Find the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.
At WA, we know that hiring great leaders is the key to our success! With this in mind, our team is dedicated to interviewing and thoroughly vetting potential WA leaders. This hiring process includes a written application, a 2-phase interview process with multiple members of the leadership team, and reference and background checks. Many of our staff are also personal references of previous WA leaders or WA families and students. If you know someone great who would like to lead for WA, please send them our way!
All WA trip leaders participate in a pre-program staff training that includes both hard skills competency as well as soft skills, such as group management, communication, working with families, and the WA approach to the perfect adventure!
All WA trip leaders must be at least 21 years old and trip counselors (additional staff that may be added to programs) are at least 18 years old. All WA trips have at least 2 WA trip leaders, occasionally with a third trip leader or a trip counselor.
We do our best to accommodate students with allergies – food and otherwise. Catherine Holland, one of our directors and resident dietician and diabetes educator, will work one-on-one with anyone coming on a WA trip with an allergy or dietary need. Depending on the situation, families may be asked to supplement food during the program for their child to ensure they have access to the correct items. Given the remote access of many of our trips, grocery store options can be few and far between!
WA is proud to have a financial aid program that helps many students join our program each summer. Contact the office directly to learn more about the financial aid application process or learn more here.
We will provide you with travel dates, timing, and location for your program. We suggest that you book your plans through Aspen Travel – a travel agency located near the WA office that has helped us manage travel plans for over 30 years! These folks are pros and can help you find the perfect flights, manage the rules of unaccompanied minor services, and assist you if flights are canceled or changed along the way. You may also book your travel independently.
After your travel has been booked, you will submit your travel plans to the WA office and we will track flights on arrival and departure days ensuring that your student is met promptly upon arrival and on time for their departing flight!
A specific pack list is available for each WA program! This pack list is in your student’s online account and can also be found on your trip’s profile page on our website.
One of the coolest parts about WA is our leaders! They are awesome! About a week before your program begins, you will receive an email with the names, photos, and bios of your leaders. Additionally, trip leaders will call you a day or two before your program begins to say hello and answer any last minute questions you have!
All WA programs are electronics free. We believe that being unplugged is an important component of the outdoor adventure that you will be embarking on. Families can stay updated during your WA program with occasional trip updates that will be shared throughout the summer. Given the remote locations and busy schedules of our trips, these updates will be occasional and should not be expected on a daily basis. Students are encouraged to write home during the program to share their experience with their family!
Because you will be traveling to some amazing and remote locations, we are unable to provide mail services. But don’t worry, you will have a chance to send mail home to share stories from the field with your family and friends!
Sure! Most of our students come without a friend, but if you would like to do a program with a friend, sibling, cousin, etc., that’s just fine. During the program it’s important that the whole group is included, so your trip leaders will talk with you to ensure that you are making new friends as well as building memories with the friend you arrived with!
WA is technology free! Separating students from their devices allows them to grow in the skills needed for the 21st century: critical thinking and problem-solving, creativity and innovation, and communication and collaboration. Not worry, our trip leaders will carry satellite phones and students are welcome to bring a camera or GoPro!