Kelsey's Trek Across New Zealand
Supporting YES youth and growth through outdoor adventure
In November, I set off into the wild wonders of New Zealand to complete a multiple-month backpacking journey on the famed Te Araroa (The Long Pathway) trail! I'll be challenging myself in new ways every day, and I'll be sharing my journey on this site and on social media. I have been fortunate to hold a variety of camping and hiking experiences in my life, but I have never gone on an extended backpacking trip like a trail across an entire country. I am super excited for the adventure, and honestly also really scared!
At this point in my life I am working on my own personal goals, hence this crazy idea to backpack a 3,000km trail across dynamic New Zealand. In determining my "why" for this trek, my heart helped me decide to hike this path in honor of the teens who are engaged in YES's Youth Leadership Pathway, dedicated to success on their personal journeys.
I have been fortunate to be connected with YES for almost a decade, of which I spent about five years working with the Camp-to-Community (C2C) teen leadership program. A core element of the C2C program is supporting teens to expand their comfort zones through a variety of challenges and activities. In both in nature and urban settings, C2C teen leaders gain skills and confidence as they follow their own paths towards becoming the future generation of leaders in our communities.
My intention is to spread the word about YES along the trail, and invite others to support deserving C2C teens, to gain more access to quality outdoor and community based leadership programming; as well as scholarships for graduating seniors who are heading for college next year.
Thank you for following my journey, and considering supporting these awesome young people on their journeys. Please note: click on the larger dollar amounts shown below to see the specific opportunities for C2C teens they correlate too! That said, every penny counts and is much appreciated!