Greetings from 30,000 ft.

AT Staff08 Jul, 2011

There is never a typical day at Adventure Treks! I write this from 30,000 ft on a Delta Jet, eventually heading to Sacramento to greet the incoming California Challenge 2 students who begin their Adventure Treks experience tomorrow. Then it’s a night flight to Alaska to welcome our Alaska 2 students.

Today we have 238 students in the field. This goes up to 261 students tomorrow when we open Cal Challenge 2 and Alaska and bid a tearful goodbye to our wonderful Blue Ridge experience students.

As I write this the Blue Ridge students are zip lining over the Pigeon River, they did a cool night hike last night after watching an incredible sunset from Max’s Patch on the Appalachian Trail. The Pac NW Experience students are climbing Mt St Helens. Their trails are still buried under seven feet of snow, but they will give it the AT Try! Leadership Summit is taking their wilderness advanced first aid course and improving their judgment and safety skills in the process. Cascades Challenge is on a 4 day rafting trip on the Snake River (switched from the Lower Salmon due to high water levels.)

Meanwhile in British Columbia, one group is backpacking in the Trophies while another is canoeing on crystal clear Clearwater Lake. In New England, our students are beginning an ascent on Mt Washington, while in Utah, students are starting a three – day mountain biking trip near Moab.

Great news from California Challenge 1! Yesterday, 22 of 23 summitted Mt Shasta under a sunny sky. Today, they are rafting the Upper Klamath! I am eager to hear from our California Adventure students as they come off their 4 – day backpack on the Lost Coast today. And up in Alaska, one group finishes their five-day sea kayak, while another group puts in for a six day backpack in the Talkeetnas.

Every group is facing different age appropriate challenges and sharing incredible scenery. But more importantly, despite their different activities and locations, all of our students are learning the same things:

That you can accomplish more with the unconditional support of your friends
That doing more than your share is a good thing.
That happiness comes from being part of something bigger than oneself.
That effort and reward are related.
That you can accomplish more than you think.
That you can have the time of your life without a computer, a cell phone, a video game or facebook.
And that good friends are a lot more important than stuff.

All of our students are enjoying being immersed in a community based on a culture of kindness and inclusion that minimizes cliques and teenage drama while maximizing laughter, fun and friendship.

I’m also very excited about the role modeling your children are getting from our instructors. In a culture that celebrates the fall of too many public features, your kids are hanging out with solid, dependable adults who are modeling your values. Somehow they listen a lot better to folks in their 20’s than they do to us parents!

Thanks for your trust and support. You are sharing a wonderful group of kids with us. All of us in AT land are going as hard as we can to help your child have an incredible experience.

Best regards,

John Dockendorf


View All Posts

2025 enrollment is now open for returning families! Click here to re-enroll for next summer.