DYF Adventure Programs 2023

At DYF, we believe that type I diabetes shouldn’t hold us back from anything! Our adventure programs are the perfect example of that philosophy. All of our Adventure Programs are led by fantastic medical and program staff with lots of experience with T1D in the backcountry. Adventure Programs are designed to pose a challenge for participants and with that challenge comes the opportunities for accomplishment and growth. 



“We knew it would be wonderful, but I don’t think we fully anticipated the impact. My son is a different kid since he returned. Since we picked him up, he has been in constant texts with the kids from the trip, and is consistently excited to tell us all about his experiences. [We] feel very strongly that the DYF program was not just therapeutic, but life-changing and the catalyst he needed to help him to remember who he is. Thank you for bringing my sons smile back. One of the first things he said to me even before getting in the car was, “I had no idea how cool it would be to be with a group of other diabetics and how annoying and reassuring it was to have alarms going off in the middle of the night that weren’t just mine.” Thank you for everything that we are seeing in my son right now that has been dormant for quite a while: his newfound confidence, his better understanding of who he is and what he is capable of, his motivation that was not there before he left, his gentleness and patience, this new found group of friends who he seems to have a spiritual connection with.  There are not enough words to express our gratitude for DYF, what an honor to now be a part of the DYF family.  Thank you for giving my son this opportunity and giving us our son back — not just to us but (most importantly) to himself.” -Adventure Program Participant Parent

“The backpacking trip was so amazing and changed my life. It showed me that I was able to do challenging things even with type one diabetes and it helped me to challenge a closed mindset and choose to be more open. I would like to experience the feeling of completion and the strong connections I made with people again, and another DYF backpacking experience would be a great way to do it.” – Adventure Program Participant

“Do it. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life, I made lifelong friends and I gained a better knowledge of diabetes care and management.” – Adventure Program Participant

“I would recommend this adventure to anyone, with the understanding they need to be prepared that it isn’t just a walk in the park, but rather a legitimate backcountry experience.” Family Adventure Program 2022 Parent Participant

“Our son came away learning how to do all things related to backpacking in the mountains from tent building to meals to zero waste and safety -none of which he had prior to the trip. It was an amazing learning experience for him.” – Adventure Program Participant Parent

Tiered Pricing & Scholarship Information

*Program dates are subject to change based on permits.

DYF’s Family Adventure Program

DYF’s Family Adventure Program is a wonderful opportunity to accomplish something physically challenging alongside your child, while learning tools and techniques to manage diabetes in extreme situations. This program will introduce kids with T1D to the joys of backpacking. Mileage will be low, packs will be light, afternoon swims and fun evening activities will be plentiful, and diabetes support will be offered all along the way. You can expect amazing natural beauty, laughter, lake swimming, outdoor skill building, and T1D camaraderie. Although it may have challenging elements, this program is extremely rewarding and not something your family is likely to forget! 

The program is ideal for youth ages 10-17 and an adult family member who have little to no previous backpacking experience but are eager to learn. DYF will provide staff, food, and group gear for our trip. We require a pre-acceptance interview to ensure families understand the program and what is required of them. 

Family Adventure Program 1

June 10-15* Tier 1: $2,750 for 1 adult + 1 child

Tier 2: $1,375 for 1 adult + 1 child

Tier 3: Scholarships Available

High Sierra Wilderness Youth 10-14 plus parent
Family Adventure Program 2

June 17-23* Tier 1: $3,200 for 1 adult + 1 child

Tier 2: $1,600 for 1 adult + 1 child

Tier 3: Scholarships Available

High Sierra Wilderness Youth 14-17 plus parent

DYF’s Teen Backpacking Program

DYF’s Teen Backpacking Program is a backpacking adventure is for teens with a love of backpacking who want to push themselves while building community.

The Teen Backpacking Program will provide an incredible backcountry experience in the beautiful High Sierra Wilderness. This program is for 13-15 year old’s with T1D who have little to no backpacking experience but who are up for an adventure and a challenge! The first few days will be spent at base camp packing, preparing, and getting to know each other before hitting the trail for 7 days of backpacking. DYF will provide staff, food, and group gear for the trip.

Due to the necessary advanced preparation time for this specialized program and a pre-acceptance interview for all applicants. All applicants who apply during this window will receive an interview regardless of the order in which applications are received. Participants will be selected and notified by March. 

