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Educational Travel for Teens
Local program takes teens abroad to study global issues

By Clare Kubota

Two local organizations, Camp Fire Central Oregon and Workshops with Purpose, have partnered to create an educational travel program for teens. BRIDGES: Thailand pushes participants out of their comfort zones, exposes them to new cultures and opens their eyes and hearts to the shared global community.

More than just travel for the sake of tourism, BRIDGES: Thailand promotes travel with purpose. The program focuses on studying the social justice issue of human trafficking, which plagues Southeast Asia as well as Oregon. In Bend, participants meet with experts and organizations working to combat the global problem, and during their time in Thailand, learn to become advocates for change.

BRIDGES: Thailand 2018 participant Ellie Perryman documenting her time at a Thai temple - COURTESY CAMP FIRE CENTRAL OREGON/BETH BABICZ
  • Courtesy Camp Fire Central Oregon/Beth Babicz
  • BRIDGES: Thailand 2018 participant Ellie Perryman documenting her time at a Thai temple

Led by professional photographers, the group also practices photography and storytelling skills in order to document and share their experiences with others during a culminating community event. BRIDGES: Thailand is currently gearing up and recruiting participants for its second run, starting this summer, with travel to Thailand in November. The program is open to teens 15+ years old and adults. Learn more at

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