Youth Odyssey is on a mission to provide at-risk youth ages 10-17 with positive development through adventure programming and life skills curriculum. Simply put, we create leaders and outdoor ambassadors. Today, we have a friend who can also be an enemy, it’s called technology. Technology does a lot of great things for society, but it also can cause some “not so good things”. One of those “not so good things” is it can keep our youth of today indoors 24/7. Our goal is to get them outside and to experience real things, not virtual reality.
One of a Kind
Youth Odyssey programs are unique, especially to our region of the Coastal Bend. The variety of real life experiences, activities, and challenges our youth face is unreal. And what makes it even more exciting is most of our programs are 100% free to youth. We provide all equipment, food, transportation, and anything else needed (minus personal items). How many youth do you know who have had the opportunity to go camping, rock climbing, kayaking, zip-lining, without paying a dime? Did you even have these opportunities as a youth? I know I didn’t!
When we take our youth outside to experience life beyond virtual reality, it makes their brain explode (not literally). It would shock you to know how many youth we have on our trips who haven’t seen a cow, a deer, or even held a fishing pole before. It’s powerful. These youth fall in love with the outdoors, and can’t get enough of it. That is what I call an “outdoor ambassador”. We love our ambassadors because they help spread the excitement and passion for the outdoors. They bring their friends, and those friends bring their friends creating this amazing cycle of more outdoor ambassadors! Playing outside and getting our hands dirty is still fun people, and I have proof!
Outdoors Ambassadors in the Making
Some of our most passionate outdoor ambassadors are a part of our Youth Leadership Program. These veterans are making a huge impact. Really and truly our youth leaders can be seen as a product of the outdoors. Because of our unique programs our youth have had many opportunities to add to their skill-set and as a result, become the leaders that they are are today. An example is during our last trip to Enchanted Rock State Park, where we went spelunking; and our Youth Leaders were tested! Some were emotional during our adventure, but when they finally completed it they felt like they just hiked Mt. Everest. Empowered, is the term to use here. Their self-confidence grew, through the roof.
I can talk all day about what our programs can do for youth, but to really understand you must experience it on your own (as a volunteer or youth participant). We have amazing youth in our programs, and we are always looking for more amazing individuals to join us. If you know of any youth in the Corpus Christi area looking to have an experience(s) of a lifetime, you know what to do! I think we can all agree we need more outdoor ambassadors. Get them connected with Youth Odyssey today!