High School Backpacking Adventure | August 9-14For those who have had some opportunities to experience and practice leadership but are ready to take it to the next level, get ready! Through adventure elements like backpacking, rock climbing and rappelling students will be pushed outside of their comfort zones and learn about leadership in an outdoor setting. This expedition is open to anyone ages 14-18, regardless of your experience or background in the outdoors.
Now more than ever, we believe that time in the wilderness, away from the distractions, noise and pressures of life is so important for mental, physical and spiritual health. We love facilitating these experiences, especially for youth who are faced with a myriad of challenges on a daily basis.
The course will take place in the southern Yosemite region of the Sierra Nevada. Students will experience the beauty and the challenge that the mountains provide. Surrounded by Ponderosa pines, granite cliffs, and alpine lakes, instructors will lead students through a variety of wilderness experiences.
This course puts an equal emphasis on the student’s spiritual formation and outdoor leadership skill development. Regarding the spiritual component, while Summit Adventure is a non-denominational Christian organization, we welcome individuals of all religious backgrounds and beliefs.
Upon completion of this course, the student will gain confidence in a group of his or her peers. Each student will be provided with the opportunity to lead the group. Students will also demonstrate their comprehension of the curriculum as they practice backpacking, camping, cooking, climbing, and rappelling skills.
High School Backpacking Adventure Elements
- Off trail backcountry navigation (map & compass)
- Outdoor living
- Cliff jumping & swimming in alpine lakes
- Rock climbing
- Intro to Mountaineering
- Spiritual formation
- 24 hour solo time
- Discussion & dialogue
- Leadership exploration & development
- Practice facilitating and leading
Day 1: Arrival and Preparation
Students arrive at Bass Lake the morning of the course start date. Transportation is provided from the Fresno airport to the Summit base. Shortly after introductions, the Summit staff will provide basic instruction on packing packs and what to bring for our 6-day trek. After we are packed we will drive to the trailhead (transportation provided) and hike to our first campsite.
Days 2: Rock Climbing and Rappel
Students will be pushed a little farther outside of their comfort zones by attempting to scale some of the Sierra’s fine granite at our climbing and rappelling sites. Through this adventure components students will learn valuable lessons about communication, trust and leadership.
Days 3-4: Wilderness Travel
The next phase will prepare individuals for wilderness travel. Groups will typically travel three to six miles per day, depending on the abilities of the group. Students will gain skills and learn techniques along the way. They will receive a “mid-course check-in and evaluation.” At this point in the course, students may help lead “Focus” times and lead in other capacities.
Day 5: Solo Time
Students will spend 24-hours on their own in a time for personal reflection, contemplative prayer and journaling to take advantage of the solitude the wilderness provides. Often, we provide the students with simple prompts to guide them, especially if this is their first time experiencing solitude.
Day 6: Leadership by Example (Student’s Final) and Hike Out
Students will work with instructors to plan and implement an independent travel section; their itinerary will vary depending on the skills and techniques they have gained so far. This serves and the student’s “Final” to test the skills they have gained over the last week. Students will return to Bass Lake where they will de-issue their gear, shower, and enjoy a hearty meal before departing for home. Transportation will be provided to the Fresno airport if needed.
If cost is an issue for you, please contact us about scholarships and discounts!
Youth Outdoor Leadership Course Interest Form