Camp Fire Central Oregon is partnering with Workshops with Purpose to pilot a new program for Central Oregon teens and adults focused on increasing global awareness, building tolerance and creating a community of empathetic leaders.
The 8-month program includes an international travel adventure and pre- and post-trip workshops where adults and teens work together as equal participants. "We've designed a collaborative program that empowers teens to explore in a learning environment that also strengthens their relationships with adults," says Beth Babicz, Teen Program Manager of Camp Fire Central Oregon. The interactive curriculum incorporates photography, videography and creative writing.
The program's inaugural BRIDGES: Thailand trip will take 12 teens and 10 adults on a 10-day adventure to Thailand this November. Participants will attend workshops before and after their travel to cultivate creative sparks, learn about Thai culture and delve into issues such as human trafficking and environmental conservationism.
To ensure the program is accessible to anyone interested in participating, the two organizations have designed BRIDGES with a critical fundraising effort to cover virtually all program costs. According to Babicz, "Inclusivity is a top priority for all Camp Fire programs. We never want cost to be a barrier for participation. Of course, the added benefit of fundraising is that it helps the teens develop a strong work ethic, gain leadership confidence and try out their entrepreneurial skills."
The partnership between the two organizations was inspired by a Workshops with Purpose program in Thailand last year, led by Co-founder Kevin Kubota. "As someone who has led international travel workshops for years," says Kubota, "I am excited about getting young people involved in compassionate travel. It is a powerful way to change the world for the better."
To learn more about BRIDGES: Thailand and how you can support this program as a community partner or donor, visit: campfireco.org/bridges.