TrentonTrekkers…Experiential Learning on the Rise
“Experiential learning is the process of learning through experience, and is more specifically defined as “learning through reflection on doing.”
Our TrentonTrekkers program, which is modeled after the UrbanTrekkers program at UrbanPromise Ministries in Camden, is growing at UPT. TrentonTrekkers program provides experiential learning opportunities for the UrbanPromise Trenton youth. Many of the activities take place outdoors in nature, but we have also expanded the program to take our youth other places to learn about history and culture. Currently the program is able to be offered through the support of various donors, volunteers, and the Camden UrbanTrekkers program. Next fall, the program will also begin receiving funding from the William Penn Foundation.
Over the last two years, UrbanPromise Trenton youth have had the opportunity to participate in activities such as hiking local trails, canoeing waterways, navigating ropes courses, and visiting historic sites in Philadelphia as part of the TrentonTrekkers program. This summer, we offered a four part series on aquatic environments and over 50 students were able to participate in at least one the trips! The trips included taking a ride aboard an old steamboat on the Delaware River, canoeing the Delaware and Raritan Canal, visiting the Abbott Marshlands, and traveling to the Jersey Shore. On each trip, the students learned about the different environments and explored the area.
We plan to expand the program to include more students and offer other activities such as biking, kayaking, camping, and other day and overnight trips in the near future. The long-term goal is to be able to hire an individual to focus solely on the TrentonTrekkers program. This individual would be able to plan weekly, monthly, and annual activities for all the UrbanPromise Trenton students, and eventually allow UrbanPromise Trenton to offer activities to other Trenton students as well. We have big dreams for this program but know those dreams will help our students dream big, we are on the rise!