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Dedicated to Outdoor Adventures for Young People Ages 12-18

School Programs

Who We Are

 Adventure Treks Educational Programs 

Since 1978, schools from the Eastern U.S. have been bringing 6th-12th grade classes to the stunning classroom setting of the Blue Ridge Mountains for 3-8 day outdoor education programs. We offer 4 different program styles so your school can choose the type of activities that will most benefit your students. No matter which program your school chooses, we provide students with a growth-filled outdoor experience focused on safety, leadership, class unity and natural science. The Adventure Treks school experience is often the highlight of a student’s formal educational experience.

Mission Statement:

Our mission is to provide the safest, most substantive, and most exciting educational adventure programs for schools through our personal attention to every student and teacher, our caring and our competence.

 

Our Leadership Team:

John DockendorfJohn Dockendorf
Executive Director
dock@adventuretreks.com

Our Executive Director, John "Dock" Dockendorf, is an integral part of hiring and training our instructor team. Dock is available to speak with your personally at 888-954-5555, or click here to email Dock.

 

Dave "Dmac" McGlashan
Director
davemac@adventuretreks.com
David McGlashenDave "DMAC" McGlashan is our Associate Director and sixth-year Regional Director. He has a Master's in Recreation from The University of Tennessee and is a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School. He is a Wilderness First Responder, Swiftwater Rescue Technician, and American Canoe Association Kayak Instructor. He has climbed and kayaked all over the world, most recently in the Desert Southwest.

 

Neil Rudis
Educational Program Director
neil@adventuretreks.com
Neil RudisNeil Rudis - Originally from Chicago, Neil joins us for his sixth season as our Education Program Director. He holds a degree in History from Northern Illinois University and spent a year at Southern Cross University in Australia. Neil is a graduate of the NOLS Outdoor Educator Semester and is a certified Top-Rope Site Manager, Leave No Trace Master, Wilderness First Responder, and EMT.

 

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What You'll Experience

 Our Goals for Your School's Adventure:

1. SAFETY

Safety is our primary concern and we are extremely proud of our outstanding safety record. All of our instructors are certified Wilderness First Responders and have participated in our extensive training program.

2. EFFECTIVELY REACHING YOUR EDUCATIONAL GOALS

We work closely with teachers and administrators to create incredible educational experiences for students. The outdoors is the perfect place to augment classroom curricula, invigorate students' sense of curiosity and discovery, and make lasting impressions that are often the pinnacle of the school year. Adventure Treks trips are heavily influenced by the framework set forth by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills: students are challenged to master communication, problem solving, creativity, and collaborative skills among other abilities essential to success in the modern world. Let us know what you would like to see students accomplish during your experience with us, and we’ll incorporate appropriate activities and facilitation.

3. BUILDING YOUR COMMUNITY

Knowing that we all have more fun and success when we feel included, valued and supported, we put a lot of energy into the intentional development of community. As soon as students arrive, they are divided into small groups which are developed by teachers in order to promote positive social dynamics. Our instructors facilitate games, activities, and discussions that foster the development of a close, caring community. After a week of supporting each other, you can expect your classes to return to school more united and energized.

 

 What students, teachers, and parents are saying:

"Every year my school does outdoor education, but this year was amazing! I had fun trying new things and getting to know everyone better. Thank you!"
- Orianna, student from Atlanta, GA

"I Wish I could go back and do it for the rest of my life!"
- Gaines, student from Nasheville, TN

"You led us to so many extraordinary spots and taught us how to set-up a tent (My father has attempted to do this many times in failure), thanks!"
- John, student from Atlanta, GA

 "I suppose that in some ways the AT program asks students to develop a different set of skills, but largely it serves to recontextualize and amplify many of the principles that we teach at school: leadership, teamwork, organization, independence, improvisational thinking, and so on.
Additionally, I think that while the AT experience is important in and of itself, its true value emerges when the teacher can connect that experience to things that the student is learning in the classroom. This is more obviously done in certain disciplines (i.e.: science), but its possible no matter what subject one teaches."
- Dr. Dean Masullo, Teacher, University School of Nashville

"Our 8th grade students know each other in a way they did not before. They have a newfound respect for each other having shared this common experience."
- John Meredith, Middle School Principal

  

Dear Dock and Adventure Treks: 

