2018 Parent & Student Testimonials


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It was Sabrina who decided all things Adventure Treks. We support it because we love how it empowers her and enables her to see life beyond our “concrete jungle.” There is no substitute for this experience. AT allows Sabrina to experience the outdoors in all its glory while actually learning about self-reliance, planning, leadership, team goals, and so much more. Most important, it’s all done without electronics! And someone is always there in the office to answer any questions and/or concerns. – Sara Siegel, 3rd-year parent from Lake Forest, IL

Adventure Treks isn’t just a trip—it’s a community. Even in just two weeks, we became a family. My experience taught me a lot about myself and the way others see me. My favorite thing about instructors was their willingness and excitement in getting to know us. They were willing to dive into anything with us. – Jake, 2nd-year student, Oak Park, IL

There’s no greater gift for teenagers today than sending them to Adventure Treks. Being unplugged from social media and society’s pressures is good for the soul. Simultaneously being immersed in the incredible outdoors with amazing people from around the country is even better. Add amazing instructors and… boom! “Intentional” is the word I usually find myself using to describe AT. Just about anyone can make a nice website and throw in some quotations about current research that sound smart, but you guys walk the talk. The work you do is real and deep and important on so many levels. – Abby Pensky, fifth-year parent from Knoxville, TN

Adventure Treks taught me how to take reasonable risks and not be intimidated by new circumstances. It also allowed me to build many amazing friendships and taught me outdoor skills. It’s an amazing place where you make life-long friendships while challenging yourself in many ways! I was surprised by the amazing community and how incredibly well and kindly everyone interacted with each other. My instructors were so caring, and they made the trip so fun. – Emily Grace Fuller, first-year student Atlanta, GA

Adventure Treks is life-changing in so many ways. It’s helped build my daughter’s confidence on so many levels and provided her a once-in-a-lifetime experience in Alaska. She’s had the opportunity to see and be a part of something that very few teenagers get to experience. – Kate Mills, third-year parent from Newark, OH

Adventure Treks is an awesome way to meet new people who may be different from you. It taught me that it’s important to be independent, but it’s equally important to be able to work with others. – Julia, first-year student from Huntersville, NC

There is a cool factor to every Adventure Treks trip which is not possible from a local summer camp or even any camp at which you get to sleep in a bed every night. How many kids get to say they went on a multi-day sea kayak and got to see glaciers calving as they paddled by? Or jump in a sub-40-degree temperature lake? Or witness a mother grizzly and her cubs some distance away? The Alaska trip was challenging and fun and very beautiful. My son came back happy, fulfilled, and proud of his accomplishments. There is no program at home that I can sign up my son for that will give him what he gets with an AT experience. – Gina Kugler, sixth-year parent from Palm Harbor, FL

Adventure Treks taught me that no matter where I am, I can do almost anything pertaining to the outdoors (like backpacking and going long distances without stopping!). It’s a wonderful program and focuses on community, safety, and learning. Our instructors were all amazing and so understanding, and you can tell they wanted to be there; they were more like friends than instructors! – Nick Du Pont, first-year student from Atlanta, GA

My two children have loved absolutely every adventure that they have been on. They stay in touch throughout the year with all the kids that they have met and plan their next adventures together. Adventure Treks does a great job at preparing you for what to expect and letting you know what they will need. I think I am about as excited as they are when the time to depart arrives, and it’s not just because I also get a vacation. I just know that they are in good hands and that they ALWAYS have so much fun that they never want it to end. My daughter said her community in Alaska was amazing! You guys do a great job! Thanks! – Jennifer Culler, third-year parent from Daniel Island, SC

Adventure Treks is a place where you can be yourself and never be judged. It taught me that even when a plan doesn’t go the way you thought, everything will be OK! My instructors always believed in me! – India, first-year student from Brooklyn, NY

My son returned because he loved the first two trips he took—he loved the activities, the challenges, and especially the community and friends he made. Even though Hudson was pushed harder than he ever has been in his life this year in Alaska, he loved it. The community was his favorite part of AT—the shared experience has made for incredibly close friendships. His least favorite part is that it’s over. – Hudson Greene, third-year parent from Katonah, NY

Adventure Treks is AMAZING! It can be hard in the moment, but the memories are incredible. AT taught me that I can do more than I give myself credit for, and that I am good at making new friends. – Mattes, second-year student from Potomac, MD

When my husband and I became parents, we wished for, above all else, for our girls to be healthy, happy, confident, independent, and contributing members to community. For Mihika to have all of this in an Adventure Treks community in the outdoors… it seems like a miracle. This year in Alaska, Mihika said she had the best girl community ever, and the best instructor community ever. – Sanjani Varkey, fourth-year parent from Berkeley, CA

