Adventure Risk Challenge accepting applications until April 22 | SierraSun.com

Adventure Risk Challenge accepting applications until April 22

Staff report
Students partake in the 2015 Adventure Risk Challenge summer course.
Courtesy photo |

Ten local high-school aged students will spend three-and-a-half weeks at Sagehen Creek Field Station, Desolation Wilderness and Granite Chief Wilderness this summer.

It’s part of the Adventure Risk Challenge summer course, which introduces students to the Sierra Nevada’s classic granite-carved landscape, while stretching their physical, academic, and personal limits.

ARC students backpack, raft and rock climb. They study language arts and environmental science, write poetry and essays, and practice public speaking. They learn about conservation, Leave No Trace ethics, and the importance of wild places.

They tackle a 24-hour solo trip in the wilderness and explore gorgeous waterfalls, rushing rivers, extraordinary granite rock formations, and stunning mountaintop views.

As one 2014 participant observed on a post-course survey, spending a summer with ARC helps young people find their place in the wider natural world.

“In ARC, I have learned just how crucial everything is in the wild. Everything relies on each other, whether we know it or not, and everything holds a place in life,” the student said. “From the smallest of grass tufts to the biggest trees, everything here has a place, and it all comes together to make our home.”

Pedro Vargas, a 2015 ARC summer graduate, added: “ARC helped me gain a new perspective on life — to cherish nature, be more social, get out of my comfort zone and be more confident.”

After participating in the course, students like Pedro become more goal-oriented and overcome their academic struggles.

In the past decade, eighty-two percent of ARC participants have attended a two-or-four year university, compared to 36% of Latinos statewide and 46% of Anglos.

Will Fassett, ARC Program Director, says the summer course is designed to connect underserved youth to the outdoors.

“ARC works with local high school students who wouldn’t otherwise have opportunities to go on summer adventures,” he said.

ARC is a scholarship-based program and partial-to-full financial support is provided to all accepted students. First-generation students, English language learners, and all students who are motivated to experience a challenging outdoor and academic adventure are encouraged to apply.

The program is accepting application now until April 22 for interested applicants. Visit adventureriskchallenge.org to learn more.