As the new Executive Director, I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to help lead the Antelope Butte Foundation into its next chapter. I am so fortunate to have lived in Wyoming all my life, and as a kid growing up in Casper, I was blessed with ample outdoor opportunities. Summers with my family consisted primarily of outdoor recreation and education. When we weren’t out camping, I was often found running around the fields in my neighborhood, building forts and riding bikes on local trails.

While out there exploring, childhood threw me a curveball. At a fairly young age, I was diagnosed with ADHD. Two of the biggest blessings in my life are that, one, when I was diagnosed my parents decided a drum set would be more beneficial than Ritalin. The second was being introduced to endurance athletics. These activities gave me a sense of focus that I couldn’t achieve elsewhere, allowing me to be in a constant state of movement while engaging my brain. My Dad often took my siblings and me to the Nordic ski trails where we first learned how to balance and control ourselves on skis. Once we gained some experience, my parents bought us our first sets of Alpine skis from a local ski swap and signed us up for lessons at Hogadon over Christmas break. From then on, I’ve spent every winter chasing snow.

Throughout Junior High and High School I cross-country skied, racing on the school team as an All-State athlete. I then attended the University of Wyoming where I continued to race as a member of the Nordic Ski Club. The club was set up to operate much like a functioning nonprofit. We had club officers, officer meetings, and fundraised to afford the team’s travel, racing, and training expenses. At the time, I learned how a team can come together in a diplomatic way to not only train well, but also collaborate with each other’s strengths and weaknesses to consistently bring home national titles.

Upon graduating from UW, I received my Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and Health Sciences with an emphasis in Physical Education Teaching. I am very passionate about educating others and sharing my experience and knowledge to help those who want to better themselves. I taught Physical Education in Natrona County, as well as worked at the Casper Family YMCA as the School-Aged Programs Director. I implemented outdoor recreation and education into my curriculum because I believe the outdoors offer a lifelong opportunity to learn.

In early 2016, my wife, Amanda, and I were given the incredible opportunity to move to Sheridan, Wyoming. From the moment we arrived, we’ve been impressed with the vast potential for outdoor recreation and education opportunities provided by the Bighorn Mountains. Since our move to Sheridan, I’ve had the chance to help organize and work on such events as The Dead Swede Hundo, Biketoberfest, Antelope Butte Brew Fest, and Antelope Butte Summer Festival.

I am thrilled to carry on these traditions and the legacy of Antelope Butte while enduring the foundation’s mission of providing affordable access to outdoor recreation and education for youth and beginners for generations to come!

Thank you,
John Kirlin