The Trek - BASICS
(Price varies by host camp.)
In 2012, The Trek received an anonymous donation to determine if Trek-based curriculum would work with At-Risk / Adjudicated teenagers. The grant, specifically for teenage boys, was to pay for not only The Trek, but also a week-long, residential experience. Realizing that there wouldn’t be time to present all of the original Trek series, the creators focused on the basics of the program - the topics that were designed to encourage people to check their own personal definitions.
How Does BASICS Work?
BASICS is effective because of a four-part effort between the partners:
Identification of At-Risk Youth
Area schools, community organizations and/or police departments work together to identify youth who they believe are “At-Risk”. Since the community knows best who is in need of this program, we want the community to make the decision of who should attend. (Some restrictions apply.) Ideally, we would ask that the local juvenile justice system offer an incentive for participation and successful completion of the program. This can be done by waiving community service time, lessening sentencing, promoting reintegration, etc.
Removal from Their “Comfort Zone”
This is done by bringing students to a camp for a week-long, residential camping experience. This allows students to experience the natural world without the distractions of television, cell phones, game systems, etc. This part of the program focuses on good, clean fun.
Summer activities provided by the host camps can include: archery, boating, climbing tower, crafts, nature hikes, outdoor education classes, teambuilding, tubing, waterskiing, etc.
Winter activities provided by the host camps can include: cross-country skiing, historical reenactments, ice skating, outdoor education classes, sledding, teambuilding, tubing, etc.
Experiential Education Learning Opportunities
The Northern Lakes Impact Center’s leadership team has a combined total of nearly three decades of leading Teambuilding Programs for At-Risk / Adjudicated Youth. These programs have been used to successfully promote change in the behaviors in the students through outreaches around the country. Their team has provided teambuilding activities, group challenges and other experiential opportunities to the BASICS program, including access to: blacksmithing, historical games, trebuchet (medieval siege engines), Initiatives, Group Games, Ropes Courses, etc.
Recognizing, Revising and Refocusing Negative Belief Systems
The Trek - BASICS offers a leadership-development / character-development program that identifies negative behaviors and their corresponding core beliefs and helps students to choose to change. Participants walk away from the residential program with practical tools that enable them to continue the process of change long after the camp experience.
In addition, students will have access to the 18-week, online The Trek - Student Edition video series to help them continue to explore their beliefs and to identify areas for improvement. (Please see our Student Edition page for more information.)
Method of Delivery
The Trek - BASICS program comes in two different formats: summer programs and school-year programs. While both contain the same curriculum and include the 18-week Student Edition for follow-up, there are some differences. These include:
BASICS Summer Programs
- Runs June, July and August.
- 6 Days / 5 Nights (full-week).
- 10 The Trek - BASICS Sessions.
- May only be used as a start to the 18-week Student Edition program.
- Open to individuals as well as groups.
- Includes more recreation-oriented activities (e.g. waterskiing).
- Volunteers are strongly encouraged to attend, but not required.
- Gender-specific weeks of programming to eliminate “social” issues.
- Age levels range from Jr. High through Sr. High students.
BASICS School-Year Programs
- Runs September - May.
- 5 Days / 4 Nights (school week).
- 8 The Trek - BASICS Sessions.
- May be used at any time during the 18-week Student Edition program.
- Open only to schools/groups.
- Includes more education-oriented activities (e.g. environmental studies).
- Volunteers / chaperones are required to attend for nighttime supervision.
- Genders may be mixed, depending on the nature/goals of the program.
- Age levels tend to stay focused on a particular grade level (e.g. Jr. High).
Regardless of these differences, both BASICS programs include:
- Access to 18 weeks of The Trek - Student Edition for follow-up programming.
- A 1:10 Facilitator-to-Student ratio (or less).
- A wide range of activities and experiences provided by the Northern Lakes Impact Center.
- Open to Jr. / Sr. High Students.
- Partnerships between law enforcement, schools, community agencies, families and The Trek.
- Skill-building activities (e.g. Climbing Tower) provided by the host facility.
- Teamwork-oriented games and activities provided by the Northern Lakes Impact Center.
- Trained Trek Facilitators to lead the daily sessions and group discussions.
How Schools Can Partner with The Trek - BASICS
During the school-year, The Trek - BASICS, combined with the teambuilding and environmental education programs provided by the Northern Lakes Impact Center can be used to provide an alternative-education experience for students. With over 80 different classes to choose from, each designed to meet state educational standards, students will not only get to explore their own personal definitions, but also get to participate in hands-on, interactive historical and science activities. By utilizing any of the host camp facilities partnered with the Northern Lakes Impact Center, most schools in the Midwest are not too far away from this experience.
During the summer months, BASICS, combined with the educational and recreational opportunities available at our host camps, provides students from schools with a chance to explore their personal definitions in a non-threatening environment. The added benefit is that it provides additional resources for At-Risk / Adjudicated students after the school-year has ended.
How Community Programs / Ministries Can Partner with The Trek - BASICS
During the summer months, community programs and ministries can select students to be sent to The Trek - BASICS programs. Since the summer programs do not require students to attend in a group, nonprofit organizations and/or churches may identify anyone they feel would benefit and arrange to enroll them in the program.
These organizations can use the 18-week, online Student Edition as a way to follow-up with students as part of an after-school, weekend or evening program. This gives them the ability to directly impact the lives of teenagers within their community.