Youth Odyssey’s Adventures
Nature works in mysterious ways. One thing it does not lack is giving us challenges. Each day and each adventure provides something different. Youth Odyssey is all about challenging adventures, it is what helps us grow into better versions of ourselves. We enjoy getting youth out into the outdoors because nature has a way of adding the unexpected. At any one moment there are numerous events happening with living and non-living things. As we enter the amazing world of nature, it can teach us things we wouldn’t even expect.
As I mentioned before, we oftentimes have unexpected things happen. As an example, one of our most exciting summer camps is Hit the Trail Camp. This camp involves trekking through a vast forest on a trail. Along the trail we find new surprises each year. Such as: spiders, rivers, fallen trees, or even wild critters. Needless to say nature keeps us on our toes. The unexpected teaches us to always be prepared for anything. Therefore, we carry equipment that will keep us safe. For example, we have maps, a gps, first aid, an emergency beacon, etc. We think this teaches youth an important life skill about always being prepared.
Our goal is to teach youth life skills that will help them be more successful. Just as we are always prepared on any adventure, we also want the youth to be prepared for anything in life. School is one example of many things we want them to be successful at. Much like how nature can throw unexpected things at us, so can life. We emphasize the motto “work before play”, which is to teach the youth they must take care of their priorities first. If they follow this simple principle, it could mean a passing grade versus a failing grade.
“Youth Odyssey has helped me become a better person. I also learned how to cook, build campfires, be a leader, and setup a tent” 12 year old female participant
Youth Odyssey programming is about team-building and more. Our programs are geared towards getting youth outdoors to experience the world beyond virtual reality. Nature can be a really powerful thing when we submerge ourselves in the heart of it. We often times must support, encourage, and motivate each other to make our way through the challenging terrain. Through this we are tested, and must watch out for one another. The group grows closer to one another, and creates a bond that won’t be broken. Personalities come out, and more importantly many walls are broken. It is important for us to know about each other, so we can support one another. We have seen youth start journeys closed off to others, but by the end they become close friends with the group.
“Youth Odyssey has helped me meet new people. I have been able to become friends with other people that I once didn’t get along with because I have become to understand others at a deeper level by knowing the issues they also go through.”12 year old male participant
Let Nature Do It’s Work
The main difference between nature and virtual entertainment is only one thing is real. Reality has more unknowns, challenges, and can impact us more. It is no secret why Youth Odyssey takes youth on adventure challenge trips. Our mission is to positively impact at-risk youth ages 10-17 through adventure challenge programming. That is, to get youth outdoors to face the unknowns of this world, and learn more about themselves. Nature has ways of testing us in ways unknown. Memories, friendships, and more are made through the adventure. If you have any youth in our age range who are seeking any of these things, let us know!