Frequently Asked Questions
We look at the grade students are finishing before their Adventure Treks trip, not the grade they’re entering after summer 2021. In other words, the grade students are in as of September 2020. Our trips are for students who are currently in the 6th through 12th grades (ages 12–18) during the 2020–2021 school year.
Adventure Treks is not an open-enrollment program. To ensure a mutually good fit, new families fill out admissions forms, including a student questionnaire, parent questionnaire, and health history; new students must also provide a character reference from school. This information not only helps us get to know our families before we meet our students, but also allows us to create the best possible peer groups on every trip.
Safety is our number one priority for our outdoor adventures. We make every decision regarding your child as if you were looking over our shoulder, but please understand that nothing is 100 percent safe. To build independence and ensure normal teenage development, we practice taking reasonable and appropriate risks, while doing everything possible to minimize those risks. Read more about our safety policy here.
While we are an outdoor adventure program, we are not a hardcore wilderness camp. We spend time in both frontcountry and backcountry campsites throughout the trip. Frontcountry camping is like car camping; we’ll be in established campgrounds with our vans nearby, and we’ll typically have access to a fire pit, picnic tables, and bathrooms with flush toilets and running water. In frontcountry sites, we usually have cell phone service. Backcountry camping refers to more remote campsites, ones you can usually only reach by foot. Most of the places we camp are near water, like a river or lake, so that we have a water source for drinking, cleaning, and cooking.
Most trips spend about half their nights in the front country, and half their nights in the backcountry.
Our instructors meet our students at the gate, and we constantly check for flight delays and other travel obstacles on every student’s flight. We strive to make traveling to and from each outdoor adventure as comfortable and stress-free as possible.
We can easily accommodate gluten-free students, vegetarians, and most food allergies, but we are unable to accommodate vegan or kosher diets. Please call us at 828-698-0399 so we can discuss your child’s specific needs. You can read more about the kinds of foods we eat here.
Adventure Treks is the only program we know of that provides tents, sleeping bags and pads, backpacks, all cookware, and all technical equipment at no extra cost. You’ll need to bring hiking boots, clothing, and personal items like toiletries, and you can find a detailed packing list online for each of our trips. Airfare is not included in the price.
Adventure Treks is very proud of its instructor teams! Before our trips start, our instructors go through an extensive two- to three-week orientation and training specific to Adventure Treks. We have a 60 percent staff return rate, all of our instructors are wilderness first responders at minimum, and everyone has previous experience working with young adults in the outdoors. Read more about our instructors here.
While we do want our students to experience a relatively technology-free environment, students are able to call home two to three times during the trip. You will be able to follow along with your child’s trip in your CampInTouch account, as we’ll post blogs and photos as often as we can! However, we know that urgent situations sometimes arise at home, so our office staff and regional directors are on-call 24/7 during the summer.
All of our activities are coed. Sleeping arrangements are single-gender.
Inclusive communities are what we’re known for, and the majority of our new students come without a friend. In order to preserve the unique nature of our program and in the interest of inclusivity, we limit the number of new students who have a pre-existing relationship, whether from home, school, or otherwise, to no more than two to three on any one program (depending on the size of the group). We believe (and our students and parents will agree) that coming without a friend from home has powerful benefits!
The teenagers who come to Adventure Treks are kind and welcoming and hail from all over the United States and world. We screen our applicants, so our groups are full of positive young adults that will work well with each other. Adventure Treks places a strong emphasis on group dynamics and creating a supportive social environment, and our students reflect that.
Because we’ll be engaged in different outdoor activities throughout each trip, our students should be physically fit to succeed at Adventure Treks. But that doesn’t mean you have to be the star athlete of your school! We know physical fitness looks different for everyone. In the two to three months leading up to your trip, we recommend participating in physical activity at least a few times a week if you don’t already. This might be hiking, jogging or running, biking, playing soccer or basketball, or anything else that helps your cardiovascular fitness.
Most of our students come to Adventure Treks not knowing anyone before their trip. You’ll begin to make friends as soon as you arrive at the airport, and by the time the trip is over, you won’t want to leave your new community! Most of our students remain friends long after their summer ends.
That’s OK! Most of our first-time students don’t have experience in most of the activities that we do. Our instructors work closely to teach you the skills that you’ll need. By the end of the trip, you’ll be a pro at setting up camp, cooking in the backcountry, and more!
Yes! You’ll be camping in tents during your adventure, and you’ll be surprised at how well you sleep. You’ll be with two other people of the same gender in a four-person tent. When conditions allow, sometimes we sleep under the stars.
You’ll be able to shower a couple of times throughout the trip. We know this might sound intimidating, but don’t worry! You’ll always be able to wash your hands and face, and many of our students bring travel wipes. We also spend a lot of time around rivers and lakes, where you’ll be able to rinse off. We do laundry once during each trip, but you’ll have enough clothes to last you until laundry day.
Adventure Treks provides everything you need for the activities on your trip, including a backpack, sleeping bag, sleeping mat, and tent. There are no rental fees for extra equipment, saving you around $500–$1000. Each trip has a specific and comprehensive packing list for you to follow.
The trips available to you are based on your age, grade, interests, and outdoor experience. Everyone has a variety of trips to choose from. For more information, visit our 2021 Adventures page.
Nervousness about flying is completely normal, and we understand that it can be a little uncomfortable, especially if it’s your first time. We can assure you, though, that you are in good hands. Our instructors meet students at their gates, and we constantly check for flight delays and any other travel obstacles to keep you informed on the day you are flying. We make traveling to and from your outdoor adventure program as comfortable and stress-free as possible.
At Adventure Treks, our students have the times of their lives—all without the use of their cell phones! We unplug from technology so that we can connect with our natural surroundings and each other and build strong, inclusive, and kind communities. And we promise that you won’t even miss your phone.
If you have any other questions, please contact us 828-698-0399! We are happy to hear from you.
His Adventure Treks experience was fabulous: The activities were fabulous, the organization was tremendous, and the sense of adventure and community was excellent. He came home raving about every aspect of the trip! I love that he came home liking black beans, avocados, and other nutritious foods that he wouldn’t try before. – Kimberly Troyer, Odessa, FL