Planting The Seed of Passion To Sprout Lasting Adventures for Life

“Everybody needs beauty…places to play in and pray in where nature may heal and cheer and give strength to the body and soul alike.” – John Muir

Long before Scott Gehrman started Lasting Adventures, his mother Sharyl started taking him camping in Yosemite. The Valley was Sharyl’s sanctuary; a world of healing and solace that brought her therapy during her battle with breast cancer. For Sharyl and her children, classic Yosemite camping trips became a family tradition. Beneath the great walls of the Valley she shared with Scott and his siblings the power of magnificent granite, the wisdom of ancient giant Sequoias, the thrill of roasting marshmallows, and the serenity of panoramic views. Sharyl took great pleasure in sharing her passion with her three children, a passion that relieved them all through even the darkest times. Then when Scott was just 15, Sharyl lost her battle with breast cancer and his childhood camping outings came to an end.

Luckily for Lasting Adventures, Scott’s mother had already gifted him a lifelong passion for the wilderness that would eventually become his sole pursuit. As Scott grew, so did his love for the outdoors. As a Boy Scout, Scott was introduced to backpacking and a deeper personal connection with nature, by positive role-models and adults within the Scouting organization. He earned the rank of Eagle Scout just before his 18th birthday. His time in the Boy Scouts bolstered an even stronger affinity for the wild, and provided him with a community to act as a “bridge over troubled waters” through the loss of his only parent.

Scott’s first backpacking experience in Yosemite was on a two-day/one-night excursion to Sunrise Lakes and the summit of Clouds Rest (9,926 feet), led by a high school leadership teacher during Scott’s senior year. This, at the time, was the highest summit Scott had ever reached, and he had to conquer his fear of heights to make it to the top. Scott and his classmates celebrated at the summit as he was overcome with the beauty and expanse of the greater Yosemite and possibilities within. It was upon that peak, nearly 10,000 feet in the sky, where Scott’s passion for the outdoors transformed into a calling. As his mother and mentors had done for him, Scott set his sights on inspiring and cultivating this most cherished passion for the wild with youth and teens.

In 1996 Scott founded the “Yosemite High Country Adventure,” after graduating with his Masters in Counseling and writing his Master’s thesis on a youth development program in the outdoors. The program ran from 1996-2007 under the umbrella of other nonprofits.

In 2007 the title changed, and ‘Lasting Adventures” was incorporated as its own public benefit, nonprofit Yosemite guide service, with a specific mission to “provide positive youth development and educational opportunities to the general public through safe outdoor experiences, and to provide charitable assistance for participation in such opportunities to otherwise disadvantaged youth.”

In 2010 and with an extensive and ever evolving knowledge of the park, Lasting Adventures opened its Guide Service to provide Day Hikes and Backpacking Trips to adults, families, and the general public. Through this model, our Guide Service provides for much of the needed resources for us to scholarship more youth on our summer camp programs.

For over the past two decades, Lasting Adventures has been passing on the passion, providing the foundation and framework that brings together outstanding guides and counselors to share their love for wilderness and inspiring a lifelong connection to the outdoors. These guides and counselors share some basic values that shape our unique brand and culture that extends from our guide house to every foot of wilderness trail we cover.

Those values are:

  • Connection
  • Stewardship
  • Adventure
  • Respect
  • Growth

Since 1997 we have facilitated multi-day wilderness adventures for over 3,500 youth; of which nearly 25% have benefited from our scholarship program. Additionally through our Guide Service we have benefited another 5,055 adults/families through Day Hikes and Backpacking trips since 2010. Lasting Adventures has now evolved to being the #1 Summer Camp and Guide Service within Yosemite National Park (as rated by TripAdvisor) and one of the “Best Backpacking Summer Camps in the West” (Outside Magazine).