Meet our Students
Because of my AT trips, I know how to be myself and enjoy every moment of my life. I’ve also learned how to be a leader and how to communicate better in a group. At AT, you can be 100% yourself, and you make memories with the most incredible people while learning new things and being completely surrounded by the beautiful outdoors. I loved AT this summer, and I’d give anything to have stayed with my group for longer! – Zoey, student from Apex, NC
Adventure Treks’ outdoor adventure programs are for enthusiastic and capable teenagers. Our teenagers come to us from all over the country and the world: A typical trip has students from at least a dozen different states, and at least one or two international students.
All of our trips are age-appropriate (meaning we do not place 9th graders with 12th graders, for example) and co-ed. We strive to have a balanced gender ratio on each trip, although some trips may be closer to 60/40 or somewhere close to that range.
What kinds of students attend AT trips?
The great thing is that there is no one typical AT student! Our students come from a variety of backgrounds and have many different interests and hobbies. Our students are usually successful in school, genuinely curious about the world, and physically active. Many participate in drama, dance, student government, or debate; participate in organized sports; play music or make art; and are well-liked, well-rounded, and fit in well with different social groups. Adventure Treks students are all-around nice people who are kind to their peers, enthusiastic, and ready to take on new challenges and make new friends.
We work hard to ensure that every student succeeds on our trips. We find our students appreciate the high standards we hold for behavior and our expectations for a clique- and judgment-free community. Adventure Treks students also appreciate the opportunity for personal growth and are often eager to improve their leadership skills, confidence, resilience, social and collaboration skills, and critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
AT has taught me to love, appreciate, and cherish the outdoors. There’s so much to explore, and through this supportive group environment, you have a ton of fun doing it. I come back to Adventure Treks for the supportive community and lifelong friendships that develop. – Rachel, student from London, England
What are the requirements for someone to attend Adventure Treks?
We screen our new students carefully to ensure they are an appropriate fit for Adventure Treks, and vice versa. Each new student submits a school reference, student questionnaire, parent questionnaire, and full health history so that we can get to know our families well before the summer begins. We often have follow-up conversations and interviews with new students as well, and we will direct an applicant to another program if we feel Adventure Treks is not a good fit.
While outdoor experience isn’t necessary (see below), students are required to come to Adventure Treks prepared with good physical fitness and a willing and eager attitude to pitch in and do their fair share, be inclusive and make new friends, try new things, be challenged, and have a lot of fun.
Positive peer groups are crucial to the Adventure Treks experience, and Adventure Treks is not in any way a program for youth with emotional or behavioral problems. Students must be able to self-regulate, maintain good self-care, and be able to function independently (without consistent one-on-one attention from instructors).
No outdoor experience necessary
For some of our students, Adventure Treks is the opportunity to build on their previous traditional summer camp or other outdoor program experience, though it’s more common for Adventure Treks to be their first real outdoor adventure experience. We are not a hardcore wilderness program, and our goal is for everyone to enjoy the activities, regardless of past experience. And we’ll teach them everything they need to know!
And while students don’t need to be elite athletes, it’s important to come prepared to Adventure Treks with good physical fitness. If not already involved in an organized or recreational sport, we recommend students begin a fitness program to improve endurance and stamina at least a few months before their trips start. Jogging or running, biking, indoor cycling, martial arts, hiking, playing basketball, dance—there are many fun ways to get fit!
While we understand that a degree of nervousness and trepidation is normal, we expect to have engaged students who are willing to commit to the success of the trip and their community.
AT has taught me how to reach out to others and lead and how to communicate more effectively, and I’ve improved my responsibility, resilience, and outdoor skills. Whenever I describe AT to people back home, I say that it’s the “best place ever” and that it’s the people who make it amazing, not the location. This year, I loved our entire community (including the instructors) and am mega-excited for Alaska in 2021. Keep doing the things that makes Adventure Treks the best company ever! – George, student from Lovettsville, VA