Get Adobe Flash player
A Little More About Us…
GO WEST!!! USA is not designed to correct "bad" behavior, but instead to be a haven of enthusiasm, respect, trust and responsibility.  Disrespectful behavior requiring extensive attention or breaking the law is not acceptable and will result in dismissal. Click here to download a copy of our Youth Application which clearly defines the boundaries of our program.

GO WEST!!! USA is not just a three week vacation for the teens who participate. They must demonstrate a willingness to work together, before and during the expedition.  They must participate in the fundraisers and  community service events. During the expeditions, the teens must (all chores are supervised and/or taught):

  • Fuel the Vehicles

  • Wash dishes

  • Setup/Break Camp

  • Wash Vehicle

  • Hike over 100 miles

  • Cook Meals

  • Check Tire Pressure

  • Change Motor Oil

  • Carry Firewood

  • Change Tires

  • and much more!

With an introduction to:

  • Astronomy

  •  Forestry

  • Orienteering

  • Guitar 101

  • Nature Photography

"Many of our teens here in Central PA have never even seen a starry moonlit night. "   
 - Rob

Our Expeditions are both physically and mentally challenging, but in the end we fully expect the experience to be one of the most rewarding in the lives of the teens who participate.

VOLUNTEER AMERICA

The Volunteer America Program at a glance…

GO WEST!!! USA offers outdoor adventure programs for under resourced teens. The grant-supported program provides an environment in which  teens can build the healthy social skills that are critical in the development of their personal, academic and career potential. The primary objective of the program is to involve teens in dynamic activities that help build self-confidence and self-esteem. We hope to infuse the teens with a sense of their roles as productive and supportive adults within their communities. We want the teens to fully understand and acknowledge that GO WEST!!! USA is not just a free vacation. They must give something back to the community, and we use the entire U.S. as our community.

The Volunteer America Program offers a variety of outdoor opportunities that take place during our 21 day expeditions. Various national parks across the country give GO WEST!!! USA participants the chance to volunteer through activities such as clearing trails or picking up trash.  These volunteer opportunities show teens the importance of responsibility, as well as giving them a sense of accomplishment.

Description

The Volunteer America Program has a long-term positive impact on the teens it serves because it is a thoughtfully designed collaboration between GO WEST!!! USA and the National Park Service.

The program incorporates is in place so that the teens involved can feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, knowing that they have had a hand in something bigger than themselves. They take back memories that they will be able to share with their families and friends. In the process, they get to build on things such such as expansion of racial boundaries, prejudice reduction, interpersonal skill development (communication, self-awareness, self-assessment, etc.), listening, feedback skills and positive community involvement. The physical activities such as clearing trails, digging trenches, setting up camp, hauling firewood and washing dishes challenge teens to work individually and as a cohesive group. This leads to the emergence of self-confidence, a sense of personal responsibility and the commitment to be positive influences in their communities.

The Volunteer America Program is implemented from the start and requires teens to fully participate in all of the tasks included in the program. It also challenges participants to function cohesively as a group by working together. Using a variety of outdoor venues and adult supervised chores, the program assists teens in developing and exploring the following:

  • Leadership skills
  • Effective goal setting
  • Effective communication
  • Problem solving tools
  • Peer-Peer relationships
  • Peer-Adult relationships
  • Cross-cultural awareness
  • Conflict resolution
  • Healthy life choices
  • Career potential

History

In 1993, GO WEST!!! USA made an institutional investment in the development of programs for teens in Central Pennsylvania. The program has grown incrementally as GO WEST!!! USA learned how to provide more effective programs for teens, developed relationships with partner agencies and schools, and secured funding to support these