Youth Powered Outdoor Leadership

 

Cascade Leadership Challenge is a Scouts BSA (formerly Boy Scouts of America) Venturing Crew that provides outdoor adventures and leadership opportunities to teenagers. We have events and expeditions challenging members to develop skills, persevere through difficulties and stretch themselves into highly capable people. Along the way, members build confidence, cooperation and trust.

 
 
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The CLC Venture Crew members travel throughout mountains, rivers and marine environments of the Pacific Northwest. Our most ambitious expeditions have taken us to Alaska, the Northwest Territories, Argentina, and Nepal.

 
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All our events are youth-led and adult-advised. As our membership is coed, so is our leadership. We emphasize gender equity in everything we do — each trip has male and female adult and youth leaders. Our advisors and adult trip leaders maintain their youth protection training through Boy Scouts of America.

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Our age range for new youth members is 14–18 and new members are always welcome. Throughout the year, we have trips suited for beginners. As youth gain skills and experience, they start joining our more gnarly adventures.

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Youth are encouraged to join at any time in high school. They start out learning how to learn...to follow the paddle guide's instructions and paddle together....to tie knots correctly and put on the climbing harness correctly....to cook a meal on snow....to manage their own gear and to bring the right stuff...

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As they increase their high adventure skills, they begin learning how to manage themselves...working through the emotions of being too cold, too hot, too tired, too scared... and managing trips—planning routes, developing menus, buying food, and managing the duty roster.

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By the time they are 18 years old, they are whitewater river guides, rock climbing instructors and experienced back country travelers, passing on what they have learned to younger members.

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Our program leaders are volunteers, working with youth step-by-step. Many are CLC Venture Crew alumni, continuing to give back to community. Each crew has an advisor who works closely with the crew youth leadership and manages the "outside game"—keeping a circle of safety by ensuring that the equipment is in the best working order, that permits are bought, that emergency contacts are in place and that decisions are carefully vetted and carried out.

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Advisors mentor youth and help them walk through the results of poor decisions (like not changing clothing after building a snow cave or or snapping at team members because one is too hungry) all the while maintaining the circle of safety.

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The Cascade Leadership Challenge Venture Crew is run 100% by volunteers.


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To fund scholarships and cover operating and equipment expenses, our chartered organization, also called CLC, holds an annual benefit dinner and auction.This event allows the community to hear directly from the youth about what they’ve learned during the past year, to see stunning pictures of the wild and rugged places we’ve been, and see the youth in action as they manage the event.