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Outdoor Adventures for Young adults impacted by MS

“It wasn’t until I was surrounded by others who had MS that I could more freely express my challenges and my fears, because they truly understood.” -First Descents Participant

First Descents provides life-changing outdoor adventures and peer community support for young adults living with multiple sclerosis (MS). At the end of the day, our goal is to get you Out Living It on a program that works for you as soon as possible. We do this through a variety of local and national adventures that range from 1 hour to 2 weeks. Wherever you start is up to you.

Young adults impacted by MS are eligible to apply for designated Week-Long (MS-specific), Multi-Day (MS-specific), Single-Day, and Monthly Meetups. Interested in joining us on an adventure? Apply Today!


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Multiple Sclerosis

Rock Climbing | Mountain West Region, MS

July 20, 2021 - July 25, 2021

Join your First Descents community for a weekend of adventure, connection, and challenge as we head to Rocky Mountain National Park for some rock climbing with our friends at Colorado Mountain School! You'll get to enjoy two days of rock climbing instruction and epic climbs. Downtime will be spent at…

Eligibility: Open to Mountain West Region- Multiple Sclerosis
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Multiple Sclerosis

Rock Climbing | Northeast Region, MS

August 6, 2021 - October 27, 2021

Spend three days Out Living It with your First Descents Family at Minnewaska State Park for some rock climbing with the trusted guides at Alpine Endeavors! You'll get to enjoy two days of iconic climbs, beautiful scenery, and lots of adventure. Downtime will be spent at the beautiful Minnewaska Lodge!…

Eligibility: Open to Northeast Region- Multiple Sclerosis
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Multiple Sclerosis

Rock Climbing | Midwest Region, MS

September 17, 2021 - September 19, 2021

Connect with your First Descents Family as you learn new rock climbing skills with the trusted Devils Lake Climbing Guides! On this three-day, two-night adventure, you'll explore the beautiful Devils Lake State Park with your First Descents Community. Downtime will be spent at the awesome and funky Willowood Inn! This…

Eligibility: Open to Midwest Region - Multiple Sclerosis
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Multiple Sclerosis

Kayaking | Surfing | California Region, MS

October 23, 2021 - November 7, 2021

Join your First Descents community for a trip filled with fun, connection, and challenge as we head to Santa Barbara for stunning coastal kayaking and epic surfing. Never, tried surfing or kayaking before? This is the perfect introduction with our trusted guides at Santa Barbara Adventure Company! You'll get to…

Eligibility: Open to West Coast Region- Multiple Sclerosis
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Multiple Sclerosis

Kayaking | Northeast Region, MS

July 23, 2021 - July 25, 2021

Join us on this epic whitewater kayaking program in the beautiful Berkshires! Take a break, enjoy some water time, and soak up the scenic surroundings from your kayak cruising down Massachusetts' Deerfield River. Zoar Outdoor will be hosting us for this rad adventure in the summer sun, and we will…

Eligibility: Open to Northeast Region - Multiple Sclerosis
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What other serious health conditions does FD focus on?

With a vision to become the global leader in adventure-based healing, First Descents (FD) is excited to explore program expansion for other serious conditions that disproportionately impact young adults. This will be done intentionally and will not detract from the continued expansion of cancer programs. Currently, FD offers programs for young adults impacted by Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and will continue to explore other serious health conditions over the course of time.

What does this mean for cancer programs?

FD will continue to expand programs for young adults impacted by cancer. We aim to reach more adults year over year by expanding programs, building community and prescribing adventure. By strengthening medical center partnerships, implementing a robust recruitment strategy, and investing in local adventure communities, FD’s oncology programs will continue to thrive.

First Descents knows cancer. How will FD be able to care for participants with MS?

FD relies on smart and caring healthcare professionals to advise its program design and implementation. For MS programs in particular, FD has enrolled the support of program and medical leaders from the National MS Society, CanDo MS, along with other leaders in the MS community to advise on MS program design, medical screenings, and participant recruitment. FD recognizes there are special adaptive considerations for people coping with MS, including temperature fluctuations, fatigue, and mobility restrictions, and takes a similar approach in ensuring its staff has the necessary tools available to deliver a meaningful and safe First Descents experience for everyone.

How can I attend a FD MS program?

Thank you for your interest in First Descents’ programs for young adults coping with MS. You can learn about our MS programs through our Programs Finder. Currently, we offer Week-Long and Multi-Day programs for the MS community exclusively. MS community members are also welcome to attend Single-Day and Monthly Meetups through their FDTribs. Please note that oncology and MS community members are welcome to join Single-Day and Monthly Meetups and they will participate in those activities together. If you have any questions please email [email protected] and we will get right back to you.

Can MS participants join Local Adventure Communities?

MS participants are welcome to join any MS-specific Multi-Day programs being offered through their FDTrib, as well as any Single-Day or Monthly Meetup.

How many FD Week-Long programs am I eligible for?

Everyone regardless of their diagnosis is eligible for one FD Week-Long program. If you happen to have a dual diagnosis of cancer and MS, you have the option to attend one Week-Long program and can choose from either MS or Oncology Week-Long programs located on our Programs Finder. If you have any questions, please email [email protected]

I have more questions.

Please leave a message on our contact page at firstdescents.org/contact-us/ and the appropriate FD staffer will respond back in a timely manner. Or please reach out to [email protected] and a member of our programs team will get back to you.

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