I just returned from my daughter Grace's 8th Grade Graduation from Seven Hills Middle School. The next time I attend one of these, which will be for Timmy in two years, remind me to bring an extra handkerchief, because for some reason there was a lot of water around my chair!
There were several students that presented their "Reflections of Middle School", to the assembled group of parents, grandparents, family and friends when most students simply write them down. No less than three out of the seven specifically mentioned the 7th grade Adventure Treks trip as one of their most memorable experiences of Middle School. You need to know the significant positive impact your programs have had on Seven Hills students.
In fact, in the Seventh Grade "Response" to the Eighth Grade graduation, by seventh grader Matthew, also mentioned the recent school trip with Adventure Treks.
So, I thought you would like to know that at Graduation ceremonies around the country this month, Adventure Treks and your educational programs are being hailed as some of the most significant experiences these kids have enjoyed. You can't beat that!
Congratulations!”
Regards,
David O. Cawdrey
Parent of Adventure Treks educational school program student

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Programs

We offer 4 incredible program styles* designed to ignite wonder in the natural world, cultivate inclusive communities, encourage critical thinking, strengthen communication, and help prepare students for success in the 21st century. Please scroll down to read more about each of our programs.

Depending on which program you choose, you can base out of Camp Pinnacle in Flat Rock, NC or in nearby Pisgah National Forest.  Before your adventure begins, your students will be divided into small groups consisting of 10-12 classmates, a teacher from your school, and two Adventure Treks Instructors**. During your adventure, Adventure Treks provides all instruction, logistics, outdoor equipment and meals.

*Contact us to design a custom program that works within your school’s curriculum and budget.
**Southern Appalachian Science Center is facilitated with 1 Instructor per group.

21st Century Skills Challenge

21st Century Skills at Adventure TreksIn 2002 the U.S. department of Education formed a coalition with leading education experts and industry leaders (such as Apple, Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Dell and the National Education Association) to create a comprehensive set of skills that are essential for success in the 21st century.  The Partnership for 21st Century Skills formed, and they created an essential skills list called the “4Cs” which include: Critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration; and creativity and innovation.  These learning goals are the focus of our new program: The 21st Century Skills Challenge.  We aim to assist schools in reaching their stated mission of preparing students for the 21st Century by effectively teaching these skills to students and giving them real life experience to draw on as they continue their education back in the classroom.

Upon arrival to Camp Pinnacle in Flat Rock, NC students are split into teams of 10-12 classmates and a teacher from your school.  In these teams, students will be presented with timed challenges designed to require the effective use of the “4Cs”.  Each activity is facilitated and debriefed by one of our trained instructors focused on encouraging group growth and individual awareness of 21st Century skills.  We combine interesting and fun challenges with learning-focused facilitation and debriefing to create this unparalleled education experience.  This program can be facilitated over 3 or 4 days.

Highlights Include...

  • Nature ID
  • Debacle Boat
  • Climb & Cache
  • Mind Meld
  • Nature Art

Accommodations: Camp Pinnacle-based program, sleeping in camp cabins and one overnight in a tent on camp property.

Sample Schedule: pdf21st Century Skills Sample Schedule

Email education@adventuretreks.com for more information today!

Outdoor Adventure

Your students will be based out of a group camp-site in historic Pisgah National Forest.  In small groups of 10-12 classmates, a teacher from your school and two Adventure Treks instructors, they will spend the next 4-5 days pursuing exciting adventure activities in the natural world.  Our instructors facilitate games, activities, and discussions that foster the development of a close, caring community.  Throughout the week students are encouraged to learn new outdoor skills, take on an appropriate level of leadership, practice positive and effective communication, and have tons of fun!

Your students will learn outdoor skills, hike through some of the most beautiful scenery in the country, discover the flora and fauna of the forest ecosystem, and so much more.  While immersed in nature’s classroom, students will be learning other valuable lessons too.  Students will practice communication through our daily “evening circle”, critical thinking as “leader of the day”, collaboration while setting-up camp and cooking meals, problem solving through fun teambuilding games, and kindness while forming a close knit community.  Safety is our first priority, and our instructors focus on instilling a mindset of safety in students from day one by role modeling safe behavior and teaching safety in conjunction with each activity.

The fun outdoor activities, gorgeous views, learning-focused facilitation and the creation of inclusive, caring communities makes this our most popular program.

Outdoor Adventure at Adventure TreksHighlights include:

  • Hiking
  • Backpacking
  • Rock Climbing
  • Sliding Rock
  • Creek Stomp
  • Mexi Cook-Off
  • White Water Rafting

Accommodations: Tent camping in Pisgah National Forest group campsite.

