La Vida Adirondack ExpeditionsGrowth in the Wilderness
Backpacking and canoeing trips in the Adirondack State Park of New York focused on developing transformational leadership, exploring your faith and building community.
We Were Made for Community
Society’s definition of connection is constantly changing as new technology is developed. We all long for some type of connection—with people, with God and with the world around us, but that can be hard to achieve. Our technological connections can often feel surface focused and don’t allow us to be our true selves. God’s word shows us that we were not created to face this world alone, but rather to be in community with one another and to carry each other’s burdens. On a La Vida Expedition, your group will have daily opportunities to connect, build trust and serve one another.
Building Trust in the Outdoors
The foundation of a tight community is one built on trust and dependability. On a La Vida Adirondack Expedition, you will not just talk about trust, but will live it out through the various challenges your group faces. You will experience what it actually means to trust someone who is holding your rope while you are rock climbing. If someone is struggling with the weight of their backpack, the group will work together to lift that burden. While navigating the Adirondack wilderness together, the group will bond while hiking or canoeing, cooking meals for each other and sharing stories around the campfire at night. All of these experiences take place in God’s beautiful creation and are meant to point each individual towards strengthening their relationship with Jesus and with one another.
What people are saying about La Vida
Join the thousands of people whose lives have been transformed through a La Vida Expedition
“On my La Vida trip, I learned so much about who God is through experiencing the beauty of his creation. I was challenged to push myself to my limits and as a result I was able to do things I never thought possible! I learned to depend on God in a new way when I was struggling on the trail, and how to care for others when they needed it as well. La Vida changed my life!”
“La Vida in the Adirondacks was a life changing experience that allowed me to delve into my faith and character. I had the fantastic opportunity to connect with great people and l was able to make touching friendships. I thank God for this amazing opportunity. I relished every moment of my experience.”
“My La Vida leaders were the first one’s to recognize and encourage my leadership potential. Their positive encouragement, and the entire experience of the ADK expedition, helped me identify my passions and talents, and gave me the confidence to pursue them. Plus, they stoked my love of being in nature and taught me the skills to get out and enjoy it!”
“My trip taught me what it is to have mental and physical grit. The expedition, which is free from the many distractions of modern life, including technology, allowed me to reprioritize and refocus on God, His awesome Creation, and building authentic tight-knit relationships with those on my trip.”
“La Vida is a transformational wilderness experience that equipped me in my personal confidence and my trust in God. If everyone in the United States went on a La Vida trip, we’d be a braver, kinder country.”
“La Vida is one of the most transformative experiences I have ever had. The integration of spiritual learning and disciplines with physical and tangible experiences make learning and leading something accessible and impactful for everyone. And this is not even to mention getting to spend 12 days exploring the jaw-dropping wonders of the Adirondacks or the depth of community and friendship bonds that it creates for lifetimes. ”
“The impact they leave on participants is incredible, and the trips themselves are formational on a personal and spiritual level. The people who work for the program make the experience so much fun and are very well trained. So grateful for the experiences I’ve had through this program!!”
All of our activities are safe and appropriate for any skill level. Most campers come with no prior camping experience. We are a certified NY State Department of Health children’s camp, and we meet the Association for Challenge Course Technology ropes course guidelines.
Team-building activities like games and problem-solving initiatives prepare the group to work together and face future challenges on the trail or the water.
You will enjoy the beautiful Adirondack mountain landscape while rock climbing outside, navigating the high ropes course, canoeing, backpacking and camping.
Leader of the Day
Each participant will get the chance to practice their leadership with the group. Under the guidance of trip leaders, participants are paired together and will initiate the group activities for the day, making decisions about the route, order of activities and delegation of tasks.
Leave No Trace ethics are an important part of camping that the group will learn, along with how to set up a tent, use a map and compass and cook meals in the outdoors. Groups will travel to a new campsite most nights and will spend the evenings debriefing the day with their group.
At the end of the trip, each person will experience an unplugged solo period up to 24 hours for Bible study, fasting, reflection and goal-setting. The leaders check on participants regularly throughout this experience. Although intimidating for many, this part of the trip is what campers have said impacted them the most.
Each morning the group will have time to read their Bible, journal and discuss as a group how each person is seeing and experiencing God in the world around them. Each day is a chance for God’s Word to be heard, experienced, and integrated into daily life on the trail or on the water.
BRING A GROUP ON AN EXPEDITION
This wilderness discipleship opportunity is for groups high-school-age and older that are accompanied by a leader like a teacher, mentor or pastor. Groups will go on an 8- to -12-day backpacking or canoeing expedition facilitated by trained La Vida staff. The trip leaders take the group through experiences to develop their faith and leadership potential. God’s Word is heard, experienced and integrated into daily life by spending extended time in creation.
SIGN UP AS AN INDIVIDUAL
High school students age 15–18 can sign up individually to spend time backpacking or canoeing with other students through the Adirondack Park in NY on our Adirondack Leadership Program. Along the way, they’ll learn outdoor camping skills, discover their strengths, develop their faith and expand their leadership potential. Trip leaders will guide campers through a leadership journal to consider how they’ll apply what they’ve learned.
PARENT AND CHILD CANOE TRIP
This 7-day canoe trip trip is an extraordinary opportunity that will enrich your relationship with your child like never before. Through focused time and attention, organized physical activities, group challenges and scriptural application, you and your child can enjoy God’s creation while shaping memories that will last a lifetime.
Not quite ready to jump into a 12-day expedition? Lighten the load and spend the night in our beautifully renovated Algonquin cabin that can house up to 18 people and includes comfortable community meeting space. Groups will be able to enjoy the comfort of a cabin but still venture out into the ADK Park to explore trails, ponds and rock climbing walls.
Outdoor Education at Gordon College
Complete your outdoor education requirement with a 12-day camping trip with other incoming freshmen.
Celebrating Over 50 Years of Ministry in the Wilderness
In an age of extreme sports, there is a growing tendency to have a “been there, done that” attitude. But does extreme learning accompany the experience? La Vida provides participants with more than just extreme experiences. Our mission is to provide a supportive experiential environment that encourages participants to explore the meaning of their relationship with Jesus Christ and foster a deeper personal commitment to Him.
We do this by providing small-group, wilderness adventures, facilitated by trained and qualified staff, all through which God’s Word can be heard, experienced, and integrated into daily life. For over 50 years, God has used the power of the wilderness and the La Vida experience to help young people unplug from technology long enough to be transformed by the love and grace of Christ as they learn to “hold fast” to Him.
Get in touch!
September 1–May 15
La Vida Adirondack Expeditions at Gordon College
255 Grapevine Road
Wenham, MA 01984
May 15–August 31
La Vida Adirondack Expeditions Base Camp
460 County Route 50
Lake Clear, NY 12945
Adirondack Expeditions is a program of the La Vida Center for Outdoor Education and Leadership at Gordon College located on the North Shore of Boston. La Vida houses six different programs for the community including an adventure day camp for middle and high schoolers, a rock gym and challenge course activities for all ages. La Vida provides spiritual development and leadership experiences for Gordon students as well as community organizations utilizing Gordon's campus and our Base Camp in the Adirondack mountains of New York.
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