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Outdoor based learning programs are growing in popularity as parents work to keep their kids off-screen and out of the house. Elite CTE Adventure Academy offers students the opportunity to develop real-world skills, team building and camaraderie. Learn More.

Want to make a career involving nature? Take a look at our Adventure CTE Courses!

Our Elite Adventure Courses are an exciting way for students to gain industry knowledge and outdoor experience while learning relevant state standard materials and meeting high school graduation requirements!

Summer is the perfect time to get outside and get moving! We will tell you everything you need to know about the best hiking spots in your area.

There is so much adventure and learning awaiting our Elite students, like how to make your own skis!

Hydration is key in this summer heat, so our Adventure Academy Lead Tom Olson has some tips for staying hydrated while exploring outdoors this summer!

The adventure opportunities are endless at Elite, just see for yourself! Our students enjoyed being in the ocean and learning to surf this summer. This is a tool they can use for decades to come!

Students who enroll in Adventure Courses will take our current course offerings in the Career Technical Education pathway: Hospitality, Tourism, and Recreation. 

The Hospitality, Tourism, and Recreation pathway integrates various facets of the hospitality industry: lodging, travel, and tourism; event planning; theme parks, attractions, and exhibitions; and recreation. Students engaged in this pathway have broad experiences related to the specific industry segments, including industry awareness; organizational management; customer service; sales and marketing; facilities management; lodging; travel destinations; and reservations, ticketing, and itineraries. 

The Adventure courses offers students the unique opportunity to take elective courses to satisfy high school graduation requirements, while still allowing students to meet A-G course requirements for college. This means that students not only will have a high school transcript ready for college applications, but also the REAL WORLD experiences, certifications, internships, and applications needed for college and career. By combining academics with Career Technical Education courses, students meet  college and career readiness! 

Below is a sample of what a typical high school Adventure Academy student’s schedule would look like: 

Curious about what courses you could take? Check out our Adventure Course Catalog!

Elite Adventure Academy Course Catalog
Sample occupations associated with this pathway: 

  • Guest Services Agent 
  • Director of Conference Services 
  • Certified Meeting/Event Planner 
  • Eco-tourism Director
  • Sailing Captain or Crew – Charters/Day-sails
  • Hiking/Adventure/Mountaineering Guide
  • Action Sports Instructor
  • International Travel Tour Guide 
  • Search and Rescue/Wilderness Responder
  • Action Sports Photographer/Videographer
  • EMT
  • National Parks Ranger
  • Tourism Coordinator

What is the Quest Crew?

Join Elite on a Travel Adventure!

EF Tours Partnerships and Upcoming Trip for 2021

Dates: April 1 – April 9th (Dates can vary)

Discover the Dominican Republic – 

Discover the Dominican tour that covers different topics: surfing, hiking, ziplining, whitewater rafting, cultural interaction, traditional food, eco-tourism and snorkeling. This tour also has an open-jaw itinerary which reduces backtracking and increases time experiencing the country. Travel times to the Caribbean are shorter than going to Central/South America. 

To Sign Up: EF Tour Link

Past Travel Adventures

Sailing is an incredible tool for education; physics, communication & teamwork are all facets to this amazing sport! Elite has partnered with LifeSail, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of underprivileged youth through the intuitive and explorative nature of sailing. Watch this short video to see for yourself!

Quest Crew Webinar Series

Meet our Quest Crew Expert!

Tom Olsen bio photo

Tom Olson
[email protected]

Born in the Cascade Mountains and raised in the Rockies, I’ve spent most of my time in the great outdoors. I have over 10 years of outdoor education experience that has stretched from captaining sailboats to spelunking. As a youth, I earned my Eagle Scout and set out to travel the ‘Backbone of the World’, so far visiting every country from Alaska to the equator and climbing many mountains along the way.  My career focus has been primarily on adventure sports, such as windsurfing to backcountry skiing, with emphasis towards designing gear and developing tools necessary to endure the elements. I currently hold a Career Technical Education CTE Credential in Hospitality, Tourism, and Recreation, and look forward to teaching Elite students to be college and career ready! I strive to instill a sense of respect, leadership and understanding in youth through meaningful and educational experiences. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can students meet A-G courses for CSU/UC systems while a part of the Adventure Academy?

