UrbanTrekkers

UrbanPromise’s expeditionary education program, UrbanTrekkers provides hands-on learning and journey-based experiences to around 100 youth each year. Through travel to places beyond their everyday lives, youth are motivated to learn more about themselves and the world around them and to develop their potential as young leaders. Each trip is focused around participants’ cross-cultural experiences, environmental awareness, historical knowledge, and community service. 

UrbanTrekkers offers four core expeditions each year: Maine in summer, Assateague Island in fall, Washington, DC in winter, and varying locations during the spring season. UrbanTrekkers' newest expedition is a two-week trek through five national parks in Colorado and Utah for twenty students from UrbanPromise Camden, Honduras, Wilmington, and Trenton. ​Youth also participate in one-day field trips and invitational excursions, including New Trekker Orientation, the Sedge Island Project, Outdoor Leadership Training, and a Rite of Passage extreme adventure.

During each year's Trekker expeditions, Camden youth travel 5,000 miles throughout the country, exploring new lands, engaging with diverse communities, and learning more about themselves in the process.
 

From the mountains of Maine to the museums of Washington, D.C., each year, 100 UrbanPromise middle and high school youth trek to places far beyond the inner city of Camden.

 

Cross-cultural experiences, historical perspectives, leadership development, and team-building exercises are just some of the key elements of UrbanTrekkers 15 annual expeditions.

A Trekker Education

Shahad & Jim enjoy a lakeside sunset in the mountains.

Shahad’'s discipline record in the classroom was astounding. On average, the UrbanPromise Academy student received detention at least three times a week and suspension at least once a month. Shahad struggled to concentrate and do his classwork without interruption or distraction. He wasn’t a bad kid; just misguided.

Where the freshman at Camden County College thrived was outside of the classroom on UrbanTrekker trips.

Shahad wasn’'t in the best shape. He struggled up the Adirondack Mountains in winter, walked breathlessly through the streets of Philadelphia during urban hikes, and complained of sore arms while kayaking during the Cooper River. But he always finished the task at hand.

Trekker trips taught Shahad more about his character and strength than any in-class assignment. That'’s not to say he didn'’t learn in school, of course. But being outside the city of Camden,— away from the threat of violence and influence of drugs and gangs,— Shahad realized that he could complete something, achieve greatness, and be a leader.

He may not have become a nature enthusiast. But his years in UrbanTrekkers taught him important life lessons that he'’ll carry with him throughout adulthood— no matter where his journey takes him.

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"I've never been so frightened," confessed 25-year-old Kyrus.

"My tent collapsed, my supplies were saturated, tree trunks were snapping all around me...I was in the middle of a microburst—a mini hurricane. It was crazy. I spent the night in the outhouse...