Supporting the Surviving Children of Our Fallen Patriots

Our Mission and Vision

Gold Star Teen Adventures provides mentorship, leadership development, resilience training
and team building for the children of our nation’s military, first responders and intelligence community who lost their lives.  The program teaches critical life skills through year around adventure opportunities and facilitates healing and a return to normalcy for those coping with the sudden loss of a parent. Our objective is to help these teenagers struggling with loss become more confident and productive young adults.

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 after sustaining four gunshot wounds. 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 healing, leadership development, and opportunity. Our organization is committed to serving and honoring the community of people who have sacrificed so much.

We believe that by bringing together youth in environments where they can have fun and develop relationships amongst team leaders 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. 

Our Program Pillars


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


We believe that each of these teens are 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, memorable, and professional opportunities to learn and experience new things and challenge themselves.

Leadership Development

The theme of leadership is central in every GSTA Adventure. Our programs are designed to develop our participants through direct instruction and experiential learning coupled with the challenges and experiences that the outdoors can provide. 

Our Board of Directors

Francis Beaudette 2

Francis Beaudette

Chairman of the Board

Gold Star Teen Adventures

Kent Solheim

Founder and Program Development Lead

Gold Star Teen Adventures

Rona Wenik

Board Director

Frank and Candice Scholl

Board Director

Gold Star Teen Adventures

Michael Love

Board Director

Gold Star Teen Adventures

Eleanor Halff

Board Director

Gold Star Teen Adventures

Tom Schmidt

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.


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