10 Wilmington Students are Alaska-bound Thanks to ‘Adventure Education’ Group


January 2017

Wilmington’s National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education teaches young people leadership, self-reliance.

SNOWS CUT — Bouncing between homes for much of his childhood, 16-year-old Quenton Bowman used to have a hard time trusting people.

Then he went outside.

Bowman is one of 800 New Hanover County students served over the past decade by the National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education (NCOAE), a Wilmington nonprofit that gets young people to heed the call of the wild.

“When I was little, I was always taught that sharing feelings was a sign of weakness. And once I came to this program they started to crack the shell that I was in,” he said. “This organization also gave me second family to go to.”

Thanks to a $25,000 grant from the National Parks Service, Bowman is also one of 10 NCOAE students who will take a three-week adventure in July to Alaska’s Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve. These local teens will trek across glaciers, climb mountains and even help an archaeologist clear brush from a century-old gold and copper mine.