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    Why Pivot Adventure?

    Consider the statistics:

    • 25% of Utah teens are feeling sad enough to consider suicide and 8% report having tried at least once to take their own lives. 
    • Since 2016, the number of adolescents who experienced at least one major depressive episode has leaped by 60%.
    • Since 2010, adolescents have seen a staggering 30% increase in depressive symptoms, suicide-related outcomes and suicide rates.
    • The leading cause of death for 10-17-year-olds is suicide.

    Meanwhile, it has left families stunned and wondering,


    "What can I do?"


    "Where do we go?"


    There is now an answer.


    Pivot Adventure is an adventure-based mentorship course designed to help students overcome life's challenges through resiliency training. Pivot Adventure is a medium for change. It’s an experience for students and their families that want to shift their perspective, draw a bigger box and lead.

    Why not traditional therapy?

    The traditional therapy model is broken for teenagers. There are four major problems:

    1. Therapy is generally not a voluntary experience. Students don’t feel autonomy or control in choosing their care.
    2. Therapists use a deficit-based model where they must diagnose their patients to get paid by insurance. These labels can follow teenagers for the rest of their lives.
    3. Therapy is expensive. Residential treatment centers and wilderness therapy cost over $50,000. Very few families can afford that.
    4. Fifty-minute sessions do not feel like a personal investment to the student.

    At Pivot Adventure, we designed our course to reinvent how teenagers receive care. Pivot Adventure uses a “challenge by choice” model so that the experience is voluntary and teens can pick which activities they are interested in. We use a strength-based model to identify what contributions students can make to the group and to the world. Pivot Adventure uses scholarships to make the course affordable for all. We spend four hours per week with students. This is enough time to build real relationships but is not overbearing like residential programs that pull students from their families and their lives.


    Pivot Adventure isn't traditional counseling. It's not a punishment. It's not grownups telling you how to live your life. ​It is an opportunity to be seen, to be heard, to become your best self. To be part of a community, a second family.

    What can I expect?

    Eight adventure activities in eight weeks. Students will meet once per week and spend most of their time in situations of "perceived risk", meaning students will practice how to respond rather than react in the face of adversity. It is an intense experience that can immediately be put into action.


    In addition, students and parents will complete a workbook throughout the course. Some of these assignments include reading, watching videos and discussions. The work involves receiving feedback and providing constructive criticism.


    Most of our families have busy schedules. We know there is not enough time. Do it anyway. We’ve created an intensive timeline that is designed to stretch you and your teen. But it will still be manageable given your real-life responsibilities and you’ll be surrounded by a supportive community that is truly passionate about learning and creating meaningful change.

    What is the curriculum like?

    Together, students learn to act. Act first. Act often. Once we commit to action, it gets easier to see. To see who we are and who it is we want to become, how people listen to stories, how difficult (or easy) it is to make an impact. And then, once we can see, we open the door to real learning.


    There’s more information available to more people than ever before in human history. But if you’re not thirsty to learn and you’re not aware of what you need to know, it does you no good at all.


    Students and their families who are transformed by this process will discover that there are enormous resources just waiting to be tapped, opportunities that were always there but never noticed before.

    Was it worth it?

    Pivot Adventure is a sprint. Eight weeks with people like us, all moving in the same direction towards change. The notion of a sprint, of leaning in and committing to growth means Pivot Adventure is not for everyone. Pivot Adventure is for families who want to create change. Participants that finish the course see an uptick in connectedness, happiness, perseverance, optimism and engagement.

    Who is the ideal student?

    It is for students and families who are tired of the status quo and want to make deep and meaningful change. It's for families that want to stretch and grow together, who are looking to make a giant leap forward and are looking for a place to launch. All the families we work with come from different walks of life.


    Many of our students that we have worked with struggle with:

    Regardless of the struggle, students are human beings first, deserving of dignity, opportunity and respect--and are treated as such. One bad chapter doesn't mean your story is over.
    It doesn't matter where you came from. What matters is where you are going.

    What kind of support do you offer students who are having trouble with the adventure activities?

    Everything we’re building revolves around this question.


    Most learning is ‘take it or leave it,’ and too often, the answer is ‘leave it.’ In the case of Pivot Adventure, we’ve put a lot of effort into creating an environment where students are supported with guides and one another vigorously.


