Frequently Asked Questions
What is the core curriculum?
Lifeschool has written over 100 pages of curriculum, and is published in our field handbook called the Trail Resource Guide. The "TRG" documents the core curriculum covered in staff training. AIR is the acronym for the educational Goals we strive to achieve each day - A: Active, I: Instructive, and R: Reflective. We endeavor to provide students with opportunities to use their bodies through movement, challenge and exploration (Active); teach new skills, tools, and relevant lessons such as weather, first aid and geology (Instructive); reflect on everything they are experiencing with solo time, journaling, and group conversations (Reflective).
What activities will my student participate in during their trip?
- Although experiences vary greatly due to the dynamics of groups and terrain, there are a few activities that many participants get to experience:
Thorough safety overview discussing expedition norms, backcountry etiquette, themes and expectations, hygiene, and first aid procedures
Icebreakers and facilitated group conversations called "serendipity"
Workshops on backcountry preparedness (how to read a topographical map, use a compass, leave no trace, pack a backpack properly, identify and set up camp, cook using camp stoves, build a shelter, etc.)
Swimming, stargazing, climbing, hiking, playing, paddling, snorkeling, surfing, meeting new friends, and just getting to enjoy being a kid
Natural history lessons focused on the geology, biology or the specific wilderness areas being explored
Journal time /solo reflective time
Outdoor games like "predator/prey" "owls/mice" "animal tag" "giants/wizards/dwarves" "ants on a log" "all aboard"
Is Go Adventure for ‘at-risk’ or youth with extreme behavioral concerns?
Without proper mentoring and positive life experiences, all youth are 'at risk.' Go Adventure programs however, are not designed to be intervention or therapy based and do not serve emotionally challenged children or children with extreme behavioral problems. Go Adventure is designed to be a proactive program helps youth be successful, before 'reactive' programs are needed. We insist that all students who enroll wish to attend. Students with common developmental issues, such as ADD, ADHD are welcome, in fact those kids usually do quite well in the outdoor setting.
Equal Opportunity: Go Adventure does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, sexual orientation, national origin, age or disability in the administration of its admission or employment policies. Unfortunately, if Go Adventure reasonably determines that a disability (physical or emotional) could lead to an inappropriate level of danger to the student or others, based upon a particular activity, then that person may be ineligible for a Go Adventure trip.
My child has dietary concerns, how will this be addressed during thier trip?
Prior to the start of any program you will go through the process of filling out a medical form for your son/daughter. If they have dietary concerns then you can address them on that form and someone from our office will contact you regarding the severity of thier dietery concerns. We often adjust our menu's for students who are vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free or have allergies to certain foods.
What type of food is served during the trip?
Nutrition plays an important role in the safety and enjoyment of our Go Adventure programs. Much of our food is organic and when that is not possible we strive for local and all natural. Our menu is primarily vegetarian and nutritionally balanced but we provide supplemental meats as well.
Go Adventure trips have two categories of meals: front-country and backcountry.
Front-country meals are those eaten while 'car camping' & have more fresh fruits and vegetables, stir fry veggies, fried rice, tuna and cold cuts sandwiches, etc.
Backcountry meals are based around organic dehydrated foods like soups, burritos, pasta, chocolate chip cookies, breads, curried lentils and sushi.
For breakfast we serve hot and cold cereals, oatmeal, pancakes and eggs. In addition, all students receive a bag of our special (peanut free) trail mix and a few granola bars to supplement meals and eat on trail.
On our programs, students learn by doing so they prepare their own meals using the camp stove with guidance from the leaders.
Does Go Adventure offer financial aid and scholarships?
- Financial Aid ranges from 10% - 50% discounts based on need. These funds are allotted on a first come, first served basis. The availability of these funds is dependent on the donations Lifeschool is able to solicit throughout the previous year. All recipients of financial aid must write a letter of thanks addressed to "Lifeschool Donor" following their trip and may be called on to participate in a fundraising event. Financial aid is generally a partial grant combined with an extended payment plan for the balance. Click here to see if you qualify. Click here to see if you qualify.
Scholarships are awarded based on merit and need. Students need to complete an application process and the recipients must fulfill certain 'reciprocity' obligations in the year to follow if they are awarded a scholarship. As many as 6 Scholarship recipients are chosen by the Go Adventure staff and Board of Directors each year. Grants range from 50%-90% of the cost of the tuition. Click here to apply for a scholarship.
Are there any discounts available if I do not meet financial aid criteria?
Yes. Go Adventure offers 3 discounts to assist in the cost of tuition.
15% Group Discount: Arrange a group of 8-10 friends to attend a Sumer Trip all together and get up to 15% off. Act early in the season for this discount to secure the trip you want for your group.
