By combining hands-on learning, cooperative living, and adventure travel throughout the world, we have successfully ignited the inherent leadership skills in over 20,000 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:

  • 70% of our students join us because of a word-of-mouth recommendation or are returning for another summer at our teen leadership camp.
  • Seventy-five percent of our professional staff return each year and over half were once students of our summer adventure program themselves.
  • 98% of our alumni say they developed skills at ActionQuest they still use today.

When we first developed our summer adventure program, our model was innovative and unique. As a result of our success and growing reputation as one of the top leadership camps for teenagers, 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…

Cornerstones of the AQ Experience

Uncontrived leadership experience

Our summer leadership programs are non-competitive, adventure-based and most are run full-time aboard sailing vessels. This is a core component of our teen leadership camp 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 summer adventures for teens 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 of our leadership camps for high school 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 summer adventure programs are designed to encourage close friendships to form while fostering an environment of mutual respect for others.

Always Hands On

Our summer travel programs for teenagers 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 with our summer adventure program.

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 attend our leadership camps for teenagers, irrespective of their race, ethnicity or religion, gender identity or sexual orientation. Additionally, no previous experience is necessary for the majority of our summer adventure programs. 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 leadership camps for teenagers, 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 for our leadership programs for teens. 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 at our teen leadership camp.

Performance-based learning

Our certification courses and leadership camps for teenagers 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

As a result of joining ActionQuest, 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’s summer adventure programs provide students with the tools they need to build a strong foundation for this transition. We do this by creating an environment in our teen leadership camp that promotes self-discovery as well as social, emotional and intellectual growth.

The focus of each summer adventure program may vary, yet all are built around these same core principles and philosophies.

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 independence and how to handle herself as well as what she likes and how she can improve. I think it is an experience every child should have. She will be back next year!”


“My daughter is 17 years and this was the first time she has ever gone anywhere on her own for so long. This trip gave us a good trial run of what to expect when you're out in the world, but with extremely well organized guidance from beginning to end. Such an awesome experience!”


“The opportunity for our children to leave home, meet 150+ strangers, and figure out how to work as a team for 21 days! We truly love the way the students are responsible for cleaning, cooking, captaining the boat, etc. It's obvious each experience gives the students a sense of independence while feeling good about their accomplishments.”


“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.”