Adventure Education: A Love Of Being Outdoors And Doing Adventure Sports Leads To A Nationally Accredited Education Center

Zac Adair headshot.

When Zac Adair began racing BMX bikes at the age of seven, he’d never considered that some people study and make a living in adventure education. Over the next two decades, as he participated in football, baseball, rock climbing, surfing, white water rafting, and snow skiing, it still didn’t enter his mind.

Yet, in the mid 1990s, while working as a guide on the river, he encountered a man wearing a Prescott College shirt, and asked him about it. That man had studied adventure education at Prescott. “I was like ‘You can get a degree in this?! Holy smokes!’”

After doing some research, Adair applied to the Arizona school’s adventure education program. “It just so happened that was the same year my now wife had applied to go,” he added. He, however, didn’t go. He was accepted, and ready to move when a friend called about a big swell in Costa Rica. He and his surfboard hopped a plane and rode the waves for several weeks.

It would be 2010, many jobs and many towns later, before Adair completed his master’s degree in adventure education at Prescott. His thesis for that degree was the 290 page policies and procedures manual for the National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education, the nonprofit center he and his wife Celine built on seventeen acres off River Road near Carolina Beach.