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Experience the healing power of adventure

First Descents (FD) program participants experience legitimate outdoor challenges with their peers in some of the most beautiful places in the world. FD’s programs are facilitated by experienced staff and passionate volunteers. Designed to normalize and de-stigmatize cancer and associated trauma, First Descents guarantees a shared experience in a safe and comfortable environment.

In addition to the inherent challenges and excitement surrounding the primary activities offered at programs, FD incorporates a range of traditions and ceremonies that have proven effective in creating a bond amongst participants.

First Descents offers domestic week-long adventures for first-time participants, year-round local adventures that ensure ongoing support, and fundraising incentive programs for alumni who go above and beyond to support FD’s mission. Scroll down for available programs and eligibility.

The experience is entirely free of cost for first-time participants. All food, lodging, instruction, gear, and activities throughout the week are included. FD does ask participants to cover the cost of travel. Travel scholarships are available if costs are prohibitive.

We look forward to working with you to provide the best possible experience!

Main Program Offerings

• Week Long (FD1) – Our free program for first timers available to young adults ages 18-39 diagnosed with cancer after the age of 15.
• Multi Day (FDtribs) – Local adventure communities provide weekend outdoor experiences for first timers as well as FD alumni right in your backyard.
• International (FDX) – International adventure programs (FDX) are open to all alumni that have attended an FD1 program.

If you are a first timer and would like to sign up, click the “join us” button to get looped into our system. We will be in touch about program local and weeklong offerings as they become available.

Programs Finder

Programs ensure individualized care, medical attention and intimate experiences with fellow survivors. First Descents programs are offered free of cost to participants.


Find Your Adventure

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Local Adventure | Boston, MA

September 29, 2017 - October 1, 2017

Join the Boston Trib for two days of biking through quaint villages, seafood shacks, lighthouses, ponds and sandy beaches in beautiful Cape Cod. After a long day of biking, spend the evening relaxing over fresh seafood in an idyllic Cape Cod cottage.

Eligibility: Open to the Boston Local Adventure Community
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Local Adventure | Austin, TX

October 6, 2017 - October 8, 2017

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is chock-full of beautiful pink, granite domes spanning over 600-acres. This area is perfect for disconnecting from the wires, picking up a rope, and connecting with your local First Descents adventure community!

Eligibility: Open to the Austin Local Adventure Community
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Local Adventure | D.C. / Baltimore

October 6, 2017 - October 8, 2017

This registration has not gone live yet.  Join your local adventure community on an epic ride over the Mile High Bridge. This empowering ride is the perfect way to break out of routine and find some new adventure buddies to get Out Living It with for the rest of the…

Eligibility: Open to the D.C./Baltimore Local Adventure Community
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Bali, Indonesia

October 15, 2017 - October 24, 2017

FULL PROGRAM.  Come join us alongside FD alumni and Survivor Africa champion, Ethan Zohn, for our first ever FDR Program in Bali. The “R” stands for retreat, relax, rejuvenate, recharge, and get rad! This holistic FDR experience is designed to nurture the spiritual aspects of survivorship and open up pathways…

Eligibility: Open to alumni of FD1 weeklong programs
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Kayaking | San Diego, CA

October 21, 2017 - October 22, 2017

Breathe in the fresh, salty air as you kayak to Santa Catalina Island with your local adventure community. Known for it's wildlife and dive sites, Santa Catalina Island is the perfect escape for a weekend with your FD trib. You'll spend the evening camping under the stars with the ocean…

Eligibility: Open to the San Diego Local Adventure Community
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Orlando, FL

November 3, 2017 - November 5, 2017

This registration has not gone live yet.  Join the Orlando Local Adventure Community for 100 miles of challenge, adventure, and stoke! This bike the keys adventure will begin in Key Largo, FL and, after two days of riding, end in gorgeous Key West, FL.

Eligibility: Open to the Orlando Local Adventure Community
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