Cindy Steuart, Executive Director of Trekking for Kids, told us about her organization's unusual service programs at a recent Family Travel panel at the New York Times Travel Show. We asked her to share more details of their upcoming "volunturism" trips so that active families with fit teens could consider this type of hands-on volunteer vacation for their next adventure.
Here is a look at the Trekking for Kids 2013 itineraries.
Families Hike The Lares Valley and Machu Picchu, June 30-July 9
Cost: $1650 adults, $1350 teens 14-17, plus $1000 in fundraising ($500 for teens)
Explore: Discover alpine lakes and waterfalls amidst views of the snow-capped Andes as you trail through the Lares Valley. During the 4-day, 3-night hike in the valley you’ll have a chance to experience the life of Andean farmers and weavers as you pass through “Weavers Way.” After taking a train to Aguacalientes, you’ll wander the beautiful, ancient Incan City of Machu Picchu. Trekkers will hike 4-6 hours a day and sleep in tents.
Volunteer: Before and after the hike trekkers will spend several days with the children at the orphanage in Cusco. You’ll play games; go on a field trip; celebrate with food, music, and dancing; and work on a “capital improvement project.” For more information visit the Peru Trek page.
Teens Discover the Mountains & Castles of the Transylvania Alps, July 26-August 6
Cost: $3,999 for high school-aged teens plus $1000 in fundraising. College credit and service hours are offered through New Worlds Emerge.
Explore: Trekkers will head from Parliament Palace in Bucharest, Romania’s capital city, to the historic, quaint town of Brasov which lies nestled in the peaks of the Southern Carpathian Mountains. They’ll set off from the famously picturesque Peles Castle for a four-day hike through the peaks and chalets of Romanian country, stopping at mountain huts and castles – including that of Count Dracula. Trekkers will walk 4-7 hours a day.
Volunteer: The hike will be sandwiched by visits to the selected orphanage in Brasov, where teens will work on improvement projects for the children as well as spend time playing games and taking a trip with the kids. For more information visit the Romania Teen Trek page.
Adventurous Families Brave Everest Base Camp, November 4-23
Cost: $2750 plus $1000 in fundraising, appropriate for teens 16+
Explore: Professional western guides and the Sherpas of Nepal will lead trekkers on a 75-mile expedition to the base of Mt. Everest at 17,650 ft. You will experience ancient Sherpa villages, cross suspension bridges, visit the highest Buddhist monastery in the world and ascend Kalapathar at 18,513 ft. Trekkers will hike for 5-7 hours a day, sleep in local teahouses and must be in excellent physical condition.
Volunteer: Spend four days with kids at a local children’s home in Kathmandu – before the trek you’ll be spending times with the kids and improving the home’s facilities. After experiencing Everest Base Camp head back to the home to celebrate with the kids and take a fun field trip. For more information visit the Nepal Trek page.
This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question, and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.