Absolutely! Students can meet these standards while taking Adventure CTE courses and also gain relevant industry experience! Stay tuned as Elite will be offering integrated CTE/Core academics as well!

What Industry Certifications can students earn while completing their high school diploma?

Examples of Industry Certifications students can earn while completing their High School Diploma:

WFR – Wilderness First Responder

A week-long course designed to teach essential wilderness medicine and to administer care in a wilderness environment. Certification lasts 3 years.

WFA – Wilderness First Aid

Typically used as a stepping stone for the WFR, this first aid training teaches how to treat common wilderness injuries. Certification lasts 2 years.

CPR/AED- Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation & Automated Electronic Defibrillator

Standard procedure for resuscitation and use of an AED.

ASA Small Boat Sailing License 

An in-depth course designed to prepare skippers to single and double-hand small dinghies.

Challenge Course Certification – Level 1

Practitioner certification to lead groups through low-risk challenge course features. 

What current partnerships are available for hands-on experiences?

Students have two opportunities during the first learning period of our Year Round program:

LifeSail – Sailing Community Partnership _See Our Year Round Track Option under the “Academics” tab!
Freedom Surf – Surfing Community Partnership  _See Our Year Round Track Option under the “Academics” tab!

What type of experience will I graduate with? Can I build upon these skills and further my education?

The Adventure Academy’s focus is to create a sense of purpose in the outdoor community and prepare you with the skills that employers in the outdoor industry desire. Continuing your education and refining your specialization will only increase your opportunities for employment and progression. Not to mention, we have a lot of fun! 


  • Leadership: teamwork and comradery are essential skills to a successful group adventure.
  • Communication: become an outstanding communicator by practicing presentation and speaking skills with our piers. 
  • Entrepreneurship: learn what it would be like to run your own guiding business. 
  • Decision Making: outdoor experiences are a very real way to observe the outcome of decision. 
  • Preparedness & Accountability: forgetting something essential can be detrimental to a trip and teaches ownership of our mistakes. Learn how to pack and plan accordingly for your adventures, from food preparation to gear selection. 
  • Survival skills: understand what it takes to survive without the comforts of civilization. 
  • Specialization: hone your skills to become a pro in a number of disciplines, such as surfing, sailing, paddlesports, mountain biking or snowsports. 

Are there prerequisites for this program?

There are no prerequisite courses for the Adventure Academy, but just like athletics, you must have an annual fitness physical to ensure you are healthy and can participate in outdoor activities. Ambition, a good attitude and the willingness to try new things would be the best prerequisites. 

I’m not sure what I want to do yet for a career. Is there opportunity to work in the outdoor industry?

The outdoor industry is vast, from medical first-responder positions to designing gear for top manufacturers and being a tour guide on an international adventure. If you have a passion for the outdoors and enjoy working with people, then a career in the Recreation Sector may be good for you. 

What field trip opportunities, besides the long travel trips, are available to students?

Some field trip opportunities include:

PALI Institute – Wilderness Skills Outing 

Mountain & Sea Adventures – White’s Landing Catalina Island Camp

Devil’s Punchbowl – Nature Area

Silverwood Lake – Paddlesports Weekend

Clear Creek Outdoor Education Center – Ecology and Biology Learning Center

San Antonio Ski Hut – Mountain-top Excursion 

I’ve never been camping, but I’m interested. Will I be behind other students?

Regardless of your skillset, we will get you up to speed and give you the information and knowledge to run with the rest of the pack. Besides, outdoor recreation is so much more than camping! We strive to expose students to a variety of outdoor experiences and encourage independent growth in the disciplines that students show an aptitude. 

I don’t have much gear, if any. How will I get the appropriate tools and resources to participate in activities?

Building your quiver of equipment takes time and resources, but you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars to enjoy the outdoors. We strive to make the outdoors accessible to everyone and focus on outings that don’t require families to spend excessive amounts of money. We have partnered with outdoor manufacturers to offer top-notch gear at affordable prices so you can start building a gear-bank. However, hygiene is very important and we suggest that you outfit yourself with a few items that are best kept to yourself: clothing, sleeping bags, personal care products, cutlery and dinner/cookware.