Upcoming Slideshow Presentations Connect Families, WV Staff Members and Student Alumni.
In an age when so many young people and their parents are “connecting” through social media, our winter slideshow presentations offer families an increasingly rare first person chance to thoughtfully explore their summer opportunities. While technology is changing the way people work, the way they educate and the way they communicate, the most meaningful off-season connections that we make with our families continues to come from our in-person slideshow presentations — just as they have for the past 40 years.
When we founded Wilderness Ventures in 1972 it was as educators with the desire and passion to connect young people to the outdoors while teaching valuable life lessons and helping them to discover their own best potential. Since, at the time, we were living and teaching in our home town of Cincinnati, that’s where we started. That first summer, we convinced ten sets of parents that the outdoors offered a great undiscovered potential to teach skills such as leadership and cooperative problem solving that their children would find immeasurably valuable when they returned to their real world setting. This premise sounds simple-enough today, but, for the time, this was a new and foreign concept to most families. Looking back on it, I can’t imagine we would ever have been able to present our vision and the great potential that connecting with nature has in store for every teenager via telephone, twitter or any other social media platform. The key to connecting with those first ten families was the vitality of our vision and the honesty of our enthusiasm.
We are proud and grateful that today that perennial passion is shared by over 21,000 alumni from all over North America and many other countries. Moreover, I am most humbled when I recall that our important message of bringing young people in touch with nature has spread word-of-mounth, face-to-face, person-to-person — thanks to conversations in schools, community centers, public libraries and, most importantly, the homes of our gracious alumni. Over the past four decades, it has been the generous and enthusiastic parents of former students who’ve invited us into their homes to deliver an informal presentation to a small but impassioned group of interested families that deserves the greatest credit for helping to so effectively spread the word of our programs.
This year, in preparation for our 41st summer season, we’ll be delivering nearly 90 different presentations across the country. In many ways, the immediacy of one of these fun conversations parallels the first-person importance of our adventures. While technology has certainly given young people more opportunities than any previous generation could have possibly imagined, it also presents them with an unprecedented number of distractions and challenges. It is truly the ability to unplug, reflect and think creatively that will distinguish and empower our next generation of great leaders. Because Wilderness Ventures helps people to thrive and enjoy themselves in a world free from technological distractions, it simultaneously frees their minds to both problem solve and think creatively when the re-enter the plugged-in world.
While technology has allowed families to find new ways of communicating and connecting, our favorite way to communicate is still face-to-face. Please contact us to request an invitation to one of our fun presentations in your area. We look forward to seeing you live and in person this winter.
Mike, Helen and the WV Office Team