Dear Mentors,

DEEP was founded to make wilderness education experiences accessible to youth who might not be able to participate due to limited financial means. In distributing scholarships we are seeking applicants who have demonstrated leadership ability or commitment to their community, and who will be likely to use their experiences to enrich their lives and work. We appreciate your honest assessment of the young person who has asked for your recommendation.

(Recommendations can be sent in letter format to our office if you prefer not to use the online form.)







Questions for Participants

Pre-Program Questions for Participants

(suggestions intended for conversations between 30 and 10 days prior to the beginning of the course)

Your role is to guide the student toward reflection and wondering, toward opening up to possibilities and unknowns.

  • What is it going to be like?​

  • Do you have all the gear you need?​

  • What are your expectations?​

  • What are your hopes?​

  • What would you like to gain from this experience?​

  • What qualities of your character would you like to develop during this experience?​

  • What do you think your biggest challenge will be?​

  • What advice would you give someone else who was doing this?​

  • What have you done to prepare?​

  • What do you still need to do?​

  • What’s your strategy going to be for meeting the challenges you think you’ll come up against?​

  • How will you handle obstacles you face?​

  • How can you best be supported?

Post-Program Questions for Participants

(suggestions intended for 10-30 days after the completion of the course)


Your role is to guide the student back toward awareness of what was going on inside them during their time away. Allow the student to tell his or her story. You don’t need to react to each thing they say. Give them the space to let it out at their own pace and in their own sequence. If they are reluctant, the following questions may help them remember parts that were important to them.

  • What was it like?​

  • What were the big challenges?​

  • What were the big successes?​

  • Did you make any friends?​

  • What did you learn?​

  • Knowing what you know, what would you do differently if you did that or something similar again?​

  • If you were to write a newspaper article about your experience, what would the headline be?​

  • What was one of the funniest moments during your experience? Scariest? Most rewarding? Most surprising?​

  • Give me a virtual slide show of your experience by describing the pictures you see when you think about the most memorable moments.​

  • Have you been moved to make any life changes as a result of your experience?​

  • What changes?​

  • Are there things you wish you’d said or done that you didn’t do, or that you’d have liked to have done differently?