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Mission & Philosophy

Our Mission and Philosophy sprout from a commitment to learning through challenge and experience.  We believe that without challenging oneself and stepping outside our comfort zones we will never grow into the best people we can be.  Through pushing past the word “can’t” and proving to ourselves that we can get through self-imposed limitations, we cultivate immense trust and confidence in ourselves that allows us to better pursue our personal goals and contribute to society at-large.  We believe that the finest way to do this is by using hands-on, interactive activities to help students discover lessons for themselves, rather than being “receptacles of knowledge” to be filled by adults and teachers in a traditional classroom setting.  These concepts are formally known as Experiential Learning and Challenge by Choice (read below for more detail) and serve as the foundations of our approach.


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

Experiential Learning

“Experiential Learning is the process of making meaning from direct experience. David A. Kolb helped to popularize the idea of experiential learning drawing heavily on the work of John Dewey and Jean Piaget. Kolb’s work on experiential learning has contributed greatly to expanding the philosophy of experiential education.  Experiential learning is learning through reflection on doing, which is often contrasted with rote or didactic learning.”



Challenge By Choice

“Challenge by Choice is a concept originated by [a company named] Project Adventure. It asks that participants challenge themselves and participate fully in the experience at-hand. Recognizing that any activity or goal may pose a different level and type of challenge for each group member and that authentic personal change comes from within, Challenge by Choice creates an environment where participants are asked to search for opportunities to stretch and grow during the experience. The determination of what kind of participation represents an optimal learning opportunity and is the responsibility of each group member. All are asked to add value to the group experience by finding a way to contribute to the group’s efforts while also seeking to find value in the experience for themselves.”


“Accepting Challenge by Choice encourages all to respect thoughtful choices. Its use provides a supportive and caring atmosphere in which participants can stretch themselves. It recognizes the need for individuals and the group to accept responsibility for decisions. It creates opportunities for learning about how to set goals that are in neither the comfort nor the panic zone, but in that slightly uncomfortable stretch zone where the greatest opportunities for growth and learning lie. While the specific language may change to match the unique needs of a group or learning environment.”



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