Sample Schedule: pdfOutdoor Adventure Sample Schedule

Email education@adventuretreks.com for more information today!

Backcountry Immersion

Typically geared for students in 8th to 12th grade, this program features a slightly higher level of challenge than our Outdoor Adventure program, the Backcountry Immersion Program provides students the opportunity to spend 3-5 days learning how to backcountry camp and travel in style

Upon arrival to Pisgah National Forest, students will be split-up into groups of 10-12 classmates, a teacher from your school and 2 incredible Adventure Treks instructors.  Before embarking on this exciting adventure, your students will learn about the equipment they will use, how to pack everything they need for the next 3-5 days into their Adventure Treks provided backpacks, and how to backpack in style and comfort. Now you and your students are ready to take off on an experience you will likely never forgot.

Backcountry Immersion Program At Adventure TreksYour students will learn outdoor skills, hike through some of the most beautiful scenery in the country, discover the flora and fauna of the forest ecosystem, and this adventure is so much more.  While immersed in nature’s classroom, students will be learning other valuable lessons too.  Students will practice communication through our daily “evening circle”, critical thinking as “leader of the day”, collaboration while setting-up camp and cooking meals, problem solving through fun teambuilding games, and kindness while forming a close knit community.  Safety is our first priority while traveling through the backcountry; our instructors focus on instilling a mindset of safety in students from day one by role modeling safe behavior and teaching safety in conjunction with each activity.


The Backcountry Immersion is a profound experience; it is appropriately challenging, valuable to teachers hoping to unify their classrooms, and a great way to set the tone for the rest of the school year.  An exciting day of whitewater rafting is often added to compliment the backcountry experience.

Highlights include:

  • White Water Rafting
  • Map Reading
  • Backcountry Cooking
  • Beautiful Sunsets
  • Night Hike/Astronomy
  • Backpacking

Accommodations: Backcountry camping in tents in Pisgah National Forest.

Sample Schedule: pdfBackcountry Adventure Sample Schedule

Email education@adventuretreks.com for more information today!

Southern Appalachian Science Center

Adventure Treks operates the Southern Appalachian Science Center at Camp Pinnacle in Flat Rock, NC.  We blend hands-on science activities with community building and adventure activities for an exceptional educational experience.  Students explore watersheds from a canoe, peer at aquatic species collected from a cascading stream under a microscope, and study the night sky in some of the best star gazing country in the Southeast.  Our classes are designed to interweave experiential learning and science instruction for students to more effectively retain the information they are learning in your school’s science classes.  Rock climbing, ziplining, swimming in our lake and riding the waterslide  will make this trip as fun as it is educational.  Your students will love learning at the Southern Appalachian Science Center.

Science School through Adventure TreksHighlights include:

  • Physics Lab
  • Hydrology
  • Nature Discovery Lab
  • Ecology Walk
  • Climbing Tower
  • Zipline
  • Waterslide
  • Night Hike
  • Astronomy

Accommodations: Camp Pinnacle based program, sleeping in cabins and eating meals in the dining hall.

Sample Schedule: pdfScience School Sample Schedule

Email education@adventuretreks.com for more information today!

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Meet Your Instructors

Meet the 2013 instructors!

 

Allie R.

Allie R.

School Programs

Allie grew up playing in the fields of Upstate New York.  She is impassioned by life always learning through new experiences and challenges.  The itch to travel and broaden her horizons brought her to Italy as a Rotary Exchange Student for a year and then to the west coast for university where she graduated with a degree in Community Health.  She plans to continue schooling to become a paramedic.  Allie spent the past four years leading trips with the Portland State University Outdoor Program.  She has also worked with Outward Bound.  Her activities of choice are biking and backpacking but she enjoys a wide range of activities including rock climbing, winter camping, and water sports. Allie is a certified Wilderness First Responder.


Allison O.

Allison O.

School Programs

Originally from the Twin Cities area of Minnesota, Allison graduated from the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point with a degree in Environmental Education and Interpretation. She has worked a variety of jobs including; AmeriCorps in Northern California, at an environmental education center in Outer Banks, NC and as an Interpretation Intern in Glacier National Park. Allison is a certified Wilderness First Responder, ski instructor, and PADI diver. This is Allison's first season as an instructor with Adventure Treks.


Ben L.

Ben L.

