Steppin’ out of our comfort zones
At the Outdoor Adventure Camp we strive to get teens to break the norm of lounging around and spark their adventurous ambition through fun activities! Our facilitators lead hands-on activities that help engage the youth. We called it “Group Howl”. Some youth are rambunctious/loud and some are quiet/shy. By doing “group howl” this allows the louder youth to finally let it out and the soft spoken youth to open their shells! We then would ask everyone to do a daily check-in activity of sharing something good about themselves. This allowed for positivity to become a new norm and laid a foundation of self-love.
A motto for the camp was peace, love, and positivity. Anytime the youth questioned if something was right or wrong we said “say our motto” and if it applied move forward, if not, think of something that does! The youth loved the phrase and repeated it all the time! With that being said here is a little overview of our camp!
We arrived to camp, unloaded all our gear, and then assigned tents and tentmates! We then organized our living areas and setting up canopies for shade. Then, after such a hot day we all wanted to jump in the lake… so we did!
After having an amazing breakfast of link-sausage, egg, and potato skillet made by our youth we were ready to conquer our fears! So we headed to the Youth Odyssey Ropes Course. Everyone supported and helped each other through the “grow zone” while we conquered the Multivine aka Tarzan vines! From there, we traveled down the zipline, the highlight for most! Some even did the zipline twice if they got all the way up the rockwall! After such a hot day everyone wanted a jump in the lake (again) so we immediately headed that way and jumped in!
Kayaking was fun! Everyone loaded up and we and headed to Indian Point to launch. Once arrived we broke into teams and unloaded the kayaks. The youth did an amazing job at learning all kayak basics, they even assembled all their own paddles and seats! During this time we did “group boat’ and a couple of races to fine tune the steering capabilities of the teams, we had a blast! Everyone was so hot and wanted to jump in but a staff member saw two different jellyfish so we decided to splash each other instead! We then loaded up the kayaks and taught the youth leaders how to strap down the kayaks.
Our longest day! We had a little surprise for the kids, a Sea turtle hatchling release; but if they wanted to go we would need to wake up at 4:30am! They were ecstatic! It was absolutely no trouble for anybody to wake up because they were so exited! We made it and everyone was very cooperative, staying together. After a quick breakfast we Mr. James Gourley at the Yacht Club for our discover SCUBA lesson. He said that this was the best class he had ever had! After our underwater adventure, we then headed back to camp for more swimming time with our paddle boards; and everyone did so well on them! Afterwards we had (messy) s’more night.
After another amazing breakfast we headed back over to Mr. James Gourley’s house and began CPR training! Everyone paid attention without any hiccups and turned out to be the quickest class staff had ever experienced! All youth passed the test with flying colors and are now Emergency First Responders! After course completion everyone enjoyed cold water, sodas and pizza! Almost everyone said it was their favorite day because of soda! After learning how to be life savers we surprised them with a beach trip to Mustang Island where we body surfed, skim boarded, boogie boarded, and even found some whole sand dollars! We then headed to JP Luby jetty for a five minute trip to show everyone wild sea turtles!
With that being said, youth are like little sponges when it comes to random cool facts, so on the way there we informed them about the Texas Sealife Center. Which is a little blue shack where they can volunteer to work with sea turtles and more animals, along with report any injuries or bring injured animals! To end the night we had a glow stick party! A staff member used his star-laser-pointer and everyone looked like Jedi’s in the night. It was a great!
To end our trip everyone learned how to properly pack their tent along with folding tarps and then organizing all trip equipment! We then had creative time to work on our skit for the parents, demonstrating our trip. We then moved onto our “yearbook” time. Everyone got to get wood shapes like stars, circles, or squares and got to decorate and sign! It was such an amazing camp with an unforgettable group. Let’s all keep growing and spread peace, love, and positivity!