A Letter from our Founder and Director

I would not be the person I am today without access to the outdoors and the individuals who inspired me to safely and responsibly go outside.

Whether it was -city, -county, -state, or national parks, public swimming pools, freshwater lakes and rivers, oceans, hill country, mountains, bicycle paths, climbing areas, or mountain biking trails – I was blessed with these opportunities and equipment to explore.

Furthermore, my parents were instrumental in these opportunities and lessons. My mom, who is an incredible athlete, a wonderful community steward, a dedicated teacher of 40 years, still encourages, supports, inspires and champions all that surround her – including myself – to this very day. My father, who passed away in 2013, was also an inspiration to the outdoors. He contracted polio as an infant, which left him permanently disabled. When I was a child, he would make time for me to take me fishing and paddling. We would strategically access the only areas he could safely enter the water – which were, at the time, cement drainage ditches. I learned countless lessons through his disability.

These very lessons have not only inspired me to start The Expedition School, but also helped me incorporate these very lessons as part of the mission of the company.

The founding principles of The Expedition School are to strengthen our community through transformative outdoor programming, safety education courses, and medical support.

Hence it is paramount that we, The Expedition School, instill the safest outdoor practices, offer hands on and practical safety course training whom are taught by seasoned medical professionals and guides of The Expedition School. We hire a diverse collective of professional outdoor educators and faculty, and we offer free adaptive outdoor programming that focuses on empowering populations such as blind and visually impaired and individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

We are proud to partner with non-profits and for-profits alike to continue building enriching relationships throughout the community that positively contribute to our local economy, that honor the history and culture of our beloved cultures and communities, and that incorporate environmental initiatives with every program.

Since the launch of The Expedition School in 2006, the results of these efforts are worth noting:

  • We have a perfect safety record in all paddling and outdoor programs.
  • 92 lives have been saved by our students who took safety courses from The Expedition School
  • We have removed tons of trash recycling from our environment explored
  • We have received awards from the Austin Police Department, American Red Cross, Keep Austin Beautiful, and Down Home Ranch
  • We have been actively certified as a Woman Owned Business and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise since July 28, 2009
  • We have a 501(c)3 nonprofit, The Expedition School Fund, offers adaptive outdoor programming that focuses on empowering populations such as blind and visually impaired and individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Hence, it is our goal is to enrich the lives of many individuals who would not otherwise have access to safe, professional, free or affordable outdoor programming.

It is evident that the lessons I learned from my time in the outdoors, from my parents and from growing up in a wonderful community – continue through the work we do with The Expedition School. I believe our community continues to strengthen through these efforts, and I would consider it an honor for us to reach more community members through our work.

Thank you for your continued support.

Kimery Duda
Founder and Director
The Expedition School

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