We recently held a barbeque lunch ceremony to acknowledge and celebrate the efforts of four youths who completed the Tribal Experience Camp as part of our Young Men’s Engagement Program, which sent them bush on their journey to manhood.
A therapeutic outdoor engagement program for at-risk young men aged between 12 and 18 years, the Young Men’s Engagement Program is based on a Rite of Passage framework and includes activities such as abseiling, archery, hiking and camping. The focus is on responsibility, improving self-esteem, resilience, mindfulness and positivity.
Our team took four teenagers from the North East Victoria region to the Beechworth Gorge, the Melbourne Aquarium, Mount Buffalo for three days, the Warby Ranges and culminated in a barbecue ceremony.
Our Activities Based Learning Worker, Tim Wallis, said there was significant research that outdoor activities can have a positive effect on mental health and the camps used physical challenges to channel risk taking behaviour into healthy activities.
“It’s about getting away from the distractions of normal day to day life and electronic devices and changing the young person’s mindset to bring them back to their community and the people they are close to,” he said.
Program participant Cohen said he learnt how important it was to respect everyone in a group. Fellow camper Anthony said he enjoyed the experience and the team from Junction were easy to talk to. “They made the trip,” he said.