Youth Frontiers

Students dancing on retreat — silliness and laughter abound

Laughter is the greatest equalizer

When is the last time you took time to play? To make space for spontaneity, to let goofiness be your guide and to laugh — freely, openly and in your own signature way. Remember how that laughter felt? The boisterous bubbling sensation as your lungs filled with oxygen. The lightness of it. The clean, bright clarity it left in its wake. And the openness, the newfound space in your heart and in your mind. When was the last time?

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Moved by a Youth Frontiers Retreat, an educator hugs a colleague

Educator reveals Youth Frontiers’ long-term impact

Our retreats help inspire students to act with character and build community within schools. We can say this with confidence because we see it every day — kids apologizing to those they’ve left out or persistently teased, friends thanking friends for their steadfast support, students connecting with classmates they’ve never interacted with, and shy kids speaking from their hearts in front of everyone. What we don’t often see is how these students remember their retreats 10 or 15 years later. A few months ago, we did.READ MORE

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Tim Welsh on stage asks us to go beyond Minnesota Nice

More than Minnesota Nice

By Tim Welsh, Vice Chairman of Consumer Banking Sales and Support for U.S. Bank

The following content is adapted from Tim’s keynote at Youth Frontiers’ 2017 Ethical Leadership Luncheon.

Let me start by thanking all of you for being here today to discuss ethical leadership and to support the amazing work of Youth Frontiers. It is a very busy time of year, and I know that all of you have many demands on your time. I suspect some of you were like me when you looked at your calendar this morning. You had more work to do then you had realized, and you asked yourself if you could really spare the time to go off to a luncheon. I am very grateful that you chose to focus on such an important topic and to help an organization that has touched the lives of literally millions of young people in this community and around the Midwest, including my own kids. READ MORE

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Youth Frontiers' 2017 Y Corps: Genevieve, Kevin, Maggie, Dahlia, and Traiveon

YCorps Spotlight: Kevin Lungay

We are so grateful for our wonderful staff at Youth Frontiers (YF), from our full-time and part-time employees to our YCorps. The Youth Frontiers YCorps (Youth Corps) is a seven-month internship program that gives emerging leaders the opportunity to facilitate, along with our full-time staff, life-changing retreats for schools all over the upper Midwest. The YCorps do a lot to further our mission, so we want to celebrate their skills and stories on our blog in a five-part spotlight Q&A series. Our second YCorps member in the spotlight is Kevin Lungay. READ MORE

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Students using teamwork to overcome a the Giant Jump Rope Challenge

Teamwork is another name for community

By Sarah Gavigan, Youth Frontiers Communications Specialist

Icebreakers. Warm-up games. Whether you’re hot or cold about these, you can’t deny that they require one thing to succeed — teamwork. Every day on Youth Frontiers retreats, our staff members lead students and educators in games designed to break down their social barriers and build each other up. One such game is the star of our Courage Retreat — the Giant Jump Rope Challenge.READ MORE

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Girl wearing backpack facing away walking down a street in autumn

HUGS – how one girl helps foster kids

By Sarah Gavigan, Youth Frontiers Communications Specialist

We facilitate retreats because we want all students to know that they matter, others matter and what they do matters. Sometimes the way students respond to this message astounds us.

The day after her Courage Retreat®, Guadalupe reached out to Youth Frontiers with a favor to ask. She requested that we send her not one, not a hand-full, but 4oo Courage buttons. That’s a lot of courage, we thought to ourselves. Why would a 12-year-old girl from Fort Atkinson, Wis., want so many small orange buttons? READ MORE

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Youth Frontiers candle with microphone

Experience – it’s what makes us who we are

By Kasia Heurth, former Youth Frontiers retreat participant

The lights go out, the darkness giving room to the dim candlelight. Around the candle sits a circle of high school seniors. The silence is broken by shuffling followed by more silence and more shuffling. I can recall the warm candlelight casting highlights on the faces of my fellow classmates. I remember the silence that would welcome a classmate to the middle and share their four-year journey.READ MORE

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