I love camping, I love the outside, I love hiking, sitting around the campfire roasting marshmallows, staring up at the sky and seeing the unimaginable amount of stars above me, and walking through the woods and imagining how it was before humanity moved in. I learned to love all these things as a kid. I was fortunate enough to have parents that took us camping a lot. Not everyone is so fortunate. Most of the students we take on our Life Coaching Camp have not been so fortunate.
The students we bring to Expedition:Wilderness often do not have a great home life. Most of them don’t have parents that would do things with them like; help them with their homework, go to their games, or take them camping.
There is a moment that happens every time we do this camp, and it always happens in the same place. It happens on HWY 70 as we cross into a canyon and we get our first clear look of untouched pine forest. A sense of awe washes over the truck I am driving, some students even let out an uncontrollable “wow”. A lot of these students have never seen trees like that before. All of the students we bring are from Sacramento which is just 30-45 minutes away from the forest and only 1 ½ hours away from Lake Tahoe. Still most of them have never seen the forest.
These students have been treated like throwaways by most of the adults in their lives, but we have seen their true potential. In a 3 day period we have adults who are experienced with at-risk students, speak and share their life stories. We share about overcoming abuse, special needs, and a horrible home life. In small groups the students open up and we see the beginning of healing. Students leave the camp with a sense that even though they cannot control their situation or what happens to them, they are in control of who they are and their destiny. They learn that they get to decide the kind of person they are going to be, and we hope we inspire them to be a better person.