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Supporting the Surviving Children of Our Fallen Patriots

Our Mission and Vision

Gold Star Teen Adventures provides year-round adventure opportunities for the children of fallen military members, first responders, and from our nation’s intelligence community who have lost their lives in the line of duty. The purpose of the program is to instill a sense of patriotism, foster healing, provide mentorship as well as character and leadership development, and provide safe world-class outdoor experiences. 

Our History

Kent Solheim, a special operations service member, was seriously wounded in combat in Iraq in 2007 where he ultimately lost his right leg. Kent’s experiences on his road to recovery inspired the creation of Gold Star Teen Adventures. Kent, a father of two, realized that if he had not made it home, he would have still wanted his children to know the brotherhood of the special operations community that he had grown to love and to share the adventures that his career had permitted him to do. Additionally, Kent realized that he experienced emotional healing when he was able to spend time with others who endured similar trauma in
their lives.

Gold Star Teen Adventures was created to provide a place where youth can come together to share new experiences with others who have shared a similar journey. We are built on the pillars of character and leadership development, mentorship, opportunity, patriotism, and healing. Our organization is committed to serving and honoring the community of people who have sacrificed so much.

Our Program Pillars

Healing

We believe that by bringing together youth in environments where they can have fun and develop relationships amongst mentors and other Gold Star youth, we allow them the opportunity to interact with others who can empathize with the similar emotional trauma they’ve experienced.

Mentorship

We are committed to providing quality and enduring mentorship to Gold Star Youth. All camps have qualified and screened mentors composed of active and retired special operations service members, military academy students, Gold Star Adults, and patriots from the community. The purpose of our mentors is to coach, teach, and act as healthy role models.

Leadership and Character Development

The themes of leadership and character development are especially important in our outdoor and scuba adventures. Gold Star high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors will have the chance not only to learn about leadership styles and applications but also to put these behaviors in action through collaborative team experiences working with peers.

Opportunity

We believe that each of these children is uniquely wired given their pedigree and that adventure is likely a big part of who they are. Unfortunately, with the loss of a parent, these youth may not get the same experiences that they would have. We want them to have exceptional, safe, and professional opportunities to challenge themselves.

Patriotism

GSTA is proud to be able to serve the youth of those who were servants themselves. Those who have given their lives for others and their families understand the value of sacrifice, duty, honor, and love of country. We seek opportunities to recognize these heroes, to respect our flag and national anthem, and to create an environment that builds on the foundation of patriotism. 

Our Program Pillars

Healing

We believe that by bringing together youth in environments where they can have fun and develop relationships amongst mentors and other Gold Star youth, we allow them the opportunity to interact with others who can empathize with the similar emotional trauma they’ve experienced.

Mentorship

We are committed to providing quality and enduring mentorship to Gold Star Youth. All camps have qualified and screened mentors composed of active and retired special operations service members, military academy students, Gold Star Adults, and patriots from the community. The purpose of our mentors is to coach, teach, and act as healthy role models.

Leadership and Character Development

The themes of leadership and character development are especially important in our outdoor and scuba adventures. Gold Star high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors will have the chance not only to learn about leadership styles and applications but also to put these behaviors in action through collaborative team experiences working with peers.

Opportunity

We believe that each of these children is uniquely wired given their pedigree and that adventure is likely a big part of who they are. Unfortunately, with the loss of a parent, these youth may not get the same experiences that they would have. We want them to have exceptional, safe, and professional opportunities to challenge themselves.

Patriotism

GSTA is proud to be able to serve the youth of those who were servants themselves. Those who have given their lives for others and their families understand the value of sacrifice, duty, honor, and love of country. We seek opportunities to recognize these heroes, to respect our flag and national anthem, and to create an environment that builds on the foundation of patriotism. 

Our Board of Directors

Kent Solheim

Founder and Program Development Lead

Kevin McDonnell

Chairman of the Board

Jessica McCloskey

Administrative Coordinator 

Dr. Allen Solheim

Board Director

Michael Love

Board Director

Eleanor Halff

Board Director

Joey Goscha

Board Director

Governing Documents

Gold Star Teen Adventures is a 501(c)(3) organization with registered with the State of North Carolina and the IRS. Our EIN is 90-09980. We are currently headquartered in North Carolina.

IRS Letter of Determination

The IRS granted Gold Star Teen Adventures 501(c)(3) nonprofit status in June of 2013.

Articles of Incorporation

The Articles of Incorporation provide the legal basis for Gold Star Teen Adventures.

Bylaws

The Bylaws provide a foundation for the Gold Star Teen Adventures Board of Directors.

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