    Pivot Adventure provides access to an encouraging community of peers. People like us do things like this. If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

    What is your attendance policy?

    This is an eight-week sprint, and the other participants of the program are counting on you to be fully present. We ask that each student and parent allocate the time to make this process as seriously as the rest of us. During the eight weeks, students will participate in at least eight adventure activities and additional time to complete the workbook. Students can remain in school and extracurricular activities. Parents are asked to do the workbook and to attend the webinars once per week.

    What is included in the course?

    We’ll deliver everyone's course materials on the first day the course begins. Most of the readings are non-optional, and we trust Pivot Adventure students and parents will keep each other on the hook for doing the work.


    In addition, the course covers:

    • Eight adventure activities across the Wasatch range with a cadre of mental health professionals and adventure guides.
    • During the workshop, parents participate in weekly webinars with guides to talk about experiences on trail and tactics to become better choice architects.
    • Limited to eight participants per course. 4:1 student to guide ratio to maximize attention and impact.

    What are the frustrations some participants have with Pivot Adventure?

    We have found that some participants have difficulty finding the discipline to over-deliver when no one is demanding that they do so.


    Fortunately, our students and parents usually discover that this is all part of what we're trying to teach, what we're working to create. Pivot Adventure isn't a course with a fixed curriculum. Instead, it's a process, one that gives people the room they need to level up.

    Do you provide transportation?

    Yes, Pivot Adventure provides transportation to and from activities that are all over Salt Lake Valley, Utah Valley and Park City. A calendar of activities will be emailed to all participants so that there is advance notice.

    What is the usual class size?

    Pivot Adventure keeps a 4:1 student to guide ratio with up to six students per expedition. By capping our classes, we're able to pay attention to our students and the experience they create.

    How safe are the activities?

    Students are placed in situations of perceived risk. For instance, if a student is afraid of heights, hanging in the air 40 feet off the ground will feel dangerous even though they are safely tied to a rope through an anchor. The very nature of these activities is what makes it relatable to the challenges students face. Each student is properly trained by an experienced guide on all the equipment we use.


    Although we do our best, risk cannot be completely eliminated. Students will be participating in action sports like outdoor and indoor rock climbing, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking. Due to the nature of these activities, all families must carry health insurance that covers their child.

    What items do we need to bring?

    Pivot Adventure provides all of the equipment needed. You don’t need to buy or bring anything unless you want to. If your student requires glasses, retainers or orthotics those items should be brought on your own. Students will need to provide their own clothing. Most prescription medications are fine to bring, for the safety of our students please let Admissions know to make special arrangements. Here is a list of odds and ends you'll want to consider bringing for each activity.

    Is there an application fee?

    Nope. All you have to do is complete and submit our enrollment forms. Once we've reviewed your enrollment form, you'll be contacted within a couple of business days and be sent a welcome email with more details.

    Does insurance cover any of the cost?

    One of the biggest fallacies that have been perpetuated in the wilderness therapy/residential treatment industry is insurance will cover the costs. In our experience, this hasn't been the case. Insurance companies are more inclined to partially cover therapy sessions but not the wilderness activities itself. So, that's is why we have built Pivot Adventure the way we have.

    What is your refund policy for participants that private pay?

    Pivot Adventure is a mutual commitment. We commit to welcoming you into a small, focused cohort, and doing everything we can to deliver on the promises of the course. In return, we ask you to commit to spending the time, money and passion it takes to level up.


    We understand that life can interfere and that plans change, and we’ve tried to create a refund policy that respects you, our students and our mutual commitments.


    After the enrollment period, we require full payment to secure your spot in the course.


    TUITION: $1,700 for our private pay teen resiliency course. No refunds are possible two weeks before the course begins. We do appreciate the notification of withdrawal as soon as possible so that we can attempt to fill your spot with another student who may be on the waitlist. If you’re unable to participate, we’ll donate a portion of your Enrollment Fee to another student's tuition who really needs a leg up.


    WITHDRAWAL: If in the opinion of our guides, you’re not contributing to the culture and forward motion, we’ll let you know. If you’re still not able to actively participate, we’ll ask you to withdraw from the course. In this situation, no refund is possible, and we’ll donate a portion of your Enrollment Fee to a future student in need.