Why Choose Adventure Treks?

Adventure Treks’ summer camps for teens are all about making memories, fostering lifelong friendships, and creating more confident and capable young men and women. We are a small and personal company, and getting to know you is our biggest priority. But Adventure Treks isn’t only about outdoor fun and friendships; we want each of our students to discover their best selves, and we believe that the great outdoors is just the way to do it.

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Summer looks forward to her Adventure Treks experiences all year long. Despite the concerns about COVID in 2020, we trusted that the staff and other families were going to do the best job they could at keeping the kids safe and healthy. And our daughter had another incredible experience. The group hiked, mountain biked, canoed, kayaked, rock climbed… But what made her time at AT so special was the way she was able to connect with her instructors and the other kids on the trip. In a relatively short amount of time, she felt comfortable and confident to open up with her new friends like never before. Our daughter truly feels she has made lifelong friends with her AT group and can’t wait for next summer when she can join many of them again on another adventure. – Laura Sklenicka, parent from Atlantic Beach, FL

The Adventure Treks difference

For more than 25 years, we’ve focused on providing valuable outdoor and growth-oriented outdoor adventure camps to our students and families. We’re intentionally a small company. Long-term relationships are important to us, and we consider ourselves more like a family than a business. From the first time you speak with us, we hope you’ll feel like a member of our family, and we promise to treat your child as if he or she were our own.

Our commitment to creating a close-knit community is what sets us apart. Our larger group size gives us unique flexibility in optimizing student experiences and ensures students really get to know everyone on their trip, including instructors. Plus, our trips are technology-free, so students learn to “survive” (and even thrive!) without electronics.

Safety, safety, safety!

Our students and instructors know these are our three most important words. Risk management is the foundation of everything we do. We hope you’ll agree that nothing on a teen summer camp can be 100 percent safe. But the moment your child leaves home until he or she returns to you, minimizing this risk is our first and foremost priority. This means that in our 27 years, Adventure Treks has never experienced a major accident.

Read more about our safety policy

Over four summers with Adventure Treks, Tyler has grown in his confidence, independence, and maturity. Each summer has built on the last, and has really contributed to making him the young man he is today. During 2020’s challenging times, it was comforting to us as parents that Tyler could still experience Adventure Treks in a way that continued to support his growth and keep him safe. Because of the previous months’ isolation, this summer’s trip was most valuable because it allowed Tyler to get back to being himself. He loved seeing old friends, and he especially loved the smaller group. In fact, he said it was the best group ever. – Marni Eisner, parent from Winston-Salem, NC

Exceptional instructors

More than just outdoor educators, our instructors are mentors, role models, and friends to our students. With 6 instructors and 24 students on a typical trip (always maintaining a 1:4 ratio or better), the relationships that are forged between instructor and student are unmatched. We have the highest instructor return rate (averaging 73 percent), and the highest average instructor age (26–27 years old) of any similar program. Our team consistently earns the highest marks on students’ end-of-summer evaluations and reviews. Adventure Treks instructors are held in high regard in the outdoor industry, and we receive about 800 applications to fill 25–30 spots each year.

Read more about our instructors

The Great 8 Outcomes

Adding to a fun adventure summer camp, we strive for our Great 8 Outcomes to be learned through adventure, immersion in an outdoor environment, and interaction with great role models. Studies show that the Adventure Treks experience makes brains inherently more receptive to learning. Our emphasis on using the close-knit community and fun and challenging outdoor activities makes Adventure Treks the perfect place to improve these skills needed to thrive in the 21st century:

  1. Communication
  2. Collaboration and social achievement
  3. Creativity
  4. Critical thinking
  5. Leadership
  6. Self-management
  7. Resilience
  8. Optimism

Read more about our Great 8 Outcomes

Culture of kindness

The Adventure Treks community is what keeps our students coming back to us for multiple summers. Our philosophy is about bringing out the very best in our students, and there’s no better way to do that than sharing the challenges and joys of adventure travel with a supportive group of friends. Students often tell us that they feel closer to their Adventure Treks friends after just a couple weeks together than their friends back home!

We believe that a sense of community on a summer program is essential to our students’ personal growth. The teenagers on our trips are important, contributing members to a close-knit group of like-minded peers. We emphasize shared responsibility and a culture of kindness, so everyone can grow and enjoy a positive, clique-free, and respectful social environment. Our instructors facilitate and encourage this mindset in several ways:

  • At the beginning of every trip, a director introduces all of the students and instructors and adds a few interesting facts about each person. Then the director challenges the group to do the same. After the first day, which is packed with games, a “Yahoo” dinner, and laughter, many students say they already feel like part of a family.
  • Every night, we hold an evening meeting, where we discuss our pluses and deltas of the day. Students have a chance to strengthen their group through positive feedback and constructive criticism.
  • Hat ceremonies, one of our most treasured traditions, give students a chance to be recognized for their outstanding contributions to the group.
  • And even more crazy-fun games and unique events and traditions facilitate friendships through shared fun, energy, and spontaneity.

Our goal is for every Adventure Treks student to feel welcomed and appreciated. Our summer programs are a safe place for students to be themselves in a supportive, caring environment. We’ve seen so many lifetime friendships begin on our trips that it’s no wonder our past students frequently reunite for reunions, many of which involve outdoor activities. Many alumni say the friendships are the greatest gift of the Adventure Treks experience, and we look forward to creating many more of these friendships each summer!

2020 was the third consecutive year for our daughter with AT, and it surpassed all the expectations! We continue to be delighted with AT’s highest standards of safety and care. The staff delivered a safe 19-day outdoor trip under global pandemic conditions. It was very healthy for the kids to get disconnected from their worries and anxieties, build an amazing expedition spirit, and come back refreshed and more resilient. I cannot express enough gratitude for these amazing people who are so passionately enriching the lives of teenagers. Inna said her community was amazing and that it was one of the best groups of students and the best instructor team. She was ready to spend another 19+ days with AT. Thank you, folks, for your relentless work, care, and responsibility! – Irina Filipova, parent from Portland, OR