The story begins back in the early 1950’s when John Jacobi’s parents took the family on a cross country car trip. That’s when the “adventure and travel” bug took hold! Fast forward to the mid 1960’s and John “Jake” Jacobi, owner of Adventure Sports, was working at the Stroudsburg YMCA as Athletic and Program Director, as well as the scuba diving instructor. By this time John already had many travel adventures, he even hitch-hiked across the United States four times - covering all of the 48 contiguous states before he had graduated from what was then East Stroudsburg State College.
Being an avid scuba diver, one of his biggest dreams was to do some extensive diving on the beautiful coral reefs of the Caribbean. However, on the meager salary he was making at the “Y,” it just didn’t fit into his budget. Then, by chance, he read of a beautiful 84 foot sailing vessel that specialized in sailing and scuba adventures in the Bahama Islands, and could accommodate a total of 16 guests on week-long diving trips. John contacted the boat’s owner and struck up a deal in which John could go for free - acting as dive master - if he organized a group of 15 people. Having taught so many divers, it wasn’t hard to locate people interested in signing up for the sailing/diving adventure. In fact, it became so popular, that John found himself running several of these trips each year for many years.
Realizing that this could also work on other adventure trips - and be more than just a hobby - John started running trips to the various Western National Parks for activities including hiking, climbing, rafting, canoeing, horseback riding, caving, etc. He took a gamble and bought a 15 passenger van, along with a canoe trailer and seven canoes, as well as tents and camping equipment for his guests, and Adventure Sports was born in 1969. The trips expanded to include Adirondack, Canadian, and Maine Canoe trips as well.
By this time, John had left the YMCA to become a Physical Education teacher in the East Stroudsburg School District. This gave him the entire summer, as well as the holiday periods, to spend running the various trips. Finally, the last place John decided to run trips was in his own back yard, - The beautiful Delaware River. He ran two and three day canoe trips that were completely outfitted, guided, and provisioned.
Because of the close proximity to New York and Philadelphia, he found that many people who lived in the city wanted to have a real outdoor adventure that wasn’t far from home. The Delaware River part of the business grew and grew to the point that there was no time for the other adventure trips.
Eventually, John left his teaching position and devoted full time to his business, which today also includes a ski and snowboard shop, as well as running Delaware River Trips. Over the years many of Johns children worked at Adventure Sports and now his grandchildren are starting to help out. Also, this year, John, and his son, David, opened up Sophie's Restaurant right next to Adventure Sports.
According to John, the best part of his business has been seeing the look on people’s faces when they see some spectacular scenery, or experience an exciting activity, for the first time. “Even though the business started out with trips to beautiful and exotic places like the Bahamas, and Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks, the Delaware River is right up there with them as far as I’m concerned”, John stated. At this point in his life John is doing what he loves best, traveling the world and visiting places most of us have never heard off.
So if you stop by and feel like hearing some fascinating stories, maybe you’ll be lucky and John will be back home from one of his many adventures!