Youth Programs Overview

| Published on April 1, 2012
The content that follows was originally published on the Rippleffect website at

Rippleffect programs help youth build confidence, develop critical leadership skills, strengthen relationships, and grow their appreciation for the outdoors through exploration of Cow Island, the waters of Casco Bay, and the wilderness of New England. Our programs offer something for everyone! Join us for the adventure.

Our Youth Programs Offer:

Sea Kayaking:  Fundamental technical paddling skills, judgment and decision-making, coastal navigation, winds and tides, island and inlet explorations of Casco Bay and beyond.

Arts and Creativity: Music, improvisational theater, video journaling, metal smithing, storytelling, and environmental art.

Environmental Education: Coastal ecosystems, organic gardening, monitoring invasive species and managing island conservation zones through service learning projects.

Outdoor Living: Wilderness camping and cooking skills, appropriate layering techniques, nutrition, hygiene, and general life skills that are critical to surviving and thriving in an outdoor environment. Special emphasis on Leave No Trace wilderness ethics.

Leadership Development: Challenge course elements (high and low elements), climbing wall, group initiatives, games and team-building activities that cultivate skills in conflict resolution, small group problem solving and communication. Activities focus around 3 tiers of leadership: self, peer and community.

Spirit: Helping students find a place of centered peace and comfort in their own solitude. Yoga, solos, journaling and group reflections and debriefs are critical aspects of all of our youth programs.

Programs Overview

Aucocisco Day Camps, ages 8-14 – Our Aucocisco programs offer young adventurers the opportunity to explore our island home, learn the fundamentals of sea kayaking, experience our zip line, go rock wall climbing, and make new friends. This week-long day program is offered to Zephyrs (ages 8-10), Ripples (ages 10-12) and Waves (ages 12-14) throughout the summer to meet all skill levels. The Ripples and Waves programs have the opportunity to camp on Cow Island on the Thursday of each program week.

Classic Cow Overnight Camps, ages 11-16 – Our Classic Cow programs offer middle and high school-aged students the opportunity to explore our island home, camp, sea kayak, explore our challenge course, and learn healthy living skills that facilitate the growth of mind, body and spirit. This week-long overnight program is offered to Cow Islanders (ages 11-13) and Cow Journeys (ages 13-16), with a single sex Boy’s and Girl’s Leadership option for Cow Journey students.

Rippleffect Treks, ages 12-18 – These high adventure treks for teens provide Rippleffect alumni and new students an opportunity to explore mountain peaks and coastal islands beyond the beaches of Cow. The trek programs are offered as Paddling Treks (sea kayak adventures), the Trippleffect Multi-Sport Trek (backpacking, rock climbing and paddling), and 4-seasons of Backcountry Backpacking Treks. Choose your own adventure with Rippleffect!

Teen Leadership Programs – Our one week Youth Leadership Summit (YLS) and twelve-day Cow Island Environmental Leadership Program (CELP) teach local high school students skills to help cope with challenging situations, recognize their individual potential, and become an effective leader among their peers and in their community. These programs are subsidized by grant funding and students are accepted through an application process.

School Vacation Adventure Camps, ages 10-13 – Our School Vacation Adventure Camps occur during the school vacation weeks in February and April and integrate leadership, environmental studies, outdoor living skills, and team building into a FUN educational experience.  We offer a Winter Adventure Day Camp during February break and  Spring Adventure Day and Overnight camps during April break.

School Programs – Rippleffect offers programs for schools on our Cow Island campus, in the wilderness or urban wilds of New England, and on-site at local schools. We customize each program based on your school’s specific outcome needs, such as team building, environmental education, anti-bullying work, or outdoor leadership. Program offerings include: Leadership and Orientation programs, our R.O.L.E. after school program, and Project Graduations.

Youth Community Programs – Rippleffect partners with community youth organizations to create customized outdoor adventure programs. We serve local youth groups, social service agencies, scout troops, and more.

Leadership Development Curriculum

We believe that there are three critical components in the development of a healthy leader: understanding of self, peer relationships and community interaction. Each program curriculum integrates aspects of these core components.

Self Leadership

Peer Leadership

Community Leadership

Reflection and solo

Effective communication skills

Community service

ID of traits and leadership styles

Small group problem solving

Guest speakers

Self care in outdoor settings

Conflict resolution skills

Environmental sustainability

Gaining self confidence

Peer to peer feedback

School presentations

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