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Meet the Founder

How passion and a love for the great outdoors led to Adventure Programs

Sam Aranson is the founder of Summit Academy Adventures

Founder Sam Aranson, an avid outdoor enthusiast, studied Outdoor Education and Recreation at Georgia Southern University and received a Master’s in Education from National Louis University in Chicago. Through his work, both in and out of the classroom, he became attuned to the value of experiential learning and its benefits for lifelong learners. 

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

Exploring Nature

Growing up in Atlanta Sam utilized the abundant forests of North Georgia and the Chattahoochee River as his playground. During the summer, Sam would spend months at his family's fishing cabin in the woods of Maine. This upbringing would make Sam 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 strengthened by working at summer camps as Director of Outdoor Education. He later spent his internship year working 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 later became the executive director. Here, Sam would plan and implement outdoor education programs rooted in Jewish identity and values for various youth, teen, college, and adult groups throughout the community and the Southeast.

Wanting to try new things Sam moved up to Chicago, IL, where he received his Master’s in Education from National Louis University. This was the start of his 15 years as a classroom teacher. Sam taught public high schools in Chicago and Atlanta and adapted classroom lessons into experiential learning for his students. 

Sam created Summit Academy Adventures by diving into his experiences, skills, and passions in nature and human connection. Now more than ever, he recognized the value and need for outdoor experiences to enhance leadership, personal growth, connection, and adventure.

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