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This August/September saw our annual international trip to Tennessee. The America Challenge is produced each year by Essex Boys and Girls Clubs and the NABGC network are invited to join. This year participants included from Essex; Rachel Evans (Chalvedon Amateur Boxing Club) and Sam Rodriguez (Linford Wanderers Football and Sport Clubs) we were also joined by Claire Hodgson (Durham Boys and Girls Clubs) and Lauren Welsh (Boys and Girls Clubs of Wales)

The America Challenge is granted only to Senior Members who, in the opinion of the Club Leaders, are considered to be outstanding club members with a high degree of leadership and a sense of service. The Challenge enables Senior Members to gain experience of different approaches to youth work and attitudes to the outdoors, with the task to spread the message to other young people.

The America Challenge is a 3 week trip to Tennessee, consisting of:

  • 7 days of a challenging 70 mile hike along the Appalachian trail through the Gt Smokey Mountains, staying in basic shelters.
  • 8 days of demanding trail maintenance as part of the Rocky Top Session Two Crew with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, staying in tents.
  • 2 days of youthwork, visiting different Boys and Girls Clubs, staying in hotels + All Staff Tennessee Valley Conference
  • 2 days of recreation, staying in a house.

Sam Rodriguez:

“It has been a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am very grateful for being given the chance to experience it with some amazing people. I met some characters along the way, both within the BGC organisation and also up in the mountains, and have made some friends for life”

If you would like to nominate a senior club member of young volunteer please email amiee@essexboysandgirlsclubs.org (Must be 18+ by August 2018)