PROGRAMMING DURING THE PANDEMIC
Trekkers has refit programs to ensure students can maintain connection with support networks and continue social-emotional growth during this period of social distancing. Trekkers is currently operating small group day trips, one-to-one mentoring, and team meetings that take place virtually, based on the latest safety guidance across multiple resources (see our COVID-19 Guidelines and Resources here.) The team has also layered on efforts to serve the greater community – from food delivery to tutoring to personalized support for students outside typical programs.
CORE PROGRAM STRUCTURE
Our goal is to be a part of students’ lives from grade to grade and year to year. Trekkers follows students as they “graduate” from one program into the next along a six year journey that starts when they are in 7th grade and continues until they graduate.
Trekkers is a six-year program that connects young people with caring adults. These relationships help young people grow into resilient, thriving, responsible young adults. The key is that trusting bond between a student and a program manager that lasts a full six years, from seventh grade through graduation.
And throughout all those years, program managers spend time with students where they are, meet with their parents, teachers, coaches, and guidance counselors. A network of deeply committed volunteers helps further strengthen this safety net. These steady, evolving relationships provide a stable structure for cultivating growth and keeping kids on a positive course through the precarious teen years. Trekkers’ students are statistically more likely to graduate high school and go on to some form of higher education than an average Maine high school student.
schools, Students can also get really excited about Trekkers’ adventures in the wilds of Maine and across the country.
- Seventh graders new to the program enjoy an excursion to Acadia National Park in May for hiking and canoeing.
- Eighth graders travel in the fall and then in the summer for adventures like hiking Mt. Osceola in Waterville Valley, and educational trips visiting renewable energy facilities.
- In ninth grade, students go on a 10-day historical trek to places like Washington, DC.
- Tenth graders have gone to the Grand Canyon, Mesa Verde National Park, the Florida Everglades, Northwest rainforests, Mount St. Helens, and Redwood National Forest.
- Eleventh graders visit colleges, art schools, and trade schools.
- Twelfth graders enjoy a five-day winter wilderness adventure.
- Students are deeply involved in selecting, planning, and preparing for all of these trips.
SEVENTH GRADE TRIP
Trekkers offers fifteen 7th graders and 15-20 caring adults from the community the opportunity to explore Acadia National Park in May. Students and adults who participate take part in a pre-trip, 3-week orientation program where they are involved in team-building initiatives, small group discussions, and an extensive canoe orientation. Students are separated onto three teams of 5 that include 6-8 adults and a facilitator. On the trip each team goes hiking and canoeing and is given a chance to share their experience in small group discussions throughout the weekend. The goal of the Teen Trekkers program is to provide a shared wilderness experience for students and community adults as a way to lay the foundation for on-going relationships to occur throughout the rest of their high school years.
EIGHTH GRADE TRIP
Trekkers offers two groups of 8th graders a year-long program that includes a 3-day expedition in the fall and a 10-day expedition in the summer. Students participate in pre-trip planning meetings throughout the school year with Trekker adult volunteers to plan and implement the expedition. During the meetings, students are involved in team-building exercises, problem-solving initiatives, and consensus decision-making. Students design the expeditions around five-educational components: Service Learning, Cultural Awareness, Environmental education, Adventure-based Education, and Wilderness Component.
The mission of the Advanced Trekkers program is to introduce students to the diversity of cultures, people, traditions and natural resources that exist outside the focus of their everyday lives.
TENTH GRADE TRIP
Trekkers offers a 10-month program that culminates in a 12-day expedition for 10th graders during the summer. The focus of the expedition is to visit, explore and study the environmental uniqueness of a particular bio-region within the United States. Examples from the past include: the Grand Canyon, Mesa Verde National Park (Cliff Dwellings), Florida Everglades, Northwest rainforests, Mount St. Helens, Redwood National Forest and many more. Along with the life changing opportunities students receive from this expedition, they are also required to take part in a pre-trip life skills/leadership course. The course is designed to help students gain knowledge and confidence in presenting themselves professionally to others.
ELEVENTH GRADE TRIP
Trekkers offers a five month program that culminates in a 10-day expedition for 11th graders who are interested in exploring some form of higher education or a particular career choice after high school. The goal of the trip is to offer students the opportunity to visit a few colleges, art and trade schools, or visit directly with people who are working in a particular career field. The itinerary for the trip will be set-up along the New England/Atlantic Coast corridor.
TWELFTH GRADE TRIP
Trekkers offers a six month program that culminates in a five-day winter wilderness trip for seniors who have been with the program since 7th grade. Knowing that these students will graduate in a few months, the focus of this trip will be to symbolically mark the end of their high school experience through a rites of passage celebration. Trekker adult mentors and the natural world will team up to help enable students to find meaning and guidance during this major turning point in their life, as well as cultivate a new vision for their lives.
Our programmatic approach ensures that each student has access to year-long, regular individual time with a Professional Adult Mentor.
Each mentor is trained in a strengths-based approach, creating positive environments for development and critical support in times of challenge.