Teen Backpacking Program

June 28-July 7* Tier 1: $2,750

Tier 3: Scholarships Available

High Sierra Wilderness Ages 13-15

DYF’s Altitude14,505

2023 sees the return of DYF’s Adventure Programs Flagship: Altitude 14,505! This is an intense expedition backpacking trip spanning approximately two weeks, where teens living with T1D will journey ~70 miles through the High Sierra wilderness with the goal of summiting the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States: Mt. Whitney. 

Participation in this expedition requires a great deal of dedication for the several months leading up to the journey. Participants will be required to engage in a training regimen, supported by regular communications with the trip leaders and fellow participants, to physically prepare their bodies for the rigorous nature of this trip. We will work together to meet the challenge of hiking 15 miles per day with a heavy load on our backs, up and down steep mountains, at over 10,000ft above sea level. Summiting is not guaranteed, as there are any number of factors that could affect the chances, though every effort will be made to meet that goal. Regardless of if the summit is reached, this program will instill in its participants that it is not the final destination, but the experience that is life-changing.

Due to the necessary advanced preparation time for this specialized program and a pre-acceptance interview for all applicants. All applicants who apply during this window will receive an interview regardless of the order in which applications are received. Participants will be selected and notified by March. 

Altitude 14505

July 12-26* Tier 1: $3,025

Tier 3: Scholarships Available

Mt.Whitney Ages 15-17

Adult Backpacking

NEW! Adult Backpacking: A 4-day backpacking trip designed to build community, support mental health, and challenge participants amidst the stunning beauty of California’s National Parks. We aim to teach all of the skills necessary to confidently plan your own backpacking trips, including understanding gear, packing food, and trail navigation. This trip is for adults living with T1D and an optional support person: sibling, partner, friend, etc.

We require a pre-acceptance meeting to ensure participants understand the program and what is required of them. No prior backpacking experience is necessary to enjoy this experience. 

Adult Backpacking

August 6-11 Tier 1: $900/person

Tier 2: $450/person

Tier 3: Scholarships Available

Bearskin Meadow Camp to Sequoia National Park Ages 18+

*Participants of the Adult Backpacking trip are also eligible to register for the Adult Retreat Aug 4-6.

DYF’s Community Whitewater Rafting Trip

Calling all DYF community members! Current families; alumni; counselors, past or present; and volunteers, this program is for you! Whatever your connection with the DYF community, you are invited to join in this fun whitewater rafting weekend!

All members of the DYF community ages 10 and up are invited to join us for a fun and thrilling weekend of whitewater rafting down the South Fork of the American River over Labor Day weekend. This program is in partnership with Environmental Traveling Companions (ETC), who will provide the river guides and basecamp. Bring your camping gear or borrow some from ETC and we’ll take care of the food, rafting equipment, and activities. Plus, our camp staff and medical team will be there to help with diabetes care and provide support on and off the water. We’ll start on Friday afternoon with an afternoon swim, dinner, and evening activity. We’ll then get some rest before our first full day of rafting on Saturday to Salmon Falls. On Sunday, we’ll hit the rapids as we navigate the faster waters of Chili Bar before heading home around 4pm. Youth ages 10-17 are required to attend with the supervision of a participating adult. This adult is responsible for youth supervision throughout the weekend, as this is not a drop off program. The cost for the full weekend includes two full days of rafting, camping at the ETC basecamp, food, staff, and transportation back to basecamp after each day of rafting.  

Community Whitewater Rafting Trip

September 1-3 Tier 1: $600/person

Tier 2: $300/person

Tier 3: Scholarships Available

Lotus, CA    Ages 10 and up

We hope to see you there!

If you have any questions about these programs, please reach out to the DYF Team at info@dyf.org or (925) 680-4994.

2023 Covid-19 Guidelines at DYF Programs:

In respect for your family’s health and safety, all DYF staff and volunteers will be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and we encourage eligible participants to do the same. Our COVID-19 policies for 2023 programs will be made with current information from the CDC, state and local health authorities, and under the leadership of our Healthcare Professional Advisory Board. Specific guidelines and requirements will be tailored to each program and released at least 30 days prior to the program start date. Should you have any concerns about these guidelines once they are released and you no longer feel comfortable attending a DYF program, we will provide you with a full refund minus the $50 non-refundable deposit and the corresponding processing fee.