March 23, 2014 in Outdoors

Peak 7 has mission to empower kids

By The Spokesman-Review
Rich Landers photoBuy this photo

Tucker Walker, a guide-in-training, checks a volunteer “client’s” life jacket before launching for a Peak Seven Adventures raft trip.
(Full-size photo)

Getting a kid outdoors for a day, and better, yet, for a couple weeks, can have a powerful impact on a kid.

“Sure, it isn’t magic in every case, but the results are impressive,” said Ryan Kerrigan, executive director of Peak 7 Adventures.

The faith-based outdoor experience group asks at-risk kids check their baggage at the start of a trip and join guided groups where nature, gravity and weather provide the raw ingredients for life lessons and empowerment.

“When they’re with us, it’s about loving people and being moral,” he said.

Peak 7 is geared to providing a first-rate outdoor adventure experience that engages youth spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally. “When a kid goes into the wilderness, the socio-economic and social barriers break down quickly.

“Counselors tell us some serious healing happens in the realm of the physical hardships. When they climb a mountain with us, they feel their accomplishments. They’re not stupid. They see the hope. This is important for kids with parents who taught them to be quitters.

“They leave inspired and empowered and feeling like they are worth something. They can take that memory to any experience later in their life.”

Sometimes just one positive experience can start breaking the chain of hopelessness, poverty and bad choices, Kerrigan said.

“Money should never be a drawback to this possibility. We offer low prices and scholarships so everyone can experience the adventure.”

Rich Landers

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