By Sten Palmer
G’day alumni! There’s great news for everyone: Adventure Unlimited’s focus on 20s/30s has progressed from the Young Adult Research conducted in 2017 to implementing its findings through the creation of the DiscoveryBound (DB) Young Adult Manager position and so much more. Having started in this new position in mid-September, I’m privileged to share this awesomeness with you.
Sten? Who’s Sten?
I’m an Aussie who was first introduced to Adventure Unlimited at age 12, flying across the Australian continent to an A/U Easter Camp. I attended a second time when I was 17 and learned about Principia College there. Former DB Youth Director Deb Eastwood came over with a DiscoveryBound teen group to the 2004 Easter Camp at the same time I heard my Principia College application was successful. Little did I know that I’d be working for Deb at the A/U Ranches every summer of my degree.
Seeing the need to provide young adults with opportunities to connect and grow spiritually outside of their normal routines, I started Still Waters Expeditions for young adults interested in Christian Science and led weeklong sea kayaking expeditions along the gorgeous Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia. Then I earned a joint master’s degree in Transcultural European Outdoor Studies at universities in England, Norway and Germany. This new role combines my experience in outdoor education with my love for building Christian community and providing spaces that support spiritual growth.
How do 20s/30s benefit from this focus?
The intention of the DB Young Adult Manager role is to put what we learned through the Young Adult Research into action, including helping 20s/30s connect through organic and authentic local, national and international opportunities in a supportive and loving Christian Science atmosphere.
We’ve found that regular local activity is best to build a supportive network. Therefore, DB contributes $50 towards local activity expenses up to four times per year per area. We recently supported three Friendsgiving events in Boulder (partnering with the new Asher House there), New York City and Boston. There are many great reasons to get together! Please contact me if you want help planning an event.
Folks in their 20s/30s can also connect through fun and inspiring weekends that are organized by 20s/30s. DB offers a $500 stipend to 20s/30s who plan these weekends for 20 people; we also subsidize the cost by up to $1000 and provide support and advertising. For those who need financial assistance to travel to the weekends, DB reimburses 50% of airfares up to $150.
Weekends just for 20s/30s
Our activities are open to all 20s/30s, regardless of where they are on the spectrum of Christian Science practice. We recently held a winter weekend in New Hampshire that was full with a waiting list and tons of fun. We also have upcoming 20s/30s weekends all over the U.S. in 2019, including these:
- Tough Mudder in Los Angeles, CA – April 5-7 Register
- Texas Retreat – NASA & Space Center Houston – May 24-27 Register
I’m also organizing an Arches Getaway in Moab, UT, October 3-7, which is sure to be filled with opportunities for gorgeous hikes and photos with friends. Mark your calendar.
As for overseas trips, I’m gathering requests of where 20s/30s want to travel for an international adventure in 2020. There are so many options and so much to look forward to!
Here are some ways 20s/30s can stay informed about local, weekend and international adventures:
- DB 20s/30s Facebook group (with 180 members and growing)
- DB 20s/30s webpage calendar
- Email – if you’d like to join our email distribution, please send me your request
Not in your 20s/30s? There’s fun for everyone
If you’re outside of this target demographic, we have something for you, too! We support people of all ages getting together in a Christian Science atmosphere, and you can get the ball rolling in your area. If there’s an activity that you’d like to organize, we have DB Outreach regional managers who would love to support you and also contribute $50 per event up to four events per area per year.
We also have an adult track for our National Annual Events. This year it will take place in the Los Angeles area during Labor Day weekend. Other adult weekends are in the works, so stay tuned.
Volunteers: We need you
There are so many ways 20s/30s can share their skills with DiscoveryBound. In addition to organizing local activities and weekends, here are some other opportunities:
- Start an Outreach Chapter
- Chapter Worker
- Outreach Chaperone
- National Leadership Council (NLC) Mentor
- National Leadership Council (NLC) Leader
- Compass Guide
- Provide community service by engaging with the NLC Alumni Initiative
Let the good times flow!
Interested in learning more about 20s/30s? Contact Sten at 888.416.7348 x139 or email.