Can you be an individual and a selfless giver? Well yes, and it will help live a longer happier life. VLA explains how.
Hey parents! Looking for a way to teach your teens to be more responsible? Want them to become more aware of the world and have the opportunity to travel to exciting places? Do you desire for them to delve deeper into conversations about God and spirituality? Do you want to see them involved in a group that will encourage them to push past their limits and pursue a full and healthy life? Do you feel like you’re stuck in a cheesy infomercial and can’t change the channel? Well, bear with us, because if you answered yes to any or all of the above questions (minus the last one), we think we can help you out! Veritas Life Adventures exists to build up teenagers into healthy, responsible leaders that make a positive impact on their world. We do this through a year-long program designed to ignite a passion for life and God by providing knowledge, opportunity, challenges and adventures that draw out and foster all the best qualities your teen has to offer. While we teach the basics of fitness/nutrition and encourage participants in their search for Truth, it is the teens who do most of the work and determine their progress in the program. We believe that every teenager has the potential to be awesome, and sometimes they just need a little nudge (or a hike up a mountain), a little love (or a deep conversation), and the opportunity to thrive. Well, we provide the tools and opportunities, and we see results. While I would love to tell you every detail about how much growth and positive change we have seen in the students who have gone through our program, I’m going to give them the floor for a minute:
The following was written by Conner Jansen, a 3-year Veritas veteran who will graduate this year:
Veritas Life Adventures is an organization that has benefited my life in so many ways. I started with Veritas 3 years ago on a camping trip in New Mexico and have stayed with it since then with my hard work and determination, along with some help from friends. Veritas was founded to help high school students lead a healthy and holistic life. It also teaches us to lead others and benefit the community and others around us. As a participant of Veritas, or a Seeker, I am responsible to continue my healthy habits and continue to benefit and learn from the community. As reward for my hard work, I get to go on incredible trips around the world (that are also FREE) that make me work hard and test my skills and strengths.
I can remember last year, in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, when I had not been hiking for very long, but had been hiking very hard, and we got to this one spot where I could not believe my own eyes. The scene was so huge and in-your-face. There, the Grand Tetons towered to our right, enormous hills rose on both sides, and a shimmering glacial lake stood in front of us with water such a clear and beautiful blue that I cannot even describe it in words. When I come face to face with scenes like this I am reminded of how great and how powerful God really is. I don’t know how, but I just know that He wanted me to see this beauty for myself.
Tessa Baca, who started the Veritas program last year and will also graduate this year, wrote this excerpt (read the full story here) after our trip to New Zealand in January:
I’ll always remember what Cassie told me: “perfect love casts out all fear.” I didn’t understand it; Perfect love? What am I supposed to love perfectly? I realized it wasn’t a question of what I am supposed to love perfectly but of who I am supposed to love perfectly. The answer to that was kind of obvious. That simple verse stuck with me throughout the whole experience. Every time I doubted myself, I wondered what exactly it was I had been nervous about and then disregarded it because I knew that if I gave my complete trust and faith in God, I virtually had nothing to worry about.
Next lesson: fear and courage. Never in my life have I ever had to explore fear and courage than I have had to in VLA. We regret the things we never do. They (Veritas) want us to discover ourselves, to take on new challenges and see if we can test our most personal ones. I personally have anxiety. It’s mild, but I still get stressed out regardless. Bungy jumping isn’t too great for people like me. Nevertheless, I still chose to go first because 1) I wanted to get it over with and 2) I hate heights. But I had no expectations so I really couldn’t be too nervous, right?
Those brief moments I stood on the projection of the bridge weren’t too bad until I took a peek down. I told myself Cassie’s words and felt a new feeling in my chest: adrenaline. I wasn’t scared anymore. What was I supposed to be scared of? Falling in the water and not coming back up? Whatever it was, I didn’t feel it anymore. God was with me and I knew everything would be alright. So I jumped (a bit awkwardly, really) and I saw the water get closer. I couldn’t believe I’d done it.
That night, I confided to Cassie that I believe in Christ, something I never would have said since I was thirteen. She really got me thinking. If we saw Jesus as the physical embodiment of God and modeled our lives after his behavior, we’d be a better functioning society. That was a shining moment for me and I shall always remember it.
The 2015-16 program will begin in September 2015 (and ends August 2016), and we would love to see your teens join us on our adventure. We currently have 10 spots available for high school students, and are accepting applications until August 1. More information about the program and our trips can be found in our brochure. If you have any further questions, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be glad to talk with you!