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Chicago Adventure Therapy



Using outdoor adventure sports like paddling, orienteering, camping, cycling, and rock climbing, Chicago Adventure Therapy (CAT) works with Chicago youth to have a lasting positive impact on their communities and become healthy adults by teaching effective social skills and strong leadership skills, increasing participants’ sense of possibility, and fostering a sense of empowerment and personal responsibility.
Who We Work With

Chicago youth face overwhelming challenges every day. CAT works with and has worked with youth:


    • in or exiting the state foster care system
    • experiencing homelessness or unstable housing
    • receiving or in need of mental health treatment
    • experiencing poverty
    • who are gang-involved
    • who have experienced interpersonal or community violence
    • who identify as LGBTQ
    • who are refugees from war-torn countries


Don’t Miss THE WAREHOUSE EVENT! 4/26/20

Have you been wondering where we keep all our boats and equipment? Do you want to learn more about Chicago Adventure Therapy? Meet some of the amazing young adults we work with? Do you like fun?
Join us on Sunday, April 26 at our new office/warehouse location at 4115 Ogden Ave. More details coming soon! Join the Facebook event for up to date information!


Community and a Long Future

We’re raising money to secure our very own space for the first time!  Community – We’ve been headquartered out of the Executive Director’s home for our #First10Years. In our #Next10Years, we’re moving! We’re looking at industrial spaces in Chicago for our new home. We hope, long-term, that our new space will become a venue where our own indoor programs can run, where young people can drop in for support and mini adventures, and a gathering place for the broader community.
A Long Future – Some day, Andrea (Executive Director) will retire. Chicago Adventure Therapy will be around for a lot longer than when her retirement comes (it’s not coming anytime soon!). So we’re moving out of her home – CAT is growing up! You can head here for more information about our Capital Campaign. Or you can donate right now.

10th Anniversary!

2018 was our 10th anniversary! We spent the year looking back in order to look forward.

Monthly photo contests

Throughout 2018,  we posted photo albums to Facebook with our 10 favorite photos from one year – and asked you to vote for your favorite.  In December, we asked you to choose the best photo from our first decade of programming. Here’s the winner! To see the winners from each month, check out this album.



10th Anniversary Videos

We also interviewed CAT youth and leaders. In 2018, we brought you videos sharing what they have to say about CAT. We have some more – so we’ll keep sharing in 2019! To see all the videos, you can watch on our YouTube channel or our Facebook page. This video was the first in a series about a particular Youth Intern – who became paid CAT staff.

Tiara: CAT’s first Youth Intern


Calendar of Activities

Make sure to check our calendar tab to learn more about current programming and events!


You Make it Possible
We believe that no individual or agency should be unable to participate because of financial reasons, so we work with each referring agency to negotiate a realistic price for them. Over 50% of our budget is raised through the generous contributions of individuals like you.

*Chicago Adventure Therapy values and promotes diversity and inclusion in our organization, our programming, and our partnerships. We are dedicated to providing quality, safe, effective programming to all people regardless of race, ethnicity, citizenship status, gender, sexual orientation, gender identification or expression, body type, ability, income, religion, philosophy, and/or all other identities represented in our diverse city.