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What is Exploration & Adventures?

Exploration & Adventures, Inc. (EA) is an outstanding tour-guide agency that offers exploration and adventure programs for students (age 13 to 18) and nature enthusiasts in a wide variety of outdoor environments.

We offer fascinating exploration trips to the five continents that include volcanoes, natural caves, falls and cataracts, rain and cloud forests, bioluminescent bays, desert, barrier reef, jungle rivers, wetland, savannas, and the observation of rare, endemic and exotic plants and animals.

Students participate in a variety of wilderness adventures that can include backpacking, mountaineering, white-water rafting, mountain biking, cave and jungle river boating, canoeing, sea kayaking, rock climbing, scuba diving, sailing, wind surfing, aerial and ice adventures, snorkeling, horseback riding, bungee jumping, hot-air balloon and canopy tours.

Education is the major goal of each exploration trip.  Our tour leaders set aside sufficient time in each trip to permit students to personally explore culture and appreciate the principles of geology, meteorology, archeology, astronomy, natural history and conservation.

The mission of Exploration & Adventures is to give participants experience in wilderness living with a minimum impact on the environment, and to give them travel skills by having them experience a diverse range of outdoor activities and environments.  The emphasis is also on fostering leadership skills for outdoor experiences.  By the end of an Exploration & Adventures expedition, the participants should be familiar with wilderness skills such as minimum-impact camping, trip scheduling and planning, safe back-country travel, outdoor food preparation and group leadership.  To achieve these goals with the best utilization of time, Exploration & Adventures trips maximize the time spent in the back-country  wilderness and minimize the time spent in driving in the “front country.

The Exploration & Adventures experience is more than just experiencing outdoor living.  Personal growth of the participant is the real goal.  The individual grows and matures in Exploration & Adventures expeditions through shared group experiences.  Individual attention is carefully give, but traveling with twelve or fifteen other students through many different environments for a period of several weeks teaches the participant how to share in group decisions, group responsibilities and group experiences.  Developing coexistence skills is as much of a challenge as learning how to sea-kayak or mastering the intricacies of mountain climbing.  An Exploration & Adventures experience not only brings on personal growth, but also forges strong and lasting bonds of friendship.  You will find that returning home you will have a greater sense of confidence in your abilities and in your willingness to face and overcome new challenges.  But most importantly, you will return with a renewed and a strong respect and love for our natural environment.

What are the special features offered by Exploration & Adventures?

Exploration & Adventures makes and excellent choice for a wilderness program because of our limited group sizes and the high training levels of our staff. Compatibility of group members is also a priority with Exploration & Adventures.   The composition of an exploration & adventures group stays consistent throughout the duration of the adventure. We don’t mix groups at the points of departure or arrival, nor do we combine groups during the course of a trip.  The students that you meet at the airport on the first day of the adventure are the same ones with whom you backpack, raft and say good-bye at the end of the trip. We feel this is important to strengthen friendship bonds during the trip and to foster a greater sense of group membership.  Age compatibility is also a very important feature of our expeditions.  We keep age-groups together, and we do not mix students of different age-groups simply to fill out an expedition.  Thirteen to fourteen year-olds will not be combined with eighteen year-olds.  Generally, the ages of each or our groups fall within two to three years of each other.

Our leaders are intensively trained before leading an expedition for Exploration & Adventures.  At a minimum, leaders must complete a rigorous 10-day wilderness first-aid training course.  Most go through an additional 20-day course for Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification. They must then go as assistant leaders on trips with young adolescents where they are further trained on safe wilderness standards and emergency procedures.

An finally, Exploration & Adventures provides a personal service.  We do not just sign up and set off on the expedition, but we make a special effort to speak with the student and parents during the planning of the trip and provide whatever information or assurances desired.  We consider our relationship with the student and his or her parents as a personal one, and we regard the responsibility for fulfilling the expectations of the trip as a trust.

What are trips with Exploration & Adventures like?

