[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
Re: [AT-L] Internship Info.
Hello Michael -
>I was just wondering if anyone knows of any internship opportunities with a
>juvenile delinquency wilderness camp. I have a mandatory intern. for my double
>major (Criminology/Clinical Sociology) and would love to be a guide at a camp..
See if you can find anything about "Project U.S.E." I had the extreme
good fortune to run into one of their groups in New Jersey as I came south
in '93. There were 7 young men (looked 16-17) and 3 counselors. The
counselors work in 4's (one is always going, coming, or off-duty) and are
all NOLS trained.
I had stopped at a shelter for a late lunch and the Project U.S.E bunch
pulled in as I was ready to go. The kids were all black or hispanic and
that alone made me sit up and take notice (I could have counted all the
black/hispanic hikers I saw during my entire thru-hike without taking off
my shoes...). Apparently some 300 young men were interviewed in jail and a
subset were offered an opportunity to unlock the door and participate in an
outdoor adventure (3-4 weeks, I think) that combined sailing, canoeing, and
backpacking. They were on their first (backpacking) leg of the adventure
when I met them.
I talked to 59 different groups as I came down the trail and the USE group
must have been about number 54 or 55 (it was after labor day). I chatted
with the counselors, explained my interest in both Leave No Trace and in
youth training. I asked their permission to talk with their charges and
they agreed without any hesitation (the counselors stayed in the area, but
they didn't try to stop the kids from answering any of my questions).
I stayed there all evening and spent the night in the shelter (the USE
bunch set up camp in the "front yard"). I was absolutely facinated to hear
the viewpoint that these kids were bringing to the trail. I watched them
go thru the mechanics of simple camp set-up (NOT so simple, believe
me...<g>). I was very impressed with their honesty in describing their
frustrations with both camping and with being together as a maybe-gonnabe
team. The counselors had obviously done a lot of work with teambuilding
and communication skills...it was starting to show.
The counselors and I had coffee together the next morning as we watched the
sun come up. They guessed that the kids would start twitching in a couple
hours and this was the counselor's relaxing time. They were very
interested in my impressions of the bunch. I hazarded a guess as to which
of the kids would get something out of it all and which would wind up back
in the pokey. It turned out that two of the counselors agreed with my
picks...the other two apparently (one was on her day off) were a little
I told them that I had spent time with Scout (Boy and Girl), summer camp,
college adventure program, church, and Outward Bound groups as I came down
the trail. I had to brag on this set of
counselors/advisors/leaders/trainers as being among the best that I had
seen. They weren't so sure...one of the original bunch of 8 kids had
decided to go back to jail rather than keep on backpacking!