David was initiated into the field of youth and community caring in 1966 as a “woodlore” counselor guiding youth to experience the wonders of nature. Since then he has dedicated his life to bringing together art, science and ancestral wisdom for improving conditions that impact youth development through community engagement.
He is the co-designer of the exemplar of youth and community development through rites of passage called the Rite Of Passage Experience©, ROPE®, which has informed community oriented rites of passage around the world for over a million youth and their families.
The National League of Cities and the Child Welfare League of America have recognized ROPE® as a model youth and community development strategy. David is also the recipient of the Connecticut Youth Services Association's Career Achievement award, 1995 and their Program of the Year Award, 1989.