The young adult cancer non-profit increases its focus on alumni support to strengthen outdoor adventures in local communities
First Descents, a non-profit providing outdoor adventure programs for young adults with cancer announces its program schedule for the 2013 season. The Denver-based organization offers week-long surfing, kayaking and rock climbing programs to adults surviving and fighting cancer. In 2013, First Descents will get more detail-oriented by increasing its focus on alumni support to make the experience more prevalent in local communities.
“After significant growth the past couple of years, we’re using 2013 as an opportunity to enhance and refine our programs,” says Whitney Lange, Director of Programs for First Descents. “We are going to focus on creating local, sustainable communities of support for alumni. This focus of bringing First Descents “home” for each of our participants is probably our most exciting initiative this coming year.”
Though First Descents will continue searching for ideal paddling, climbing and surfing locations for future expansion, the focus for 2013 is building better systems of local support for alumni. This will include local meet-ups, regional weekend adventures and evening activities.
Another one of the localizing measures includes a new lineup of FDi programming. FDi is a weekend introduction to First Descents, rather than a week-long excursion. It’s set near urban areas and hosted in collaboration with medical centers across the country. FDi is the perfect adventure for those who want to experience First Descents but are unable to attend an FD1 program due to health, treatment schedules or family and work obligations. For 2013, FDi programs will be held in partnership with Seattle Children’s Hospital, Winship Cancer Institute, MD Anderson and other cancer centers nationwide.
Also in 2013, First Descents will offer its most epic trip to date–a multi-sport program in Patagonia March 6-14. “We’re partnering with Bio Bio Expeditions, and we’re going to start in Argentina and float the Futaleufu River to Chile,” says Lange. The Patagonia trip will be First Descents’ third international program. In 2012, First Descents held programs in Costa Rica and Peru. Lange says, “From kayaking on the Rogue River in Oregon to surfing in North Carolina to climbing in Moab, we have programs in every region of the United States. And we have FDMobile, our mobile adventure unit that drives around the country bringing the spirit of FD to local communities. So, we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to dial in our focus in 2013 to strengthen the offerings we have and make them even more powerful for our participants, staff and volunteers.”
Program space is limited, for more information on all locations, dates and to apply for First Descents’ programs visit www.firstdescents.org/programs. Members of the media interested in participating in a First Descents program, please contact Hilary Hutcheson at [email protected].
Image courtesy First Descents