Looking for a teen expedition this summer? We here at NCOAE are excited to announce that our 2022 season of backcountry and wilderness adventures for teen-agers is already up and running and in full swing.
At the end of February, a dozen students led by a team of NCOAE field instructors, headed down to Ecuador for a cultural immersion and rafting adventure. For those of us on the administrative side of things, couldn’t wait for the students experience the Palugo Farm — a sustainable organic farm that feeds 30 families each week.
To be sure, we have a busy season ahead, with backcountry adventurers to be found anywhere, from paddling in the Everglades to rafting Oregon’s beautiful Three Sister’s wilderness, as well as backpacking all around Pisgah’s National Forest.
Any of this sound good to you? Are you looking to step out of your comfort zone this summer? We still have openings on many of our summer teen leadership expeditions. It’s an opportunity to learn what it takes to navigate the backcountry, push your limits with new activities, and make life-long friends as you work together to cultivate the adventure you never knew you needed.
With activities that include backcountry cooking, campsite set-up, compass and map navigation, Leave No Trace training, as well as exposure to the NCOAE curriculum, you’ll leave the backcountry feeling accomplished and ready for more.
Spend seven days rafting down the (more…)
I grew up in the Midwest, and while some may claim the flatlands don’t have much to offer — I often found one way or another to get into trouble. I climbed trees in my front lawn, jumping off one branch, and climbing higher. While learning how to ride a bike, I often showed up to kindergarten the next day with bandages covering my knees.
On family ski trips, I was the one tumbling head over skis down the mountain rather than staying atop my skis like other people. I wanted to know how fast I could go, but nine times out of 10, I lost control and fell victim to power of the mountain. My mother was not a fan of my experiments as we watched her fearless seven-year-old tumble on down below.
There’s no question I have always had an adventurous heart, a thirst for more, and a passion for the world around me. I was fortunate to be able to spend more days outside than inside during my childhood.
That passion grew as I grew. While all my friends were putting on their prom dresses, I was stepping into a harness. One of my most cherished memories was checking my gear for about the 10th time, giving my spotter down below the “all clear” signal, and slowly making my way down. I was in Costa Rica, about to rappel down a waterfall at sunset, thinking “there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.”
While most of my senior class friends wrapped up their final year in high school with ceremonial “lasts,” I was surfing seven-foot waves, sea kayaking in bioluminescence waters, hiking through a cloud forest, and whitewater rafting Costa Rica’s Savegre River.
I could probably write a book about the personal lessons I learned during all of my travels, but the one that changed everything was the realization that (more…)