After conquering the “Summer Camp Leadership Program” experience in Costa Rica, join this exclusive opportunity in our character building programs and continue to hone your leadership skills. Overcome new challenges, help to build a strong team and create an extraordinary experience for Dominican young children while you enjoy an incredible journey in paradise.
Push your limits and spend a few days building your team as you venture through the Dominican Alps; hiking, camping and completing a thrilling high ropes course. After several days of planning, put your leadership skills to the test and enjoy the five-day camp you have just created for young children living in batey communities near Juan Dolio. At the end you will spend some well-deserved time on the beach to celebrate your success.
Use the leadership skills you have gained over the years and take them to the next level with even more joy, creativity and passion. Grow as a person and help others grow by sharing your enthusiasm and positive energy with your peers and campers as you create a unique and unparalleled opportunity for local children through your camp experience in the heart of the Caribbean.
Begin your trip with some challenging team building exercises as you spend a few days in the adventure capital of the country, Jarabacoa. Hike in the Dominican Alps, embrace an overnight camping experience with your group, Raft down the white waters of the Rio Yaque, and complete an advanced high ropes course to learn to support your new teammates. Then enjoy some optional adventures in the area such as horseback riding, Mountain Biking or rappelling down waterfalls before you move onto the next phase of your trip.
After leaving the first adventures behind, it is time to settle into camp on the eastern coast of the Dominican Republic, near the bustling town of Juan Dolio and get to work. A few days of onsite training and orientation will get you ready to plan and run a 5-day long day camp for Dominican and Haitian children from the local bateys. You will run recreational activities, teach arts and crafts and create dynamic games to add joy and excitement to your campers’ lives.
Your hard work throughout the trip will not go unnoticed, and the group will spend a couple of days on one of the Dominican Republic’s amazing beaches to enjoy some quality time and reflect back on the trip.
The Leadership Challenge is designed for students who have either done our “Summer Camp Leadership Program” in Costa Rica or have had extensive summer camp counselor experience. These students are ready to make a serious commitment and reach the next level of community service and leadership. Note that students who have not participated in our “Summer Camp Leadership Program” prior to this will go through a thorough interview process in order to participate in the program.
If you join the “Leadership Challenge”, we invite you to look at our other programs in the Dominican Republic and spend a week or two more in the country with Rustic Pathways. This program also easily connects with our other great programs in Costa Rica and Panama.
Students depart JFK international airport in New York City for Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic late Tuesday evening arriving at Las Americas International Airport in Santo Domingo just after midnight on Wednesday morning. Students will be met at the airport by Dominican Republic Country Director and escorted to hotel, which is located about 5 minutes from the airport about 20 minutes outside of Santo Domingo.
After a late arrival student will be given the chance to sleep in a bit late, and then head towards Jarabacoa (2 1/2hrs) for our training. Jarabacoa is nestled in the mountains of the Cordillera Central, and surrounded by three peaks over 3000 meters. Arrive in time for lunch and enjoy a typical Dominican meal at the ranch, which is also an organic macadamia farm. Then take a tour of the property and learn about the strides being made by local farmers to grow organically, and in a sustainable matter that has fewer effects on the land. In the afternoon students we will begin our training with an incredible "high ropes course" challenge. This will be a perfect chance to set the mood for an adventurous journey and it will also be the first step in the creation of a strong and incredible team.
Over the next three days your team will have the opportunity to really connect together as you complete an exciting overnight hike in the "Dominican Alps" and take on some of the areas' fun optional* activities such as; rafting, rappelling and horseback riding. The trek will take place at the center of the island providing you with extraordinary sceneries and an exciting overnight camping experience while the extra-curricular activities are a perfect way to take advantage of the region's exhilarating adventures. This part of the training aims to establish a foundation that is strong enough to take on the real challenge of the trip: the five days at camp. Even though parts of the training will require a basic level of physical abilities as it revolves around hiking in the mountains, it is not strenuous and does not restrict enrollment.
*the optional activities are offered at an extra fee that is additional to the program price
Once we settle into our base in the small town of Los Llanos de Juan Dolio, onsite training will get you familiar with the finest details of your new challenge and prepare you to have an amazing, fulfilling and very productive five days of camp. During this time the group will focus on the logistics and the curriculum of the upcoming days and work hard on making sure the experience is truly a life changing one for the little ones who attend.
The first of the children will show up early Monday morning and from that moment on you will not only be responsible for the daily activities but you will also become the counselors in charge of the young ones during the day. You will run activities, offer discipline, organize meals, and provide a positive influence. So by the end of the 5th day, you will not only have organized and run fun games and activities but you would have created an amazingly profound experience for kids that seek a positive environment and role models in their lives.
The last few days of the trip will take you to some of the most breathtaking beaches of the Dominican Republic to give you a chance to relax and reflect back on the hard work you have just completed. On Tuesday afternoon students will head back to Santo Domingo for a special last dinner, before heading to the airport to catch a late night flight back home.
