Adventures in Snow
“The pine stays green in winter… wisdom in hardship.”
Youth Excellence Project (YEP) is one of our founding partnerships and over the past three years, our relationship with them has grown. This year we are excited to announce that we are leading their cohort of young men through an orientation and four special trips, creating an arch of learning and growth. This last weekend we embarked on the first of these trips and Outside Perspectives’ (OP) first overnight adventure of the season! YEP is calling it their Winter Kickoff Challenge.
The boys met early on Saturday to begin their Winter Kickoff Challenge at Winding Trails in Farmington. This is the first time these youth have ever pitched a tent in the snow! Luckily, with the right gear, we stayed plenty warm!
After a competitive snowball battle, sledding, and a hot lunch, the boys set up camp and embarked on a scavenger hunt – the boys worked together as a team to use a map and compass to find clues along the wooded path. They found three different boxes hidden deep in the woods each containing a part of the ultimate prize. The first had graham crackers, the second chocolate, and the third marshmallows. All the ingredients needed to make the classic camp favorite – s’mores!
The boys truly demonstrated a willingness to try something new and work hard. Bonds were made and fun was had.
The team learned how to prepare a fire the “right way”…with tinder and kindling. It did the trick as the sun went down!
The boys cooked an Italian dinner and used the coals from the fire to make an amazing Dutch oven peach cobbler for dessert. The best part of winter camping is the food!
Around the fire. They shared their highs and lows of the day and delivered individual gratitudes to those who went out of their way to help out or to lend support. We reflected on the lessons of the day. The boys developed skills around communication, coping, regulating emotions, goal-setting and relationship building.
This was a great start to the OP season and we’re looking forward to a great season ahead in partnership with YEP.