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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Outdoor Adventures for Young Adults with Cancer

Every now and then I read about an opportunity that truly takes me by surprise. This one surprised me twice... If you know someone who would be interested in participating applications for 2011 are now being accepted.
Founder and Professional Kayaker Brad Ludden

A few days ago on the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Facebook page I learned about First Descents, an outdoor excursion program designed for current and recovered cancer patients between the ages of 18 and 39 years old:
"First Descents programs are all about having fun, getting outside, and pushing your limits through kayaking, rock climbing and other outdoor activities. Our camps are structured and designed with you in mind. There's no need to have kayaking or climbing experience. We know your body has been through a lot - we don't have any requirements for fitness. We encourage you to challenge yourself, but won't push you past your capabilities. All you need to bring is what you'd typically pack for a trip. First Descents has all the gear and necessary equipment to keep you safe, warm and relatively dry. We'll provide everything you need and teach you the skills, you just show up! Your week at camp will be full of activity but you'll have plenty of time to relax too. When we're not on the river or climbing, we hang out, play volleyball & horse shoes, and listen to music."
And here's the double surprise:
"What does it cost? Nada! The FD experience is 100% free of cost to all first-time participants. We ask that campers cover their own cost of travel, but if they're not able, Travel Scholarships are available based on need. All food, lodging, instruction, gear and activities during the week are included."
Once you've attended FD1 you can also attend FD2, FD3 and FDX experiences. Some have costs covered while others require good faith fundraising efforts to help cover the cost for other first time attendees.

It's quite an amazing program! You can view this year's schedule below but visit the First Descents website to:
Learn more about them
• Volunteer
Become a sponsor or partner

2011 Program Schedule & Info

FD1 (CLIMB) Moab, UT: April 3 – 8
FD1 (CLIMB) Estes Park, CO: May 8 - 13
FD1 (CLIMB) Estes Park, CO: May 15 - 20
FD1 (CLIMB) Estes Park, CO: May 22 - 27
FD1 (CLIMB) Estes Park, CO: May 29 - June 3
FD1 (KAYAK) Bryson City, NC: May 15 - 21
FD1 (KAYAK) Bryson City, NC: May 22 - 28
FD1 (KAYAK) Bryson City, NC: May 29 - June 4
FD1 (KAYAK) Bryson City, NC: June 5 - 11
FD1 (KAYAK) Vail, CO: July 24 - 30
FD1 (KAYAK) Vail, CO: July 31 - Aug 6
FD1 (KAYAK) Vail, CO: Aug 7 - Aug 13
FD1 (CLIMB) Estes Park, CO: Sept 18 - 23
FD1 (CLIMB) Estes Park, CO: Sept 25 - 30

FD2 (CLIMB) Moab, UT: April 9 - 14
FD2 (KAYAK) Hood River, OR: June 15 – 21
FD2 (KAYAK) Hood River, OR: June 23 - 29
FD2 (KAYAK) Kalispell, MT: July 3 - 9
FD2 (KAYAK) Kalispell, MT: July 10 - 16
FD2 (KAYAK) Kalispell, MT: July 17 - 23
FD2 (KAYAK) Kalispell, MT: July 24 - 30
FD2 (CLIMB) Estes Park, CO: Sept 4 - 9
FD2 (CLIMB) Estes Park, CO: Sept 11 - 16
FD2 (SURF) Santa Barbara, CA: Sept 11 - 17 (FULL)

FDX - Mt Hood, OR: June 5 - 11
FDX - Salmon River, ID: July 8 - 14

Learn more about all of these events on the Programs Page on the First Descents Website by CLICKING HERE

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