Preview Our Teens' Tale of Adventure

Written by Lesley Sheridan
    Wednesday, 20 August 2014
Preview Our Teens' Tale of Adventure

Hiking. Backpacking. Campfire cookouts. They sound like great vacation activities, but for the Center's new class of High School Outdoor Leaders, this was all part of the job!

This past June we welcomed a new class of 18 High School Outdoor Leaders to their two year experience at the Center (meet them all here). Participants in our High School Outdoor Leadership program work at our three Urban Ecology Center branches as part of a two-year paid internship.

HSOL highline
Trust building on the high line!

Their journey began with an intensive training in the Northwoods that introduced them to outdoor skills and environmental issues and topics, and was followed by a three week internship that allowed them to strengthen the skills that they learned by working alongside and being mentored by our staff and adult interns.

I could go on about their adventure, but our High School Outdoor Leaders are excited about their trip and eager to share the details of their experience. Come hear their stories in their own words Thursday, August 28th at our Riverside Park branch. Here's a preview of what you can learn:

“During my time up north I felt that I got to know a little bit about my co-workers, who I now see as friends, and myself. A few experiences that I felt brought us closer together were the high-ropes challenges, the backpacking trip, the boundary breaker, and the simple free time we had at the end of the day.

My most profound experience was the boundary breaker activity on the last night of the backpacking trip. We got to ask each other about our personal stories and where we came from. I learned a lot about each other and began to understand how those experiences shaped the friends who I know and value to this day. I felt as if the trip up north allowed me to take all distractions from my everyday life and focus on the people around me and better myself.”

- Thomas

“Being an Outdoor Leader has made my summer really adventurous and enjoyable because I have never had an experience like this. At Camp Manitowish, we got to know each other through group activities.

In the last two days of being at the camp, we went on a hiking/backpacking trip in separate groups. I thought that backpacking sounded easy but it turned out to be very challenging. But I had a blast with my group, and a good experience overall.

After we left Camp Manitowish we went to Trees for Tomorrow and there we learned about wolves and their habitats, which was a new topic to me. Overall my trip was amazing and a great experience.”

- Halima

“I had been camping before, and I had been hiking before, but I had never been backpacking. My group of seven people, five Outdoor Leaders and two counselors, hiked a three day trail in two days. When someone would become discouraged, we would ask them what they were looking forward most to when they got home. We did everything from storytelling to I-Spy to distract ourselves from our sore feet or the swarms of mosquitoes.

Although it has to be one of the most difficult things I have done in my life, I wouldn't change anything about it.”

- Rachel

HSOL backpacking 2Braving the elements on a backpacking adventure.

I am overwhelmed by the knowledge, passion and work ethic of this group of students and invite you to join us for their public presentation. Come meet the new class and hear more about how these remarkable young adults spent their summer!

High School Outdoor Leader Presentation
at Riverside Park

Thursday, August 28th | 7 - 8:30 p.m.

Click here to attend!

The High School Outdoor Leader summer programming is sponsored by BMO Harris Bank


Lesley Sheridan

Lesley Sheridan

Lesley Sheridan is the Community Program Coordinator at the Urban Ecology Center -- Riverside Park branch.


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