About us.

In the late 1970’s, stoked by a sense of challenge and adventure fostered by my parents, Sally and Steve Ryan, and perpetuated by friends, I wanted something that would challenge and educate me.

Living on a first year teacher’s salary of $9,900, I could not afford the cost of a NOLS course, but I did find a “knock off” that proved to be equally as challenging and inspiring. “Challenge/Discovery” was founded and operated by two former NOLS instructors who were also accomplished mountaineers and educators, Roy Smith and Rusty Bailey.

Judith Rich Harris, in the book The Nature Assumption, wrote of self-esteem as being the key to success and happiness.

Self-esteem can’t be given; it has to be earned.  No matter how much and how correctly one praises another, it is necessary but not sufficient.

Self-esteem has to be earned by stepping out and taking a positive risk; taking on and overcoming a positive challenge.