Quick Facts about
Welcome to Adventure Treks! Since 1993, we have served more than 22,000 young people through our multi-week outdoor adventure programs. Our commitment to creating close-knit and kind communities is what sets us apart; you can compare us to other programs here. If you’d like to dive deeper into our philosophy, please click here. Below, you’ll find a few basic facts about our programs.
Our mission: To create the safest, most exciting, and most substantive outdoor summer adventures for teenagers through our personal attention to every student, our caring, and our competence.
It is hard to put into words the impact AT has had on our kids. What was intended as a meaningful, growth-oriented summer experience has become a significant part of our kids’ identity. The activities are amazing, of course, but the way AT builds community intentionally and purposefully is truly the crown jewel of their program. My kids have made lifelong friendships and had the best time of their lives while becoming confident, capable teens. What a gift! This summer, the most valuable aspect for my son was experiencing life outside of his comfortable “bubble” at home. Making new friends outside of school or his organized sports teams and eating, sleeping, and performing daily routines outside of his comfort zone were invaluable lessons for him. We knew he would love the adventures and activities, but he needed to feel “over his skis” a little bit and learn to adapt to new social and living situations without his parents’ or sister’s support. He says he wishes he had more friends from home who are like his AT friends! He felt very comfortable and accepted in the group and is really loving the continued social interaction now that they are all home. – Katie Davidoff, parent from Steamboat Springs, CO
Our youngest programs start for students finishing the 7th grade, and our oldest programs cater to students who have graduated high school. *Please note: Students need to be finishing the grade the spring before an Adventure Treks program. In other words, the grade students are in as of September 2021.
Washington, Oregon, Wyoming, Idaho, California, Colorado, British Columbia, Alaska, and Costa Rica
Our programs range from 13 to 30 days for our middle and high school summer trips, and 42 to 74 days for our Leadership Adventure Semester gap programs.
All trips begin at a designated airport. Students explore the most scenic and beautiful places in a particular region, and travel between activity sites in 15-passenger vans. We spend each night in a tent, and students learn how to cook in the backcountry—with plenty of guidance from our instructors! They go backpacking, camping, whitewater rafting, rock climbing, whitewater kayaking, ice climbing, canoeing, sea kayaking, inflatable kayaking, mountaineering, and mountain biking. Our Leadership Adventure Semester students become certified wilderness first responders.
This is THE PREMIER adventure experience for kids in the states (or probably anywhere for that matter). The program is so well run by the administration, and the instructors (even first-timers) were outstanding—my daughter loved every one of them. They were sharp, on top of any issues that arose, and seemed to really know what they were doing. They also cared about the kids. They helped form a really tight-knit group! For the most part, they all seemed to have gotten along really well. On phone calls home and since she’s been home, she has shared numerous stories about lots of different kids, each with smiles and laughter. They really had an amazing time. – Kristie Bish, parent from Hendersonville, NC
Program goals and guiding principles
- Physical and emotional safety is our top priority.
- Fun and exciting outdoor activities help teens grow and gain life skills and a greater sense of self.
- Our exceptional instructor role models take a sincere interest in the growth and development of young people.
- We inspire young people to develop a lifetime love of the outdoors and with a corresponding conservation ethic.
- We empower students to create an inclusive and reflective community that maintains a culture of kindness, sense of humor, and spirit of cooperation and volunteerism.
- We strive to be a sustainable and responsive business, with a focus on our families and the quality of our programs. We form long-term relationships with our students, their families, instructors, staff, and outfitters.
Our students not only learn hard skills, like how to pitch a tent, cook in the backcountry, tie rock climbing knots, and pack a backpack, but throughout their adventure, they’re learning how to communicate face-to-face more effectively, collaborate within their peer groups, become equally good leaders and followers, think more critically during times of problem-solving, and much more! Click here to read about our Great 8 Outcomes and 21st century skills.
- Average age is 27 (minimum age is 21)
- College graduates
- At minimum, all are medically trained as wilderness first responders. However, many more have additional certifications.
- Significant experience working with teenagers in the outdoors
- Clean driving record
- Click here to read more about our instructors.
Adventure Treks is my daughter’s happy place. She loves the activities, the incredible scenery, the physical challenge, and the feeling of being outdoors for 3 weeks. But the best part is the friendships, the bonding, and the feeling of being completely herself with a group of supportive, inclusive people. She loved the entire group, and loved that they came from many parts of the country and came together with no preconceived ideas of each other. She misses them all terribly and hopes to reunite with many of them soon. After the most difficult year of her life, AT was exactly what she needed. – Jen Cippoletti, parent from Darien, CT
A typical summer trip consists of 20–24 students and 5–6 instructors; we maintain a 4:1 or better ratio of students to instructors—the best in the industry! Our gap semester course size is generally 6–12 students and 2–3 instructors.
At Adventure Treks, students will participate in both big- and small-group activities, cycling through different small groups throughout the program. Why do we do this? Much of the bonding and magic happens in small groups; students get to know each other (and their instructors) on a deeper level, so it’s easier to make friends, find your voice, and become an important member of the group. (This also means that friends from home won’t spend every activity or day together, which allows them the opportunity to branch out and broaden their social circle.)
Our goal is for every student to get to be in a small group with every other student and instructor throughout their time together. This mix of small and large group experiences is a key and unique element of our programs’ success.
Students and program size
We have a selective admissions process, screening new students to ensure that we create excellent peer groups. We limit our program size to 475–500 students, making us far more personal than larger companies.
Every year, 50–60 percent or more of our students return for another summer—2.5 times more than other programs. In addition, our instructor return rate is also one of the highest in the industry.
All outdoor equipment (backpack, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, tent, cooking utensils, and group gear), food, and activities are including in tuition. Not included: clothing and personal items, airfare, and trip insurance.
For summer trips, all deposits are 100 percent refundable through January 1, 2022. Between January 2 and February 28, 2022, deposits are non-refundable. (If you’ve paid tuition in full and cancel by February 28, you forfeit the $1,000 deposit.) For cancellations that occur after March 1, 2022, deposits and tuition are non-refundable. Adventure Treks must be notified of all cancellations in writing.
Please click here for our full cancellation and payment policies, including those for the Leadership Adventure Semester.
AT provides your child a mixed bag of things that allows them to grow. They are challenged physically, they learn to be an important part of a community as well as making others feel the same, they have time removed from technology and realize they LOVE that part, and they are supported by a group of instructors that want to know them and want this experience to be all it can be for them by always going the extra mile. This particular trip allowed Lu to know that she can do really hard things. She was proud of her accomplishments. AT has been a part of our family for five years now, and it has been an amazing experience for all four of our children. It has provided our girls opportunities to learn to love the outdoors, make friends all around the country, realize they can do challenging things, see the value in the differences we all have, be a part of a tight knit community, and even learn some cooking skills along the way! – Katie Scruggs, parent from Huntersville, NC