School Programs

Ben Lea is the Director of Camp Pinnacle, Adventure Treks sister program for younger campers. Ben began his camp experience at Falling Creek Camp for Boys and was previously the Associate Director. A native of South Florida, Ben wanted to be closer to the mountains of North Carolina, so attended Carson Newman College in Jefferson City, Tennessee, graduating with a degree in Leisure Services. He continued his outdoor pursuits at Mountaintop Golf and Lake Club in Cashiers, North Carolina as Founding Director of Kids Camp Program. He and his wife Margo live in Hendersonville, North Carolina with their two dogs Nestle and Dozer. Ben spends his free time exploring the waters that surround him as an avid fly fisherman, paddler, and surfer. He is a Certified Wilderness First Responder.


Benji P.

Benji P.

School Programs

Benji graduated from Appalachian State University with a degree in Recreation Management. He has worked with several companies as a climbing instructor and supervisor. Benji has been an intern with Outward Bound and with Nature Play Corps. He is an AMGA Single Pitch Instructor, and a Wilderness First Responder. He is excited to join Adventure Treks for his first season as an instructor.


Jan W.

Jan W.

School Programs

Jan, originally from Massachusetts, has a B.S. in Outdoor Education from the University of New Hampshire. Jan has spent his free time travelling around South America, playing with his digital camera, and teaching snowboarding in Northern New England. He is a ACA Level 4 Whitewater Kayak Instructor, a Wilderness EMT, and Leave No Trace Trainer. Jan will be joining Adventure Treks for this 3rd Season as the Admissions Director for Adventure Treks.


Jess G.

Jess G.

School Programs

Jess joins us for her first season as an instructor. She is a graduate of The College of William and Mary with a degree in Sociology, and completed a NOLS semester in Patagonia. Jess has worked at summer camps, and for college outdoor programs leading trips. She is currently a personal trainer, and is a Wilderness First Responder.


Jess H.

Jess H.

School Programs

Originally from New Jersey, Jessica is joining us via Oakland, CA. She is a licensed physician and is currently finishing her training in family medicine. She has ridden her bike across the country, climbed all over the world, and been a member of the Yosemite Search and Rescue team. Jessica is excited to return to Adventure Treks for her third summer!


Joe S.

Joe S.

School Programs

Joe, originally from Virginia, is a graduate of NOLS and has a BA in history from Virginia Tech. He spent two years working for therapeutic programs and leading trips for special needs students. When not outside working, Joe spends his time climbing, slack lining, backpacking, and fly fishing. Joe is a Wilderness First Responder and a Leave No Trace Trainer and is excited to return Adventure Treks for his third season!


John G.

John G.

School Programs

A graduate of Brevard College and fifth season instructor, John holds a BA in Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education. John spends his time teaching and leading kayak trips on North Carolina's Green River. He has also traveled throughout the US and guided in Alaska. John is a Wilderness First Responder, Leave No Trace Trainer, Level IV Whitewater Kayak Instructor, and holds a Level IV Swiftwater Rescue Certification. He recently returned from a two month paddling trip in New Zealand and the Grand Canyon.


Josh G.

Josh G.

School Programs

Josh holds a degree in Psychology from Eckerd College and also graduated from the NOLS Rocky Mountain Outdoor Educator semester and the NOLS Instructor Course in backpacking. He is currently working as a glacier guide on the Fox Glacier in New Zealand. In his free time, he is an avid telemark skier, rock climber, and backpacker. Josh is a Leave No Trace Master Educator, a lifeguard, and a certified Wilderness EMT. Josh will be joining us for his fourth year as a trip leader.


Maggie A.

Maggie A.

School Programs

Maggie, the Activities Director at Camp Pinnacle (our sister program for younger students) is a recent graduate in Architecture at Clemson University. Her love of the outdoors was sparked at a young age while attending Camp Pinnacle for 8 summers. She is an avid climber and trail runner. Maggie has hiked her share of wilderness miles, slept in the woods too many nights to count, completed an Outward Bound Program, thru hiked the Long Trail in Vermont, and completed two marathons. She is a certified Wilderness First Responder. Maggie is always game for an adventure!


*Instructors may change prior to your trip – we’ll let you know if this happens.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Where are you located?

Students arrive and leave from Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education, located in Pisgah National Forest, NC, or from Camp Pinnacle in Flat Rock, NC.

What is the food like?

