LASSO (“Learning Adulthood Skills and Supporting Ourselves”)
Happy Trails developed a trust and dependability with our teenage campers that is so often lacking in this vulnerable population. In order to foster this relationships and best meet the needs of these youth, we have recently implemented two critical programs for our older youth.
Campers ages 14 years and older are eligible to participate in the LASSO program, which helps prepare them for life after foster care and the responsibilities of adulthood. LASSO events and workshops are scheduled throughout the year and leverage the existing relationships with camp counselors and mentors to provide a stable, consistent force in the lives of youth ages 14+.
Every year in California, about 4,000 youth age out of the foster care system without adequate support or skills. LASSO aims to change the outcomes for youth in our community. Events include college explorations, workshops, career panels and fun activities designed to expose older foster youth to skills necessary to support themselves to become healthy, happy and productive citizens.
To learn more about Transition Aged Youth, check out this report funded by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.
Junior Counselor Program
Former campers ages 16 and 17 are eligible to serve as Junior Counselors at camp. To be considered, a youth must submit a resume and application, provide letters of recommendations, participate in an interview and complete a rigorous training program.
If selected, Junior Counselors work at camp for one week and are paid a modest stipend. This opportunity offers increased responsibility, job skills development, a leadership role, and the chance to mentor younger children in foster care, while still providing transition age youth with the wonders of camp.