Teen Wilderness Adventures

Teen Wilderness Adventures

Develop a love and understanding of the outdoors through these fun adventures for teens, ages 13 to 16.

AMC offers exciting and rewarding outdoor trips designed for teens ages 13 to 16 focusing on backcountry travel, outdoor skills, the importance of public lands, and conservation—all in spectacular destinations. As members of their expedition group, participants will grow an appreciation for the environment, develop self-esteem, share their spirit for adventure, and experience teamwork, friendship, and a sense of community through memorable wilderness experiences. Among our 6-day outdoor adventures, you’ll find opportunities to hike, backpack, canoe and/or do trail work.

  • Who are your trip leaders?

    AMC’s professional educators are dedicated, energetic, and talented leaders with a desire to work with youth. All our educators are certified in wilderness medicine, training in AMC’s emergency response protocols, and have strong backcountry skills. They come from a wide variety of backgrounds and life experiences and are committed to providing youth with a fun, educational excursions in the outdoors while maximizing the safety of all participants.

  • How many participants are on each trip?

    Group sizes on our programs range from 6 to 9 participants, and each of our trips has at least two educators.

  • When and where do my trips start and end?

    All high hut trips start at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Cardigan adventures start at Cardigan Lodge in Alexandria, NH. Trips begin at 9 a.m. on the first day and pickup is at 3 p.m. on the last day of the trip.

  • Who signs up for these adventures?

    Teens who love being outside, challenging themselves in new ways, meeting new friends, and learning interesting things about the places they visit.

  • Should I sign up with a friend?

    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.

  • Are scholarships available?

    Yes! If financial constraints are prohibiting you from signing up for a Teen Wilderness Adventure, please email us at amcteenwildernessadv@outdoors.org for more information on how to apply for scholarship assistance.

  • What if I’ve never done any of these activities before?

    No prior experience is necessary to participate in a Teen Wilderness Adventure. These adventures will work well for teens new to outdoor pursuits and those with prior experience. We’ll teach you all the skills you need to succeed and enjoy your time in the outdoors. 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.

  • If I’ve taken a Teen Wilderness Adventure before, can I do it again?

    Of course! We’d love to have you back. Many of our participants return often for a new activity, to explore a different area, or to advance their skills. Even if you return for the same trip, it will be a completely new experience with new friends and educators.

  • What will I eat?

    On all trips, participants will eat three healthy meals a day, with plenty of snacks in between. On hut experiences, dinner and breakfast are prepared and served by AMC hut staff. Lunches on hut trips are carried by the participants and include a variety of packable options, such as cheese, hummus, bagels, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, nuts, dried fruits, snack bars, etc. For those trips that camp, backcountry cooking is fun and rewarding and everyone will join in. Meals include the prior lunch list as well as pasta, burritos, stir-fry, bagels and cream cheese, vegetable wraps, 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.

  • What do I need to bring?

    When you register for a trip, you will receive an information packet, which includes a packing list of personal gear to bring on the trip. This includes things like a few changes of clothes, boots and shoes, toiletries, a sleeping bag, flashlight, hat, sunglasses, water bottles, and other similar items. For trips that include camping, we provide tents, stoves, cooking equipment, and all food. We are also able to provide backpacks, rain gear, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, hiking boots, and other essential items, which can be borrowed free of charge at the beginning of your program.

  • How safe will I be?

    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. One way we do this is by keeping our group sizes small, with between 6 to 9 youth per group, and by providing two AMC instructors for attention and supervision.

  • What is expected of participants on the trip?

    Participants are expected to keep a positive attitude, respect the educators 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. On trips with a camping component, participants are also expected to help with daily camp chores like cooking meals, pitching tents, getting water, and storing equipment and food away. On the first day of the trip, instructors and participants will discuss expectations for the trip.

  • Is there a service component to your trips?

    All Cardigan based courses and some of the high hut trips (see individual descriptions) will include either a half or full day of trail work. During this time teens will have the opportunity to learn from Professional Trails Staff and participate in important work in the mountains.

  • What is the cancellation policy?

    Full refund for reservations cancelled more than 30 days prior to arrival date. Full refund less 30% for reservations cancelled 14–30 days prior to arrival date. No refund for cancellations made fewer than 14 days prior to arrival date. In the event AMC must cancel a Teen Wilderness Adventure, registrants will be notified, and all program fees will be refunded. A program may be cancelled up until 10 days prior to the start date due to low enrollment.