Zack, a UCAN youth who participates in Chicago Adventure Therapy’s kayaking activities, was invited to an once-in-a-lifetime trip to Scotland this summer to help his coach earn a new certification. One UCAN staff member – along with youth from other organizations will also go on the trip. The aim of Adventure Therapy is to motivate participants – by providing them with opportunities for new experiences and responsibility. In addition to helping their coach earn a new certification they will also have the opportunity to test for their 3-star padding certification- that requires a great amount of skill and dedication.
In preparation for the trip, the group will – paddle together an average of once per week including indoor pool practices during the cold months. Most of the group will – attend a four-day training in June to earn a Level 1 Certificate in Coaching Paddlesport. Additionally, Zack and Michelle, a UCAN therapist, will both test for 2-star certification in May and will test for 3-star while in Scotland.
When asked how she felt when she received the invitation for Zack, Michele stated, “I was thrilled the moment I heard that Zack was elected to participate in this trip as he has worked really hard to improve his paddling skills and has proven to be such a leader in our group, both on and off the water.” She continued, “This is just one of example of how Adventure Therapy offers really unique, ‘out-of-the-box’ opportunities for our clients to challenge themselves and discover new strengths and abilities. I’m honored to be a part of it.”
In addition to the trip to Scotland, there have been other opportunities that UCAN youth have been exposed to through their participation in Adventure Therapy. Zack and two other youth from UCAN traveled to Madison, WI to Canoecopia (a padding expo) and gave a 45-minute presentation on ways to get young people involved in paddling. The presentation also addressed issues of prejudice and oppression that young people of color and transgender individuals face.
To find out more about the trip to Scotland please visit https://www.crowdrise.com/thecatteam.