This month YO S.O.S went to Blairstown, New Jersey for the Mediation Center’s annual youth retreat! The Princeton Blairstown Center focuses on using experiential outdoors education to promote social emotional learning and growth. The youth and staff had a great time honing their community building, leadership, and self-care skills in the woods. The youth learned to build fires, completed a high ropes course, and had deep conversations about stress and coping strategies.
The first day was spent doing activities that promoted stepping out of one’s comfort zone and supporting one another such as one, where an entire team of ten youth need to step over a moving jump rope in unison without touching the rope. These activities led up to the big challenge where youth were suited up to climb trees and walk over suspended ropes in the air and climb a swinging log called a centipede. All of the activities on the first day helped to warm up the youth and challenge them to encourage one another towards success.
By the end of the retreat, youth had really opened up to one another and really stepped up as group leaders and community members.
Check out some photos from the trip below!