Our youth development programmes help young people identify and develop their strengths

Each programme can be tailored to suit youth development initiatives of schools and community groups with higher-need young people that require a specialised Adventure Therapy approach.

The programmes align with the Youth Development Strategy Aotearoa and draw on the Circle of Courage model.

Daily Themes

Every day has a theme related to youth development.
These will vary depending on the group but they can cover:

  • Values 
  • Identity
  • Leadership
  • Positive risk-taking 
  • Managing emotions 
  • Motivation and setting goals
  • Friends and relationships 
  • Choices and consequences 
  • Problem solving 
  • Living in community 
  • Working effectively with others
  • Self-reliance
  • Communication
  • Building on success

Participants on our youth development programmes will:

Develop a sense of personal and social responsibility
Be inspired towards positive change and making good life choices
Experience success and mastery, which contributes to developing
Develop skills in self-managing emotions
Strengthen relationships through shared experiences and exercising trust in each other
Develop social skills and the ability to work with others
Increase their engagement in education

We also believe in the importance of a strong key relationship with one worker. This means our Adventure Therapy facilitators provide one-on-one lead-in work, support throughout the programme and follow-up with each participant.

At the end of each programme all participants will be awarded a certificate. A personalised report for each participant will also be provided.

The Journey
12 days, 10 young people

The Journey is an adventure expedition programme that combines outdoor adventures, physical challenges, teamwork, themes, facilitated discussions and reflection to help young people learn to negotiate the challenges they face in their lives.

We utilise activities such as tramping, biking, sea kayaking and rafting to get participants from point A to B. Some days will be beautiful, other days will be tough, but EVERY day will be an adventure!

The group will begin by learning all of the skills they need to complete the journey. Everyone in the group will also get a chance to be the leader of the group.

Who is it for?
The Journey is a great for young people who have a sense of adventure and are:

  • Up for a challenge
  • Struggling with some of the challenges of the teenage years
  • Able to follow safety rules
  • Keen to gain some skills and knowledge that will help them grow into the people they want to be
One term, 8 days of adventure

This is a day programme that runs approximately once a week throughout a term.

It is designed to run in partnership with schools and community agencies that have an ongoing relationship with young clients, and will be tailored to support the goals, therapeutic and educational work of each school or agency.

Through adventure, challenge, and teamwork, the participants will learn about themselves, how to manage their emotions and behaviour, how to work with others, and become inspired to make positive change in their lives.

Activities can include coasteering, low and high ropes, rock climbing, surf kayaking, sea kayaking, orienteering, bridge building, mountain biking, bush crafting, canyoning, and team building challenges.

A theme forms the base for a psycho-social education topic that is discussed and incorporated into each day’s activities.

Who is it for?
The Inspire programme is specifically designed for young people who are struggling to function well in everyday life.

While these young people face significant challenges in their life, we recognise that they are often resilient, resourceful, fun-loving, independent young people who thrive when given the opportunity to learn and grow in a positive environment.

Participants must be able to follow basic safety rules. If the safety of themselves or others is compromised by an individual, that person may be excluded from the activity for that day.

Adventure Therapy

Outdoor adventures, challenges, teamwork, facilitated discussion and reflection.

Strengthening Families

Building relationships in all types of families, understanding your family values, refocus and refresh.

Outdoor education

NCEA level 1-3, school camps, Duke of Edinburgh and William Pike Challenge trips.

“We work with the most vulnerable families in the community.

… We work alongside low income families, families with historical and current abuse issues, families with on-going earthquake trauma and health issues… All our dealings with Adventure Specialties team in Christchurch has been positive and they have provided programmes which sit well alongside ours.”

Methodist Mission


“Kia kaha ra – haere tonu”