An Outdoor Program Geared Toward Developing Young Leaders

GSTA Outdoor Academy

GSTA Outdoor Leadership Academy

The Gold Star Teen Adventures (GSTA) Outdoor Academy is a comprehensive program that is designed to achieve the pillars of GSTA in wilderness settings. Teens will find their confidence through the numerous challenges that the outdoors have to offer, will develop leadership and teamwork skills, will learn the skills of an outdoorsman, and will make lifelong friendships with other teens that have shared the same experiences. The Outdoor Academy Adventures are held every summer, with each component of training spanning one week. The main components of the program cover a broad range of skills. Our introductory adventure introduces teens to outdoor survival and camping fieldcraft, multi-day hiking, wilderness first aid, and white water rafting. The second adventure builds on the skills from the first adventure, but focuses on enhancing the skills of new rock climbers. Teens will be exposed to top-roping, mock lead-climbing, rappelling, multi-pitch climbing, and exposure to rescue techniques. Our third adventure is a week of intense, hands-on activities that will focus on wilderness first aid, advanced land navigation, back-country skills, and leadership training.  Our fourth adventure will take participants west to explore the rivers of the western dessert environment down the Green River in Utah. Teens will paddle roughly 45 miles in tandem canoes, suitable to carry enough food, water, camping, and cooking equipment to make the paddling experience rugged and authentic.  Our outdoor program is designed to enhance teen’s leadership abilities throughout. This entire experience is life changing, and assured to help teens learn about themselves, and learn and develop skills that will serve them throughout their lives.

GSTA Outdoor Leadership Adventure 101

This year Gold Star Teen Adventures (GSTA) will be offering the opportunity for 15 teens to participate in a week of exciting and challenging outdoor activities to include survival training with United States Army Special Forces instructors, multi-day hiking in western North Carolina, and world-class white-water rafting down the rapids of the Chattooga River. This event will also focus on developing leadership skills and opportunities for personal growth. This is all-expenses paid trip that will start at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and will end in Franklin, North Carolina. Youth will practice and experience exciting outdoor front country and backcountry activities while being individually and collectively challenged with leadership and team building opportunities by qualified and caring staff, instructors, and mentors. Our goal for attending youth is to provide healing, opportunity, character and leadership development, and mentorship. We do this by creating an environment that promotes teamwork, self-discovery as well as social, emotional and intellectual growth. This adventure is a component of the GSTA Outdoor Academy. Teens that aspire to continue to develop their outdoor skills following this adventure will be invited to attend the GSTA Outdoor Academy Granite Rock Climbing Adventure, and the GSTA Backcountry Experience.

Itinerary will be available in March. 

Coming Soon.

Coming Soon.

GSTA Granite Leadership Adventure 201

This year Gold Star Teen Adventures will be offering 10 teens the an exciting week of leadership experience, rock climbing and outdoor activities.Whether new to climbing or a more experienced climber, this adventure is designed to challenge our participants. The GSTA Granite Climbing Adventure will expose teens to a number of rock-climbing fundamentals to include belaying, top-roping, rappelling, “mock” lead climbing, movement techniques, and will conclude with a multi-pitch climb up the famous Moore's Wall. Apart from the challenges of an intense week of climbing, teens will advance their camping skills, and will be challenged through a deliberate leadership experience that will serve them for the rest of their lives. This is an advanced outdoor adventure and is by invite only.

Itinerary will be available in March. 

Coming Soon.

What if I am afraid of heights?
Most people are, and most climbers are too. It's very unusual to be completely unaffected by height. The main thing that differentiates climbers from non-climbers is the conscious, deliberate effort climbers make to accustom themselves to heights and to learn to trust the safety systems; ropes, protection, anchors and the accompanying skills. Almost everyone can develop a tolerance for heights through experience and skill development.

Some measure of fear adds to the excitement of climbing and to the sense of mastery climbers have at gaining their objectives. At the same tie, fear is something we must always stay attuned to, since it's often telling us something about our environment.

What if I fall?
In our rock-climbing adventure, we use ropes anchored at the top of the cliff to keep youth from falling.  If a climber loses their grip while on a climb, their weight comes onto the rope and they hang in their harness in a comfortable semi-seated position. They can then try again or be lowered to the ground for a rest.

How strong do I need to be?
You do not have to be particularly strong or fit to begin climbing. Contrary to popular belief, rock climbing does not require bulging arm muscles and a grip of steel.  Beginner level climbers are taught to balance their weight over their feet, making hanging on their arms unnecessary.

Do I need to buy special equipment?
All the technical equipment used on our adventure is provided.

What if I join a course and then find out that it's too har d for me or I'm not having fun?
Gold Star Teen Adventures is very good at finding climbing locations that offer a range of challenges.  In this way, we can almost always accommodate the needs of all our climbers.

301 GSTA Wilderness First Aid Leadership Adventure

In 2021, GSTA will be holding the Wilderness First Aid Leadership Adventure. This will be a week of intense, hands-on activities that will focus on wilderness first aid, advanced land navigation, back-country skills, and leadership training. Apart from training, participants will be challenged with multiple events that will require the application of first aid skills, leadership, and teamwork. At completion of the adventure, Gold Star teens will earn a SOLO Wilderness First Aid and CPR certification, and will have advanced their leadership, communication and teamwork abilities.

The GSTA Wilderness First Aid Leadership Adventure will begin in the Summer of 2021.

Coming Soon.

Coming Soon.

401 GSTA Canoe Leadership Adventure

In 2021, GSTA will take participants west to explore the rivers of the western dessert environment down the Green River in Utah. Teens will paddle roughly 45 miles in tandem canoes, suitable to carry enough food, water, camping, and cooking equipment to make the paddling experience rugged and authentic. Teens will camp nightly on the sandy beaches along the river, hike the canyons, enjoy stunning geological features and towering red-rock canyon walls, all while gaining paddling and backcountry skills. This event is also the culminating leadership adventure and will primarily be a teen-led event.

The GSTA Canoe Leadership Adventure will begin in the Summer of 2021.

Coming Soon.

What if I am afraid of heights?
Most people are and most climbers are too. It's very unusual to be completely unaffected by height. The main thing that differentiates climbers from non-climbers is the conscious, deliberate effort climbers make to accustom themselves to heights and to learn to trust the safety systems; ropes, protection, anchors and the accompanying skills. Almost everyone can develop a tolerance for heights through experience and skill development.

Some measure of fear adds to the excitement of climbing and to the sense of mastery climbers have at gaining their objectives. At the same tie, fear is something we must always stay attuned to, since it's often telling us something about our environment.