First Descents Announces 2010 Camp Program

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Non-Profit Organization Hosts Five Camps in the Vail Valley; Expands Climbing Program

PLUS: Tickets Now Available for the Fourth Annual First Descents Ball Hosted by the Vail Valley’s Ritz Carlton on March 27

3/8/10 – First Descents, a Colorado-based young adult cancer non-profit organization, is excited to announce their 2010 camp schedule, which features 15 one-week adventure therapy camps spanning four states. In addition to First Descents’ traditional whitewater kayaking camps, this year’s program will also include five camps focused specifically on climbing and mountaineering activities.

Although First Descents relocated its headquarters from Vail Valley to Boulder in October, the staff has been adamant about maintaining a presence in their hometown community while they pursue national growth. This year, First Descents has more than doubled the number of camps they’re hosting in the Vail Valley from two camps last year to now five out of the program’s ten kayaking-focused camps this year. The five new climbing-focused camps will be held in Estes Park, CO, and Moab, UT.

“We will always consider Vail our home,” says First Descents founder and professional kayaker Brad Ludden, “which is why we have chosen to host over half of our kayaking camps in Vail. We want to ensure that the Vail Valley remains an important and integral part of our organization and our ties to the community remain stronger than ever.”

During the weeklong First Descents experience, campers ages 18 to 39 are empowered through kayaking, climbing, team building and other outdoor sports and activities to push their limits and face the challenges associated with living with cancer. First Descents places an emphasis on fostering a reliable community, restoring identity and building confidence through safe and fun outdoor adventures. Campers are encouraged to challenge themselves, but are not pushed past their capabilities.

“Our ultimate goal is to establish First Descents as the leading voice for the young adult cancer population, the most underserved demographic in the cancer world,” said Executive Director Brendan Synnott. “A major component of our expansion plan is the addition of more climbing and mountaineering camps. We’d like to continue diversifying our programs into various types of outdoor adventure activities in hopes of providing as much support as possible for the 70,000 young adults who are diagnosed with cancer every year.”

Additionally, First Descents is excited to announce the 4th Annual First Descents Ball, which will be hosted by the Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch through the resort’s Community Footprints Program on Saturday, March 27th in the heart of the Vail Valley.

As one of the most anticipated events of the year, the First Descents Ball will give past campers and the First Descents community the opportunity to reflect on the success of 2009 and get a glimpse of what’s to come in the 2010 season. The evening will include dinner by Spago, dancing, live and silent auctions.

Single tickets are available for $150 and only $75 for past First Descents participants. Full tables and sponsorships are also available for $2,500. For more information and to purchase tickets, please click here.

The 2010 First Descents camp program schedule is as follows:

Now Accepting Applications Moab, UT (Climbing): April 18 - 23, 2010 White Salmon, WA (Kayaking): June 16 - 22, 2010 White Salmon, WA (Kayaking): June 24 - 30, 2010 Kalispell, MT (Kayaking): July 4 - 10, 2010 Kalispell, MT (Kayaking): July 11 - 17, 2010 Kalispell, MT (Kayaking): July 18 - 24, 2010

Accepting Applications Beginning February 15, 2010 Vail, CO (Kayaking): July 18 - 24, 2010 Vail, CO (Kayaking): July 25 - 31, 2010 Vail, CO (Kayaking): August 8 - 14, 2010 Vail, CO (Kayaking): August 15 - 21, 2010 Vail, CO (Kayaking): August 29 - September 4, 2010

Accepting Applications Beginning March 15, 2010 Estes Park, CO (Climbing): August 29 - September 3, 2010 Estes Park, CO (Climbing): September 12 - 17, 2010 Estes Park, CO (Climbing): September 19 - 24, 2010 Estes Park, CO (Climbing): September 26 - October 1, 2010

To apply and learn more about how you can get involved, please visit www.firstdescents.org.

About First Descents: First Descents is a non-profit organization that provides outdoor adventure experiences to promote emotional, psychological and physical healing for young adults with cancer, ages 18-39. Since its inception in 2001, First Descents has successfully influenced the lives of over 600 young adults with cancer, by hosting one-week adventure therapy camps that are completely free for participants.