is a program that encourages teens 16 – 18 years old to prepare for what life will be like once they leave or “age out” of the foster care system.
CrossRoads is a four day, co-ed camp that is maintained under strict supervision. Trained, adult volunteers lead campers through a number of activities that will help prepare teens for life after foster care through developing life skills many of the teens are unfamiliar with or don’t even know exist.
Some of the areas addressed during CrossRoads are:
- What do you do with a paycheck?
- Developing a budget
- How to maintain and balance a checkbook
- Possible funding sources for college or technical college education
- How to complete a job application
- How to present yourself when you get an interview
- What to wear to an interview and the job
- How to keep your job once you’ve landed it!
- How to do basic housekeeping and meal preparation
- Setting priorities
- Doing laundry
- There are places other than McDonald’s to eat out?
- You mean other people DO care how I act?
Through these valuable tools, the relationships built and the overall experience of CrossRoads, it is our goal to give these teens hope, equip them with invaluable skills, and encourage them to pursue their dreams. We want to support them as they take steps toward taking their futures back and breaking the cycle of abuse, abandonment and neglect that has ruled their lives.
The Challenge Course
Each camper spends a good deal of time on the challenge course with their peers and coaches. Our challenge course is specifically designed to facilitate team building and trust. It is not an agility or strength course. Instead, the challenges offered through the course are ones that facilitate teamwork and the opportunity for each camper to open up and begin to tell their story, should they choose.
CrossRoads provides a life-changing experience for each teen by allowing them to interact with adult volunteers who have been thoroughly trained for the purpose of encouraging and uplifting each camper.
CrossRoads volunteers receive no compensation. Campers are made aware of this at the beginning of camp. It makes such a difference in how the teens relate to the adult staff. The teens are accustomed to everyone being paid to be in their lives. Knowing there are unpaid adults around, lets the kids know they are cared about and it helps the campers take a huge step forward in establishing a bond of trust.
If volunteering isn’t for you, a donation is a wonderful way to be a part of CrossRoads.