Last week the kids were on Sprig Break and we were able to share some brand new experiences with them, like zip lining through the Gorge in North Carolina with Generation Next.

Our staff and teens zoomed along 11 zip lines spanning 1.25 miles and descending more than 1100 vertical feet. This experience was so much more than a once in a lifetime opportunity, it helped them build lasting, trusting relationships with the residents. Staff members Courtney Tidwell and Jill Lawson were by the kid’s sides each step of the way. Courtney shares her story:


“Standing on the first ledge your nerves tell you to panic, but you don’t look down and focus on the guides instructions. We were only attached to the zip line by a harness and a few hooks. As my group of teens approached the edge I could see the nerves in their eyes and I’m sure they could see it in mine. We were taking a leap of faith together. Each of my kids have mustered the self-confidence to jump and now it’s my turn. 1, 2, 3… and I’m flying above the canopy at nearly 30 miles per hour. At first the panic sets in and I can only focus on the guild instructing me when to break. But before long the views of the old growth forest grab my attention and the panic leaves. Gilding though the stunning landscape looking out at the mountains and valley in the distance and creeks and rivers below was one of the most thrilling things I’ve ever done. I’m so grateful I had to opportunity to experience this with the teens. “