Adventure Treks was the most amazing three weeks of my life! It taught me that working hard through times of discomfort makes you strong. I loved my instructors’ leadership and how much they cared about us. – Anna, first-year student from Parkland, FL

I asked our daughter if she should consider a college prep summer program. Her answer was, “how many kids my age have climbed Mt. Shasta?” She was right—her four summer experiences at Adventure Treks have given her such confidence and resiliency, something no college prep can even try to imitate. AT has given her lifetime friendships that will define her life’s path. – Hildegard Vasquez, fourth-year parent from Panama City, Panama

Adventure Treks is a fun way to get very close to people and push yourself to your full potential. It taught me how to stay strong even when struggling. My instructors were funny, kind, and always looked out for us. I 100 percent recommend this to my friends. – Caroline, first-year student from Parkland, FL

My daughter Ashley had such a wonderful experience in 2017. She came home from her trip ready to plan the next trip—could not wait to go back. In 2018, she had the time of her life, hiking and kayaking, being in the outdoors everyday. Not many kids can say they saw a pod of orca on their summer vacation! A great experience that teaches them life lessons, while they are having fun. Adventure Treks is a very close community. Everyone helps out and wants to be there. They look forward to seeing each other every year. – Pam Lambert, second-year parent from North Wales, PA

AT is the most amazing thing you will ever do in your life! It’s taught me how to be myself, to keep going (even when things are hard), and how to be a leader. My instructors were always there when we needed them, but at the same time they gave us freedom. – Sky, second-year student from Miami Beach, FL

Adventure Treks has become a core community and set of experiences for Claire—part of the bedrock of her attitude and approach to challenges. If your child is drawn to outdoor activities, AT will allow them to challenge their personal assumptions and expand their skills in natural world—they will carry this perspective back into the suburban world! She said this year in Alaska was the most amazing experience she’s ever had. To the instructors: Thank you for offering so much to these great kids—you are changing the world for the better one person at a time! Thanks for your example of respect and stewardship for the natural world. – Catherine Noll, third-year parent from Newton Highlands, MA

Adventure Treks is the best camp I’ve ever been to. It’s taught me how to be supportive of others and break out of my shell. My instructors felt more like family and friends, rather than people just telling us what to do. I LOVED my trip! – Elena, second-year student from Dunwoody, GA

Adventure Treks is an outstanding organization. They are very professional and organized. We have full confidence in AT and entrusting them with our children. They deliver high-quality adventures that encourage and challenges children in a safe, fun, and beautiful environment. – Julie Rollins, seventh-year parent from Hendersonville, NC

AT was the best three weeks of my life. I loved learning about my instructors’ lives, and AT taught me that I can be myself and that I can do anything. – Oliver, first-year student from Chapel Hill, NC

Our son described the British Columbia trip as one of the most amazing experiences of his life to date. Despite so many new and challenging activities, he enjoyed all aspects of the trip, including cooking meals, cleaning, and steering a whitewater raft. Andrew said everyone he met was great and friendly, and everyone got along despite kids coming from all over the country. He’s made several friends he’s still keeping in touch with. AT is exceptionally well run; from top to bottom, they have a great team with great leadership. Andrew is enthusiastically looking forward to attending next year—and plotting with others from the BC trip to plan to go together if possible. – Mike Jung, first-year parent from Cary, NC

AT is a great way to meet new people, try new things, be outdoors, have fun, and just be a better person. It taught me that even during the hardest times, I can power through anything with a positive mental attitude and great people by my side, supporting me. The community at Camp Pinnacle and Adventure Treks has allowed me to thrive and has helped me become who I am today. – Liz, first-year student from Bradenton, FL

Adventure Treks was a truly excellent experience for Giorgio, because of the quality of activities and from an educational point of view. He was warmly welcomed by his tripmates and his instructors. The native language (Italian, in his case) was never an obstacle in feeling integrated in the group. He came back truly happy. – Marco Marangoni, first-year parent from Milan, Italy

Adventure Treks is an amazing experience and allows you to do things you never thought you could. It taught me how to keep pushing myself, and that the end result will be so worth it. Thank you SO MUCH for making this summer so awesome! – Talia, second-year student from Bethesda, MD

Adventure Treks was a great experience for my daughter to open herself to new challenges, to make long lasting friendships, and to learn to work in a community helping each other, cooking, and taking different responsibilities. I sincerely congratulate you for such an amazing program. It was an invaluable experience for my child. – Monica Macia, first-year parent from New York, NY

Adventure Treks is life-changing. It’s taught me that I am way more capable than I think. I felt like I could tell my instructors anything; they challenged me but took care of me at the same time. I had the most fun; thank you for the best summer ever! – Ali Pensky, fifth-year student from Knoxville, TN

