Participants involved in the Project Challenge System, in addition to
Community Service and/or
must participate in a 3-day 2-night backpacking trip.
Trips take place in a wilderness environment where the group is faced with being
entirely self–sufficient. In addition to the physical challenges, youth are
faced with a structured daily routine, a curriculum based on initiatives and
hands on learning and an ongoing responsibility for group and individual
decision making. During the summer outing season the program switches from
backpacking to a whitewater based experience. Operating out of a base camp in
the Great Smoky Mountains. Project Challenge participants spend 3 days learning
how to safely navigate a raft down progressively more difficult sections of the
Big Pigeon River. In the process they are taught the basic skills and safety
techniques of river guiding. The groups also get to hike on a part of the
historic Appalachian Trail during this outing.
Four expectations are established at the beginning of the trip: respectful
interaction, appropriate behavior, responsibility for personal gear, and
teamwork. Peer feedback regarding skill performance and completion comprises an
important aspect of this student based learning system and of the Project
Challenge System as a whole.