UrbanTrekkers seeks to challenge our youth to grow spiritually, academically, socially and developmentally. We do that using the six key elements below. All our activities, whether hiking & camping or planting seeds in the rooftop garden, incorporate one or more of the following elements. Our goal is to help our youth see that our relationship with Christ should incorporate the whole self, not just our “Sunday-morning” times. We seek to teach the integration of academic excellence, social-issue awareness, and relationship building into our faith, while challenging them to grow into young men and women of integrity and character. That’s what we mean by “Christ-like.”
Hiking and camping, like all outdoor adventures, are more exciting if you rely on more than just luck; a good trail and overnight experience requires knowledge of weather, topography, and risk-assessment. For UrbanTrekkers, the “turn on” to learning is the adventure, which often provides a direct application to their studies. We enhance all outdoor experiences with preparation and practical lessons that challenge students to take ownership of their adventures and connect themes back to what they are learning in the classroom.
We seek to bring meaning and purpose to God’s Creation and our role as caretakers of the earth. UrbanTrekkers believes that in order to care for, conserve, and preserve places and resources, we must first understand and appreciate their intrinsic value. For example, students begin to understand concepts like nutrient depletion in crops when they get to be part of a reforestation project seeking to provide a solution to soil erosion and generations of poor farming practices. They learn the direct correlation between their everyday actions and how that impacts those who come after us.
Each individual we meet and every place we go has a story—and these stories have a past and present that can shape the future. We strive to better understand our own history by visiting the very places where history took place. Walking through Central Park of the original Central American capitol of Comayagua helps bring history to life. Visiting various Mayan Ruins throughout Honduras make the ancient world of the Mayas more tangible.
We seek to travel beyond the familiar to better understand what can seem foreign and strange. Placing ourselves in the midst of other cultures challenges us to expand our worldview and see life through the eyes of another. During expeditions, we seek to learn more about the individuals who live in or come from that environment. Whether biking to Guatemala, traveling to different cities in Honduras, or meeting volunteers and other Trekkers from around the globe,, we teach our youth that though our environment may influence us, we choose what defines us.
“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked” (Luke 12:48). Following this verse, we seek to be stewards and servants wherever we leave our footprint. We teach our students the practice of servant leadership and incorporate that practice into UrbanTrekkers’ culture through partnerships with various community service organizations such as Amor, Fe y Esperanza, La Finca de los Niños Orphanage, Association for a more Just Society, Casita Copan, and the Children’s Cancer Ward, just to name a few.
UrbanTrekkers live by a covenant, which sets a high bar for character development and the pursuit of excellence. Following this covenant requires a Trekker to lead by example and encourage and support others in the places where they feel most vulnerable. We provide extensive outdoor leadership training in order to challenge our students to work as a team and grow in character.