Photo by Ashley Moradipour

Peer Support Expeditions

We believe in the healing power of community. Peer Support Expeditions connect youth with peers who share common life experiences. These programs unite differently-abled youth, youth who have experiences in the foster system, and youth who are surviving family trauma on multi-day, eye-opening adventures. Wilderness experiences have the power to break down barriers and create lasting, meaningful, and supportive friendships for youth.  These programs are embody our commitment to provide access to diverse groups of participants. We are always open to new ideas for powerful expeditions like these.

If you work with a unique population of youth, and would like to lead them on a meaningful, transformative Grand Canyon Youth expedition, take the first steps towards organizing a peer support expedition by filling out the following form:

2019 GCY Program Interest Form

2019 Expeditions

Many of these Expeditions are actively seeking donations, volunteers, or – in some cases – youth applicants! Read below for more information about selected Peer Support Expeditions.

Healing Lands

Run in partnership with the Northern Arizona University Family Violence Institute’s Arizona Child & Adolescent Survivor Initiative (ACASI), and author Annette McGivney. Born out of McGivney’s 2017 book, Pure Land, this Expedition connects youth from across Arizona who are served by ACASI, and focuses on building peer community in a wilderness setting. 2018 was the inaugural year for the Healing Lands Expedition, and we are so excited to continue it into the future! For more information about this Expedition, and how to donate, visit the I Am Pure Land site.

Leading The Way

Run in partnership with No Barriers Youth, the National Park Service Night Skies & Natural Sounds Division, Arizona Raft Adventures, & Grand Canyon Expeditions. This program brings together youth with visual and hearing impairments with typically-abled peers. Youth spend 3 days camping at the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, before delving into the heart of Grand Canyon on an 8-day motor rafting trip. Focusing on acknowledging and appreciating the importance of natural soundscapes and night skies, overcoming personal barriers, and pushing comfort zones, participants dive into experience and grow into leaders. To learn more about this transformational experience, and how youth can apply, visit the No Barriers Youth Leading the Way Trip Page. Visually and hearing impaired youth are highly encouraged to apply!

River Rampage

Run in partnership with Daring Adventures. Serving youth from Arizona with a wide range of physical and mental abilities, this expedition includes a 4-day Upper San Juan rafting trip. In wilderness and away from the outside world, youth have the opportunities to focus on acceptance, cooperation, and overcoming challenges. For more information about this expedition, recent trip slideshows, how to apply, and how to volunteer, visit the Daring Adventures River Rampage Trip Page.