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Our Mission

At Summit Academy Adventures, we understand the power of cooperation and communication. Those skills can make a great leader. We believe when people are taken out of their comfort zones, they unlock the greatest potential to learn, grow, and lead. Our outdoor leadership school focuses on experiential learning, real-life problem-solving scenarios, adventure and exploration. We offer our students unique opportunities to challenge themselves and work together to overcome obstacles in the great outdoors.

 

The most impactful way to develop leadership skills is by challenging yourself in the great outdoors. We specialize in team building, communication, and cooperation to help participants reach their personal and team goals. Our Adventure Programs are designed to create a unique, inspiring learning environment that tests physical and mental limits while providing ample opportunities for personal improvement.

Our Values

Leadership

We believe that true leadership development starts from within. We foster empathy and strive for self-reflection in our students as we provide them with opportunities to engage in exciting and adventurous activities outdoors. Our experienced guides create an atmosphere of comfort and trust, where students are safe to engage in challenges.

Team Building

We understand that true personal development and growth come from engaging in adventure and experiencing the outdoors. We inspire and teach individuals how to work together, so they may learn the value of cooperation when we listen and work together. Our team of experienced outdoor leadership professionals are dedicated to creating a supportive environment.

Adventure

We dedicate ourselves to providing innovative and comprehensive outdoor adventure experiences with leadership training. We encourage participants to embrace their self-awareness, develop essential survival skills, and promote an appreciation for the natural environment. Our programs are tailored to meet participants at their skill levels and most importantly their interests. Whether that includes wilderness excursions, mountain hikes or facilitating field days, let's go on an adventure.

About the Adventure Programs

All programs are customizable for maximum effectiveness of your group needs and desired outcomes. Programs can vary from a few hours to several-day excursions. Cost is based on several factors including (but not limited to) the length of the program, number of participants, location, tools/equipment, etc. Keep Reading...

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What is Experiential 
Education?

Experiential education is where the experience itself becomes the teacher. This teaching philosophy utilizes a few key methodologies where instructors may engage their participants in direct experiences and focused reflections. The setting, the activities, the facilitator, and the groups together provide a basis for knowledge, communication, and community to grow. A top priority of experiential education is taking people outside their comfort zone. What better way to start than by taking them directly outdoors! Programs utilize the experiences we can have in the outdoors as this allows for environmental education, student-centered education, informal education, active learning, service learning, and cooperative learning to occur in stress-free surroundings.

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“Human connection and personal growth in wild spaces
is needed now more than ever.”

 – Sam Aranson, Founder

Growing up in Atlanta, Sam Aranson explored the abundant forests of North Georgia and used the Chattahoochee River as his playground. During the summers, Sam would spend time at his family's fishing cabin in the woods of Maine. His upbringing led Sam to feel most comfortable in outdoor experiences.

At Georgia Southern University, Sam studied Outdoor Education and Recreation with a concentration in Experiential Learning. His skills were further strengthened by working as Director of Outdoor Education for various summer camp programs. He went on to intern at Pathfinder Ranch, a program for at-risk youth from California and Nevada, as the Director of Outdoor Education in Mountain Center California.
 

After college, Sam co-founded The Jewish Outdoor Leadership Institute, an outdoor educational non-profit based in Atlanta, GA, where he went on to become the Executive Director. Here, Sam would plan and implement outdoor education programs surrounding Jewish identity and values for various youth, teen, college, and adult groups throughout the community and the Southeast United States.

Wanting to expand his education and experience, Sam moved to Chicago, IL. Here he received his Master’s in Education from National Louis University. This began his 15 years as a classroom teacher. Sam taught at public high schools in Chicago and Atlanta and transformed classroom typical lessons into experiential learning methods for his students. 

Sam founded Summit Academy Adventures after recognizing the value and need our community has for outdoor experiences to enhance our communication, personal growth, connection, and sense of adventure. Now more than ever our community shows a need to dive into experiences, skills, and passions, and connect with nature and our fellow humans.

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