10 % Early Bird Discounts: Sign up, and pay in full before February 1 for a Summer Trip and receive 10% off.
10% Friends Discount: Apply for Go Adventure with a friend, and receive 10% off the tuition.
What does Go Adventure do to manage risk?
The Go Adventure Program is committed to promoting a positive learning environment by managing the physical and emotional well-being of our participants while adapting to changes that can occur in a wilderness setting.
There are risks and hazards involved in wilderness and expeditionary travel. The recognition and management of our activities, with respect to these potential hazards is a fundamental part of the Go Adventure experience. It is imperative each participant fully understands and supports their singular decision to attend Go Adventure. Each participant plays an important role in the success and safety of his or her trip. It is for this reason that we include participants in much of the decision-making processes while on trail. Participants also agree to a buddy system, are taught personal and group risk awareness skills and carry whistles.
In addition, a few weeks prior to trips groups are invited to attend a pre-trip orientation in-person or conference call. This orientation covers expedition preparedness, behavior expectations and answers any questions. Long before we enter a wilderness area it is essential that all participants have personal and group risk management in mind.
What credentials do the staff have?
Go Adventure Trip Leaders are professional youth workers committed to creating positive learning environments for our participants. They are experienced outdoor enthusiasts who participate in fingerprinting, background checks and an intensive training hosted by Go Adventure. Trip First Aid Leaders carry a minimum Wilderness First Responder Certification. This course, offered by the Wilderness Medical Society of NOLS, is an 80-hour backcountry safety and medical training that readies wilderness travelers with the skills to think proactively should emergencies arise in the backcountry.
How does Go Adventure handle discipline situations with youth?
Drugs, Alocohol & Tobacco
To effectively manage the potential hazards involved in outdoor travel it is mandatory that all students have a clear and sober mind. For this reason Go Adventure has a ZERO TOLERANCE policy with regards to drug or alcohol use. Any student caught using, soliciting or acquiring any illegal substance, including cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana or any other intoxicant WILL BE SENT HOME. No refund will be given and parents must make arrangements to pick up their child immediately after being notified of the infraction.
What makes Go Adventure unique?
Is Go Adventure a non-profit organization?
Yes, actaully Go Adventure is the flagship program of Lifeschool, a 501(c)(3), educational organization. Our EIN is 94-3362489. Lifeschool was founded in 1999 as a non-profit organization to be able to keep our programs accessible to youth from all socio-economic backgrounds. With support from individuals, community service organizations, corporations and through yearly events like The Human Race. As many as 20% of our students receive some financial support to participate in our programs
What is Lifeschool/Go Adventure's refund and cancellation policy?
Please click here to learn more: https://www.goadventure.org/policies
Does Go Adventure provide backpacking gear?
YES! For no additional fee! Thanks to generous donations from The North Face, Patagonia, Mountain Hardware, Lowe Alpine and Sierra Designs, Go Adventure is able to outfit many participants with most the gear they will need to participate on our programs. A detailed "Packing List" will be sent to you once we have accepted your application and payment. Go Adventure provides all "group gear" such as tents, cook equipment, technical equipment, maps, compasses, food and so on. There is no reason to bring anything with you except for what is listed on the "Packing List". If you need to borrow equipment that appears on the packing list, your request needs to be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or faxed to 707-876-3072 two weeks prior to your trip. We will have it waiting for you the morning of the trip.
How does transportation work on Go Adventure trips?
Van Safety: Go Adventure uses SUV's, minivans, pickup trucks and tow-trailers for transportation. We believe that traveling on the road to and from our destinations is the most high risk part of the experience and we take driving seriously. Van safety is an integral part of Go Adventure's staff training. Drivers follow protocols created by DMVs and Dept. of Education offices in each state we operate in. SPAB busses are also available / utilized when necessary.
Drop-off protocol: Go Adventure is based in the North Bay of San Francisco. Meeting locations are generally centered near all major airports near the wilderness areas we travel to. For groups based in the San Francisco Bay Area, we make every effort possible to accommodate the proximity of each family but a drive of up to 1 hour may be required to reach the drop off location the morning of the trip. For applicants traveling in from outside the San Francisco Bay Area, Go Adventure trips begin at destination airports.
Pick-up Protocol: You will be provided with a cell phone number to call that will update the times and locations for pick-up. Pick-up usually occurs between 3 & 5 PM the last day of your trip at the same location as the drop off.
Will students be doing solo activities during the program?
There are no overnight solo activities. Solo activities are important to the Go Adventure experience but they are supervised and held during daylight hours. We do facilitate ‘night-hikes’ on occasion which may require a short ‘solo walk’ but they are not overnight experiences.