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FAQS Page

FAQS About GSTA!

Who are we?

We are a not-for-profit foundation that was founded in 2013.

Who do we serve?

We exist solely for the purpose of serving Special Operations youth that have lost their fathers in the line of duty.

Do parents attend the Adventures?

No, the adventures are for teens from the ages of 12-18.

Can participants bring cell phones?

Yes, participants can bring cell phones. There will be times that the staff/mentors will collect phones during specific events, however the teens will have access to their phones when appropriate. Please note that GSTA will not be responsible for any electronic or personal items that teens bring.

What do participants need to bring?

A packing list will be sent but all specialty equipment will be provided.

How does Gold Star Teen Adventures maintain safety?

The safety of your child is paramount and therefore risk management comes first in everything that we do. Our programs are adventurous, so there is an element of risk in some of the activities that we do. All activities are conducted under close supervision of trained, qualified experts in their particular fields. This is also an opportunity for the campers to learn outside their comfort zones.

Is Gold Star Teen Adventures like a traditional summer camp?

Gold Star Teen Adventures is not a traditional teen summer camp nor is it a teen vacation. We are a program committed to the community of Gold Star youth first and foremost, and are grounded in experiential learning, leadership and character development, mentorship, healing, and opportunity. We offer programs specializing in outdoors adventure and survival, scuba diving, hunting, and equine. These adventures encourage self-reliance, leadership, confidence and teambuilding through challenging activities, achieving new skills, and a feeling of accomplishment from meeting the challenge head-on.

What is the challenge level for each trip?

Our challenge level rating helps you understand the physical challenge for each trip on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the most physically demanding. Our experienced and caring leaders along with the supportive group atmosphere ensure that every teen will enjoy wonderful achievements during each of our activities. Beginners will thrive on every trip, regardless of the challenge level rating. Our challenge ratings for our adventures are as follows:
GST Adventure Scuba Open Water- 4 of 10
GST Adventure Advanced Scuba Bonaire- 5 of 10
GSTA Outdoor Leadership Adventure- 7 of 10
GSTA White Tail Deer Hunt- 2 of 10
GSTA Girl’s Retreat – no rating

Is experience needed to participate in the Adventures?

We structure all activities as an opportunity for fun while learning a new outdoor skill. Experience is not needed prior to the Adventures, except for GST Adventure Advanced Alumni Scuba. We will provide all of the equipment and instruction for every activity.

Is it possible to come to Gold Star Teen Adventures for more than one summer?

Yes – One of our goals is to create positive and meaningful changes in the lives of youth that attend our adventures. We do this through our mentorship program, and by providing opportunities to advance skills in subsequent summer adventures (open water certification diving / advanced certification diving). It is our hope that the youth attending our adventures will return and continue to benefit from the programs that we offer.

What items have to be purchased to participate?

Nothing. Our goal is to provide this unique opportunity free of charge. Gold Star Teen Adventures will provide all specialty equipment and certifications necessary for our activities. We will send a packing list for all teens specifying what personal items need to be brought.

Are the Gold Star Teen Adventures coed?

Yes, except for the Girl’s Retreat. We aim to have a good mix of boys and girls together, and each adventure will have staff in a similar ratio. Boys and girls will stay in different lodging, cabins,and barracks.

Where does the staff come from?

Like our participants, our staff come from all over the country and have backgrounds that include active and retired military, military spouses, Gold Star survivors, military academy students and other American patriots committed to this cause. We take great pride in our staff and spend a great deal of time and energy in choosing each one. We strive to find the best role models that bring unique qualifications, gifts, energy, and a desire to invest in making a positive and lasting impact in the lives of our youth. All staff and volunteers will have been screened and have completed a background check.

How quickly do trips fill up and when will you know if you will be able to attend a summer adventure?

Camps fill quickly! Gold Star Teen Adventures will begin taking applications for our 2015 summer adventure camps in February of 2015. We will be accepting the following numbers for our camps:

  • GST Adventure Scuba Open Water- 20 participants
  • GST Adventure Advanced Bonaire- 20 participants (This camp typically fills from the previous year’s Scuba Open Water as that is a prerequisite for this camp.)
  • GST Adventure Outdoors – 15 participants
  • GSTA White Tail Deer Hunt – 8 participants
  • GSTA Girl’s Retreat – 8 participants

Applicants will be notified of their enrollment.

How do I sign up?

You can apply online by clicking the application button on the adventure you want to apply for.

How do I get more answers to questions?

Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns under the Contact Us tab on this website. We will promptly reply.

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