Celebrating Over 45 Years of Ministry in the Wilderness
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. For 46 years, God has used the power of the wilderness and the La Vida experience to help young people unplug from technology long enough to be transformed by the love and grace of Christ as they learn to "hold fast" to Him.
What it Looks Like
Adirondack Expeditions consist of four phases that take place during an 8–12 day backpacking or canoeing 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 a few surprises fill out the final days of your Adirondack Expedition. Time will be given to discuss 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.
Expeditions in Action
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 affiliate
Wilderness Medical Associates
The WMA has provided La Vida with practical, expert training in wilderness and rescue medicine since 1999.