Outgrowing Covid: Where We Stand & Where We’re Going

Outgrowing Covid: Where We Stand & Where We’re Going

Looking back on 2021 and forward to new programs, holiday savings, and more scholarships in 2022!

by LA founder Scott Gehrman

In 2021 Lasting Adventures experienced what I refer to as “The Return to the Outdoors.” After a year of being shut down and cooped up due to the pandemic, the demand for outdoor programs like Lasting Adventures soared. Where 2020 forced us to cancel most of our programs, we entered 2021 prepared with a greater understanding of the situation, the necessary precautions, and vaccinations. By the time summer arrived, our programs were booked full, and we were preparing for the busiest season yet.

The Return of the Outdoors

Not without its challenges, Summer 2021 quickly became our most successful season to date. Not only did our Yosemite programs operate at full capacity, our pilot season in Olympic National Park also became a huge success.

Much to our delight, 2021 was also the first year of many that our larger operating areas were not severely debilitated by fire and smoke. 

To accommodate the increased demand for wilderness experiences, we hired our largest staff on record—more than 50 employees, including a full admin team and intern support. This staff in itself was one of our highlights of the season. While the canceled season in 2020 left us with very few returning staffers, we introduced a massive class of new Outdoor Educators and Guides, a group that bonded through one of the best staff training weeks to date. The new staff went on to share the passion for the outdoors with hundreds of youth participants and clients, exceeding expectations for excellence and professionalism. 

Guest Review

“Our guides immediately made us feel comfortable and excited. I can’t say enough good things about them. Their passion for the wilderness, people, and their career as a guide is contagious.”—2021 Guide Service Guest 

Scholarship Successes

The successes of 2021 didn’t end with our staff. With support from our guide service proceeds, as well as brand sponsors and individual donors, our nonprofit scholarship program also made great strides, providing scholarships for 56 youth to attend our program. Additionally, the program fully funded four separate 6-day excursions for youth groups from SOS Outreach and the Boys/Girls Scouts of America, supporting more than 40 additional underserved youth to attend our program! We also expanded scholarship support for families in-need to participate in our Guide Service programs. 

In 2022 we are striving to further increase our individual scholarship numbers, while also benefiting more unique groups that have reached out to us for support. Such groups include Determined to Succeed, and a newly formed Boy Scouts troop, both from less fortunate areas and seeking full support.

To accommodate the expanding program, we are currently seeking donations that will help us increase our outreach and scholarships.

If you are in a position to donate this year, 100% of your donation will go directly to youth and families in-need. And remember, we are a 501c3 non-profit, so your donation is tax-deductible. Conversely, if you are in-need of financial assistance to make your dream adventure a reality, please apply for an individual, family, or group scholarship for one of our programs.

Parent Testimony

“My 11-year-old son and two of his friends spent 6 days backpacking in Yosemite. They had an incredible time. When we picked them up, they were filthy, exhausted, smiling from ear to ear, and full of amazing stories. They didn’t stop talking the entire drive home. The three guides who led the trip sounded like the coolest big brother and big sisters a middle school kid could ask for, and my son and his buddies loved getting to make new friends with the other kids in the group. While the backpacking trip was indeed a challenge (carrying his heavy pack each day, discovering a few dozen ant invaders in his sleeping bag, etc.), the fun and adventure far outweighed the discomfort, and he is already planning to do this trip again next year. I have so much gratitude for the wonderful staff at Lasting Adventures for planning and executing an unforgettable adventure for my son.”

Smoke and Wildfire Update

In 2021 we were fortunate to avoid cancellations due to smoke and fire. While other areas of California got hit hard, the majority of the larger fires were to the north of Yosemite, we were able to remain smoke-free during our busiest periods, although we did experience more smoke in late-summer due to the fires in Sequoia/Kings National Parks. Outside Yosemite, we were affected by the Dixie Fire, and lost a month of scheduled programs in Lassen Volcanic National Park. To help with Lassen NP’s recovery from the Dixie Fire, the best organization to support is the Lassen Association

Looking Forward

For 2022, we look forward to expanding into a growing number of National Parks while continuing our tradition of providing the best summer experiences with some of the best Outdoor Educators and Guides in the industry. With full transparency, and in response to minimum wage increases and the cost of inflation, we must slightly increase pricing, which we hope will not deter you from a life-changing adventure. Please remember, we never like to let the cost of a program prevent a person from participating, so please utilize our Scholarship option as needed.

Holiday Special: 15-25% Off All Trips!

To help make your trip a reality, now through the end of 2021 we’re running our biggest sale of the year!

For 25% off all guided multi-day tours, day hikes, and summer camps in Olympic and Lassen Volcanic National Park, use the code “NewHorizons” at checkout, and to save 15% on all Yosemite trips, use the coupon code “YosemiteSavings22”!

A few limitations apply, so check our coupon terms and conditions page to verify that your trip is eligible. We do expect to sell out early again this year, so we strongly encourage you to register as soon as possible. Both coupons will be valid until December 31st, 2021, so find and book your dream trip at LastingAdventures.com!

With so many exciting adventures on the horizon, we’re thrilled for the year to come! Watch for new programs popping up in exciting areas as we expand our network of parks, and stay up-to-date with information, programs, and specials (sometimes deals from our gear sponsors as-well) by joining our Mailing List! 

Wishing you all the happiest holiday season, and a future full of epic adventure! 

-Scott Gehrman
Founder & Executive Director

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