Hante Adventures History, Vision and Curriculum

In 1972, then Eagle’s Nest Camp Director Helen Waite envisioned an opportunity for teens to undergo a rite of passage that could shape their trajectory in life. From wide ranging interdisciplinary studies of botany, anthropology, and music, as well as unique personal life experiences, she saw and realized how simple living in the natural world facilitates the process of self-discovery. At Eagle’s Nest, groups of young people, interested in learning from each other and the world around them, ventured out from Camp and worked within their intentional community to find meaning in their shared experience. Whether they were as close as the Appalachian Trail or as far as another country overseas, participants were challenged by having to think beyond themselves in the face of uncertainty. Inevitably, every group returned connected – to themselves, to one another, and to a place that they were fortunate to learn from. Over fifty summers later, this practice continues, allowing people in one of the most transformative periods of their life to share an experience with others in a unique setting.


Our vision for Hante Adventures is to foster personal growth in teenagers through the unique experience of outdoor and cultural based experiential education programs. Hante Adventures strives to engender responsibility to self, community and to the natural world to all participating teens while teaching them the importance of setting and successfully completing challenging goals. Our hope is for participants to become more confident and thoughtful individuals who know how to think, rather than what to think, when they continue their life journey through our uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world.


Hante Adventures is one of ENF’s vehicles for achieving our mission by using experiential education and promotion of the natural world in order to help develop the whole person. The goal of every trip is to develop the intrapersonal and interpersonal skills of every participant while using a technical outdoor skill as one of the guides for their development. We define intrapersonal and interpersonal skills using the competencies of emotional intelligence*, which is reflected by our uniform objectives toward meeting those goals:

Intrapersonal Objectives:
  1. Evaluate self-awareness, self-confidence, and personal emotions by completing a personal self-assessment before and after the expedition
  2. Demonstrate self-management through self-control, transparency, adaptability, achievement, initiative, and optimism by journaling about their expedition experience daily
Interpersonal Objectives:
  1. Analyze social awareness through the lens of empathy, organizational awareness, and service by alternating roles of the day and journaling about daily experiences
  2. Demonstrate relationship management through teamwork and collaboration; being inspirational, influential, a change catalyst; developing others; and managing conflict by participating in daily briefs and debriefs, and recording these events in a shared group journal

Each of these objectives are intentionally planned and executed over the course of every Hante Adventures program, and enhance the learning experienced from the day’s activities. Whether it is spending an afternoon sea kayaking in the San Juans, distributing trail magic from an AT shelter, or reaching the summit after a long day of backpacking – the experience itself leads to fun and memorable moments, but it is these objectives that allow participants to understand the beauty of the natural world, the fulfillment of creating community, and the gravity of their own abilities and accomplishments. Thus, the completion of these objectives, stemming from the experiences of each day’s activities,  Hante Adventures to meet our goal of helping develop the whole person for their personal journeys ahead.


To see examples of this in practice, please look at the itinerary of our current opportunities, or explore itineraries and trip reports of past opportunities.

Hante Adventures Maine 2022

Day 2: Explore Hermit Island, travel to Shaw’s AT Hiker Hostel, setup camp and coordinate logistics with Shaw’s

Day 3: Talk to thru-hikers, teach key lessons/learn key skills, spend afternoon/picnic dinner at Lily Bay State Park

Day 4-13: Begin backpacking trek through the AT’s 100 Mile Wilderness and camp outside of Baxter State Park on last day. Travel from Baxter State Park to the coast, visit West Quoddy State Park and day hike up Mount Katahdin to end the Appalachian Trail

Day 15-18: Travel to Acadia National Park, rock climb on Acadia cliffs, day hike up Bernard Mountain and pick blueberries, sunrise hike up Champlain Mountain, morning hike up Beehive Mountain, afternoon at Sand Beach, sunset on South Bubble Mountain

Day 19: Travel from Acadia down the coast to Hermit Island, stop for hike at Mt. Battie in Camden

Hante Adventures ORCA (Oregon-California) 2023

Day 1-2: Travel to Grants Pass area, hike Table Rocks nearby and swim

Day 3-10: Raft the Rogue River, backpack trek Rogue River Trail

Day 11: Finish trek on Rogue River Trail, travel over CA border into Del Norte County

Day 12-14: Trek from Elk Prairie Campground to Gold Bluffs Beach Campground, trek from Gold Bluffs Beach Campground to Elk Prairie Campground

Day 15-17: Travel from Elk Prairie Campground to South Kelsey Trailhead, begin trek and backpack the South Kelsey Trail

Day 18: Finish trek, stop at nearby swimming hole, travel to Mill Creek Campground

Day 19: Spend the day in Jedidiah Smith State Park, hike the Boy Scout Tree Trail, travel to Grants Pass area





hante-fb_facebook_facebook-logo_icon                 hante-instagram_instagram-logo_icon                hante-youtube_youtube-logo_icon