Youth Activities are an important part of most churches and youth groups today. Youth groups give young adults a place to go to participate in activities where they can develop social and communication skills, experience the outdoors and prepare for life. Youth groups often provide an education for young people and can help teens find a direction and purpose in the world that surrounds them.
Providing activities to entertain, teach and guide groups of young adults or teens can be a challenging endeavor. By hosting and promoting outdoor activities, youth leaders can teach powerful life lessons while improving their outlook. In an article from the Arizona Republic, Richard Louv (author of Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder) talks to parents about the benefits of introducing outdoor activity to children and youth. The same can be applied to youth leaders.
"It doesn't matter what someone's religion or politics is, people who don't agree on much else will come together to the same table to work on the issue together. No one wants to be the member of the last generation for whom going outside and playing was normal." Lov goes onto explain that "Nature isn't a problem. It's a solution in many ways. For kids(and youth), think of it as an antidote. (Being in nature) relieves stress, increases attention span. ... You come back feeling better than when you left."
"I'm not putting all of this burden on parents' shoulders. We can't expect parents to open the door and say, "Come back when the street lights come on." The institutions and organizations that help parents to do that will need more support. Nature centers, schools, scouting organizations, they're going to become more important. One thing I have heard from parents over and over again is that they went on family vacations. They camped. Teenagers would moan and complain and resist. Years later when the kids come home from college, they'll say, "That was one of the best times I ever had." Oftentimes, those are the memories that last, even if at the time, it didn't feel like it."
As outdoor rental specialists, we provide all kinds of gear and advice for youth activities. Whether as a large group or a family adventure, we can provide cost effective gear for many outdoor activities - picked up from our retail store in Tempe, or we can ship to your church or club location anywhere in the US.
Please choose one of the following options to view gear we rent or applicable advice for the activity:
We also conduct Merit Badge classes for Boy Scouts at our outdoor gear retail store in Tempe. For another angle on improving the backpacking experience, review our article on "The Seven Sins of Scouts" - obviously written for Boy Scouts, but applicable to adults as well.