We are transforming how schools support young people into adulthood. Our flagship Changemaker programme supports schools to develop a culture of student leadership, social responsibility and environmental stewardship. The programme harnesses the transformational power of wilderness rite of passage, a practice dating back millennia, to help young people step into adulthood happy, resilient, and confident in who they are. During the programme participants develop a sense of purpose, find meaning and become driven to be leaders in their community.
Across three months, participants take part in workshops in school, attend a wilderness camp and organise a community celebration event. We co-design our programmes with each school to identify, target and recruit the most appropriate cohort of young people.
- Our model is built around supporting each school to take ownership of the programme and, over time, lead all in-school phases of the programme themselves. This supports lasting positive change in school by;
- Developing teacher wellbeing and coaching capability
- Creating a culture of leadership and entrepreneurialism in school
- Enriching staff:student relationships
- Reducing the financial burden on school budgets of buying in services.
When teachers start to guide students through their Changemaker journey, relationships flourish and the school community flourishes. This develops trust, compassion and mentorship and creates a sense of ownership and belonging with the school culture. The result is a happier and more engaged school community.
- We don’t think schools should be reliant on buying in services at a high cost. Therefore, all programme phases can be delivered by school staff, with the exception of the wilderness camp (Phase 2). We train teachers to lead Phase 1 and Phase 3 thus building internal expertise and reducing the financial commitment needed to deliver the programme.
14 – 18 year old students. We can deliver the programme to targeted groups (minimum 10 students) or an entire year level. As a rite of passage that supports students’ healthy transition into adulthood, the benefits to the school community are significantly amplified if all students in a year group embark on the journey.
PHASE 1: PREPARATION
1.1. A Tribe Of Mentors
Equipping teachers with the skills and knowledge to support students on their transformational rite of passage journey.
2 x 2-hour workshops
1.2. Embarking On The Journey
Preparing students for their journey by identifying a personal vision and purpose to the programme. They decide what to leave behind and what to cultivate in themselves.
3 x 2-hour workshops
PHASE 2: TRANSITION
2.1. Crossing The Threshold
A week of living together in the wild, learning to cook, camp and thrive as a community. The camp culminates in a ‘nature solo’ that includes the tripartite challenge of solitude, wilderness and fasting. This offers important space for reflection and growth.
5-day Wilderness Camp
PHASE 3: INCORPORATION
3.1. The Return
Supporting students to integrate and make sense of their experiences and harness their newfound insights.
One 3-hour workshop
3.2. What Happened?
Students share their experiences with their community. This witnessing by parents, guardians and school staff helps students integrate their learning into everyday life and turn their desires into action.
2-hour Celebration Event
- All content is co-created with participating students and teachers.
- The programme will be adapted to work around each school’s timetable.
- Phase 3 ‘Crossing The Threshold’ must be delivered any time from March onwards due to weather conditions.
- Minimum group size is 10 students and 2 teachers.
- The programme includes introductory teacher training sessions during Phase 1 and 125 contact hours per participant.
The investment required from the school varies depending on how much of the content school staff are equipped to deliver themselves. Our aim is to reduce the financial investment required year-on-year as the programme is increasingly delivered ‘in-house’.
Starting from £500 per student – if The Visionaries delivers all phases.
Starting from £250 per student – if The Visionaries delivers only Phase 2, the wilderness camp, with the school staff delivering Phases 1 & 3.
6 things teenagers feel when they have finished the programme:
- Greater self-awareness
- Enhanced self-worth and belonging, and a move away from the need for external validation
- Greater emotional resilience to overcome life’s challenges
- More engaged and connected to the natural world
- Greater sense of purpose and aspiration to bring about positive social change
- Better equipped, with a toolkit of practices and processes to navigate everyday life
6 things teachers feel when they have finished the programme:
- Equipped to support students’ wellbeing
- Fulfilled through enhanced relationships with students
- Empowered to be a leader in school
- A greater sense of purpose and aspiration to bring about positive social change
- Inspired to connect with, and care for, the natural world
- Equipped to advocate for the importance of developing a ‘whole child’ approach
"The most beautiful part of the workshop was when each young person sat in the middle and got to choose people to talk about why they appreciated them and to express gratitude for who they are as a person. Adolescence is a time when you are so caught up in other people’s perception of you, but we rarely get that from the people who love us and care about us the most."Lucy, 17 year old participant