Record sign up by young people looking for overseas adventure
Adventure-travel programme Raleigh International is gearing up to have its biggest group of local participants ever.
Twenty-two people, aged 16 to 25, completed the first training camp last month and are working towards taking part in overseas projects in India, Malaysia, and Costa Rica and Nicaragua this summer.
Typically, 14 to 16 participants complete the first training camp, held annually in February.
Kristin White, the charity's executive director, said several factors could have led to the boost, including more advertising and presentations at a number of community groups.
“Plus, with all that's going on in Bermuda, people are on the lookout for any programme that can help young people to make positive changes in their lives. There are very few programmes out there for this target group, and none like Raleigh.
“And finally, I think people are just more aware of us. We've had over 65 young people complete the programme over the last six years, so there's more word of mouth.”
On Friday, all but three participants showed up for the official launch of the programme at the Bermuda National Gallery in City Hall.
Eighteen-year-old Devon Nepier said he was looking forward to the start.
“I just thought it would be something cool to do.
“I want to go to India just because it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It's just going to give me time to clear my head as I am in transition from high school to college.”
He plans to head to the Bermuda College in the fall, once the programme is complete, to study hospitality and culinary arts.
Coreen Scott, 17, currently a student at CedarBridge Academy, said she was hoping to improve her interpersonal skills, communication and networking abilities through the programme.
The Royal Gazette: “I think I will get a lot out of it. I think it is a good experience and I feel I will learn a lot from it.
“I want to reach for my goals and find out what's my next step in life because I am in high school and I would like to go someday to college and I have never travelled before.”
Having a bigger group has budget implications.
“Thankfully we will be able to afford to send all of them,” Ms White said.
“From this year onwards, we will have two programmes a year the one we've always had, where participants train in the winter and spring and go one expedition in the summer, and a new one where participants will train in the summer and fall and go on expedition in the winter.
“So the fact that we have a larger group than we'd planned for the upcoming summer expedition will mean that we will have to raise more funds for the winter programme, or have a smaller group than we were planning to have.”
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