Thank You for a Great Adventure Treks Summer – our 20th!

AT Staff13 Aug, 2013

And then they were gone… One moment I was having an easy conversation with California Challenge 3 students, Dylan and Nick, and then we were interrupted by an announcement imploring them to board their 1:29 PM jet bound for Newark. And just like that… the 2013 Adventure Treks summer ended … and so did the magic.  The last seven trips ended as strongly as I can remember.  The students formed close and inclusive communities, laughed really hard and had a ridiculous amount of fun. There were many airport tears as student’s said goodbye to their new friends and instructors.

As our staff converge from around the country at our Southern Washington base camp, we admit it… we are tired, –But it’s the good kind of tired; Exhausted from giving it our all over an extended period of time. We may be tired but we are ecstatic about the results of everyone’s combined efforts.  It was a great summer and a safe one. We are delighted that our 20th summer was one of our best and one of my personal favorites. The highlight of my summer was working side by side with 70 great instructors and getting to know our students. It took 36 plane rides, but I had the privilege of meeting 374 of our 441 students and visiting 18 of our 21 trips. I also got to know all 238 of our Camp Pinnacle kids.

Thank you for sending us great teenagers. I am a firm believer in the talents and goodness of this generation of kids. This was as kind and fun and as smart a group of students as I can remember.  Hopefully, we sent your children home to you as even better kids! It was a summer filled with growth and we feel a lot of eyes have been opened a little wider.  Role modeling isn’t always easy but long hours spent with great role models at an impressionable time in an adolescent’s life has an impact. We hope the power of living in a shared community at a self-absorbed time of life in a self-absorbed culture has been slightly life altering. We strive to instill in our students the understanding that they are beholden to a community larger than themselves.  Through the art of living in a community, we see firsthand when the common good of the many can outweigh the desires of the few.  And we also see instances, equally important, when the needs and desires of a few folk are more important than the desires of the many. At Adventure Treks, we begin to understand how life in a community is a great balancing act.  And that you won’t lose your individuality by working for the gain of everyone else.  In fact most people gain more joy through contribution to others than they ever could earn working solely for themselves.

Most of our first year students signed up for an exciting trip filled with adventure, challenge and time outdoors. They got plenty of that! But, most new families probably didn’t realize that the activities were just a small part of the AT experience until after their kids returned home.  It’s almost impossible to communicate in our marketing materials what it is Adventure Treks actually does.  When our students return next summer, they won’t be coming back for the activities as much as for the “A.T. Magic.”  At a time when our communal institutions are slowly disintegrating, we want to fill a void and be a “second family” for our students. We try to be a really happy place where kids can be proud to be themselves and escape some of the pressures of being a teenager and some of the electronic connectivity implicit in living in the digital age.   Adventure Treks is that special place where you can be “your best self” for an extended period of time and be celebrated for who you really are, not for who others want you to be.

It’s been a privilege getting to know your children this summer.  We’ve tried to treat them as our own and we believe we have had an impact. Thank you for the trust you’ve placed in us. We hope we have met your expectations.

Though we are eager for a rest, vacation is still a few months away!  Adventure Treks starts again on August 20th as we begin instructor orientation for our fall season. Each fall we operate outdoor education programs for a dozen different schools.  These programs will run through Halloween.  Our school programs are important, we will introduce over 600 students to the outdoor world, but it’s not as magical as an A.T. summer.

We sure are going to miss our wonderful summer 2013 students. Thank you for being part of Adventure Treks.

Best, Dock


View All Posts