I learned about a great program in Chicago that offers Adventure Programming to at-risk youth. I am marking the site because I just know I’ve got to use this program in an upcoming Jo Sullivan novel somewhere. Chicago Adventure Therapy (CAT) believes teaching things like kayaking, rock climbing, cycling and hiking can make a big difference in improving a youth’s outlook on life and offers hope for their future.
There’s a great blog on the site as well, and I found one story about a young man that reminds me an awful lot of the character Chris in Painted Black, who is the embodiment of a couple of youth I personally met myself when I volunteered. Here’s an excerpt from one post that is exactly the kind of thing Chris would do.
[Here’s] how he helped one of the mentors with his program on our camping trip: She was terrified of heights, to the point of tears and hyperventilation. “Rico” went back down the trail, sat with her, talked with her, and then walked back up the trail slowly right in front of her so she could watch his feet, and make it up the trail.