With over 100 years of combined experience in the fields of Recreation, Physical and Experiential Education, Administrative Leadership, Management and Outdoor Adventure, the Positive Energy Program (PEP) Leadership Team along with a pool of experienced team building facilitators, will design and implement a custom program that works to meet your school, group, business or organizational goals.
We focus on group development and team building using an experiential education model to help establish effective communication, relationship building, character development and the acquisition of 21st Century Life Skills. This proactive approach empowers participants to bring the lessons learned through our programs back into their school, group, business or organization as well as into their own personal lives and communities.
who we are
Positive Energy Program
meet the "pep"
With 20 years of professional experience in the fields of Outdoor Recreation, Experiential Education and Team & Leadership Development, Scott Catucci currently serves as the Associate Director for Outdoor Education, Esports and Student Development in the Department of Recreation Services at Syracuse University. In this position since 2005, Scott oversees and administers a variety of program areas and facilities including outdoor adventure trips, challenge course, team and student development programming, indoor climbing wall, Esports gaming room as well as the cross country ski & snowshoe center. Scott has a B.S.E in Recreation Education and a M.A. in Management of Leisure Services. Before accepting his current position at Syracuse University, Scott was the Director of the Cayuga Nature Centers TEAM Challenge program which consisted of both a low and high element challenge course designed primarily to serve local and regional school groups.
Matt has been working as an experiential educator and group facilitator since the late 90’s. He is an Alum of the Recreation Department at nearby SUNY Cortland receiving both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees there. He has held full-time challenge course coordinator positions for both Syracuse University and Cornell University and has documented over 5000 hours of challenge course and group facilitation experience. He and his wife Becky are proud parents of their 2 ½ year old twins, Lucy and Olin.
Barb is a lifelong learner who enjoys learning and facilitating others’ experiences that bring leadership skills into focus and support people’s positive growth. Over the past 40 years as a professional educator, she has enjoyed elementary classroom teaching, and elementary, high school, and district level administration. She has worked as an adjunct at SUNY Oswego, where she earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. She earned a Ph.D. from the Catholic University of America in educational leadership. Recently, Barb received the Henry G. Cram Accreditation Leadership Award from the Middle States Association. Currently, Barb’s favorite leisure time activities most often involve time spent with her husband, Larry, and their grandchildren.
Brenda infuses her passion for living life to its fullest into everything she does. She brings 20+ years of educating, coaching and facilitating to each program and individual she works with. Brenda has a Master's degree of Science & Education and a Bachelor’s in Physical Education / Recreation. She has worked with multiple diverse programs both domestically and internationally varying from youth programs, adults and corporations. Through activities that can range from using both high & low challenge course elements to portable activities and small to large scale scavenger hunt style races, Brenda has facilitated experiences for groups of all sizes. She has brought her unique style to groups in some amazing locations such as Fenway park, dream like beaches and downtown cities and parks. Each individual she works with walks away with an engaging team-building experience to learn from. In her free time, Brenda enjoys hiking, kayaking, traveling, concerts and spending time with her family and friends. "My greatest joy is seeing people grow right in front of me. They are trusting me to deliver a safe and effective custom designed program where they can be vulnerable, take on a leadership role, gain trust and build positive healthy relationships with one another".
Scott was the 2020 recipient of the PICOUP Award from the North East Region of the Association for Experiential Education (AEE). The Person in Charge of Unlocking Potential (PICOUP) Award has been named for Michael Gessford (1962-2011) who is remembered for his playful spirit, his dedication to the field of experiential education, kindness, generosity and unique way of empowering others to achieve their best. PICOUP is a phrase Mike himself came up with to describe his “job title.”
The award is given each year to someone in the Northeast AEE community who selflessly gives of themselves for the betterment of others & has the ability to empower others to achieve their best regardless of personal gain. Congratulations Scott!
Barbara Messina, Ph.D. a longtime administrator and accreditation coordinator for Catholic schools within the Diocese of Syracuse, N.Y., is the first recipient of the Henry G. Cram Accreditation Leadership Award. Messina received the award during the 2019 Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools biannual meeting.
The award honors unsung heroes of the accreditation process who devote countless hours and energy to obtain and maintain accreditation of their schools. Recipients are chosen because they have strong belief in and deep understanding of the Middle States accreditation process and a track record of creating and maintaining a school culture focused on continuous school improvement.