Adventure Risk Challenge applications open to local youth

“Through the program, I built seven new, amazing friendships that continue to grow,” said North Tahoe student Iran Pacheco.
Courtesy photo

High school students from Tahoe and Truckee will have the opportunity to participate in an immersive outdoor and academic program this summer.

The Adventure Risk Challenge summer courses introduce 10 students to the natural beauty of the Sierra Nevada mountains, while challenging them academically, emotionally, and physically.

For high school students, who have been spending significant time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Adventure Risk Challenge summer courses will offer a month of outdoor adventures.

During the courses, students backpack, rock climb, and raft, while studying language arts and environmental science, writing poetry and personal essays, and learning to navigate in the backcountry using a topographical map. Also, after months of not being able to socialize outside their homes, participants will make new friends and become part of a team.

In 2020, Adventure Risk Challenge facilitated one summer course during the pandemic. In partnership with a physician medical advisor, the organization developed a robust set of health and safety standards last summer. For the 2021 summer, Adventure Risk Challenge will once again be following the guidance of state and local health officials and implementing extensive COVID-19 prevention practices.

More than 300 students have participated in the Adventure Risk Challenge summer courses since 2004.

“Through the program, I built seven new, amazing friendships that continue to grow,” said North Tahoe student Iran Pacheco, “Being outside more and staying active has made me more energetic, focused, and happy.” Overall, Iran concluded “The skills I gained help me to be a better sister, friend, and leader to those around me.”

The program’s courses are offered to students on a sliding scale based on family income, but many students pay less than $35 for their participation. First-generation students, English-language learners, and all students who are motivated to experience a challenging outdoor and academic adventure are encouraged to apply. Adventure Risk Challenge summer participants from North Tahoe and Truckee High Schools receive 10 elective academic credits for participation and will be eligible for a $1,000 post-secondary scholarship if they complete a follow-up year of leadership, literacy, and outdoor programming.

The summer 2021 program is accepting applications now until April 23. Visit to learn more about the program and to submit an application. Adventure Risk Challenge will be hosting online parent meetings about the summer course at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in English and 6 p.m. in Spanish.

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