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Providing Southern Appalachia’s youth with the opportunity to challenge themselves through unique experiential and outdoor activities designed to inspire them to become more resilient, aware, and responsible members of the community.

Pacesetters is a registered 501(c)3 organization in the state of North Carolina and gladly accepts tax-deductible donations.  Over the years, the community has made financial, in-kind, and material contributions to help us do the work we do.  Please consider making a pledge if you believe in the work we are doing.  Visit our Get Involved page for more information and thank you for your interest!

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Pacesetters was founded by Gil Hargett on March 5, 1996 to fill the niche of adventure education services for adjudicated youth in the area.  From the beginning, Pacesetters was lauded as a valuable and effective service and focused itself on pushing student’s comfort zones through high adventure activities like rafting, rock climbing, caving, backpacking, and hiking. 

Pacesetters offers at-risk youth the opportunity to attend field trips that enable students to test their limits and build their confidence through a series of adventures like wilderness hikes, climbing, and other outdoor activities.  By intervening with these young people in positive, empowering ways, Pacesetters programming contributes to a brighter future for our region. 



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Western Carolina Pacesetters has partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cherokee County.  Please consider becoming a Big.  

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