The boarding announcement interrupted a nice conversation in Sacramento. Our last student, George quickly hopped on his Southwest Jet and just like that… the summer was over… and so was the magic of Adventure Treks. This summer ended as strongly as I can remember. The students formed close and inclusive communities and we aren’t quite ready for it all to end…
As our staff teams converge at our Portland area base camp from Alaska, California, Colorado and British Columbia, we admit it… We are tired! –But it’s the good kind of tired; exhausted from giving it our all over an extended period. But the hard work has paid off… We are ecstatic about what has been accomplished and what a safe, successful and growth filled summer it’s been. We hope our students now consider Adventure Treks a “second home”, a happy and joyful place where they could be themselves and escape from some of the pressures of being a teenager. We hope our students have seen their best self and are excited about whom they are becoming!
We would like to compliment you as parents. It takes a lot of courage to send your child across the country into the great unknown and to trust leaders whom you’ve never met. We greatly appreciate your trust and hope that the benefits your child has received this summer has made choosing Adventure Treks one of your better parenting decisions.
We hope the power of living outdoors, free from technology surrounded by incredible scenery and impressive role models in a shared community has been slightly life altering. Our students have experienced the give and take of living in a community and have seen that they can accomplish more than they thought possible, especially with the help of their friends. We hope your kids have come home happy, more independent and confident and full of great stories. They should have laughed a lot! I hope it will take a long, long time for the smiles to wear off their faces and that the new confidence in their voices never fades.
For the first time, I’ve had the joy of being an AT parent. My two older girls each joined us this year. It’s been fun seeing AT not only through my director’s eyes but also through the eyes of a parent. (I loved getting that first phone call, hearing their voices and knowing that everything was going to be all right!) It’s also been insightful to hear about AT from my kids’ perspectives. I’m gratified that their summer has been as impactful as I had hoped and that both are chomping at the bit to return next summer. I’m excited they are keeping up with their great new friends.
Our instructors have done very strong work and I’m extremely proud of their commitment, rapport with teens, hard work and dedication. This may have been our best team of instructors in our 21 year history! I’d also like to give a shout out to the folks behind the scenes who have made this summer run so smoothly. Our Directors, D-Mac, Josh and Jan have worked tirelessly solving small logistical snafus before they became problems. They’ve driven delayed bags hundreds of miles to campsites, they have filled in for instructors who have taken ill, and they’ve burned thousands of airline miles helping to open and close every trip. They’ve delivered extra food and special treats, they have set up rock climbing sites at 5 in the morning and have even helped students get home for family emergencies and then rejoin their trip. They have done whatever it takes to help our students have incredible summers. As both a parent and the executive director, I’m grateful for all they have contributed and indebted for their incredible commitment to Adventure Treks.
It’s been a privilege getting to know your children this summer. We’ve tried to treat your kids as our own kids and we believe we have had an impact. While there are still things we can improve and we will do that for 2015, I don’t believe we could have tried or worked any harder. Though we are eager for a rest… There is a lot more still to do! We begin instructor orientation on August 19th for our second season, consisting of outdoor education and science programs for schools. Over the next ten weeks we will work with 15 different schools, giving almost 800 students a small dose of Adventure Treks.
We sure are going to miss our great students. Thank you for being part of Adventure Treks 2014. Soon we will be planning ways to make 2015 even better!