Pre-Summer FAQs

We know that sending your child on a summer outdoor adventure program can be stressful for you as a parent. At Adventure Treks, we do everything we can to put your mind at ease. We don’t see you or your child as business—you’re part of our Adventure Treks family. We have an impeccable safety record, and the overwhelming majority of our students have such a good time that they return to us for multiple summers!


Here are a few questions that may help you prepare.

Do you have any items available for purchase?

Adventure Treks tuition is all-inclusive, so students don’t need to rent or purchase expensive outdoor gear like a sleeping bag, sleeping pad, tent, or backpacking backpack.

If you’d like to purchase Adventure Treks–branded clothing, we do have fun items available in our online store!

Will I be able to talk to my student's instructors before the trip?

Your family will receive a phone call from one of your child’s instructors in the few days before the trip begins. At this time, they may follow up on any medical conditions, allergies, or food restrictions; answer last-minute questions; and take the opportunity to welcome your student to Adventure Treks.

Will I get to see who's on my trip before I arrive?

We will not send out rosters before trips start. Because our philosophy is grounded in building a genuine and inclusive community of peers, we try to limit pre-trip contact between students so that the community can grow organically once everyone arrives. This also prevents students from looking each other up online and forming preconceived opinions of each other before they meet.

Can I contact my child during the trip?

We want our students to feel fully immersed in their outdoor adventure, so we only allow them to use their cell phones to call home on designated days throughout the trip (typically about halfway through and on the last night). You can also expect a phone call from your child when they arrive at the airport and meet up with our instructors. We’ll note estimated days for calls home on the daily itinerary, but this may change due to many factors—we cannot guarantee exactly which days students will call home.

We intentionally limit communication so our groups can focus on the experience and build independence and resilience. We appreciate your support in this!

Of course, if there is an emergency or you need to contact your child right away during the trip, you can call us, and we will get your child to a phone as quickly as possible. There is an administrator on-call 24/7.

My child is new and is coming with a friend. Will they spend the whole trip together?

Inclusive communities are what we’re known for, and the majority of our new students come without a friend. In order to preserve the unique nature of our program and in the interest of inclusivity, we limit the number of new students who have a pre-existing relationship, whether from home, school, or otherwise, to no more than two to three on any one program (depending on the size of the group).

Students who arrive together as friends from home will not spend every activity together in order to allow them the opportunity to branch out, make new friends, and help avoid mutually exclusive relationships. We believe (and our students and parents will agree) that making new friends has powerful benefits! Read more about our group size here.

How will I know what my child is doing?

Every trip has its own blog that include written updates on recent activities, outdoor achievements, culinary highlights, games, or anything else our students want to share. We will also post photos taken by instructors in an online album throughout the trip. Written updates will be emailed to families throughout the trip as they’re sent in to the office from our instructors in the field. Photos will be uploaded to online albums (links will be emailed to families about a week before each trip starts).

We will aim to provide trip blogs and photos at least once per week, though they may be more or less frequent than that. You’ll notice estimated days for trip blogs on the daily itinerary (provided to enrolled families in May), but this may change due to many factors. We cannot guarantee exactly which days we’ll be able to upload a trip’s photos and written updates. If they don’t happen as “scheduled” on the detailed itinerary, don’t worry! They may happen another day instead.

We kindly ask that you not contact the office to ask when the next update will be. 

What does my child need to bring?

Each adventure has a trip-specific packing list that details what your child needs to bring; you can find this in CampInTouch (typically available in February). Again, Adventure Treks provides most outdoor equipment, including a backpack, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and technical gear.

Your child does need to bring a pair of hiking boots (break them in before coming!), a school backpack, a soft-sided duffel bag (about 80–100 liters in size) with no wheels, and other personal items. Students will not have to carry all of their equipment at once; we only carry what is necessary for the current activity, and leave the rest of our gear in a secure location when we’re not using it.

Because your child will not have access to their cell phone to take photos, we recommend bringing a point-and-shoot camera or GoPro with extra batteries or an external charger.

What happens if there's a wildfire, bad weather, or something else affects my child's trip?

If unforeseen or uncontrollable circumstances like weather, heat, wildfires and smoke, or anything else dictate an itinerary change or otherwise affect our trip, we will let parents know as soon as it happens. Our directors are in constant communication with not only our instructors, but also our outfitters, park rangers, and forest rangers in each area, who continually send us conditions updates.

We have the ability and flexibility to switch our itinerary if needed. Please know that if we don’t reach out to you, all is well! Again, no news is good news, and it means the trip is moving along smoothly.

Who will greet my child at the airport?

We try our best to meet all of our students as they walk off the plane. All students traveling as an unaccompanied minor will be signed for at their gate by a designated Adventure Treks instructor. If you pay the additional fee to have your child travel as a UM, please know we will send you the name of the designated AT instructor about a week before the trip begins. Please understand we can’t send this sooner; if your airline asks for a name when booking, please provide the following info as a placeholder, knowing it will have to change later:

  • Amanda Fox
  • 1826 Pinnacle Mountain Rd, Zirconia, NC 28790
  • 888-954-5555

For students not traveling as an unaccompanied minor (meaning they’re old enough to travel without an escort and you didn’t pay an additional fee): If we are unable to meet your student at the gate due to several flights arriving at once, we will call and text them as soon as the plane lands to let them know exactly where to meet us.

All instructors will be wearing an Adventure Treks hat and T-shirt and will be easy to find. Please read more about opening and closing days here.