Adventure in wilderness enriches teens

Project K Students standing as a group

A dozen youngsters from Te Puke are nearing the end of over two weeks of adventure.

They set off from Te Puke on a wilderness adventure on April 28 and are due to return on Saturday.

They are taking part in Project K, a Graeme Dingle Foundation programme that aims to build confidence, develop life skills, promote good health and encourage a positive attitude. It is designed for Year10 students.

The foundation’s Bay of Plenty manager, Dan Allen-Gordon, says the wilderness adventure includes kayaking, cycling and tramping a total of 180km with the youngsters spending most nights under canvas.

“In that time they’ll have two showers,” he says. “There are usually a few shocked faces when it comes round to talking about what they are going to do in the wilderness and they find that out.” Project K is often schools based, but the Te Puke programme is being run in conjunction with Nga Kakano Foundation.

It is being funded by the Ministry of Youth Development’s akonga Youth Development Community Fund.

The fund’s purpose is to support community-based youth development programmes delivered outside traditional education settings to support akonga (learners) aged between 12 and 21 who have been adversely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic to stay engaged in their education journey.

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