GUIDING HANDS RECREATION SOCIETY’S
TIPI CAMP NATURE RETREAT
The YA! PROGRAM for Young Adults
Crawford Bay, BC: Guiding Hands Recreation
Society announces the launch of a new YA! Program for Young Adults from
August 21-31, 2012. The YA! (Young Adult) Program is an 11-day wilderness
experience for youth 17-21 years of age. With an in-camp and mountain
adventure component, this transformative nature program leads young people to
discover who they really are and provides them with the tools to express this new
sense of self in effective ways.
The YA! Program began as a collective vision of instructors and participants in
the Tipi Camp’s wilderness programs for teens and children. Everyone agreed
we needed more. In 2011, the first-ever YA camp took place. The program was
a huge success, and has opened the way for an even more transformative and
empowering experience in 2012.
“This program has altered the course of my life in a hugely positive direction. I
am happier and healthier for the time I’ve spent here.” – Kyoko, YA participant
This year’s YA! Program puts greater emphasis on nature immersion, inviting
participants to connect to the powerful elements of the mountains, forest, and
pure waters of Kootenay Lake through a variety of individual and group activities.
We have seen over the years that the power of wilderness immersion gives
young people space to uncover their own individuality in ways that are unique to
each person. Absorbing the power from wilderness, with supportive mentoring
from the staff and elders, each person receives the necessary self-awareness,
confidence, inspiration and passion to fan the flame of personal leadership in
their field of choice.
“The program has pushed all our true selves to the surface so we can really see
each other.” – Rosie, YA participant 2011
Insights from First Nation perspectives and ceremonies are woven into the
leaning experience. In the first four days, traditional purification lodge ceremonies
help set the tone for the journeying to come.
“Safe spaces are rare these days, especially for young people. This place, that is
so free from judgment and selfish thought, is a huge blessing.” – Kyoko
Participants have the opportunity to sleep in a tipi, backpack and camp in the
high alpine, and summit a major mountain peak. The young adults explore nature
journaling, create an action plan, join in food prep in the community kitchen,
connect with mentors and elders, and participate in lots of fun & games. At the
heart of the program are the enduring friendships and camaraderie amongst an
inspired group of young adults.
“You have given us a place where we can learn to trust people again.” – Kyoko
To give youth the quality of experience they deserve, and to fulfill the mandate
for low-impact mountain trekking, the program will only be open to 15
participants each year. To show their commitment to the program, those who
wish to take part must participate in a challenging admission process and involve
themselves in community-based preparatory activities for 2 months before the
The cost to the participant for this 11 day adventure is only $300 CDN,
which covers individual food costs. The remainder of the tuition is paid by grants
and donations from people and groups that understand what we are doing.
The real payment comes from the commitment and enthusiasm of each young
Guiding Hands Recreation Society has educated people about the value of
nature and outdoor recreation for 24 years, and taught individual responsibility
for conservation, ecological awareness and sustainability. Under this mandate,
the society operates the secluded lakeside Tipi Camp on Kootenay Lake BC, the
base camp for the YA! experience. Partnering in this offering is the Self Design
High School of Nelson, BC. Self Design is an innovative alternative to public
Anyone interested in the YA! Program can go to www.tipicamp.bc.ca
The Tipi Camp is also on FaceBook. Applications can be made at: http://
www.tipicamp.bc.ca/events/ya/ya-application-form . Deadline is June 1.
Applicants will be invited to participate in the YA! Program based on a process
which includes a statement of interest and intention, and recommendations from
the members of the applicant’s home community.
For more questions or direct contact:
P.O. Box 20, Crawford Bay, BC V0B 1E0 Canada
Phone: 250-354-7511 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org