Meet Carter Hannah.
As an 18-year-old recent high school graduate, Carter discovered his own confidence and independence by giving in to adventure and getting outdoors.
In this Youth Inspired feature, Carter digs deeper into what it was like stepping outside of his comfort zone, how it has impacted his life, and what his next adventure is.
Let’s just start with what motivated you to get involved outdoors.
I had been thinking a lot about how I never had a “summer camp” kind of experience and then I heard about High Tide Adventure, and it felt like the perfect opportunity and time for me to explore that experience.
I had this desire to do something exciting and to try and become more independent. Honestly, I have problems with boredom and I was feeling the drive to become more confident with new experiences and I felt like joining a local High Tide outing might help me out with that.
Have you always been interested in the idea of adventure?
That is a very interesting question because the answer is simultaneously yes and no. I have always been one of those people who craves excitement, while at the same time, I’m incredibly willing to just do nothing and sit around. There are certain things I wish I could do regularly that are a step out of my comfort zone, and so I was excited to finally take that step.
So speaking of stepping out of your comfort zone, were there any first time experiences that stood out or had a big impact for you?
The trip was made up mostly of things I have never done before. It was my first time in a cave, my first time making jam, and my first time going on a road trip by myself. High Tide gave me the opportunity to experiment and try new things in a safe and encouraging environment.
What was your most memorable experience?
My most memorable experience has probably been during the Asheville trip when we went exploring in the caves. I had never done anything like that before and I was extremely nervous about it. Even though I fell down repeatedly, I found the cave itself to be breathtaking. I especially loved how dark and calm it was in there and the little ponds we waded through.
Aside from the cave, what were some of the challenges you faced?
The most challenging part of the experience for me were probably the physical activities like climbing, swimming, and hiking. I do not usually exercise very much so the exertion mixed with my intense lack of confidence made for some pretty challenging moments. I’m glad that I got the opportunity to try something new and really push myself.
Do you feel like getting outside and trying new things are important? Would you do it all again?
The experiences that I have had are incredibly important because they helped build my confidence and allowed me to be more independent.
I have sincerely faced difficulties with my confidence and self esteem as I have gotten older, and these experiences have served as encouragement during difficult periods.
I would love to do it all again! I’ve actually aged out of the official high school program but I look forward to continuing to volunteer and help out with various High Tide related activities in the coming years.
Is there something specific that you want to try?
I would like to try swimming in lakes and rivers more often because that is something I have always enjoyed doing. The water just feels so fresh and interesting compared to pool water or the ocean.
What is your next adventure?
I am going to be starting my freshman year of college this fall. I plan to study psychology and programming. My goals are to become a therapist and eventually make my own video game.
Inspired by Carter’s story?
Find out more about how to get involved with High Tide here! You can also follow along at @HT_Adventure.
Youth Inspired featured sponsor, High Tide Adventure, provides tools and lasting support to foster successful outdoor programs that encourage physical, intellectual, and social development among today’s youth.