Tyler loves the adventure and the time to explore nature in a variety of ways. I think he also likes that he gets to challenge himself in such a nurturing environment. Also, I love your customer service before, during, and after the trip. I have two other boys who go on other camps and programs, and your customer service is so much better than any organization we have been involved with. – Marni Eisner, second-year parent from Winston-Salem, NC

Adventure Treks summers have been the greatest summers of my life. I love AT with every fiber of my being! My instructors every year have been some of the greatest role models I’ve ever had. – Sydney Leifermann, third-year student from Homestead, FL

Our daughter grew so much on her first trip in California in 2017. She wanted to do another one as well as see a friend she made on the first trip who lives in New Jersey. We love the fact that the kids are disconnected for a few weeks. Our daughter comes back reenergized about the ability to make new friends. – Nikki Reed-Nicoll, second-year parent from Encino, CA

AT has taught me how to be a better leader and how beautiful nature truly is (it’s magnificent!). It’s a great place to learn to love the outdoors, push your limits, and meet new friends. It can be tough, but it’s very rewarding. My instructors were always down to have fun and be goofy. – Ryan, third-year student from Basking Ridge, NJ

My daughter’s experience was everything we wanted for her: challenging, fun, and she was energized by the students and instructors around her. She felt safe and cared for, and it allowed her to stretch herself. She said her community was welcoming and nonjudgmental! She developed very close bonds with boys and girls and came away with an appreciation of what everyone contributed. Her favorite part and the one that will stick with her the longest was the spirit of the community. – Karla Claytor, first-year parent from Charlotte, NC

Adventure Treks has taught me to open up to people without always being afraid of what they’ll think, or if they’ll judge me or act differently toward me. My years at AT have been life-changing and full of amazing, goofy people. – Pierce, third-year student from Atlanta, GA

Noah had a wonderful time! He couldn’t stop talking about the things he did. He is mentally stronger and physically did things he never thought possible. He seemed to really connect with Nate and Dan, although he enjoyed all of his instructors! – Kris Cagle, first-year parent from Cincinnati, OH

Adventure Treks has given me perseverance and resilience during hard times. I’ve grown and bonded with people during difficulties and had amazing experiences and memories. Overall, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. – Lily, second-year student from Atlanta, GA

Adventure Treks is a great experience that allows your kids to mature and learn to make their own decisions and trust themselves. As a parent, it was rewarding because I realized how much I missed him and appreciated his newfound confidence. He said his group quickly came together and learned to communicate with each other. From eating together to taking road trips and amazing adventures, it was a real bonding experience. – Mike Kelly, first-year parent from Franklin Lakes, NJ

AT is almost indescribable—you have to take part to understand how magical it is. But it has taught me that no matter how difficult an activity might be, I can always get through it and make the best friends. I’ve learned I can do anything I set my mind to. – Chloe, third-year student from Telluride, CO

The trip was an outdoor adventure experience that challenged my children physically and mentally and made them more self-confident, resilient, and collaborative. They came to understand community and all that it entails. My sons described their community as welcoming, nurturing, fun, collaborative, and enthusiastic. – Beatrice Gibney, first-year parent from Scarsdale, NY

AT has taught me how to interact and make friends with new people, how to learn and improve from my mistakes, and how to be more organized. My instructors in Alaska this year really empowered us to take more leadership roles and helped us develop as people. – Magdalena, fifth-year student from Panama City, Panama

Adventure Treks was an amazing experience, and he hasn’t stopped talking about it since he’s been back! The instructors were awesome, and Dylan made some good friends on the trip. Students and instructors all need to work together for a safe and successful trip, and being a part of that community is a large part of what AT teaches and models. – Janet Covert, first-year parent from Asheville, NC

Every aspect of my British Columbia trip has taught me more about myself and the world, and how to be good to others. It’s an amazing experience that everyone should get to try for themselves! – Lucy, second-year student from Atlantic Highlands, NJ

My daughter had an incredible experience outside of her comfort zone. She went to fascinating places, tried new activities, and made lifelong friends. And your office is phenomenal! – Dani Crichton, third-year parent from Potomac, MD

AT has taught me so much. It’s made me a better person and has taught me a lot of new skills, like cooking. My favorite thing about my instructors was how funny they were, but that they got serious when they needed to me. AT was some of the best weeks of my life. – Andrew Jung, first-year student from Cary, NC

Every time Abbie called us after each activity, it sounded as though she had just gotten off the ride of her life. She was able to push and expand her limits, physically and mentally, and came back a stronger, more confident young woman…with lots of stories about the cool instructors she had and and great friends she made. We have nothing but positive things to say about Abbie’s experience with Adventure Treks and will definitely refer others to this program. – Ruth Jordan, first-year parent from Jupiter, FL

AT has taught me that there are so many amazing people to meet and things to do in this world. It was a rewarding experience, and I’m excited to come back next summer to be a part of this community again. – Caroline Baillie, first-year student from New York, NY

