Kids! of the Month
Amazing Kids! is proud to highlight the Amazing Kids! of the Month!
month, we showcase kids who are accomplishing amazing things.
We hope that by telling their special stories, we will inspire other kids
to accomplish their own amazing achievements.
Amazing Kids! of the Month for August, 2002:
Amazing Young Adventurers, SOAR Program, U.S.A.!
Quotes of the Month:
"We all lived in one tent. No phone, no TV. No Internet. No heat and twenty below zero sometimes. My job was to keep the fire going and I'd get up every two or three hours. You get used to it."
"No one can predict to what heights you can soar; Even you will not know until you spread your wings and fly."
Do you know someone with a learning disability such as ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder)? If you do, be sure to tell them about this month's Amazing Kids! of the Month, the amazing young adventurers who are students in the SOAR program! SOAR students get to test their amazing skills in rock climbing, whitewater rafting, wilderness backpacking, sea kayaking and more!
Read about one amazing SOAR student's experiences below and see why having a learning disability doesn't mean you can't accomplish amazing things! Don't forget to check out the "Related Links" section to find out how you can sign up for SOAR too!
1. For Learning Disabled (LD) and Attention Deficit Disorder (AD/HD) Services (nationally), to provide adventure based programs and experiential education services to individuals and families dealing with Learning Disabilities and/or Attention Deficit Disorders.
2. For Community
Based Services (in North Carolina), to provide adventure based programs
and experiential education services to school-aged youth, with particular
emphasis on students identified as "high risk" for school failure, delinquency
and/or substance abuse.
SOAR's amazing adventure
activities include: wilderness backpacking, horsepacking, rock climbing,
whitewater rafting, wildlife studies, mountaineering, SCUBA diving, snorkeling,
sea kayaking and wilderness medicine. They offer two-four week long summer
expeditions and shorter adventures of three to seven days in the spring,
fall and winter. Also available in the spring and fall are semester-length
student to staff ratio is a low 3:1! As one mother of a SOAR student
SOAR also offers
a series of workshops to educate and stimulate students, parents and
According to the
SOAR website, the workshops are sponsored by parent support groups, professional
organizations or local schools "seeking to provide an opportunity for youth
to learn more about their uniqueness, while adults (parents and professionals)
focus on strategies which empower LD and AD/HD youth across a continuum
of academic and social environments."
SOAR grew out of
a graduate project by Jonathan Jones, which he completed for Dr. Vincent
Cyphers at the University of Northern Colorado. According to Jonathan,
"It reflects a personal love for the out-of-doors and a view of the wilderness
as a place for personal growth and development."
Jonathan has led hundreds of expeditions over the past twenty years: snorkeling and SCUBA diving in the Florida Keys, mountaineering in the Colorado Rockies, as well as, international trips to Jamaica, Belize and Costa Rica! Last summer, his dream of building a Western Base Camp to better serve West Coast families came true with SOAR's opening of their Eagle View Ranch in Dubois, Wyoming! Jonathan continues to plan and develop new programs for the youth and families SOAR serves.
Below is the story of one amazing young adventurer in the SOAR program, Andrew Alexandre. Here is what his mom has to say about her son's experience in SOAR:
"My son Andrew Alexandre
will soon be heading back to a brand new program in Dubois, Wyoming for
kids with different learning styles. The kids learn by doing.
These kids often get bullied in a classroom setting---even though they
are all bright. The kids live in below zero temperatures, in a tent. They
climb rocks that are sometimes 45 stories high and yet they are young--my
son is l3. They prepare all their own meals and go to school like Abe Lincoln
did four hours a day. They all support each other and help each other too.
"They do it for a whole year and next year they hike the Appalachian Trail. The program is called Soar--and it is 25 years old and my son excells at it. He loves helping the other kids. These are all GOOD kids.
"Andrew is now a
different and better person because of his year with Soar. Andrew has been
going to the Soar camp in North Carolina since he was 9. He would usually
go for the llama trek---llamas are great because they teach the children
so much about themselves. The llamas must be put in special order on the
trail because they are so moody. Some spit and that kind of thing so the
kids learn that llamas are just like kids. Moody and sometimes tough to
"Soar just began offering semester programs to l3 year olds last year and Andrew was the youngest child they have had. The program is not punitive at all but positive and reward oriented. The boys and girls do all the itinerary planning, cooking and shopping and accounting and are forced to work out all interpersonal issues themselves. There, is supervision, however, just about all the time.
"It is definitely not for everyone because it is a challenging adventure. The kids may call home once a week but what amazed me the most was how the four girls who participated (ages l6, l5 and l4) loved the trip!
"The group had all had some problems with their parents--but no drug abuse or any of that. Just trouble adjusting to school life and trouble accepting parental authority. "
Amazing Andrew Alexandre and His Amazing SOAR Classmates
Amazing SOAR adventurer Andrew Alexandre talks about his experience in SOAR:
"We started out at
base camp in Dubois, Wyoming. It is called the Eagle View Ranch and is
run by Jessica and Jon Bressler. Jessica is really nice and she is a certified
teacher. Jon is her husband and runs the ranch and he can be tough but
terrific too. I followed the Calvert School program and was glad during
class because it was always warm in the school tent. There were seven kids
in my group and I was the youngest. In the beginning I had problems with
two of the girls but at the end of the year they were all best friends
and will be forever. I cried when I left.
"We all lived in one tent. No phone, no TV. No Internet. No heat and twenty
below zero sometimes. My job was to keep the fire going and I'd get up
every two or three hours. You get used to it. We planned our trips away
from Base ourselves.
"Moab, Utah's park
is awesome. The best. Looks like the Moon. I was most proud of making a
B average and of being chosen to be a counselor for the llama trek for
8 and 9 year olds this
Andrew Alexandre, age 13
For more information about SOAR, visit the SOAR website at: www.soarnc.org.
The SOAR website: www.soarnc.org
The SOAR website's links page for information on Learning Disabilities and resources for getting camp scholarships: www.soarnc.org/html/links.html
Application for the SOAR program: https://ssl2.pwebtech.com/s147214/html/application.html
program dates for 2002: www.soarnc.org/dates/html/program_dates.html
For more information about Amazing Kids! , please contact us at:
CHECK OUT OUR CONTESTS!
Amazing Kids! Stories | Contests | Links | Contact Us