Goodbye 2020, Welcome 2021!

John Dockendorf31 Dec, 2020
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It’s with great eagerness that we look toward the hope and change that 2021 will surely bring. But as we reflect on 2020, we are truly thankful for continued good health in our Adventure Treks community as our hearts go out to the many folks who have suffered loss and illness this year.

Though this has hardly been a good year for teen summer programs from a business standpoint, I can’t help but feel gratitude for the many opportunities for growth we have been given; the challenges that have drawn our instructor and director team even closer together; and all the families who have helped us get to where we are today.

Whether your children joined us this year, or you felt it better to take a year off, we want to thank our parents for their immeasurable support and encouragement. We appreciate the respect you gave our decisions, knowing we were always acting in our students’ best interests as we balanced mental health with physical health to create a workable program model. Your trust and understanding kept us on point through our many struggles this spring. We also thank you for following our quarantine protocols so carefully and bringing healthy kids to our western NC–based programs. It was an extremely successful summer, and what we have gained through practice and continued study has given us the confidence  that we will certainly be able to operate in whatever environment summer 2021 brings—which will hopefully mean our normal programs out west!

I also want to share gratitude for our team at Adventure Treks. I’ve been humbled by their dedication, hard work, resilience, and commitment to the success of our students and their peers. I’m lucky to work with such talented and capable folks, from our year-round team to our summer instructors. They faced innumerable challenges but surmounted them all; before 2020, we never thought we would have been able to successfully pivot last-minute to change our entire summer programming in two weeks—much less create from scratch and pull off a 74-day gap semester! The latter was such a smashing success with our 21 inaugural gap students that we’ve decided to operate three gap semesters in 2021, in spring and fall at Camp Pinnacle, and in summer out west. We’re also planning to run two new educational programs this spring and summer (to be announced soon), and hopefully our normally scheduled educational programs will resume this fall.

2020 has reinforced the transformative powers of outdoor adventure for both teenagers and the role models who guide them. We feel truly grateful to have served our families and provide opportunities for growth, positive socialization, and outdoor fun at a time when our students needed it the most. Successfully operating this year may have been both the greatest challenge and most rewarding achievement of our careers. We appreciate all we have been given in 2020 and look forward to whatever lay ahead in 2021. We view the new year as a chance to extend grace and kindness, share the beauty of the outdoors, and do all we can to bring people together,

Thank you, and Happy New Year!

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