When I was a kid my parents drove me to the middle of nowhere in the middle of Pennsylvania and dropped me off for a week at summer camp. I was scared to death, I thought my parents hated me, and I didn’t like the idea of being stuck out of my comfort zone, much less getting carried away by Bigfoot. By the end of the week I didn’t want to leave.
Then I grew up, left PA, moved around the country, and eventually landed behind this computer at 4WOR. And guess what? Once again I go to summer camp every summer, only now it’s packed full of grown-up kids playing with modified 4x4s and it’s called Ultimate Adventure.
Much like summer camp when you were a kid, it can be a bit scary if you’ve never been before because you really have no idea what you are getting into. And also like summer camp it can, at times, be hard. Remember those long hikes in the woods carrying a canoe while getting bit by skeeters in the heat of summer with a counselor telling you that the lake was just a short way up the trail? Yes, UA has days like that.
In fact, much like summer camp, the UA is one of those events where you may not even realize how much fun you are actually having until weeks later. Especially if it’s your first year.
I have been on an annual Ultimate Adventure every summer since 2003, and I have some advice for anyone trying to get selected to go next summer.
We pick vehicle based on the photos you submit before we read any of the specs. Build something cool, something different, and something you’re willing to wheel hard (i.e, don’t mind denting). Build something you can fix yourself, something that would be fairly comfortable for a week of driving and that you would be able to live out of. Oh, and paint it a bright color. We like bright colors. They look better in photos.
If you get picked you’ll need to adjust quickly from a real-world frame of mind to a UA frame of mind. This can be really hard for folks who run their own business or are not used to being bossed around. That means listen to the counselor and don’t worry about everything else. We’ll pretty much tell you what you need to know, when you need to be ready to go, how much gas or food you’ll need, and that’s about it. Don’t worry about the rest. The rest is the adventure. Don’t ask where we are going—it doesn’t matter—just follow the guy ahead of you, keep an eye on the guy behind you, and enjoy the scenery and the 4-wheeling.
Yes, there are rules, but most of them are for safety’s sake. Of course there is that infamous “No whining” rule; that’s just because whiners are annoying and we really don’t want to hear it (and neither does anyone else).
UA is an adventure. Want to go? Apply at 4wheelultimateadventure.com.