Our ETA program is seeded in stepping out of the comfort zone. This requires a leap of faith from the athlete, therefore, they will develop trust. Trust in the process, their coaches, parents, and ultimately themselves. Self-trust develops a mindset which prompts you 'I am capable and I can do anything’. It's a deep belief in one's own overall abilities to overcome and face any situation in life's journey. People that put in the effort to develop self-trust become confident leaders within their life.
Once they find trust within themselves and with our team, their journey to personal growth begins. Personal growth helps us achieve our highest aspirations and it enhances our quality of life. For the special-ability community, there are far fewer opportunities for challenges that inspire growth at their disposal. Learning these hard truths about limited opportunity exposure led us to create ETA.
AFA believes challenges and obstacles are necessary for human growth and development; that is why they are the foundation of this program. ETA consists of an intensive adventure training program that prepares our exceptional athletes and caregiver(s) for our annual adventure trip held in the Adirondack Mountain Range. The purpose of this program is to instill self-belief, determination, purpose, and a place in the community through the immersive and transformative experience of adventure and mother nature.
Through a progressive curriculum that teaches independent kayaking, biking, hiking, fishing, our participants are met with deep rooted fears (such as: heights and swimming in deeper waters) organically. This process allows our adventurers to gain a sense of belonging and the belief that they can accomplish anything in this world. In this program the athletes receive tremendous support from their coaches, fellow adventurers, and parents along the way, but ultimately, the choice to push forward is theirs. The power of choice is what instills that trust throughout the process, but it's the feeling of accomplishment after making that choice to push forward that inspires them to use challenges and their fears as guides to self growth. The growth they receive will translate to life beyond this program and into society.
Throughout this 4 month program, we guide our participants through four main phases: