Appalachian Trail Teen Adventure

add to outlook calendar add to gmail calendar August 13 - 19, 2016
Appalachian Trail, Maryland


Teen survivors ages 14 to 18 can join other teens as we conquer physical and mental challenges, work on communication and team building, and set intentions for honoring our loved ones and ourselves on the inaugural Appalachian Trail Teen Adventure in partnership with Outward Bound.


Teen survivors will journey along the Appalachian Trail with their TAPS family! We will hike deep into the Appalachian mountain range, climb rock formations and gain new outdoor skills. Experienced hiking guides from Outward Bound will join us to make it an unforgettable adventure.

To prepare for the activity level of this adventure, we recommend a conditioning regimen beginning at least two months prior to the trip. If your teen doesn't have hiking experience, but is interested in this trip, we encourage you to apply. The TAPS Youth Programs team will make sure your teen is prepared and well informed of the nature of this trip.


Thanks to the generosity of our donors and sponsors, TAPS will cover the cost of the trip, with the exception of participants' transportation, lodging expenses and meals, before and after the adventure.

Participants will need to cover the cost of transportation to and from Baltimore, Maryland. The closest airport is Baltimore Washington International airport (BWI). Your first night's lodging will be on your own, but we will provide lodging options after registration.  


What is Outward Bound?  

Outward Bound is an international educational movement dedicated to the idea that people are capable of far more than they know.  They use experiential education techniques in a supportive yet challenging environment to teach teens that they are capable of more than they ever thought possible.  In collaboration with TAPS, Outward Bound will co-lead the Teen Adventure, combining the backcountry hiking experience with the TAPS model of peer-to-peer support as teens challenge themselves and support one another. 

Does registration with TAPS guarantee that my teen will have a spot?  

No.  When registering, you will complete a survey and will be contacted by a TAPS staff member to discuss your teen's participation. Once approved, a lottery will be used to select participants, as it is limited to 10 teens. 

What section of the Appalachian Trail will they travel?  

They will begin and end in Baltimore, Maryland. 

If flying in to Baltimore, should I plan on traveling with my teen?  

The adventure begins at 11 a.m. on Aug.13. If the distance your teen is traveling requires arrival on Aug. 12, please make arrangements to either travel with your teen, coordinate with someone local to pick him or her up at the airport and check in on Aug.13, or contact TAPS at for other arrangements. 

Can my teen still attend if he or she isn't physically fit?  

The TAPS team leaders will be hosting a virtual fitness program starting in May. All teens selected to attend will be expected to participate in this or a similar training program.   

How far will my teen hike, and how much weight will they carry?  

The adventure will start out slow, hiking five to seven miles on the first days, and will build up to a maximum of nine miles per day.  Teens can expect to carry approximately 40 pounds. 

What will my child need to bring?  

A packing list will be provided after registration and selection to attend the adventure. You will receive it within one week of being notified that your teen has been selected to attend. 

How will you keep my teen safe?  

Outward Bound instructors are seasoned backcountry experts who know the area we are hiking and whose primary goal is to ensure safety.  The instructors are Wilderness First Responder certified and will be equipped to stabilize medical emergencies. TAPS will provide two staff members to co-guide the journey, providing emotional support and additional adult supervision. 

Will there be cell phone coverage? How can I stay in touch with my teen?    

There may be spots along the Appalachian Trail that get cell coverage, however, there will not be places to charge devices. This is a backcountry adventure with limited opportunities for communications. Your teen will be afforded opportunities to connect when possible, but you should not plan on regular communications throughout the week. You will be provided with the contact information for Outward Bound to use in the event of an emergency.