Rite of Passage Journeys Programs
The cornerstone of our organization is our rite of passage programs for youth, ages 8 - 18. Each age-specific youth journey takes place in small groups (with a 3-to-1 participant to mentor ratio) in our local national parks and forests and are several days to three-weeks in length. Program Outcomes include:
- Participants develop a strong sense of personal identity, long-term personal goals and visions, and a sense of agency over the choices in their lives.
- Participants develop interpersonal skills; including leadership, decision-making and communication skills. They have the opportunity to practice these skills with each other and with their families during reincorporation.
- Participants develop mental, emotional and physical health skills. They have the opportunity to explore the consequences of their choices and actions.
- Participants develop outdoor skills, knowledge, and an appreciation for the natural world.
In the late nineties we began to adopt the notion of "lifespan" rites of passage, not just youth rites of passage, and have since created a number of initiatives to expand our offering to adults. These have included both personal growth opportunities and professional training in rite of passage methodology.
In 2011 we enjoyed serving:
- 234 Youth through Custom Programs for local Schools (6th - 9th Grade)
- 51 Youth through Open-Enrollment Summer Programs (Ages 8 - 18)
- 25 Adults through Open-Enrollment Programs & Trainings (Ages 18+)
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
After almost 40 years of operating on a bare-bones budget with primarily volunteer staff and little long-term strategic planning, in the five years since incorporation as an independent non-profit corporation, Journeys has seen significant growth and development. In 2005, the organization operated on a $49,000 budget, with contributions of $11,000. In 2010 - 11, Journeys operated on a $196,000 budget, with $75,000 of our revenue in contributions. This increased revenue allowed Journeys to:
- Continue to offer high-quality programs;
- Raise our standards or safety and professionalism;
- Develop a professional staff and infrastructure;
- Foster committed donors;
- Explore possibilities for expansion in our Adult Programs;
- and Engage in strategic visioning.
Resources continue to limit our ability to grow and develop the new programs needed for our long-term organizational sustainability. In 2010 we adopted a "no-growth" budget for 2010 - 11 in order to consolidate gains made in the previous four years and to allow time to re-assess and plan for the future; we have maintained a similar "no-growth" budget for our current Fiscal Year.
Despite our impressive accomplishments in the last 5 years, our current strategy is unsustainable in the long-term. At the beginning of this fiscal year we assessed our business strategy and put into action a new strategic plan as a pathway to create a vibrant future for Journeys. We recognized that we can no longer support even modest growth and development from our current ("no-growth") budget. Reaching the next stage of our organizational development will require an additional investment of financial and other resources.