Our trips run from two to six weeks in duration, depending on destinations and distances covered.  Our routes, itinerary and campsites are carefully selected to let you explore areas of natural and scenic beauty as well as cultural and historic interest.  At least two experienced leaders (one male, one female) will accompany each group. 

Education is a major goal of trips organized by Exploration & Adventures.  Most students coming on an Exploration & Adventures have only limited experience in the wilderness. Our objective, of course,  is that by the end of an Exploration & Adventures, our students comfortable living and traveling in the wilderness.  We spend time teaching skills such as map and compass techniques, route-finding and navigation, campsite selection, wilderness cooking and baking and back-country first-aid.  And most importantly, throughout each exploration & adventures,  we take aside enough time to personally explore culture and appreciate the principles of geology, archeology, meteorology, astronomy, natural history and conservation.

Regarding your food, your group will prepare every day three tasty, healthy, and satisfying meals.  You will be assigned to a rotating cooking group and will be responsible, as a group, for selection, preparation and cleanup of your group's meals.  We provide foods with an emphasis on freshness, variety and nutrition.  Typical meals that your group might prepare are lasagna, pizza, stir-fry or grilled chicken and meats, and fresh-baked breads and desserts, plus typical food of the region that we are visiting.   Your leaders are especially skilled in these arts and we can assure you that no one goes away hungry.  We always buy extra food to ensure that no one is hungry.  Special diets such as sugar-free or vegetarian diets can be easily accommodated.

Your sleeping arrangements during your Exploration & Adventures trip will be under typical camping situations.  We provide light-weight, four-person tents and students are assigned to these in single-sex groupings.  Each night of your adventure will be spent camping alongside a mountain trail, next to a stream or river, lake or on a beach.  Weather permitting, you have the option of setting up the tents each night or sleeping out under the stars. 

Exploration & Adventures will provide all group equipment necessary for an Exploration & Adventures including tents, stoves, cooking gear, first aid equipment and will also provide all the gear necessary for the outfitted activities including bicycles, rafting and kayaking equipment, climbing gear, etc.  You will need, however, to provide your own personal equipment which includes a sleeping bag, a backpack, a sleeping pad, boots, rain-gear and your personal clothing. Once you are accepted on an Exploration & Adventures, we will provide you with a detailed list of your personal equipment needs.

Safety  is the Priority with Exploration & Adventures:

While our goals are to provide an exciting and educational outdoor experience, safety is our foremost concern and responsibility.  Your expedition leaders and outfitters understand the importance of this, and thus take extra care to supervise and limit activities well within the bounds of safety.  As a result, we have an outstanding safety record and we intend to keep it so.  It must be recognized, however, that any outdoor activity involves risks.  These can be minimized with supervision by trained leaders constantly aware of potential dangers, such as those involved with cooking outdoors, with unexpected storms, trail accidents, etc.  Being aware of and prepared for unexpected hazards will be an important part of the outdoor training each student receives.   For example, to ensure prompt care in the event of an emergency, we have developed a safety and evacuation plan for every area in which we travel.   Some parents have special or different safety concerns, so please don't hesitate to call our office with specific questions.

What About Your Responsibility?

Your responsibility begins with the selection of an Exploration & Adventures appropriate for your age and level of experience with the outdoors.  Excursions with Exploration & Adventures are of different levels of challenge and duration.  Our staff would be pleased to discuss with you each trip in detail to help you find the perfect fit. Once you have enrolled in an Exploration & Adventures, you have the responsibility to arrive on your trip both physically and mentally prepared. We strongly suggest an exercise program of running, swimming or cycling.  If you can comfortably maintain an hour of vigorous exercise 3 or 4 times a week, you are in shape for any Exploration & Adventures. The better conditioned you are, the more you will enjoy your exploration & adventures. Finally, you must come with a positive attitude for new experiences in the outdoors, for learning and for getting along with your fellow students, whatever their backgrounds.  Once all these factors are in place, your exploration & adventure will be a lifetime experience.  

 


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