• Growing teamwork in the wilderness.




    Growing leadership in the wilderness.






    Growing powerful bonds in the wilderness.




    Overcoming adversity in the wilderness.

  • Register

    Summer Sessions

    We will offer two sessions this summer for teens. Sessions are Monday through Thursday over a two week period. Each day we meet at Saint Peter's University at 8:30 AM and end around 1:30 PM depending on that day's trip. Trips this year will include hiking, backpacking, yoga, rappelling and waterfall rappelling!  Breakfast and lunch is provided for all students. There will be one overnight trip in the second week of each session.


    Session One: July 30 – August 2 & August 6 - August 9

    Session Two: August 13 – August 16 & August 20 – August 23


    Meeting Location:

    Saint Peter's University

    2641 John F. Kennedy Blvd

    Jersey City, NJ



    There is a $50 registration fee that is refunded if cancelled by May 1st. If siblings or friends register at the same time, then they will receive 50% off registration.


    Full tuition is $599. We also graciously accept donations in addition to tuition as it costs us over $800 to serve one child.



    Full and partial need-based scholarships are readily available for households earning less than $60,000 annually. Income verification is required.




    Spring Unplugged!

    We also do free day-hikes! We venture into the mountains, embrace the spring weather, discover some nature, and get unplugged for the day. It's completely free! Our bus leaves Jersey City in the morning and returns in the early afternoon. We'll make an announcement when our next one is available.

    Non-Discrimination Policy

    Team Wilderness is an inclusive organization that accepts applicants regardless of race, gender or gender expression, culture, religion, sexual orientation, or economic status. It is Team Wilderness policy to serve a minimum of 51% free or reduced lunch population.

  • Donate

    Team Wilderness is a non-profit, tax exempt organization and is approved

    as a 501(c)(3) organization under the Internal Revenue Code.

    All contributions are tax-deductible.

  • What We Do

    Team Wilderness is a nonprofit organization that uses an experiential educational model to teach Jersey City teenagers teamwork, leadership, and character.

    The organization helps to promote confidence in youth, consideration for their peers, passion for the world they live in, and resilience both as an individual and a group. Facing physical and social challenges, they learn to adapt and develop real-life problem-solving skills while at the same time overcoming fears and obstacles.

    "Everyone took their experiences and molded it into something extraordinary. For me, I was able to step out of my comfort zone and become a leader."

    - Kristine, student

    Team Wilderness offers the only wilderness experiential education programs focused specifically on Jersey City and inclusive of the city's most disadvantaged. Our programs are affordable for all income levels; since they cater to the youth from the Jersey City community, they help positively impact the community itself. Team Wilderness hopes to ensure that all the neighborhoods in Jersey City can participate in the city’s current renaissance.


    Team Wilderness allows youth to experience hiking, backpacking and numerous outdoor activities during both single-day and overnight trips. These trips require the commitment and collaboration of the entire team. The students understand that and embrace it. The Team’s adult leaders, and the trip experiences themselves, will cultivate reflection to unearth newfound self-confidence, undiscovered interests and unexplored opportunities.

  • Our Mission

    It is the mission of Team Wilderness to grow teamwork, leadership, and character within our urban youth through wilderness excursions.   

    To achieve our mission we emphasize striving to be E.T.H.I.C.A.L. in the wilderness and reflecting on its application to life.


    Empathy - Through co-dependence to force students to develop compassion towards each other


    Teamwork - To understand and embody a positive team culture


    Health - Through mental and physical challenges recognizing what is necessary to be your best self and live a healthy and balanced life


    Inclusive - Through interdependence to learn to value and work to create an environment inclusive of everyone that supports and respects differences


    Community - Understanding social and environmental responsibility


    Adversity - Using a foreign setting to compel students to challenge themselves mentally and physically resulting in increased self-confidence and self-actualization


    Leadership - Out of necessity to demonstrate the ability to collaborate, communicate, problem-solve and resolve conflicts promptly and effectively

  • Testimonials



    "It's very inspirational... You get the opportunity to leave the city.  You get the opportunity to explore nature... It's something that you won't see in a classroom, something that you won't see on a sheet of paper."



    "This has been one of the best choices I made in high school... I was able to experience camping, hiking, and other activities that can be so exhausting but very fun and exciting... I'm very glad to be a part of this nature loving family."



    "If not for this I think I would never have had the chance to go camping...  It's a way to get away from this fast life.  It's a slow take.  You get to actually be around good people and it's a good vibe.  It's a whole different world."



    "Being up there [on mountaintops] is amazing...  I wouldn't want it to end.  I would want it to go on forever and for people after me to experience what I've experienced."



    Kristine's comments were so moving we asked if she could record them for us. This is what she gave us. Wow. Way to go Kristine!

  • Our Team

    The Board of Trustees

    April Vella - Board President

    Steve Cunningham - Board Secretary

    Lilia R. Diaz - Board Member

    Brigid D'Souza - Board Treasurer
    Joel Torres - Board Member


    Steve Cunningham

    Executive Director/Senior Leader

    Steve has taught history in Jersey City since 2006. Believing that city kids should have an opportunity to discover the wilderness, he founded and for four years was the advisor for the school's outdoors club. Through that experience he realized there was a demand for a far more robust outdoor organization that would also allow youth from every Jersey City neighborhood to experience outdoor adventure and character growth together.

    Elizabeth Lawson

    Health Director/Senior Leader

    Elizabeth is a Jersey City resident dedicated to her community and providing equal opportunities to all its youth. She has been working for Jersey City Public Schools for 8 years and currently teaches Social Studies at Snyder High School. Elizabeth is an avid outdoors person that continuously seeks out opportunities to appreciate the wilderness through everything from camping to waterfall rappelling. When the opportunity to assist in the management and growth of Snyder's outdoors club arose, she jumped in wholeheartedly and participated in its successful growth. Elizabeth is certified in Advanced First Aid.

    Junior Leaders

    Our junior leaders are an integral part of Team Wilderness. They serve as role models and guides and are recent high school graduates that are also Team Wilderness alumni.

  • Contact Us

    We have a lot more to share.
    To learn more, simply contact us.









    Team Wilderness, Inc.

    PO Box 4095

    Jersey City, NJ 07304