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MAR. 13, 2015

Dreaming of Adventure

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Paige Lester-Niles, Camp Director

I love an adventure in the great outdoors! I’m always excited when I have an opportunity to pull out my sleeping bag and head off for a magical experience under the sun, moon and stars. In my early years as a counselor at Eagle’s Nest I was fortunate to be able to be a part of many outdoor adventures as a Hante leader. Along with groups of about 10 teenagers and my co-leaders, I hiked over 300 miles of the Appalachian Trail in Virginia during three successive summers. I also spent another three summers on my bike exploring the Blue Ridge Parkway, Northern California, and parts of the Great Divide Trail in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. Not only were these adventures exciting and fun, they helped me grow in confidence and cultivated my desire to continue to seek out adventures.

Paige donner summit
Paige on Hante California Bike Trek, circa 1993.

These days, even though I don’t lead Hantes, I spend a lot of time dreaming about them. I find myself thinking “Gosh. The Pacific Northwest seems so lush and beautiful. Wouldn’t it be cool to camp under the trees there and sea kayak around the San Juan Islands?” or “Man! All the stories I’ve read about Yosemite make it seem like such an incredible place and the photographs show out of this world landscapes. I bet the John Muir Trail would be an awesome place to hike and camp!” Even though I’m not able to take three weeks for these adventures myself, I can make these dreams come true for a group of teens.

Throughout the year Marlin Sill, our Wilderness Program Manger, has been busy planning logistics for all of the 2015 Hante Adventures. Now that many of those Hantes are planned, it’s time for us to start dreaming of our adventures for 2016. Where will Hante take us? Will we explore the woods and coast of Maine? Will we find ourselves hiking and camping in Northern Italy? Should we offer a Hante that gives our participants the chance to get certified as Lifeguards or take a Swift Water Rescue course? There are so many great opportunities, and we love to dream about the possibilities and the next adventure. I know how impactful Hantes are for teenagers (just as they were for me as an adult leader), and I’m hopeful that our campers will be as excited about the Hante offerings as I am.

What are your dreams from Hante? Let us know. Maybe your dream can become a reality in 2016.

Are you ready for an adventure THIS SUMMER? It’s also not too late to be take part in a Hante Adventure this summer. We still have spaces available on the Appalachian Trail Trek with Andrew Nelson and Julia Fuster as leaders, on Hante Portugal with Rodrigo Vargas as the lead instructor, and on Hante Rocks and Rivers. Check out their descriptions on the website or call us for more information.

Paige Lester-Niles, Camp Director