough to be a participant on this amazing trip in 2011 and I am not exaggerating in the slightest when I say that I have been wanting, dreaming, praying, and hoping to be a counselor on this trip since the second I stepped off that bus in 2011! I was absolutely terrified to get on that bus in 2011, so scared that the night before I almost backed out of TWB entirely! Lucky for all of you I stepped on that bus and never looked back, so now I get to spend my first summer as a counselor with all of you!

A little more about myself, I grew up in a very small town, Madison, North Carolina. From my small town and TWB, I have had some of the greatest opportunities to travel this beautiful planet from, Costa Rica to Australia and New Zealand! I can talk your heads off about these amazing places! Anyway, in a nutshell, I grew up riding horses and still do; it is one of my greatest passions in this life. I am the dog mom to a rescue named Sadie (as pictured), I love anything chocolate, I binge watch Grey's Anatomy, I don’t think there is anything better than Appalachian Football, I will probably like your weird music, and I am kind of a Harry Potter freak.

Traveling has become of my passions and I am so excited and blessed that I get to share this life-changing trip with all of you! I can’t wait to meet all of you awesome people and spend the next 23 days together in this beautiful country!! I am SO excited, let’s go West!!!

"Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light." - Albus Dumbledore

Matt Wilfong

Hello! ¡Hola!

TWB participants and families, you all have no idea how ecstatic I am to be joining you on our trip across our United States! I hope you all are ready for some of the best days of your entire life. My name is Matthew Wilfong and I went as a participant in June 2012 on trip two. I am not exaggerating when I say I would not trade my TWB experience for anything because it was one of the most influential, and meaningful trips of my life thus far. Get ready to be in your feels! (In a good way!)

I am originally from Indian Trail, North Carolina where I graduated from Piedmont High School. During this time I discovered my biggest interests in life which include playing music, scuba diving, flying, and community service. My 8 years of service in Cuba led me to move to Miami to attend Florida International University where I just recently earned a bachelors degree in International Business.
Well enough about me, the next several weeks are about all of you and making the best of the opportunities we have been given. In regards to your worries about leaving home and your cell phone behind, TRUST ME it is 100% worth it. I cannot wait to meet and get to know each and every one of you, and please don’t hesitate to reach out to me on, or before the trip if you need someone to talk to.

Favorite Quote: “I wish there was a way to know you were in the good ole days before you actually left them.” - Ed Helms (The Office)

Staff Weekend

MAY 27-28, 2017

All of the amazing counselors arrived in Mooresville, NC on Friday around lunch to start prepping for the best Teens Westward Bound trip yet!! We are SO excited to meet all of you! The Deatons kept us full with the essentials: goldfish and skittles. We are prepping our bodies for the TWB diet! 

Trip 1 Counselors Working Hard or Hardly Working???

We took a break to have some hamburgers and hotdogs grilled by the man himself, Dennis Deaton! After dinner, we practiced our tent pitching skills! Teamwork will come in handy from by everyone on this trip!

Grant and Dennie share a smile! They are so excited!!!

Hopefully it won't rain and we won't have to pull these babies out!

The Big D with his three grandsons, Samuel, Brandon, and Connor!
All matching and wearing the colors of our great country, RED, WHITE, & BLUE!!


Staff Weekend 2017 was a great success!