The AGBU Generation Next (GenNext) Mentorship Program’s strong network of mentors and youth became even stronger on a recent camping retreat. On Friday, June 22, 2012, over 40 mentees, mentors, and GenNext staffers headed to The Oaks Camp in Lake Hughes, in the foothills of Southern California’s Sierra Pelona Mountains. The two-day trips advanced the program’s mission to positively influence youth and enable them to become responsible, self-sufficient, and independent adults.
Together, mentors and mentees made their cabins their home for the weekend and took full advantage of the Oaks’ vast grounds and facilities. Throughout the day, they played various sports, including archery, basketball, and soccer, and cooled off in the swimming pool, enjoying being out in the fresh air and surrounded by mountains. When the evenings arrived, everyone gathered around the campfire, as old friends reminisced and new friendships were initiated.
A range of team-building exercises, ice-breakers and open discussions gave mentors the opportunity to do what they do best: direct the youth toward a promising future. As always, mentors drew from the extensive training they’ve received through GenNext, which has been key to the program’s success since its pilot year in 1998.
Though everyone was disappointed when the weekend came to an end, GenNext is continuing to plan activities to keep the students and mentors busy through the upcoming fall. In September, they will have another outdoor excursion, hiking the trails of the Eaton Canyon Park in Pasadena.