While most high school students are in classrooms this week digging into course work ranging from American History to AP Calculus, students in the Walkabout Program at Putnam Northern Westchester Board of Cooperative Educational Services are testing their limits and getting to know each other in a three-day hiking trip in the Catskill Mountains.
“Walkabout is a challenge-oriented program. It challenges students to test their own limits and helps them to recognize that they are stronger than they might think, and that they can do more than they might think,” said Robert Angiello, Director of Walkabout. “This trip is a great way for the students to learn to work together and help one another, which is something they will do all year in and out of the classroom.”
Walkabout is a unique, yearlong program for college-bound high school seniors. Walkabout students earn a full-year of academic credit, spend two weeks backpacking as a group to gain confidence and build a sense of community, spend four weeks in a service learning project and complete a 10-week career internship.
Along the way, Walkabout students gain confidence, motivation and direction for the future. Many graduates credit the program, which was founded in 1977, with changing their life. Walkabout has been proven effective by the New York State Education Department and has been named one of the top 40 experientially oriented programs in the United States by the National Institute of Education.
The 2012 Walkabout Class includes 31 students from districts including Bronxville, Briarcliff, Ossining, Beacon and Blind Brook, among others.
Photo courtesy Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES