Outdoor Trips for Teens: How They Could Change Your Life

Josh Goldbach06 Mar, 2024
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Two teens sit looking towards a mountain peak in a green field

In the world we live in today, teenagers face an extraordinary period of transformation. This is when individuals can begin to establish and pursue goals and start thinking about career and life plans. This time also means they deal with a lot of (sometimes overwhelming) pressure.

What happens if we get it wrong? A teen might say to themselves, It seems like my friends have it all figured out. What happens if I don’t know where I’m going?

Unfortunately, these questions have become the norm for many teenagers living in a post-COVID world. A global pandemic coming along and throwing their entire lives into life-altering turmoil can understandably change a teen’s perspective on some of their career aspirations and life plans.

Outdoor trips for teens could represent an answer. Taking a teen adventure trip may not solve all of life’s problems or be the magic key that will help a teenager suddenly discover their true calling. However, these excursions can open up various opportunities and help inspire future prosperous decisions as they make their way through life.

Setting aside time to spend outdoors can help teenagers cast aside the pressures of their lives and rediscover what’s truly important to them. Moreover, they may find themselves in a situation that removes them from their comfort zone, forcing them to think outside the box and become more resilient.

Prepare for Life by Living

At one time, society viewed failures as learning opportunities; teachable moments. Today’s world teaches teens that failure is an intolerable, appalling thing. Failure is a notably real stress point for many teens in a culture of competition and achievement.

Consequently, teens don’t always have the chance to learn authentic leadership through taking risks. That’s why it’s so important for them to start getting comfortable making mistakes and discovering the inner courage that comes from those experiences. It is from this internal strength that a teen can learn from those mistakes, overcome them, and move forward.

Teens today experience higher anxiety, depression, and life pressure than ever before. In many cases, teenagers can significantly benefit from an adventure camp environment where they’re both challenged and supported. Outdoor adventures with their peers can help boost their confidence, increase their independence, and develop leadership skills that can benefit them in the short and long term.

A teen rock climbs up a rocky face in a spruce forest

Take a Break from Technology

Technology and digital media run our world today. Outdoor adventures allow teens to engage in a digital detox and unplug from technology. Some youth may initially resist separating from their phones, tablets, and keyboards. Even as adults, being separated from our phones can be stressful when we’ve been conditioned to rely on them so heavily. Sometimes it’s important to be immersed in an experience where we simply don’t have the choice to stay connected. Being outside allows us the space to thrive in a world that’s often trapped inside a bright screen.

Separating from technology is an ideal way to relieve teens’ continuous pressure about school and their futures. It’s no secret that social media and smartphone use remain linked to depression in adolescents. Outdoor trips for teens cut the cord for these individuals, leading to the following:

Closer Relationships

The presence of a phone or other device, even when turned off, can create feelings of disconnection or inadequacy with others. Putting the digital devices away helps teens spend time and connect with others their age to whom they can relate.

Most kids and teens spend over a decade together in school with their friends. They likely have healthy, sustainable, and genuine relationships. However, many school-established relationships during a teen’s formative years remain circumstantial.

However, outside of a school building, teens often bond with others more voluntarily outside of a school building. The differences in the relationship often stem from similar interests or hobbies.

Adventure camps for teens and other outdoor endeavors enable teens to push the envelope, committing to something different than their schoolhouse peers. Teens can choose to step outside of their comfort zones, assimilating with others into a group of individuals they didn’t already know or might not have otherwise socialized with at school.

These outdoor trips encourage welcoming, inclusive, judgment-free environments, a world where everyone can feel welcome and free to be their best selves. Some teenagers might discover they meet someone on an outdoor trip who becomes a lifelong friend.

Regardless of where we are on the planet, the individuals we meet will always impact our lives. The good, the bad, the successes, and our failures are all part of the experience. The teenage years remain the perfect time to embrace life’s craziness. Teens can learn resiliency by welcoming new people and experiences. Things will never be the same. Nonetheless, that’s the point.

Increased Self-Worth

As we browse social media, we often see carefully crafted images of others. Teenagers may often tell themselves that other people are more attractive, adventurous, or fun than they are. The curated visuals we all observe on social media and digital marketing make it easy to feel inadequate or as though we’re missing out.

Being immersed in the natural world enables teens to remember reality, understanding that living in the moment is better than longing for what might be happening in the online images we see.

Teens can establish their new narrative through the adventures they’re living in real-time. Spending some time outdoors in a new environment allows teenagers to be who they want to be and not feel pigeonholed into something based on false expectations or the pressures of simply living their daily lives.

This can also be an important opportunity to break free of the personalities teens take on at home or school. They can rewrite their story in a supportive, judgment-free community with others who accept them for who they are.

