By Sam Conrad, REACH for Nature Program Director
This school year, our REACH for Nature program provided meaningful after school programs to 136 students. Thanks to the hard work of 15 REACH staff members, students were able to make discoveries like this:
- “My actions impact how other people feel.”
- “I don’t talk much at school, but I talk when I’m at Camptown.”
- “I learned to not be scared to speak the truth, even if my voice shakes.”
Students gathered after school multiple days each week for engaging games, connection, and nature based lessons, that they then applied on Saturday adventures and shared at home with their families. Overall, 77% of students reported getting along better with others due to time in the REACH for Nature program, a huge achievement we attribute to their hard work navigating conflict, coaching received from our thoughtful staff, and meaningful time spent outdoors.
REACH for Nature has allowed Camptown to strengthen our program offerings by hiring additional staff, fine tuning our onboarding processes, and evaluating strengths and weaknesses within our programs- thanks to feedback received from an external evaluator. We have spent, on average, twice the hours this year building relationships with REACH kids, reinforcing their love for nature and ability to develop healthy relationships with their peers. Similarly, our REACH staff have gathered monthly for training and bonding, and one facilitator shared, “This is the greatest team I’ve ever worked with. You all feel like family.” A feeling of connectedness so palpable that it can be felt by students they serve. We are thrilled to be wrapping up the year on such a positive note and look forward to building upon this foundation during REACH Summer Camp and into the 23-24 school year.