Recent Research on Adventure Treks Benefits

AT Staff10 Nov, 2011

Most students report that Adventure Treks was the best summer experience of their lives and the friendships made at Adventure Treks last for a long time. But in addition to creating a great wilderness adventure experience, our focus has always been making Adventure Treks a growth – oriented experience.

We are excited to report the results of a University of New Hampshire study on Adventure Treks. We used to think that improving self confidence in youth was important and it still is, but increased self confidence does not correlate as highly with future success as does increased social competence. Thus, the purpose of the study was to discover if Adventure Treks improves social competence in teens. Social competence includes the ability to have meaningful relationships with others, the sense of belonging to something bigger than oneself, the ability to address issues when they come up and a desire to seek out strong relationships in the future.

After analyzing two years of data, the researchers conclusively proved that after a summer with Adventure Treks, students are more motivated toward developing meaningful relationships with others and their focus towards learning and growth has positively shifted. It was not lost on the researchers that these results may be unique to Adventure Treks because of the skilled level of facilitation by the Adventure Treks instructors and our intentional focus on building a community.

In addition to improving social development, there was a strong correlation that an Adventure Treks summer helps students avoid negative social behaviors. We will also note that the researchers were impressed with the level of social competence our students demonstrated from the beginning.

The simple conclusion is that while Adventure Treks is an incredible amount of fun, it also contributes and reinforces positive social development in already wonderful kids.

This study will be presented at all the major outdoor education conferences this winter as well as several mainstream education conferences throughout the year. Thank you to The University of New Hampshire and the many families who participated in both pre and post tests.

At the end of each trip, Adventure Treks students complete a survey about their summer experience. Here are their self reported results:

I feel the Adventure Treks experience improved my:

Ability to Lead Others – 74.5 %

Self Confidence – 76.1%

Outdoor Technical Skills – 88.2%

Sense of Responsibility – 77.5%

Communication Skills – 64.7%

Safety Awareness – 60.8%

Spirit of Volunteerism – 71.5%

Ability to be a Better Friend – 69.4%

Love of the Outdoors – 90.0%

You are providing your child with a great formal education but we all know that many of the skills needed for future success are best learned outside of the classroom. The official 21st century skills include collaboration, communication, critical thinking, creativity, and leadership. Adventure Treks is pleased to provide a fun and exciting format that helps teenagers improve these skills.

Best, Dock


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