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You are here: Home Resources E-Newsletter Archive Spring 2012, Issue X Celebrating our 2011 Programs

Celebrating our 2011 Programs

Read our 2011 Program overview written by Amanda Ayling.

Community Programs

“On the trail, especially by the second night around the campfire, the boundaries of the cliques began to melt away and people began to seem more open and accepting.” Evergreen Middle School Participant 2011.

Last year our Community programs included six custom programs serving 234 youth and adults. Of the six programs, our continuing partnerships included Woodinville Montessori School’s 6th grade class and 7th through 9th grade classes, the Evergreen School’s 7th grade class and the Chemical Dependency Professionals of Washington State (CDPWS) for “Counselor Camp.” New partnerships were established with the Eastshore Unitarian Church’s Coming-of-Age Program and the Seattle Waldorf School’s 7th grade class. This is an exciting area of potential growth for us, tempered currently by a difficult economic environment for many of the non-profits we do or could partner with. Establishing partnerships allows us to reach a larger participant base and also to develop and deliver our curriculum in creative new ways that serve the needs of particular communities.

Adult Programs

“I truly wanted to test myself. I am at a time in my life where I need to face my fears and experience my SELF, without distractions. Being alone in nature for three days helped me do just that.” Adult Wilderness Quest Participant.

In 2011 we served twenty-five adults in open enrollment programs; which included our Adult Wilderness Quest, Coming of Age Leaders Training, Creating Soulful Ritual and the Apprentice Program. We also delivered a custom Coming of Age Leaders Training for a community in Vermont. It is exciting when we can help spread this work to various corners of the country.

Youth Programs

“Before I came here I didn¹t like what I was. I realized here that as long as I am true to myself, everything will fall into place. I learned to love myself.” Coming of Age for Girls Participant, 2011.

One of the most rewarding moments on a youth trip is the moment when the group breaks through its resistance and finally becomes a Group! The girls who came back from our Coming-of-Age for Girls trip this summer spoke with humor and fondness of that moment, which they called their “crying circle.” For the first four days of the trip, girls had been posing, judging each other, remaining aloof, and bickering. On their first trail day, backpacking up into Enchanted Valley, the girls were dragging their feet, complaining, and whining that they “couldn’t do this.” Everyone had reached her limit. Finally, their mentor sat them down (right in the middle of the trail, apparently!) and said “we need a talking circle.” It started slowly, but finally girls started to share their thoughts, feelings, and their truths about themselves, each other and the group. Every one of them was crying. And they broke through!! They decided to give themselves a second chance, and to do it right: to be good to themselves and each other, to work together, and to commit to the journey. That group came back to basecamp at the end of their three weeks, rolling in love – love of themselves, love of each other, love of life! Each of those girls returned to her life back home knowing how it feels to love herself and knowing how it feels to have a group of friends who love her. That is the magic of Journeys!

Over the summer we served fifty-one youth – a twenty percent increase from the previous summer. Our participants included two children from our basecamp host community of Songaia and one young man who came all the way from England. The mother who sent her son from England told us that she searched and searched but couldn’t find anything like our programs anywhere in Europe. She was so grateful to have found a deeply transformational and life-affirming Coming of Age experience for her son!

Overall, we delivered 786 participant-program days for youth and 139 participant-program days for adults in the summer 2011. We were able to offer these experiences to people from a wide-diversity of economic situations by awarding over $20,000 in scholarships!

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