fd1 / fdx



What is it? The original First Descents experience. A multi-day adventure program centered around whitewater kayaking, rock climbing or surfing. You’ll be pushed beyond your limits, meet some of the most inspiring people and experience some of the most stunningly beautiful settings in the country.

Who is eligible? All young adult cancer fighters and survivors (ages 18 – 39) who have never attended an FD camp before. FD1 level programs are for all first-time participants.

What does it cost? Nothing! The FD experience is 100% free of cost to all first-time participants . We ask that you cover your own cost of travel, but if you’re not able, travel scholarships are available based on need. All food, lodging, instruction, gear and activities during the week are included.


FDX was created to provide continued support for alumni. More importantly,FDX supports our peer to peer fundraising initiative with a primary goal of FUNd-raising and Paying It Forward to First Descents and the young adult cancer community!

How it works: We collectively plan and secure trips at extremely affordable rates, then set fundraising goals that surpass the total cost of the program. In this model, every FDX program is an FD experience as well as a way to contribute back to the FD mission. By exceeding your fundraising requirement and going above and beyond you will be providing FD opportunities for more young adults (YA’s) as well as participating in a First Descents program on a whole new level.

Ultimately, this is supposed to be fun and inspired. If you’re interested in Out Living It, getting out on legitimate adventures with other FD alumni, and giving back - FDX is all yours. Keep reading for more information.

FDX Requirements/Eligibility

To sign up for an FDX, an FD alumni must:

  • Have completed an FD1 Program of any sport
  • Have an active Out Living It Project Page and fundraised or personally donated at least $500.

*For FDX programs open to caregivers, the same fundraising requirements apply

Once you are signed up for an FDX, an FD alumni:

  • Is required to fundraise in order to participate. The requirement must be met two weeks prior to the start of your FDX Adventure.
  • Must provide a fundraising agreement with a valid credit card. If you do not reach the fundraising requirement by the deadline, your credit card will be charged the difference.
  • Is fully responsible for the full fundraising goal, unless cancellation is due to cancer related medical issues.
  • Will cover the cost of travel to and from the program.

How to get signed up

Step 1 - Create an Out Living It Project fundraising page or join a team event, and start fundraising.

Step 2 - Complete an FDX inquiry to get your name on the list of interested participants for the 2017 FDX season.

Step 3 - When the FDX season officially opens, First Descents will send an invitation to members of the FDX Inquiry list who have raised over $500 with program specific details and steps to confirm your spot. See Requirements/Eligibility section for more details.

Fundraising Guidelines

Meet the FDX fundraising requirement and pay it forward to support First Descents’ mission of providing life-changing outdoor adventures for young adults impacted by cancer.

*Special Notes*

  • If you have already been on an FDX and want to go again, you must create a new/separate fundraising page.
  • If you have more than one fundraising page, keep it up! Just let us know when you sign up for an FDX program so that we can credit you with all of your fundraising. You are able to use Out Living It Project fundraising efforts for the 2017 season that have been raised within the past two years (January 2015).



  • The fundraising deadline will be two weeks prior to the start date of the FDX program.
  • All FDX participants will be given a fundraising requirement for the trip they have selected. Fundraising requirements will be determined by First Descents.
  • If you are filling a late/cancellation spot, your programs coordinator will be in touch with your fundraising deadline.

If the fundraising requirement is not reached by the deadline, you will be responsible for donating the difference in order to complete the fundraising requirement. You will provide a valid credit card as part of the registration process.


There are many ways to fundraise - for ideas, inspiration and questions about how to get started, visit the Out Living It Project Homepage as well as our Jumpstart Guide to Fundraising.


  • If you have officially signed up to attend an FDX program and have to cancel your spot for any reason not related to a cancer/serious health related issue, you will be responsible for a percentage of the fundraising requirement.

    If you drop out of your FDX program in the 4 months to 8 weeks prior to program start date, you will be responsible for 50% of the fundraising requirement, the remaining funds you have raised can be transferred to a future FDX.

    If you drop out of your FDX within 8 weeks of the program start date, you will be responsible for 100% of the fundraising requirement and cannot transfer the remaining funds you’ve raised towards a future FDX.

  • If you have to cancel your enrollment in an FDX program due to cancer/serious health related issues, your fundraising will be forwarded to a future FDX (with the appropriate documentation)

Have an idea for an FDX?

For FD alum ambitious enough to dream of an FDX and make it happen, we want to challenge your imagination to find, fund, and help see YOUR dream FDX trip come to fruition. (click here for more info > Program guidelines for alum driven FDX).


Want to take Out Living It to the next level? Then we encourage you to captain your own FDX adventure! FDX is what you make it, all options big or small, will considered as long as they meet the requirements below.

Before we can start working on making your trip a reality, consider the following questions and requirements to pilot your FD alum-driven FDX:

  1. Is this a legitimate FD adventure that fulfills our mission and aligns with FD’s core values?
  2. Is this program going to be cost positive for FD?
    1. All costs need to be considered (outfitter, lodging, food, travel, etc.)
    2. We will require a budget estimate before proceeding
  3. Will there be realistic fundraising goals that can cover all of these costs?
  4. Is the location and activity (or activities) reasonable, realistic and appropriate for an FDX?
  5. Are qualified and trustworthy outfitter(s) available to support  the adventure?
  6. Can you provide a sample itinerary and travel logistics?
  7. How many participants will the proposed FDX support (including 1 FD staff)?
  8. Are there discount opportunities for FD (e.g., trip sponsors, in-kind donations)

Keep in mind that whatever trip you dream up, if approved, you are welcome to invite 2 co-captains. The remaining spots will be open to the entire alumni community on a first come, first serve basis.

After you consider these questions, email the FD Programs team ([email protected]) with your FDX adventure ideas, questions, and concerns. We will consider your proposal and let you know the next steps.

If the framework for your FDX is approved, the responsibility and execution will shift from the alum to HQ, and you will go on being the captain for the FDX you create.


Will there be a spot for me on an FDX since I did my FD1 last year?

FDX spots are given to those who have shown initiative on fundraising and have already started the process. The simplest way to get to an FDX is to start fundraising!

Can my fundraising for a FIRST DESCENTS TEAM EVENT count towards an FDX?

No, First Descents sponsored Team Events cannot be applied to your FDX goal. Only individual fundraising events (i.e. Climbathon) and additional Out Living It fundraising campaigns you have started can be applied to your FDX goal.

How are FDX participants selected?

First Descents will prioritize placement for FDX adventures based on the following:

1) Current OLI Project fundraising – must have a minimum of $500 raised

2) Have completed an FD1 program of any sport – Whitewater Kayaking, Surfing, Rock Climbing or Ice Climbing.

For FDX programs open to caregivers, they will be held to the same fundraising requirements as alumni.

Does the money I raise ever expire?

No. The money you raise does not “expire” until you have completed an FDX program.

What about money I’ve raised prior to 2017?

Any money you have raised through the Out Living It Project after January 2015 may be applied towards one future FDX.

If I wanted to create my own FDX, does it have to be “extreme”?

No! FDX is what you make it. As long as a trip meets our Alumni Driven Guidelines, it can be as big or simple as you want. Have a lodge connection and want to go back to your FD1 location? Go for it!

If you have any additional questions, please reach out to [email protected] or call us at the office (303) 945-2490 (hit 1 for programs).