Partner Organizations

Deer Hill has the good fortune to work with many fantastic organizations and individuals in delivering our programs. Each of the organizations below plays a crucial role in bringing the Deer Hill vision to life. These organizations, together with our participants, their families, supporters of Deer Hill Foundation, ambassadors, current and former staff, comprise part of what we call the Deer Hill Circle–the community of individuals connected to the experience of “finding yourself in the middle of nowhere.”

Non Profit Youth Development

Summer Search

In 1990, Linda Mornell took a moment of inspiration and turned it into a life-changing program for teenagers. Twenty-five years later, with offices in seven major cities in the US, Summer Search is a high-impact program that gives low-income students the opportunities and support they need to transform their lives, achieve their own potential, and create change as role models and everyday leaders.

REACH Memphis

Established in 1969, REACH Memphis partners with preparatory schools and colleges across the United States to provide summer educational experiences to students attending public schools in the greater Memphis area. Since its founding, the program developed as part of the Memphis Volunteers for Youth Counseling. In 1990, Memphis PREP joined Memphis Partners and merged into the Memphis Rotary Club/Foundation in 1995. The organization became an independent nonprofit organization in 1997.

Stockton Scholars

In January 2018, Mayor Michael D. Tubbs secured an initial donation of $20 million to launch the Stockton Scholars program. The Stockton Scholars involves targeted financial support for students and investment in ‘wraparound supports’ that will boost college and career access- including strengthened college counseling, SAT preparation, support to maximize financial aid, financial mentorship, and opportunities to participate in meaningful wilderness adventure summer programs.

Success Academy

At Success Academy High Schools of the Liberal Arts, scholars encounter sophisticated, collegiate-style academics, discover and develop talents, and forge close bonds with peers and faculty as they grow into informed, thoughtful citizens. With a intention of providing summer experiences for the scholars, Success Academy partners with Deer Hill Expeditions to provide meaningful experiences.

Partners in the Field

Navajo Nation

The Navajo Nation shares its borders with the states of Utah, Arizona and New Mexico, covering over 27,000 square miles of iconic desert landscape. Visitors will find more than a dozen national monuments, tribal parks and historical sites showcasing unique mesas and buttes carving a jagged horizon, sweeping sandstone canyons, mountains forested in Ponderosa Pine, and vast, open desert range. The Navajo Nation is also home to over 300,000 tribal members, many of whom keep cultural traditions strong in a modern lifestyle.

Zuni Tribe

Zuni Pueblo, the societal center of the Zuni Reservation, is located at the foot of the mesas framing the Zuni Mountains and the Cibola National Forest, about 35 miles south of Gallup, New Mexico. The reservation surrounds Zuni Pueblo, encompassing about 450,000 acres. Additionally, the tribe has land holdings in New Mexico and Arizona, not adjacent to the reservation.

Hopi Tribe

The Hopi Tribe is a sovereign nation, made up of twelve villages on three mesas spread over 1.5 million acres in northeastern Arizona. The Hopi tend to describe themselves as having always lived in Hopituskwa, maintaining their sacred covenant with Maasaw, the ancient caretaker of the earth, to live peacefully, humbly, and respectfully with their land and its resources. Despite centuries of forceful outside influence, the Hopi Tribe has largely decided for itself which artifacts, customs and technologies to to absorb while maintaining its culture, language and religion.

Ute Mountain Ute Tribe

The Ute Mountain Ute reservation covers over 500,000 acres of canyons, high desert grasslands, and pinion-juniper forests in southwest Colorado and northwestern New Mexico. The population center is in the town of Towaoc, a few miles west of Cortez, CO, at the foot of Sleeping Ute Mountain. The reservation is also home to the Ute Mountain Tribal Park, named in National Geographic Traveler as one of only nine places in the United States among “80 World Destinations for Travel in the 21st Century.”

Exploradores Outdoors

Exploradores is an expedition company based in Siquirres, Costa Rica, offering guided tours to Tortuguero National Park, guided rafting expeditions on the Pacuare River, and more. Exploradores began operations in 2001, and has partnered with Deer Hill to deliver our Costa Rica programs since 2004.

United States Forest Service

The United States Forest Service (USFS) works to “lead in the conservation and wise use” of many of the publicly held lands in the US. Deer Hill coordinates with USFS field offices to undertake wilderness conservation projects for expeditions such as Heart of the Rockies.

Bureau of Land Management

The United States Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is an agency in the Department of the Interior that manages a wide variety of natural resources. Deer Hill coordinates with BLM field offices to undertake wilderness conservation projects for expeditions such as Wildworks.

Ensuring the Highest Quality


Association of Experiential Education

Deer Hill is accredited by the Association for Experiential Education (AEE), which has noted that, among other things, “the overall quality, commitment and dedication of staff at all levels of the organization is exceptionally high.” In 2019, Deer Hill Expeditions was awarded Organizational Member of the Year by AEE.

Leave No Trace

The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics teaches people how to enjoy wilderness areas in ways that minimize our impact on those ecosystems. The practices they have developed and teach are the most widely used in the US’s public lands.

Utah Guides and Outfitters Association

Utah Guides and Outfitters Association (UGO) is a collaborative group of over forty outfitters that lead recreational excursions in Utah’s wild places. UGO Outfitters guide on rivers, through canyons, and in the deserts and mountains that make Utah so beautiful.

My Deer Hill experience was profound. Being able to connect not only with these diverse people but also with nature and most importantly myself is something I will always cherish. It truly changed my life, and I thank everyone at Deer Hill for making the experience so rich.

Kiley, participant

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