Outside the comfort zone: The value of adventure travel for teens

Posted On August 19, 2019

In today’s digital age, with almost limitless entertainment at their fingertips and parents hovering overhead, it’s easy for today’s young people to forget what it’s like to do something difficult.

But there’s value to facing difficult challenges, and in leaning on the help of peers to help get through them.

Our guest in a recent episode of “What’s Working With Cam Marston” creates these challenges for today’s young people and believes they’re a life-changing experience. Hayes Hitchens is the founder of Moondance Adventures, a company that produces what he calls “adventure travel for teens” that are much more than just trips.

With destinations like Costa Rica, Norway, Belize, Iceland, Fiji, Croatia and Mount Kilimanjaro, the adventures aren’t cheap. But what a teenager learns on one of them can be invaluable.

They face difficult physical challenges. They learn the fulfillment of service. And they learn how to communicate and bond as a group of individuals.

“The world’s getting smaller,” Hitchens says. “Parents are interested in educating their kids in ways they might not have been able to do when they were younger. And they also realize …. let their kids spread their wings and find out what they’re capable of doing independently.”

About 1,500 teenagers will take a Moondance Adventures trip this summer to 17 different countries in the outfit’s 25thyear of operation.

Hitchens shares how he got started in this unique business, how he finds and vets qualified tour leaders, why he doesn’t allow more than two friends to travel in a group, what outdoor deficit disorder is, and why the first thing he and his tour leaders do on a trip is take up the phones and watches.

“When they are taken out of those things that are comfortable to them, and placed in a situation that might be a little uncomfortable, that’s when they grow,” he says, “The act of pushing their boundaries a little bit, what they’re capable of doing, is when the growth really happens.”

Join us for an exhilarating conversation about modern teenagers and why it’s important to push them away from their phones and out of their comfort zones.

Categories: Education, Travel, What's Working with Cam Marston