A girl sits on the shoulders of another girl standing in a thermal pool

Improved Focus, Increased Productivity

A significant discrepancy exists in the leadership skills that top companies expect from their employees and what their prospects might possess. School and athletics don’t teach the necessary non-cognitive skills teenagers need to succeed today. Students must work at improving their leadership through experiences and putting these skills into practice. Regrettably, few teenagers experience a real opportunity to develop these skills in middle and high school.

Cell phones and other devices stand as a roadblock to these opportunities. We all have notifications. As students attempt to “seize the day”, meet a deadline, or pay attention in the classroom, nearby devices can keep them from taking full advantage of the world around them.

Similarly, taking on new decision-making challenges and responsibilities comes with a practical realization that teens won’t always get it right. Getting lost isn’t a fun experience and can be a little scary. Nevertheless, it’s essential that teenagers learn ways to get themselves out of these situations, learning teamwork and tolerance for adversity along the way.

Failing productively isn’t something most students learn in schools or traditional extracurricular activities. Although accomplishments and success represent something we should praise and celebrate, students should also be encouraged to try things they might fail at. The prospect of failure is a scary proposition, but with support and healthy resilience, it might be one of life’s most important lessons.

Improved Mindfulness

Teens who spend more time outside typically experience better social awareness, increased confidence and creativity, reduced stress, and better sleep. Exposure to sunlight helps to regulate sleep patterns, improving the potential for restful sleep and recharging during their time indoors.

Outdoor camps can help teens experience some of the most beautiful landscapes our world offers. Teens can gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of the outdoors, encouraging them to pick up new hobbies they might continue for their lifetime.

We’re connected to our devices virtually all the time. It’s easy to get distracted trying to line up the perfect shot or craft the preeminent social media response. Instead, getting outside can help teenagers learn to spend time with nature, focusing on every moment’s perfection to savor the experience.

Why Outdoor Adventure Trips?

Why should teenagers and their parents consider outdoor adventure trips? For one, the world is different today. Teenagers feel significant pressure from numerous sources. They worry about looking (and being) immaculate, building a resume to get into college and start a career, how much they might earn in the future, and of course, the pressure and dread of failure.

Who wrote these rules in the book of life? The reality is that the world has materially changed.

Why is the answer adventure trips or travel? Some of the most precious commodities of our digital age are space and time. Outdoor experiences can offer teens the space to think and the time to discover who they want to be.

An outdoor adventure trip can additionally allow teens the ideal opportunity to learn more about themselves and what they want from their future. These experiences can give teenagers a new perspective and introduce them to individuals from other cultures or walks of life.

Seeing new things, meeting new people, and experiencing new environments lets teens open their minds to potential alternatives while inspiring creativity and inviting them to think outside the box.

teens hiking croatia montenegro

It May Feel Like It, But You Aren’t Stuck

Many teens feel stuck in their challenges and the runaround associated with college applications, standardized testing, and their futures. This comes accompanied by worrying about social status, relationships, and self-worth.

Sometimes all teens need to escape their entrenchment in their current situation is a change. The good thing about the teenage years is that while teens may feel stuck in their lives, in reality, they aren’t. Teenagers remain free to discover different ways they can live and the many passions they might nurture.

Travel and outdoor trips are great for anyone’s mental health, but adults don’t always have the flexibility in their schedules to seize these opportunities. Teens have the chance to channel feelings of stress into the energy to try something new with their summer.

Your Next Adventure is More Than a Summer Diversion

Many teens reside in their comfort zones, refusing to challenge themselves out of an overwhelming fear of failure. Today’s world rarely educates teens and adolescents on how to handle challenging situations. Unfortunately, this leads to a fixed mindset: try, fail, and give up.

An outdoor adventure program like ours at Bold Earth can help to promote opportunities for teens to develop and cultivate a growth mindset. Teenagers who try our outdoor adventures try new things and may fail. However, Bold Earth works to help them rebound from these experiences, ultimately succeeding through creative thinking and hard work.

Risk remains an essential component of normal brain development in adolescents and teens. Bold Earth allows teens to make decisions in low-risk, low-consequence situations under supervision from our professional team. We work hard to provide the tools they need to make good decisions when they return home, aiming to help them live a life that is neither risk-averse nor risk-prone.

The right program can serve as a defining experience in a young individual’s life. Bold Earth trips are more than just a diversion from studies and responsibilities. We believe our trips are the foundation for deep friendships, compassionate perspectives, and human connection.

To learn more about meaningful service and outdoor excursions from Bold Earth Adventures and how it can make a difference in your teen’s life, contact our team today for additional information.

teens admiring grand canyon on hike

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