Journey Threat Problem to attach youngsters to the outside this summer season


According to Selena Lopez Ortiz, a participant in one of the 2021 Adventure Risk Challenge summer programs, she’s learned a lot about herself backpacking, rock climbing, exploring, and studying environmental science and English at some of California’s most famous natural sites. “During challenging experiences, I created a new foundation for myself by shifting my relationship to time, allowing myself to be vulnerable, and self-reflecting on my actions,” she said. The month-long program also helped her learn important lessons about teamwork, resilience, and building confidence.

The Adventure Risk Challenge Expeditions were designed to provide immersive outdoor and academic programs for youth who otherwise might not have the opportunity. From backpacking to rock climbing to high ropes courses and more, over the course of a month students will learn outdoor skills such as backcountry cooking and navigating a topographic map, as well as the value of teamwork, perseverance and curiosity.

“In the past 10 years that I have worked at ARC, I have been amazed at the personal and academic growth of the students who participate in the ARC program. It was inspiring to see them attend elite colleges, become leaders in their communities, and take action to protect the natural environment,” said Will Fassett, co-director of the Adventure Risk Challenge. “On behalf of our entire team, we are excited to open the application process for our 2022 programs and welcome a new group of participants to this transformative, immersive summer program that will support their social and academic development.”

Science, literacy and leadership are the pillars of the Adventure Risk Challenge program, with all elements of the curriculum anchored in learning from the natural environment. By examining ecosystems up close, identifying plants and animals along the way, and challenging and celebrating one another, participants will develop observation, reading, writing, and speaking skills, as well as a broad understanding of what they are capable of.

As of 2004, the Adventure Risk Challenge has had over 350 summer graduates and 2,500 year-round participants. The program provides over 15,000 student hours of leadership, literacy and outdoor education each year, with success underscored by the fact that 81% of participants attend a two- or four-year college. In addition, students experience growth in seven key developmental ability metrics as measured by the developmental ability profile, including positive identity, interpersonal skills, and willingness to learn.

ARC is accepting applications for summer 2022 programs to be held in Yosemite National Park and the Lake Tahoe Basin through April 22. All current high school students from California and northern Nevada are eligible to apply. These unique scholarship-based programs are tiered to students based on family income, with many students paying as little as $1 per day to attend.

The $6,000 per participant Adventure Risk Challenge course scholarships are made possible through the generous support of corporate and nonprofit sponsors, grants, and contributions from individual donors.

Learn more about the Adventure Risk Challenge, donate to help a student participate, or apply for a summer program at

Source: Adventure Risk Challenge

Learn more about the Adventure Risk Challenge, donate to help a student participate, or apply for a summer program at
Photo courtesy of ARC

Dani climbs the craft button at sunrise.
Photo courtesy of ARC