On Saturday, February 1, as Elite & Leadership Program Coordinator, N’Dea Stewart led 10 City Kids from the Leadership cohort in the first of several indoor rock climbing trips of the year. Leadership campers got to show off the climbing skills and knowledge they’ve obtained over their years at City Kids. During the school year, Leadership participants utilize the indoor climbing gym to train for outdoor climbing with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) in Lander, Wyoming. By the time they get to Lander, they’re already equipped with climbing skills and knowledge and get to show NOLS staff what they’ve learned in Washington D.C.

As 9th graders, the Leadership cohort will participate in other activities throughout the school year to build their skill sets like camping, hiking, and community service. In addition to the outdoor activities, the kids will take part in Leadership Real Talk Workshops. These workshops are aimed at assisting our 9th graders in adjusting to their first year of high school and their transition to JET programming. Topics include but aren’t limited to; personal responsibility, respect for self & others, showing empathy, and goal setting. Before the Leadership cohort goes to Jackson, Wyoming in the summer, they will have taken part in several programs built to enhance community leadership and ensure skills for a successful life.

Once they arrive on the ranch in Jackson, they will test their mastery of outdoor skills through high adventure activities such as outdoor rock climbing, white water kayaking, and a 24-hour solo camping. They will also participate in Social Justice Workshops that have been designed to further the curriculum goals for City Kids Wilderness Project’s Leadership year. The focus of these workshops is on each individual’s personal power defined as having ownership of self, understanding the power of one’s unique personality and values, and the ability to make choices to use one’s power to shape and engage with communities, people, and the world around you.