What are the “in” destinations this summer for teens traveling with Adventures Cross-Country (http://www.adventurescrosscountry.com/
“For parents concerned about overseas travel for their children, these programs fit into their comfort zone,” said Scott von Eschen, Adventures Cross-Country President. “It seems that everyone has a friend or neighbor who has been to Costa Rica.”
Southeast Asia, South America and, most recently, Turkey follow.
Unlike just a few years ago, Southeast Asia is now very popular, especially Vietnam and Cambodia, he notes.
“For parents and teens who want to feel they’re reaching out and are on the cutting edge of adventure travel, these are the kinds of locations they seek. Communities in these countries offer unique volunteer opportunities, including the building of water purification systems that improve health and quality of life. We also work with at-risk communities, for example the human trafficking population. We work closely with these girls and hopefully make a positive difference in their lives,” he says.
von Eschen notes that families are requesting cultural immersion opportunities in South America, especially in Peru where centuries-old traditions are still intact. Here American youth can help install efficient brick stoves in remote Quechuan villages. These installations allow families for the first time to cook inside and heat their homes without the health hazards of billowing smoke.
“South American destinations are also popular because they are closer to home, in the same time zone, and this seems to make people more comfortable,”
Another exotic program and “hot” destination is Turkey.
“I’ve heard of a lot of people visiting Turkey on family trips. Turkey is an acceptable, interesting destination for North Americans. When we’re able to align a fascinating destination and culture with rich and rewarding service projects, the programs do well,” von Eschen notes. One project here includes studying sea turtles under the auspices of a local university.
“Until recently,” he points out, “Africa was incredibly popular. These days, however, some families are concerned with recent events, and , despite all the great service and adventure opportunities, interest has dampened.”
This summer the company will send young people to 21 countries where they will dig into rural village life, brush up on language skills and become global citizens through volunteering and service.
“Travel priorities have changed in the nearly 30 years we’ve been entrusted with showcasing the world to teens,” he notes. “Coming to California 15 years ago was a big deal. Now families ask us to take their seventh grader to Vietnam. It’s interesting how much smaller the world has become and how much more comfortable people are today sending their kids internationally.”
Adventures Cross-Country advocates meaningful travel as the best way to inspire teens to become responsible global citizens.
“I am extremely proud of the lasting impact that ARCC students have had on people, on communities and on the environment around the world,” reflects von Eschen, parent of two teens. More often than not these experiences are life-changing as students learn to be contributing members of our global community.”
Scholarships are available to boys currently in grades 9-12 for two programs: Thailand Elephant Service (http://www.adventurescrosscountry.com/
Scholarships are available to girls currently in grades 8-9 for Costa Rica Service Ultimate that runs July 16-Aug. 5 and for girls currently in grades 7-9 for Costa Rica Service Classic that runs July 21-Aug. 3.
About Adventures Cross-Country (ARCC)
Founded in 1983, ARCC has become a leading provider of Community Service, Service Learning and Adventure Travel programs for youth ages 13 to 19. For over 30 years ARCC has been offering life-changing experiences to students who participate in two- to four-week small group programs that visit 21 countries on six continents. From teaching primary school English and building water purification projects in Africa to running whitewater rapids in Costa Rica to enhancing fluency in Spanish or Mandarin in Spain or China, ARCC brings youth face to face with the challenges, realities and beauties of nature and our global community. For post-high school students ARCC operates Gap Programs in Africa, Asia and Latin America. These offer an educational and cultural bridge between high school and college combining a rich academic curriculum with the experiential benefits of international travel.
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