For over 40 years, we’ve offered water-based adventure training programs for teens.

By combining hands-on learning, cooperative living and adventure travel throughout the world, we have successfully ignited the inherent leadership skills within thousands of young adults.

This is what we do, yet what really sets us apart is how we do it and the results that we achieve. The numbers speak for themselves; seven out of ten students join us because of a personal recommendation or are returning for a second summer. Seventy-five percent of our professional staff return each year and over half were once students themselves.

When we first developed our program, our model was innovative and unique. As a result of our success and growing reputation, we’re flattered to say that others have followed in our wake!

But to understand who we are, what drives us, and why we are the best, you need to dig a little deeper into the sum of our parts… So this section is dedicated to us, and why we think the AQ experience is pretty incredible.

Cornerstones of the AQ Experience

Uncontrived leadership experience

Our Adventures are non-competitive, adventure-based and most are run full-time aboard sailing vessels. This is a core component because beyond the fun, living and learning aboard a yacht offers a perfect environment to develop leadership and communication skills, as there is nothing contrived about teamwork when working together as part of a tight-knit crew.

Focused on growth

Our Adventures have a strong focus on facilitating social, emotional and intellectual growth.

A unique and fundamental element of all AQ adventures is the Lifeworks Forum. Held at intervals throughout the voyage, the Forum is designed to complement the learning that takes place through the everyday interaction aboard. Students have the opportunity to participate in – and lead – discussions on topics like personal responsibility, values, integrity, communication, and goals. Of all the skills that students take from their voyages, it is the life skills that can carry them the farthest. At AQ, we feel that while building one’s life, it is important to be sure it is based on a foundation of compassion and personal integrity. For many, it is the Lifeworks Forum that helps teens examine and strengthen this foundation.

Small groups

Centered on small, co-ed, age-appropriate groups of 10 to 20 teens, our Adventures are designed to encourage close friendships to form while fostering an environment of mutual respect for others.

Always Hands On

Our Adventures have always been grounded in experiential education. Students have a greater feeling of accomplishment from having completed things themselves. In addition, their self-reliance and confidence soar from achieving new skills and certifications.

Open to all

We value diversity within our student and staff population and endeavor to create an environment of respect, acceptance, and tolerance. We encourage all students to join our team, irrespective of their race, ethnicity or religion, gender identity or sexual orientation. Additionally, no previous experience is necessary for the majority of Adventures. The thrill of sailing and scuba diving is as accessible to beginners as it is to the most seasoned sailor or diver!

An unparalleled team

As a leader in the field of international adventure travel for teens, we attribute our continuing success to the quality of our staff and the strong relationships we build in pursuit of our mission.

We’re proud to attract and recruit the best in our field. Our team consists of avid world travelers, highly qualified professionals, and fun and experienced facilitators and educators. All members of our crew are dynamic, multi-talented and passionate individuals with an unending devotion and commitment to the experience of our students.

Performance-based learning

Our Adventures and certification courses are performance-based rather than time-based. This means that if a student is having difficulty with any particular concept or skill, our instructors will work with them, one-on-one until the skill is mastered. Each individual moves ahead as they demonstrate confidence.

Our Alumni tell us about their AQ experiences

The AQ Impact

As a result of joining AQ, our alumni told us…

Aside from staying safe and having an outstanding adventure, what’s most important when selecting a summer program?

At AQ we believe that it’s the lasting impact that the experience can have, and the development of skills and insights that stay with you throughout high school, college and, most importantly… life. This is the AQ secret sauce.

We understand that parents want their children to grow to be independent and capable of making positive choices that enable them to maximize their strengths, overcome their weaknesses and reach their fullest potential.

Perhaps the hope for their happiness and success is at its strongest as they reach their teen years. This is a pivotal time in their lives because these experiences and influences build the bridge from the children they once were to the adults they will become.

AQ provides students with the tools they need to build a strong foundation for this transition, and we do this by creating an environment that promotes self-discovery as well as social, emotional and intellectual growth.

Our programs may vary in focus, yet all are built around these same core principles and philosophy.

The bottom line? AQ promises to deliver an experience that will provide opportunities to learn, grow and develop skills that have a lasting educational impact.

“Sydney had an amazing experience and has grown so much in so many ways. She learned so much about the environment and how to make an impact in making our earth better. She learned independence and how to handle herself if needed. Sydney learned a lot about herself (what she likes and how she can improve). The staff were unforgettable (Sydney's words :-)) I think it is an experience every child should have. There are no words...she will be back next year!”

VIVIAN C. - ATLANTA, GA

“My daughter, Maxine, is 17 years old and this is the first time she has ever gone to a "camp" or pretty much anywhere on her own and especially for 3 weeks and so far away. With her becoming an adult and about to go out on her own soon, I feel this trip gave us all a good, somewhat, trial run of what to expect when you're out in the world sort of "on your own", but with the extremely well organized guidance of GoBeyond/ActionQuest from beginning to end, it helped alleviate almost all of my worry and anxiety to send her so far away for so long! Such an awesome experience all the way around. Maxine loved this adventure and is truly appreciative to have had the experience. Thank you for making it all so easy for us parents and rewarding for our kids. Trip was VERY well organized and packed with awesome experiences and memories that my child will have for a lifetime.”

GINA H. - BENICIA, CA

“The opportunity for our children to leave home, meet 150+ strangers, figure out how to work as a team and get along for 21 days! We truly love the way the campers are responsible for cleaning, cooking, captaining the boat, etc. No matter the program, it's obvious each experience gives the campers a sense of independence while feeling good about their accomplishments. Thank you, thank you, thank you for creating a positive learning experience in a safe environment. Your staff stateside could not be more accommodating and your staff in the islands are so wonderful - my daughter has encountered so many incredible counselors who are such great role models!!! They have encouraged her to get outside of her comfort zone and to reach for new heights.”

GINNY D. - BELMONT, MA

“My son's experience was above and beyond our wildest expectations. He came back a confident and happy guy, very proud of having successfully faced the challenges of the trip. The counselors were top-notch - caring, capable, and fun. It was truly a life-changing experience for him. I was very impressed with the program after initially talking to Jake on the phone. He spent a lot of time answering my questions and making me feel that the program was a good fit for Aiden. The staff was always helpful when I called with questions before the trip. Leah was also very easy to work with for travel plans. Aiden's travel days went seamlessly. It was great that there were a few kids flying together from Boston, as he did not know anyone. These kids were very friendly right away, which was great. The blog was wonderful - bravo on that!! I have never seen my kid as happy as he was when he returned. Just had a whole new air of confidence about him, and now has a whole set of goals he wants to work on - getting his sailing credentials over time, learning to scuba dive, and planning on taking a gap year to sail!”

LAURA D. - KEENE VALLEY, NY