Q. Who signs up for these adventures?
A. Teens like you sign up because they love being outside, challenging themselves in new ways, meeting new friends, and learning interesting things about the places they visit.
Q. Should I sign up with a friend?
A. Most of our participants come without a friend and look forward to making new ones, which happens quickly on our trips. Still, we don't prohibit friends from signing up. Either way, we strive to create a community of people on each trip where there are no "cliques" and exclusions. If you and a friend do come, we will expect you both to integrate with the entire group and partake in the fun of getting to know new people.
Q. Are scholarships available?
A. Yes! If financial constraints are prohibiting you from signing up for a Teen Wilderness Adventure, please call or email the Education Programs Coordinator for more information on how to apply for scholarship assistance and/or download our application form here (PDF). You may reach the Coordinator at 603-466-8125, or email us by selecting "Teen Wilderness Adventures" on this email form.
Q. What if I've never done any of these activities before?
A. No prior experience is necessary to participate in a Teen Wilderness Adventure, with the exception of the Leadership Training Program which has a pre-registration process. In fact, we have designed some Adventures as introductory experiences. We'll teach you all the skills you need to succeed and have a good time. You do not have to be athletic to enjoy any of the activities, but you will have a more comfortable experience if you pursue a simple routine of regular exercise beginning a few months before your trip.
Q. If I've taken a Teen Wilderness Adventure before, can I do it again?
A. Of course! We'd love to have you back. Many of our participants return, often come back for a longer trip, a new activity, or to advance their skills on the Leadership Training Backpack or Ultimate Adventure. Even if you return for the same trip, it will be a completely new experience with new friends and instructors.
Food & Gear
Q. What will I eat?
A. You will be offered three full meals each day including plenty of snacks. We provide fresh food, probably similar to what you eat at home, but we might ask you to try something new. Favorite meals include various pastas, burritos, stir-fry, hamburgers, bagels and cream cheese or peanut butter and jelly, dry and hot cereal, cookies, granola, fruit, and hot chocolate for chilly evenings and mornings. We easily accommodate most dietary restrictions; let us know in advance so we can plan accordingly. All the participants help prepare and clean up after meals.
Q. What do I need to bring?
A. You can view the equipment and clothing list for a particular trip by clicking on the individual trip link. Also when you register for a trip, you will receive the entire information packet, which includes the clothing list. We ask that you bring your own personal gear. We provide the group gear. That means you need a few changes of clothes, boots and shoes, toiletries, flashlight (headlamp preferred), hat, sunglasses, water bottles, and other similar items. We provide tents, stoves, cooking equipment, all food, and all the technical equipment for rock climbing and water sports. We ask that you bring a backpack, rain gear, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad.
Q: Who are your instructors?
A: Our instructors are all trained in water safety and certified in Wilderness First Aid and are selected for their judgment, dedication and passion for the outdoors and their experience working with young people. In addition AMC provides an additional 8 days of training, including 4 days in the backcountry. Any outdoor activity has inherent risk, but we work hard to minimize the potential dangers and maximize the safety precautions. One way we do this is by keeping our group sizes small, with between 6-10 youth per group, and by providing two AMC instructors for attention and supervision.
Q. How safe will I be?
A. Safety is a high priority in all aspects of our programs. Our leaders all have Wilderness First Aid training and are selected for their good judgment, among other qualities. Any outdoor activity has inherent risk. We do our best to minimize the potential dangers and maximize the safety precautions with everything we do.
Q. Are there any rules I have to follow on the trip?
A. A list of our policies can be found on the Trip Policies Form you will receive upon registration. Or you can click on any individual course link and scroll through to find the trip policies form. These have been set to increase your safety, as well as the safety and consideration of others on your trip. Your commitment to these policies will ensure your trip will be fun, enjoyable, and comfortable. Here are a few examples of policies we ask you to abide by: Instructors will carry and manage all participants' medications. We do not tolerate the use of tobacco, alcohol, or illegal drugs on any of our programs. Sexual behavior, exclusionary cliques, and disruptive behavior are also not tolerated. Boys and girls always sleep in separate tents, and supervision by our trained instructors helps to ensure that privacy is respected. On the first day of the trip, your instructors will cover additional safety policies such as our closed-toe shoe policy for the camp kitchen and water sports, lightning drill, water treatment, and the no whittling policy.
Q. How do the multi-element programs work?
A. If you choose an Adventure that includes more than one activity, you will either return to the starting point of your trip between each activity or have your extra bag brought to you in the field. For example, that means you can pack clothing and equipment for canoeing and don't have to bring it along backpacking. We'll store your extra gear and you will have access to it between trip sections.
Q. What is expected of participants on the trip?
A. Participants are expected to keep a positive attitude, respect the instructors and other group members, take responsibility for their personal belongings and group equipment, be supportive and inclusive of fellow participants, try new activities and foods, make good decisions about personal safety, and follow the Teen Wilderness Adventures policies. Participants are also expected to help out with daily camp chores like cooking meals, pitching tents, getting water, and storing equipment and food away at the end of each day. On the first day of the trip, instructors cover expectations of participants and participants also have a chance to share what they expect to get out of their trip.
Q. Is there a service component to your trips?
A. Our Wilderness Conservation and Service Adventure focuses on outdoor ethics and conservation and offers the opportunity to earn up to 80 service hours! Other than this trip designed as a service experience, most Teen Wilderness Adventures do not contain a pre-planned service component; however, many groups end up doing impromptu service projects like planting trees, cleaning up fire rings, packing out litter, or brushing in unofficial trails and campsites. Our longer trips like the Appalachian Trail Backpack, and the Leadership Training Backpack offer many opportunities to delve deeper into Leave No Trace outdoor ethics and for small service projects. For more AMC trips that incorporate a service component for teens, check out AMC’s Volunteer Vacations.