Developing Skills, Attitudes and Memories to Last a Lifetime

Lasting Adventures is a 501(c)(3) public benefit non-profit with a mission to foster environmental stewardship, teach responsible recreation, and provide opportunity for personal growth through the facilitation of impactful wilderness experiences. Lasting Adventures seeks to provide youth, families, and disadvantaged communities with positive experiences in America’s National Parks and natural spaces.

We believe connections between youth and nature are critical to children discovering their full potential. Oftentimes, children with the least opportunity to experience nature are the ones who benefit from engaging with it the most. By connecting disadvantaged youth with the environment, our goal is to help children live their best lives while creating lifelong ambassadors for the environments that give us our best lives.

Much like the children Lasting Adventures aims to inspire, LA founder Scott Gehrman was himself a childhood victim of unfortunate circumstances. After growing up without his father, and losing his mother to cancer at the age of 17, Scott credits his boyhood experiences camping in Yosemite for providing the direction, purpose, and passion that saved his path. After earning his masters degree in counseling and working as a school counselor in underserved neighborhoods, Scott founded Lasting Adventures in 1996 with the goal of sharing the outdoors with youth in-need. In 2008, Lasting Adventures became a section 501(c)(3) nonprofit geared toward making positive youth development and outdoor educational opportunities available to the general public, and providing charitable assistance for participation in such opportunities to otherwise disadvantaged youth.

Since 1997, we have facilitated multi-day wilderness adventures for over 3,500 youth, with nearly 25% receiving scholarships. Since the inception of our guide service in 2010, we’ve provided day hikes and backpacking trips for more than 5,000 adults/families, a portion of which are also made possible through our scholarship program. Lasting Adventures’ services are now rated the #1 outdoor activity in Yosemite National Park (based on more than 1,000 TripAdvisor reviews) and one of the “best backpacking summer camps out West” according to Outside Magazine. In addition to local grants, fundraisers, and corporate sponsorships, profits generated from our guide service and for-profit summer camp programs go back to our youth program.

We facilitate an array of guided wilderness outings for youth and adults, with a fundamental focus on remote backcountry exploration.

Our youth programs cater to children ages 11 through 17 in Yosemite, Olympic, Sequoia, Kings, and Joshua Tree National Parks.

In Yosemite National Park:

In Olympic National Park:

New in 2023, we have introduced a 10-day program in Sequoia-Kings and a 5-Day Winter Desert Adventure in Joshua Tree.

Our adult and family outings range from single-day tours to multi-day guided backpacking experiences, as well as hybrid lodging or classic camping packages, which combine front-country accommodation with guided day hikes.

For 25 years, we’ve been exclusively guiding in Yosemite National Park, and while Yosemite remains the primary hub of our operations, in 2020, we expanded to two new national parks—Olympic and Lassen Volcanic National Park. As of the end of 2022, we started working in Joshua Tree National Park, and in 2023 we introduced a program in Sequoia and Kings National Parks. We are now one of the largest youth backpacking camps and guide services on the West Coast.

Our peak season is between May and October, with summer camps from June through August. Still, our guide service operates year-round in Yosemite and offers day hikes and guided snowshoe adventures during winter.

In 2023, we have winter programming available in Joshua Tree National Park. We have also started working with schools throughout the country to offer educational programs year-round.

100% of your donations go toward funding scholarships for underserved youth, and providing food, outdoor educators, equipment, and permits for the children in our program. A donation of $1250 is sufficient to fully fund a single child’s attendance of our 6-day program. For corporate sponsors donating equipment, the costs saved by their donations are also applied to the scholarship fund.

All donations are appreciated. If you want to sponsor a specific child and work with us to make it a memorable experience, please contact us at staff@lastingadventures.org with more information.

Corporate sponsorships in the form of equipment donations or financial contributions are essential to supplying the gear, food, and supplies needed to support our program. We work with various top-level outdoor and active lifestyle brands, including Gregory Packs, LEKI Poles, GoPro, SPOT LLC, Taos Bakes Bars, and Big Agnes, to ensure our participants have the best gear possible for their experiences. The youth scholarship program would be impossible without donations from generous sponsors.

If you are part of an organization or business that would like to donate food, gear, or scholarship funds, please contact us at staff@lastingadventures.org, and we can work together toward a mutually beneficial outcome. We are also looking for sponsors who would like to select their own candidates from their areas and help fund their trip to one of the national parks in which we operate. We can also scholarship full families with your help.

Lasting Adventures is not just another nonprofit organization looking for handouts; we go to great lengths to reciprocate the support of both corporate and individual sponsors. For our Partners in Adventure (our corporate sponsors), we dedicate invaluable co-marketing opportunities among our targeted following of outdoor enthusiasts and consumers. By promoting our partner brands on-trail with intimate product experiences, in our newsletters reaching a base of 16,000+ subscribers, in our online “Gear We Use” page, and through highly-trafficked blog and social media content, we provide a unique avenue of exposure for the brands that support us. We also provide discounted trips for individuals or private donors. Our goal is not to take but to create a symbiotic exchange that benefits donors and youth participants.

We understand that many of the most suitable candidates for our program may not have the means to discover Lasting Adventures, which is why we have extensive outreach efforts in place to reveal our services. In addition to local community outreach and connections with underserved schools, we work with a variety of youth-benefiting organizations to generate awareness for our programs. Such organizations include the Boys and Girls Club, YMCA, and SOS outreach, as well as various Native American entities and tribal councils.