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Trey Smolko

Outdoorsman and photographer
Sea Gull

Years as a Camper: Three

Hometown: Memphis, TN

Years as a Staff Member/Positions held: 8 (Sailing staff and Fishing UA)

Current Profession: Outdoorsman and photographer

How did you start on your career path as a professional outdoorsman? I guess it started at Camp? I grew up fishing and was on sailing staff and they asked me to jump over and do the fishing program back in 2009 when we used to take the kids way out in the middle of the ocean to catch fish. I went to the University of Tennessee and there’s a lot of fishing opportunity around there. I got an engineering degree but I didn’t want to go sit behind a desk. Since I had a Captain’s License from Camp it was easier to get a job in Alaska. I’ve been going back every year since 2013.

Can you tell us about the various work you do during different parts of the year? I’m about to head to Alaska where I work as a fishing guide at Tikchik Narrows Lodge, I’ll be there June through September. My home base is in Asheville, NC but I’m rarely here. I spend time as a striper fishing guide in Weldon, NC in the spring and guide duck and goose hunts in the winter in Mississippi. I also take on freelance event marketing and photography work.

What is a day like in working in Alaska? I work at a fly-out lodge in the middle of nowhere, completely in the wilderness. I go out into the woods and live in a tent, the lodge flies people out every day and I take them fishing two people at a time.

What aspects of Camp have you carried with you through the years? The thing that has stuck with me the most is all the connections and friendships that I’ve made over the years. I still spend a lot of time down in Beaufort with a lot of Camp friends. We travel around and camp and fish together just having that network is still going on.

What advice would you give campers who are interested in working in the outdoors or a non-conventional career path? There’s never going to be a right time, you just have to go and do it. There’s no blueprint for it, you just have to jump in headfirst and figure it out. Put your time in, it doesn’t happen overnight and with a little bit of luck.

Favorite Camp meal: Gary’s

Favorite Camp Song: Sea Gull Winds Are Blowing

Favorite Book: Anything by Carl Hiaasen

Dream Vacation Destination: Seychelles, off the east coast of Africa