We partner with youth and young-adult serving Jewish community organizations to provide customized 3-10 day wilderness-based adventures. Through BaMidbar’s alternative break programs, students challenge themselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually, and build lifelong connections.
Emerging adulthood is a time characterized by identity exploration, self-focus, instability, feeling in-between, and an age of possibilities. While this can be an exciting time of change and opportunity, many teens and young adults struggle to find themselves, their passion, and their place within the community. Through wilderness-based alternative break programs, BaMidbar helps Jewish teens and young adults authentically engage with others, build resilience, and thrive.
Are you a synagogue looking to create a rite of passage experience for your B’nai Mitzvah or confirmation classes? Are you a day school hoping to support your seniors with a successful transition into college? Or are you a Hillel hoping to build community on campus, and engage students in a new and unique experience? Take your community OUTSIDE to try something different, seek fresh perspective, and build connections. We work with diverse organizations to create a customized curriculum and itinerary for the group. Give us a call today to share your goals, and we’ll craft an experience unique to your community’s needs.
Outcome 1: Building Community
Students will engage with a supportive and healthy community of like-minded peers, and cultivate strong relationships. WHY IT WORKS:
- Living in a small group outdoors requires individuals to rely on each other to accomplish everyday tasks.
- The technology-free environment reduces distractions and allows students to be present and engaged. Overcoming group challenges including physical feats, inter-relational conflict, and external stressors (ex. weather) creates commitment and cohesion.
- Meaningful conversations in a structured group environment invites vulnerability and builds authentic connections.
- Co-facilitation by BaMidbar staff and the hosting organization’s staff allows for continued community building after the trip.
Learning Objective 2: Exploring Identity
Through this experience, students consider life’s big questions and explore meaning, values, and purpose. WHY IT WORKS:
- The natural environment allows students to take a step back from the confines of their everyday life, inviting fresh perspective.
- By integrating Jewish metaphor, storytelling, and tradition into programming, students explore their relationship with Judaism and Jewish community.
- Curriculum and activities supports intentional self-exploration.
- Students develop a deeper awareness of both body and mind through mindfulness practices. This helps students better recognize shifts in their emotional state and implement proactive coping strategies.
- Time and energy dedicated to physical, emotional, social, and spiritual rejuvenation opens conversation about wellness, and what it means to live well.
Learning Objective 3: Increasing Self-Efficacy
Through outdoor adventure and wilderness-based experiences, students build transferable skills and increase their self-confidence and self-efficacy. WHY IT WORKS:
- Learning and succeeding at new skills (ex. starting a friction fire) helps stimulate autonomy and builds confidence and intrinsic motivation.
- By completing seemingly insurmountable tasks (ex. climbing a mountain), students practice perseverance and realize their potential.
- Challenge by choice activities allow for differentiated levels of challenge in safe, supportive environments.
- Personal reflection and group processing helps students feel prepared for the challenges they face in college.
- By engaging with a healthy community of peers, students build a strong support system they know they can rely on after the program.