Wilderness Challenge Program Application 2023

Wilderness Challenge Program 2023

Dear Parents:

If you have been referred to this application by school or other professional staff your son or daughter may qualify for participation in the TriCity Family Services Wilderness Challenge Program. The Program was designed over 25 years ago to help graduating 8th graders and 9th and 10th graders who wish to develop valuable life skills that can aid in preparing them for their adjustment to high school. To see a 7 minute video presentation go to our website at www.tricityfamilyservices.org then scroll down and click on “Watch the Wilderness Challenge Video”. Our program takes place over eight days, (Thursday, June 15th through Thursday, June 22nd), in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness of northern Minnesota. The focus of the trip is to enable teens to develop peer relationships, team building, and problem solving skills through a multitude of natural challenges and guidance of trained staff. No prior camping or wilderness experience is required. Program initiatives are designed to match your teen’s physical and emotional readiness and at no time will your teen be forced to do anything that they feel unprepared to do.

If your son or daughter has interest in such an opportunity we strongly encourage you to fill out the attached application and send it to us as soon as possible. Due to COVID-19, we are requiring all participants to take a COVID-19 test on June 9th, before departure. Only those with a negative test result will be allowed to participate. All participants will also be required to follow our COVID-19 safety procedures that state that every participant will be required to wear a mask fully covering their nose and mouth when traveling by charter bus to and from the the outfitter and while at the outfitter, have temperature checks as needed, and take a COVID-19 rapid test before departing into the remote wilderness on June 15th and if showing symptoms while out on the trail. The emergency contact for a participant will be responsible for driving to pick up the participant in case of a positive COVID-19 test and subsequent evacuation.

We require your participation at a meeting on Thursday, May 4th, 6:30 - 9:00 pm  at the Geneva Methodist Church, Hamilton & 2nd St., Geneva (1 block north of Rt. 38). The Wilderness Challenge Program will be explained  and parents and teens will be given opportunity to ask questions about the program. A group interview of teens  will also be part of that evening. A second essential part of our interview process includes a day in which your teen participates in teams-course activities at TriCity Family Services and a swim test at the Norris Center. These activities are important to us in determining your teen's readiness for the program. The swim test and team activities will take place in person on Sunday, May 21st, 11:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. There will be no cost for teens accepted into the program other than a $75.00, deposit (refunded after a family's completion of follow-up surveys in Fall 2023).

We look forward to meeting with you and your teen on May 4th.


Hannah Kramer LSW
Wilderness Program Coordinator

“Strengthening Youth through the Challenges of Nature
Positive Decision Making, Teamwork and Creating
Personal Success”