The boarding announcement interrupted a nice conversation in Portland. Our last student of 2015, Gaetan, quickly hopped on his Delta plane to Paris 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.
Our staff teams have returned to our Portland area base camp—landing from adventures in Alaska, California, Colorado and British Columbia. We admit it—we are tired! But it’s the good kind of tired; we are 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 for all of us. 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 believe our students have seen their best selves and are excited about the young adults they are becoming!
We would like to compliment and thank 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 by stepping out of their comfort zone this summer has made choosing Adventure Treks one of your better parenting decisions. We hope to continue to be your partner in assisting you as your raise great kids and we appreciate your support.
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, confident, and full of great stories. They definitely have laughed a lot and stood in awe of incredible scenery. They have thrived without electronics, and, in most cases, had so much fun they barely missed their smartphones! I hope it will take a long, long time for the smiles to wear off their faces and that their new confidence never fades.
Our instructors have done very strong work, and I’m extremely proud of their commitment, rapport with teens, hard work, and dedication. 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 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 had family emergencies, 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 4 in the morning; and they’ve done whatever it takes to set our students up to have incredible summers. I’m also proud of our office staff. They have checked and rechecked every flight, posted trip blog after trip, and reassured a nervous parent or two. I’m grateful for all they have contributed this summer and indebted for our team’s 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, and we believe we have had an impact. While there are still things we can improve and we will work hard do that for 2016, I’m very pleased with the summer—we gave it our best.
Though we are eager for a rest, there is a lot more still to do! We begin instructor orientation on August 24 for our second season, consisting of outdoor education and science programs for schools. Over the next 10 weeks, we will keep 24 of our instructors on staff as we work with 15 different schools from eight different states, 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 2015.