Adventure Treks is an amazing organization and provides tremendous education in growth confidence integrity and leadership qualities we all strive as parents to teach our kids… but the true statement is it takes a village to raise a kid! Thank you to all for helping me with mine. Lee loves AT and everything it’s about! – Leticia di Lena, second-year parent from Miami Beach, FL

AT has taught me that making the most out of life requires hard work during challenging experiences, and going out of your comfort zone, but it’s so worth it. Both trips I’ve done with AT, I was debating whether I’d have fun. But both times I truly enjoyed it! My instructors have been so nice, and I felt like I connected with them really well. – Tyler, second-year student from Winston Salem, NC

My daughter returned to Adventure Treks because she had such a positive experience on her first trip and wanted more—more friends, time outdoors, sense of belonging to a broader community. In her experience, AT students are exceptionally nice and accepting kids. This includes the instructors as well. – Kate Lilienthal, second-year parent from Singapore

Adventure Treks has taught me that I like to spend time in the forest, and it’s pretty awesome! At AT, you meet some of the coolest people and do some of the coolest things you’ll ever experience. All my instructors have been very encouraging and have made me feel at east. I love them all! – Poppy Harris, third-year student from Atlanta, GA

Apollo grows up every time he is gone at Adventures Treks or Camp Pinnacle. He learns how to deal with a microcosm of real world society. Just like being a new hire at a company, he has to deal with different personalities, dominance assertion by others, and employing positive countermeasures to make himself fit into the group in a positive way for himself and others. He does things that push him beyond his limits, and he succeeds with help if he needs it. It was a character- and confidence-building experience. – Derek Huss, first-year parent from Americus, GA

Adventure Treks is the best thing I have ever done. It’s taught me that I can do anything I set my mind to, and I am important to any community I’m a part of, no matter what. This was my last trip, and I’m going to miss AT so much! Thank you for changing my life for the better over the last three years; I’ll never forget it. I can’t wait to work here one day! – Grace Beneke, third-year student from Akron, OH

Adventure Treks was a great opportunity for Jack to explore nature on a higher level, challenge himself in new ways, make new friends from all over the country, take on responsibility, and develop new leadership skills. He came back from the trip, excited about all that he had done and was ready to select another adventure for next year. Jack really enjoyed the friends he made on his trip. He seemed to develop a friend group of five or so kids from all over the country, who are all hoping to do a trip together next summer. As with any group, there were some kids with whom he did not connect well with but that did not impact his trip in any way. He also loved his instructors. I thought everyone in the office at AT was terrific, helpful, and very friendly. – Emilie Samet, first-year parent from Greensboro, NC

AT is the most life-changing experience I’ve ever had. It’s taught me to calm down, stop worrying, and just be myself, because people will like me for me. It’s also given me a love and joy for the outdoors. I’m so sad that Leadership was my last trip. Adventure Treks has meant so much to me. – Jacob, fifth-year student from Atlanta, GA

Adventures Treks gave our child an unforgettable experience than we could never offer as parents. He said his community was like a big, happy family. – Wei Ren, first-year parent from China

Adventure Treks is an experience that will make you inherently happy and help guide you in life. It’s taught me that some of the most important lifelong attributes adn to communicate and work well with others. I loved my instructors’ ability to truly treat us like adults and trust us. This was my last trip, and I really hope to be an AT instructor in the future! – Zoe, fifth-year student from Poulsbo, WA

We worried we would never see our daughter again because she was so extremely happy in the mountains! She said the people were the best part of the whole experience. Every time we ask what her favorite part of the trip was, she starts with one thing and then it becomes 10 favorite things. – Sue Sgro, first-year parent from Bradenton, FL

AT has taught me so many things over this trip, but what stands out is how much AT has made me feel more confidence in myself. I’ve definitely grown as a person in believing in my abilities and getting out of my head and calming myself down when I’m worried about something not worth worrying about. I can focus on making the most of the moments in this happy place of AT, full of all the people who make me the happiest! I had an amazing experience and am so grateful for every single person because they are all so special to me. It’s crazy how strangers can become family, but they have this summer and I love them all! – Kate, second-year student from Erdenheim, PA

For nine years we have been with The Adventure Treks and Camp Pinnacle programs. I wanted my kids to have a chance to reset from school and electronics, and it turned into their favorite place to be. My daughters have pushed themselves emotionally and physically on each trip, and with each trip they’ve learned how to be a stronger person with a love for the outdoors. The people they become at the end of the program are ones that know how to exist in a community and know how to be the best person they can be. This year, my youngest daughter said her community was a family—a place where she felt safe and could tell everyone how she was feeling. Community meetings are her favorite time of day. – Phyliss Hasen, ninth-year parent from College Park, GA