La Vida Expeditions are specifically designed for Gordon College students. They provide wilderness-based experiences that encourage exploration of one's personal relationship and commitment to Jesus Christ in the context of Christian community.
La Vida strives to provide students with meaningful and transformative experiences that assist in the first-year transition to Gordon College.
Expeditions begin on Gordon's Wenham campus and travel to the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York. This six-million-acre preserve—roughly the size of Massachusetts, with sparkling mountain streams, quiet lakes, challenging peaks, and plenty of space for solitude and reflection—creates the perfect environment for growth, adventure, self-discovery, and growing deeper with God.
PHASE I: TRAINING
Training begins with group initiatives/team-building games and ropes course. Skills & Activities 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.
PHASE II: 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 skills taught earlier in the expedition.
PHASE III: SOLO
The solo is a two day period 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.
PHASE IV: 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.