Meet The Team Behind Challenge Island

Debbie Torvinen and Jennifer Rasmussen

What inspired you to become a Challenge Island Franchise Owner?

We love teaching and helping kids. We wanted to bring a quality STEM program to the children of Reno-Sparks. Challenge Island was a perfect fit.

Tell us about your professional background.

Debbie is a retired elementary school teacher who taught for 27 years here in the Truckee Meadows. Jennifer has been a middle school and high school teacher for 21 years.  Helping kids learn through fun and experimentation is something we both love.  Challenge Island helps us bring Washoe County children the chance to try and experiment in a fun and safe environment.

What have you enjoyed most about starting your Challenge Island business?

We love to see the amazing creative that kids have. We also love seeing the kids just have fun!  Watching children discuss and discover is amazing.

Please share one of your favorite Challenge Island moments.

Teaching islands and camps are amazing. When teaching Girls and Dolls camp, the girls’ imagination in creating their furniture was incredible. One student created a bed that allowed their doll to recline and sit up. Another tribe created a rainshower shower for their dolls.

Sometimes the perseverance of the tribes tickles our hearts. We had one school’s tribe that wanted to beat the “slower coaster” time of all our other programs. The determination and teamwork to achieve their goal was great to watch, and it was a ten minute slower coaster.

What is your favorite Challenge Island “destination” and why?

Wizardry Camp is a personal favorite, because we loved the inspiration behind the camp. The camp gives kids time to dive into the imagination and creativity of a magical wizardry world.

What is your favorite quote from a student, parent, or school about Challenge Island?

“It will always be okay for my daughter to do anything Challenge Island.”

“My daughter and her best friend love Wizardry Camp and can’t wait to do more camps.”

“My son and daughter will do Challenge Island again because it is so much fun – even if its the same after school island.”

What schools/venues do you currently participate at?

Rollan Melton ES, Peavine ES, Huffaker ES, Pleasant Valley ES, Westergard ES, Mt. Rose ES, Caughlin Ranch ES, Whitehead ES, and Bud Beasley ES.

See the registration page for dates, times, and locations.

What programs & camps do you currently facilitate?

We are currently running after school enrichment islands at the above elementary schools. We have break camps and summer camps at Wooster HS. Check out the registration page for dates, times, and themes.

We are available for in-class field trips and birthday parties, please email at dtorvinen@challenge-island.com or call at 775-846-6733 us for more information.

Meet Our Corporate Tribe