July 14th, 2010 #2
The Falcon Outdoor Leadership Program for teenagers is rigorous, challenging young people both physically and mentally, to face their fears head-on and to hone skills for their future as responsible citizens and loyal friends. Participants are foisted from their "comfort zones" daily by the leaders: they cook their own meals, learn outdoor skills in strenuous expeditions such as rock climbing, wilderness paddling, and backpacking in the White Mountains, and learn to care for one another despite personal hardship. The final test is a solo experience, in which each participant spends a whole day on his or her own in the woods, with only the wind in the trees and the scurrying of little creatures for company. These past three weeks, the Falcons successfully completed their program with considerable humor, if not always with aplomb! What has emerged from these young people is proof of the value of these experiences. Each is stronger for it. Today they are back from the Whites trip, have cleaned their gear, and had their showers. Their solos are tomorrow.