2015 was the centennial year of the creation of the National Park Service (NPS) and also set a new record for the number of visitors to America’s National Parks. More than 305 million people visited National Parks in 2015. In 2014 there were more than 789 million visitors to America’s State Parks, more than double the United States population. These statistics show how lucky America is to have these public lands and how many people from all over the world value them.
The opportunity to experience the outdoors in a group setting while participating in safe, challenging adventures is priceless. The best thing about teen adventure travel is that it benefits young adults in three major ways. First, it’s awesome to go surfing, rock climbing, horseback riding, whitewater rafting, biking, hiking and camping all in the space of a few weeks. Second, Backcountry Unlimited participants gain amazing new life skills traveling outdoors. Additionally, teens become empowered by learning how to navigate in the backcountry, start a campfire, pitch a tent, prepare a group meal on a camp stove and pack a backpack.
Most people grow up surrounded by the same collection of family and friends for the majority of their lives. They rarely get the opportunity to meet a group of people with a variety of ethnicities, viewpoints and values from all over the world, much less hang out with them for a few weeks doing the coolest adventures of a lifetime!
Teen adventure travel is not just about the adrenaline rush in a river raft. Some of the most transformative experiences come from just sitting around a campfire chatting about friends, parents, school and life. That’s how fresh perspectives and opinions are formed. An awesome road trip packed with adventures is the perfect way to do that.
Society spends billions of dollars per year on teen entertainment like video games, satellite TV packages, Internet subscriptions and cell phone plans. Those are admittedly fun diversions but these activities actually alienate and separate people from each other. There’s no better way to create meaningful, lifelong bonds with others than traveling with a bunch of other teens and two inspiring trip leaders for a few weeks.
Adventure travel is positive and healthy in so many ways. New life skills, teen empowerment, self-confidence, group bonding, healthy social dynamics, new bff’s, the list goes on. All those positive experiences equal a young adult who is prepared to become a leader, role model, best friend and global citizen.
Nobody can put a dollar value on the feeling of standing up on their first wave on a surfboard, climbing their first mountain or meeting their new best friend. That’s why teen adventure travel really is worth every penny.