￼Over the past 10 years Outdoor Odyssey has provided leadership through mentoring opportunities to over 1,500 mentors in Southwestern Pennsylvania. These mentors, usually high school seniors, lead youth in need from their same school districts throughout not only a week of high paced adventure camp but also throughout the entire school year. Over 3,500 youth have been provided with a year long mentor since our mission began in 1998. Unfortunately many children in our area endure hardships and adversities that they should not be faced with. By matching up these children with a positive, educationally motivated high school senior we hope to not only build up their confidence by showing them that they can conquer a climbing wall, but to show them that they can be successful in school and life as well. Our program is, therefore, based on helping youth embrace education and make progress on goals set by their educators. To give students the opportunity for success and increase the potential to reach their dreams, the mentor follows up with the student at least twice a month, striving to make progress on their goals and to make those dreams a reality.
Kevin Wilson was a mentor in 2013 and 2014 and further volunteering as a Junior Counselor in 2015. He graduated from Forest Hills High School in 2015 and has chosen to continue his education at the University of Pittsburgh Johnstown. Check out what he has to say about Outdoor Odyssey and the effects it has had on his future.
For more information about our mentoring program, please watch our “Recruitment Video” here!
￼Outdoor Odyssey offers young children, age 8+, the opportunity to grow and learn with the helping hand of a high school senior or college mentor. Together, your child and your child’s mentor will attend a week of high adventure summer camp at Outdoor Odyssey in Boswell, PA. Laurel Mountain offers a breath- taking backdrop for hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, camping under the stars, and cave exploration.
“There truly aren’t words for what this weekend meant to us, not only as a couple but ultimately for our family! Big high five to everyone for an awesome experience and many, many thank yous!”
￼We travel a long way at great expense and effort from Lake Highland Preparatory School in Orlando, Florida to Outdoor Odyssey in Pennsylvania. The reason we do so is because we believe General Jones and his carefully selected staff at Outdoor Odyssey reinforce the mission of our school and help us mold the character of our young men and women more effectively than anyone anywhere. The facilities are perfect for achieving our objective, the staff is unsurpassed in inspiring our students, and the leadership of Outdoor Odyssey is extremely receptive in customizing a program to meet our unique needs. There are probably places closer to Florida that we could use, but Outdoor Odyssey has proven that they are without peer and we won’t settle for second best for our students.
“The Upper St. Clair Junior Mentors is a group of approximately 60 11th graders who welcome, advise, and support incoming freshmen throughout the year. For the last five years of the program, we have taken the Mentors to Outdoor Odyssey for a two-day training, and we couldn’t be more satisfied with the experience. Through both the instruction and the challenges, Outdoor Odyssey has given our Mentors the confidence, leadership expertise, and teamwork skills that they need to be successful not only in this program, but for the rest of their lives.”
“I love Outdoor Odyssey!!”
“She loves this program and I notice a difference with her and the new friendships she made with kids from other schools.”
When a plan not only comes together but surpasses your wildest hopes and dreams, it is truly an unforgettable experience. Outdoor Odyssey is responsible for the remarkable transformation that is taking place on our campus back in Orlando. We’ve always been blessed to work with great kids at Lake Highland. But now we have confident students that are leading their peers with humility and genuine concern. They are mentoring our elementary and middle school students, encouraging each other in the classrooms and on the playing fields, challenging themselves and others to demonstrate moral courage, and modeling unconditional love and acceptance. I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of the Leadership Academy and can’t wait to watch as future classes set out on this journey.
“The Pennsylvania Mountain Service Corps has partnered with Outdoor Odyssey for nearly 18 years; and in that time the Outdoor Odyssey staff has executed dozens of very affordable and exceptional leadership programs for our group, all in a beautiful outdoor setting. The staff worked hard to make our experience positive and dynamic every time. Our participants have stated that the programs they have attended at Outdoor Odyssey have not only been inspirational but have also been a unique experience that would be hard to replicate!”
Mentor Letter – Coming Spring Recruiting Season 2015
Lake Highland Preparatory School, FL.
Our Mother of Sorrows