Trekkers, a local youth-mentoring organization, recently hosted a reunion trip for its Teen Trekkers students as a way to continue building relationships between students and caring adults from the community. The 7th grade Team Puma students first joined Trekkers in May. Team Puma is one of two 7th grade groups that were initiated into the program last spring as part of Trekkers’ six-year expansion process.
During the reunion, students and mentors spent two nights camping at Mt. Blue State Park in Weld, Maine. Their midsummer expedition included a rigorous 5.5 mile hike up Tumbledown Mountain. Led by Program Manager Meredith Lynt, the hike offered a wonderful physical and group challenge. Lynt shared, “This is not an easy hike for anyone! It really forced students and mentors to work together as a team to make it through some of the more technical challenges of the ascent. What most inspired me was the leadership potential already bubbling up in these young Trekkers; the future is incredibly bright for each of them. With the growing demand for student leadership as Trekkers expands, it’s also exciting for the future of our student leadership program.”
The Team Puma reunion also offered students a chance to reflect on the upcoming transition back to school at the end of the month. Lynt commented, “This will really be the first inclusive Oceanside High School 8th grade class now that St. George students will be included. I was impressed with how excited students are about this opportunity, about being part of something new and being part of creating a positive school culture.” Overall, Lynt shared that the reunion trip was “well-timed” to remind students that “there’s a community of caring adults here that is cheering them on from the sidelines during the transition to the new school.”
Trekkers was created in 1994 when a group of local community members noticed a lack of relationships between teenagers and local adults. Responding to this need, they developed the early Trekkers program, and used outdoors activities as a way to build relationships. The program has now evolved into a six-year mentoring program. Teen Trekkers for 7th graders is the entry point for the students’ six-year journey as Trekkers. These students will progress to the Advanced Trekkers 8th grade program this coming school year and then, each year thereafter, they will plan, design and implement an educational expedition until they graduate from high school.
In the coming program year, Trekkers will serve 180 students from grades 7 through 12 through its core programs. To read more about Teen Trekkers and to view photographs of each expedition, visit www.trekkersonline.com.