After 30 years, the PEAKS program is still going strong! Although I have been participating as a PEAKS volunteer for a long time, this was my first time being the PEAKS Camp Director. Even though my role has changed, the experience stayed challenging and empowering! I love PEAKS because it is a great program that allows young adults and their adult sponsors to grow as individuals and as leaders. The camp experience is transformational for most participants; increasing their self-esteem, building confidence, and helping them develop relationship skills they can use when they return home. I had a blast this year in my new role and I am very excited for this new journey.
This year youth and their adult sponsors came together from all 11 regions across Texas. Camp took place at Camp Young Judaea, in Wimberley.
To start off camp, we brought in Nina Rodriguez, from X8 drumming who has been part of the PEAKS schedule for many years. She brought excitement and energy, and kicked off camp to a great start. While the PIGS excelled at the high ropes course, the ELEPHANTS got creative in colors and designs for tie-dye. The APES hit the bullseye in archery, and the KOWS (“cows”) were able to open up through poetry. All of the groups had a blast re-creating and redesigning outfits out of donated clothes during the SWAP o RAMA on the second night of camp. The models and the MCs then lit up the stage with PEAKS’ own version of project runway! The last night of camp, we brought in Zell Miller, a well known poet and activist from Austin, to MC Write Away Live, a talent show incorporating the lessons from the creative writing activity that all groups attended earlier that day.
The PEAKS program couldn’t have asked for a better 30th year! We hope that the next 30 years is just as great!