In an age of extreme sports there is a growing tendency to have a "been there, done that" attitude. But does extreme learning accompany the experience? La Vida provides participants with more than just extreme experiences.
Our mission is to provide a supportive experiential environment that encourages participants to explore the meaning of their relationship with Jesus Christ and foster a deeper personal commitment to Him. We do this by providing youth and their leaders with challenging, small-group, wilderness adventures, facilitated by trained and qualified staff, all through which God's Word can be heard, experienced, and integrated into daily life.
Email Nate Hausman, the Director of Adirondack Programs, for more information.
Adirondack Expeditions consist of four phases that take place during an 8–12 day mountaineering, canoeing, or kayaking expedition in the Adirondacks. Patrols are composed of 6–10 participants and two La Vida instructors, or Sherpas. See the images below to read more about each phase.
|Training Phase: Training begins with group initiatives/team-building games and ropes course. Lessons include: minimum-impact (Leave No Trace) camping skills, rock climbing, rappelling and backpacking, canoeing, or kayaking. Participants are trained with the skills that will allow them to become more self-sufficient later in the trip.|
|Group Expedition: Using skills acquired during the training period, your patrol will execute a short expedition apart from your La Vida instructors. This is typically referred to as finals, and it lasts 1–2 days. The La Vida Sherpas remain in close proximity of your group, but provide enough space to "test" participants on their knowledge of the various wilderness skill taught earlier in trip.|
|Solo: The solo is a one to two day period (solo length depends on length of the trip) free from distractions, worry, and responsibilities—a chance for you to think, pray, fast, read your Bible, write in your journal, and plan future goals without life's usual interruptions. Participants are regularly checked on throughout the course of the solo by the Sherpas.|
|Celebration & Debriefing: One or two challenges and surprises fill out the final days of your Adirondack Expedition. Time will be given to contemplate and celebrate the events of this powerful experience and how it applies to your life. Groups take advantage of La Vida's 75-acre property located just miles from Lake Placid.|
Adirondack Expeditions are an educational adventure designed to develop character, leadership, and Christian maturity. The effects of Adirondack Expeditions have been so transformational on Gordon students, that the College requires an Outdoor Education experience prior to graduation.
La Vida trips experience breathtaking natural beauty from some of the highest peaks in the Northeast. The Adirondacks consist of over six million acres of protected state land. The ADK State Park is the largest state park in the continental United States, boasting a rich natural and cultural history.
Groups are given time to have significant shared experiences within a small group, fostering true community. Whether that takes place around the fire at night or on the trail during the day, you are bound to create memorable experiences with your group.
Not only will you have the chance to climb granite walls, but you can also rappel! The relationship between the climber and their belayer can be a powerful act of trust for individuals.
La Vida Participants have the option of choosing to do a backpacking expedition. Backpacking participants enjoy hiking through the wilderness by foot with backpacks in tow. This option allows participants to experience the beauty of nature deep inside the woods and up on the mountain tops of the Adirondacks.
La Vida participants have the option of choosing to do a canoeing expedition. We use a 30,000 acre wilderness pond preserve for our water-based trips. Canoe participants enjoy treading their single-oars through water while taking in the awe-inspiring views around the water's edge as they explore the Adirondacks.
La Vida Participants have the option of choosing to do a canoeing expedition. We use a 30,000 acre wilderness pond preserve for our water-based trips. Experienced and beginner kayakers alike enjoy pushing their kayaks along with their double-oars and viewing the majestic shorelines of the Adirondacks while they travel.
After completing the low ropes course, groups move onto the high ropes course. Individuals are given the opportunity to navigate various elements while being belayed 30-40 feet up in the air. All activities are challenge-by-choice as participants are encouraged to try their best.
Individuals are given the time and place to step away from our fast-paced, high-tech society that often breeds seperation and depersonalization. La Vida functions as a covenant community designed to foster growth, maturity and commitment to Jesus Christ.
Check out the weather at La Vida's Base Camp in Lake Clear, NY.
Adirondack Mountain Club
A non-profit membership organization that protects wild lands and waters through a balanced approach of conservation and advocacy, environmental education, and responsible recreation.
Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics
The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics is dedicated to promoting and inspiring responsible outdoor recreation through education, research and partnerships.
Wilderness Education Association
The La Vida Center for Outdoor Education is an official WEA affliate
Wilderness Medical Associates
The WMA has provided La Vida with practical, expert training in wilderness and rescue medicine since 1999.