In short, delicious! Although food is cooked on camp stoves instead of in a traditional kitchen, the food we eat is the same as you eat at home. Meals include... breakfast burritos, sandwich bar, pasta salad, macaroni and cheese, stir fry, chili and quesadillas. Students love learning how to cook for themselves, and parents love it when students come home ready to cook a meal for them!

Food for the Southern Appalachian Science Center program is cooked by staff, not students, in our camp kitchen and enjoyed buffet style.

Who are the instructors?

We are extremely proud of our Adventure Treks instructors, but more importantly, students love them! They are all outdoor education professionals with solid outdoor experience and college degrees (some even with masters degrees), many of whom are returning for a second or third season. Safety is our number one priority, and all of our instructors are certified as Wilderness First Responders, EMTs, or Wilderness EMTs.

Take a look for yourself by clicking the tab "Meet Your Instructors" above!

What happens if my child has a problem at night?

Again, safety is our first priority and no matter which trip your student attends, an instructor will be close by each night. Whether a student gets sick, homesick or simply having trouble adjusting, instructors are well trained and ready to address any problem that should arise with empathy and professionalism.

How can I contact my child?

Students will typically not have cell phones during their adventure. Parents should be advised that due to the wilderness nature of some programs, our groups are not always in cell phone service. In an emergency, please contact your school. The school will be able to contact our office to relay the message to your child in the field. We also have a 24-hour emergency line in case your school contacts us after hours.

What should I pack?

Your school will have a complete gear list for your specific trip. Below are sample packing lists:
My trip is in August: pdfAugust Packing List
My trip is in September: pdfSeptember Packing List
My trip is in October: pdfOctober Packing List
My trip is in November: pdfNovember Packing List


Have more questions?

We are more than happy to answer any questions you or your student has about your trip. Please call our office at (888) 954-5555.

 

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Reviews

Please contact us! We are happy to provide you with referrals from any of the schools we currently provide programs for, including:

  • “Adventure Treks provides students the opportunity to take risks, be more independent, and to experience new adventures.”
  • -Bill Waskowitz, Middle School Director, Seven Hills School

  • “There is a hands-on outdoor element at Adventure Treks that the school can't provide. Learning about rock formations atop Looking Glass Mountain is something no classroom can compete with.”
  • -Scott Zacher, Head of Middle School, St. Johns Country Day School

  • “I suppose that in some ways the AT program asks students to develop a different set of skills, but largely it serves to recontextualize and amplify many of the principles that we teach at school: leadership, teamwork, organization, independence, improvisational thinking, and so on.”
  • -Dr. Dean Masullo, Teacher, University School of Nashville

  • “Getting to be outdoors with my students (and myself!) for the week is a blessing!”
  • -Joy Sloan, Teacher, Brookstone School

  • “Overall, what I enjoy most is getting to know my students better and watching a lot of them overcome fears and other challenges, having a few "unplugged" days in the wilderness, and meeting the AT folks and learning about their lives… All around, it's such a good opportunity to connect on the human level in an era that seems to be driven by technology and email.”
  • -Matthew Lukach, Teacher, University School of Nashville

  • “I always enjoy seeing the students work together and develop new bonds with classmates outside their normal peer group.”
  • -Josh Scouten, Teacher, University School of Nashville

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Imagine you are embarking on a grand adventure! Where do you want to explore?

(Select as many as you want)

West Coast Selected
West Coast
California Selected
California
Alaska Selected
Alaska
Pacific Northwest Selected
Pacific Northwest
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Colorado
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British Columbia
Southeast Selected
Southeast
 

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My idea of FUN includes!

(Select as many as you want.)

Rock Climbing Selected
Rock Climbing
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Mountain Biking
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Ice Climbing
Whitewater Rafting Selected
Whitewater Rafting
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Mountain Summit
Canoeing Selected
Canoeing
Caving Selected
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Sea Kayaking
Zip Lining Selected
Zip Lining
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14-15
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Which statement best describes you?

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Excited to try something new Selected
Excited to try something new
I have been to sleepaway camp Selected
I have been to sleepaway camp
I am physically fit Selected
I am physically fit
I am a nature lover Selected
I am a nature lover
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I want to improve my leadership skills
I want to gain confidence Selected
I want to gain confidence
I want to escape electronics Selected
I want to escape electronics
 

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I am ready to depart...

...the moment school is out! Selected
...the moment school is out!
...after a break, I have a busy summer! Selected
...after a break, I have a busy summer!
...anytime Selected
...anytime
 

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Your Perfect Trip

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