About Me

John Dockendorf came into the world in December 1959. He spent his first years growing up near Baltimore, Maryland, but eventually Dockendorf would find himself having a bigger impact elsewhere. Like many growing up in the Middle Atlantic states, education, was important and after a rigorous education at friend’s school, he packed his skis and headed for the university of Vermont.

Dockendorf first started making an impression early during his first years in college. Spending the end of the 1970s burning through various classes in university, he graduated in 1981 with top grades from the University of Vermont. Seeking roles and pathways in recreation and park management, Dockendorf chased paths like many, and found himself assistant positions for various professors. This led to his pursuit of graduate studies in the same field, and by the next decade Dockendorf had achieved a Master of Management, Hospitality from Cornell University, and the School of Hotel Administration in 1992. Again, Dockendorf achieved top of his class, and he was also the John E.H. Sherry Scholarship as well as student body president at Cornell in his discipline’s school.

Three Decades of Dedication

When you build an institution that lasts almost 30 years under your leadership, it tends to get a bit personal. That’s the case for John Dockendorf. Under his leadership for 28 years, Adventure Treks Inc. operated as one of the best-known teen outdoor programs available for students. Attendees of Dockendorf’s program and project have come from the entire continental U.S. as well as over 25countries overseas. All to engage in, growth-oriented experiences and participate in wilderness adventures located in some of the best wild natural areas of the U.S. west as well as Alaska and Canada.

The Adventure Treks program was a significant operation. It easily employed 70 different educators as well as a full-time team and part-time support. The program was versatile and flexible, even able to operate with restrictions during 2020 and the COVID shutdowns. This was based on the program’s already existing reputation of safety that had lasted almost three decades Dockendorf retired from Adventure treks in 2021 passing the tradition of excellent and outdoor education on to his ten-year director, Dave McGlashan.

In addition to Adventure Treks, John and his wife Jane reopened Camp Pinnacle in 2011. Pinnacle was a legacy summer camp founded in 1928 that had fallen upon hard times and closed in 2010. The Dockendorf’s and partner Steve Baskin, owner of Camp Champions in Texas, completely remodeled the facility over ten years and restored Camp Pinnacle’s legacy, renewing its reputation as one of North Carolina’s favorite summer camps. Pinnacle now fills its camper roster for the summer a year in advance. The Dockendorf’s passed the leadership of Camp Pinnacle to the Baskin’s and directors, Fayssoux and J G Moss, after summer of 2021.

Going Further and Impacting Exponentially

Dockendorf first started making a community presence in Western North Carolina on the Flat Rock Park Development Committee which turned a 62-acre golf course into an incredible community park. Dockendorf also steered the playground development committee and Flat Rock is now home to one of the finest playgrounds in North Carolina. Dockendorf has served as a board chairperson for Mountain Community School as well. That was partnered with Dockendorf’s role helping found the French Broad River Academy in Asheville.

John Dockendorf's community service expanded and continued to be as engaged as Dockendorf’s commitment to Adventure Treks. Starting in 2015, Dockendorf added to his engagement as a civic leader being elected to the Flat Rock Village Council. As transportation representative for Flat Rock, Dockendorf worked on region wide transportation issues as a representative on the French Broad Metropolitan Planning organization and its prioritization Committee, He also served on the Henderson County Transportation Advisory Committee. All of these roles, each in their own engaging, constituted the greater contribution Dockendorf provided his constituents f By 2019, the commitments have been significant, and Dockendorf started to tailor things down gradually, as he approached an early retirement.

Surrounding Oneself With Personal Support

Dockendorf’s family has also been part of his driving force. Marrying Jane Ganey Dockendorf in 1999, the couple have raised and been parents to their four children - Charlie, Ave Rees, Ella, and Audrey. The kids, ranging from 15 to 21 now, are starting their own lives, but John and Jane have built an entire world of education, training, and efforts to make a path for their kids. The last few years haven’t been that easy either; the COVID pandemic was disruptive at every level of society and every part of the country as well. Dockendorf's organization and operations were impacted just as much as everyone else, even more to some extent given that it ran on adventure socialization as a primary service offering. However, what John Dockendorf has known well all these years is that persistence and flexibility pay off in the long run. It's why John Dockendorf continues to find success with similar ventures and commitments on a community basis again and again.


John Dockendorf Portfolio