Service. Leadership. Adventure.
Grades 10-12 (ages 16-18) | July 12 – August 2 | 22 days | 56 Service Hours | $4,490*
To journey outside is also to journey inside. Lead from the front. Learn to value collaboration. Speak your mind. Cement new friendships in the beauty of the mountains. See the world through another’s eyes and change your own view forever.
- Three cleverly integrated service projects add depth at each stage of this incredible adventure
- Enjoy a pristine desert river while protecting it from future harm
- Learn the meaning of community working alongside the Zuni in their isolated but vibrant Pueblo
- Inspire your team while developing a nature preserve in the Rocky Mountains
- Understand the necessity of great communication off-trail at 12,000 feet
Orientation at Deer Hill Basecamp, Canoeing and Conservation on the Lower San Juan River, Utah
After orientation and outfitting at Deer Hill Basecamp, we spend a day at a nearby lake learning how to handle a canoe, so you feel comfortable and confident as we head to our put-in for a 56-mile adventure on the lower San Juan River. This a true wilderness experience. Carve your way through a deep sandstone canyon you share with bald eagles and bighorn sheep. Hike to a swimming hole hidden in the folds of 1000-foot cliffs. Scout your line through Government and Ross Rapids, and then go for it! Give back to this unique and delicate place by spending a day removing an abandoned mine structure, or restoring a sandy beach. In our first week we build the foundations of our team, and begin to explore leadership skills and ethics, as we get to know each other, the river and the fun of backcountry life.
Community Service in the Zuni Pueblo, New Mexico
We now travel to the Zuni Pueblo, home to an ancient people with a fascinating and intact cultural history rooted in their Kachina clans. Working alongside Zuni youth, we tend community gardens and orchards, repair traditional stone bread ovens, and improve the community center. Zuni elders welcome us, and tell us of their ancestral mythology. It is a privilege to be invited into the Zuni Eagle Aviary, where they nurse injured eagles and humanely gather their feathers for ceremonies.
Introduction to Backpacking, Peak Ascent and Service Project in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado
The culmination of your adventure, service and leadership quest unfolds in the lush mountains of southwest Colorado, the ultimate outdoor classroom for young leaders. Savor the wildness and beauty while helping to develop a community preserve and educational resource high up in the aspens. Accompanied by an inspirational local expert in sustainability, help in the construction of shelters and trails and share your ideas to create a stimulating natural learning environment for local children. Soak up the incredible views and breathe in the cleanest air in North America. Put the finishing touches to your team’s expedition journal. Relish a powerful solo experience. Rise at dawn to reach the rocky summit of mighty Centennial Peak at 13,290 feet. Then it’s home to Basecamp, where your ceremonial sweat lodge and banquet await.
*Our Special Recreation permit with the US Forest Service requires us to state that $1015 are the gross receipts for the mountain section of this program.
“Wow, I felt like I learned so much on this trip. I learned new skills like tying knots, working the stove, cooking etc. But not only did I learn all the technical stuff, I felt like I learned so much more about myself.” Irene, Hong Kong
“I think the service was the most impactful and important to me. I’ve always been in awe of our Nation’s First People. It really was amazing. I will cherish and remember everything: the friendships, the land, the water, the lifestyle, the native people, the teamwork. There is simply too much to say.” Zanni, El Segundo, CA
“We glimpsed the men in costumes walking through an alley and up the street. They were chanting. The old Zuni woman who was teaching us how to build a stone bread oven told us that it was a rain dance. It was hot and the wind was blowing hard. Dark clouds swirled around us. Children played in puddles of water left from making adobe bricks that morning. I could hear faint chanting in the distance. I love the smell of rain when the first drops hit the dust” Jody, Morristown, NJ