Learning the Ropes

Teen residents of Partnership Village spent a recent day with Peak Adventure Ministries on the group’s challenge course in Reidsville.

Rev. Andrei Spells of the GUM Chaplaincy Program and volunteers Mike Sasser and B.J. Bowman took the high school boys and girls and participated with them in a full day of exercises that helped each of them learn about themselves and their leadership skills.

Ropes2“We went through many activities and courses with the main objective to work as a group and make ourselves accountable to the group,” said Mike. “It was great to see the young people work together as a group by pulling for each other, knowing that if they were about to fall that somebody in the group was not going to let them fall, and the gratitude from the group when we were successful.”

The outing was made possible through private contributions that support a Partnership Village program called Future Bound. Susan Eubanks, program coordinator, worked with volunteer Judy Newlin to make breakfast and lunch for the group.

Future Bound helps the boys and girls at Partnership Village connect with academic, social and faith supports that can help them navigate the challenges of experiencing poverty. Changes in housing, schools, family situations, and availability of basic needs such as food create instability and anxiety. When a family loses their home, instability becomes crisis.

Peak Adventure’s emphasis on team work and trust building creates a new window through which to see themselves, their peers and the adults who work with them. A recently released study, “Hidden in Plan Sight,” notes that teens living in poverty and experiencing homelessness need not only concrete supports, such as food and transportation, but also emotional supports. Among the help young people find most important: having someone to talk with for emotional support; connecting with peers or maintaining friendships; and participating in activities such as arts, clubs and sports.