Teenagers are expected to be self-centered, short-sighted, and a little lazy— especially in this digital age. For the past two years, Wild Campers have proven otherwise. After camp director, Keaton Karvas, and the young-adult planmasters took the session in a radicle new direction, the full creative potential, physical vitality, humility, empathy, and untamed idealism of our youth has been on display. Wild Camp now features a service week.
The teenagers have partnered with St. James Food Pantry, Not Forgotten Outreach, and Heart of Taos, volunteering their time for the greater good. The service-camp session was planned by a group of local teenagers and attended by young people from around the world who selflessly gave of their time for the simple satisfaction of doing right. Historically, the teenage camp session of Sangre de Cristo Youth Ranch has focused on leadership development through outdoor adventure, such as rafting and hiking. Now, the youth have sough out deeper adventure.
Campers left their smartphones at home, living in primitive cabins without electricity and plumbing at the camp facility, and commuted daily to Taos for work projects boosting the efforts of local non-profits. Week 2 of the session took the campers 50 miles into the vast Weminuche Wilderness. Carrying all that they needed on their backs, campers had an opportunity to reflect on their priorities, the importance of community, their personal potential, and opportunities for service going forward in their normal lives.