The Launch Pad
by Tom Holland
In the last few months, I have been asked why Wilderness Adventures? I have had the unique opportunity to see many youth development programs and camps in action, so what about WA spoke to Catherine and me? Perhaps WAs 44-year history? My own alumni status? Jackson Hole?
Simply put, Wilderness Adventures is where youth development meets nature. For 44 years, the program has been centered around our participants, focusing on growth of character while exposing them to the wonders of their natural surroundings. This commitment to both youth development and nature are central to who we are as leaders in our industry, and one part of what sparked our interest in WA.
While this begins to answer the question, it is only a piece of the equation. The other important component is that Wilderness Adventures serves as a ‘launch pad’ not the ‘peak.’ While our program summits many peaks along the way (Kilimanjaro has only a few spots left!), the emphasis is on the journey. The journey is the joy from where our students learn how to find a feeling of exhilaration. The WA commitment is to launch our students into the world with the challenge to dream big. It is to take the spark they have felt with WA and spread it to other parts of their lives off the trail. Here we have an amazing experience that many students feel is the very best (I did when I was a teenager on WA). But, what is unique about our program is the special emphasis WA puts on ensuring that students take this experience with them and build off of it for the rest of their lives.
Since my time at WA, I have been dreaming big. This was the perfect next step for Catherine and me. We look forward to dreaming big with our students this summer as we seek to share with them the importance of the journey.