If you are heading home, you must say your last goodbyes to your new friends and head off to the airport. Students headed off to another Rustic Pathways program in the Dominican Republic will stay at base hotel Tuesday night and join their new group on Wednesday morning. Students connecting to elsewhere in Latin America will catch a flight either Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning.
Rustic Pathways reserves the right to change, alter, or amend the daily itinerary for this trip at any time. Changes can be made for various reasons including changes in flight or program schedules, changes in the schedules of various external tours incorporated in our trips, the addition of new activities into a trip, or the substitution of an old activity for a new activity. The itinerary shown here provides a good outline of the anticipated daily schedule for this program. As with any travel program, some changes may occur.
Please Do Not Overpack!
-A medium sized duffel bag or large backpack work best. Wheeled bags are OK as long as they are medium sized and can easily be carried like a duffle over rough terrain.
-Please pack all items that could leak in a plastic or Ziploc bag!
(our guides will have comprehensive first aid kits on hand, but having a small personal kit is always helpful)
Rustic Pathways will not be responsible for any lost or stolen items. During travel it is common for items to be lost or stolen so please bring only items you are prepared to part with.
Direct flight from New York to Santo Domingo takes approximately 3-4 hours.
Yes. All flights between the Dominican Republic and the USA will have a flight leader starting in New York. Return flights to the USA will also have a flight leader as far as New York. Flights from the Dominican Republic to Costa Rica, Panama, and Peru will not be escorted.
Students from the United States and Canada will be automatically issued a 30 day tourist visa upon entry into the Dominican Republic, for the cost of $10. STUDENTS MUST HAVE $10 UPON ENTRY TO PAY FOR THE TOURIST CARD.
During this trip, students will visit the provinces of Santo Domingo, Monte Planta, Duarte, La Vega, Independencia, San Cristobal, Montecristi and Barahona
Rustic Pathways does not make recommendations regarding immunizations. We strongly suggest that you consult with a travel doctor or your family physician for medical recommendations based on the area where the student will be traveling (as listed above). You can also check the Center for Disease Control website at http://www.cdc.gov for more information.
On Tuesday afternoon students will return to Santo Domingo. They will spend that night in Santo Domingo at a hotel near the airport. On Tuesday evening students transferring to other programs in Latin America can catch a flight to Costa Rica, Panama, or Peru. Students connecting to other programs in the Dominican Republic will join their new trip on Wednesday morning.
There will be several locations that students stay at/visit during this trip; therefore participants should expect several bus rides throughout the two weeks. The shortest distance will be a one hour bus ride, while the longest ride will take up to about five hours.
Students should be prepared for hot, humid weather in the 80s and 90s during the day with occasional rain showers.
This program focuses mainly on leadership skills however; students will be in close contact with local Spanish speaking children making the program an excellent opportunity to practice Spanish conversational skills.
The main service work is based on creating a team that is strong enough to create an overnight summer camp for local children. The first part of the trip will focus on the creation of such team which then will move into the actual set up of the camp, planning the logistics and details of the activities. Then the main work will come by making the camp come true and running the 5 days long session for the kids. Overall this program involves some of the most rewarding yet hardest service work we have in Latin America.
This program is appropriate for most levels of physical activity. Students should be prepared for a two day hike that includes an overnight camping experience (sleeping in tents!!!) which would be the biggest physical challenge during the program. There will be other activities, such as; high ropes, rafting, some physical labor involving the camp itself that participants need to be ready for.
There will be several optional activities offered in the beginning of the trip including rafting, horseback riding and rappelling. Students need to have extra allowance money if they wish to participate in any of these listed activities and should also have some extra for souvenirs, additional snacks, or soda from the local grocery stores.
All activities are included in the cost of the program except for the following:
Horseback Riding $16
Students will be eating traditional Dominican food prepared by local cooks and restaurants. Breakfast may include plantains or toast with eggs, fruits and cereal. Lunch and dinner will be typical dishes which consists of rice, beans, salad and a meat/seafood dish or veggie dishes.
Rustic Pathways can cater to most dietary needs on this program. There will be ample access to fruits, vegetables, rice, beans, and grains for those who are vegetarian. Vegan diets can be accommodated, but with a little more foresight and planning as this is not a diet commonly encountered in the Dominican Republic. Please know that while we are happy to accommodate alternative diets, many of the special diets common in the United States are not common in other parts of the world and travelers must be patient and understanding in having these needs be met.
Tap water in the Dominican Republic is not recommended, we will provide bottled water for our students throughout the course of the program.
During their time in the Dominican Republic students will stay in a few different places. On the first and last night of the trip, the group will stay in a comfortable three star hotel in the capital. For the rest of the trip there will be times when the group stays in hotels, tents, and cabins and the one things that they will all share is to fulfill the basic requirements of Rustic Pathways; clean, hygienic and safe!
The bathrooms facilities will either be right in the rooms shared with another student, or be communal bathrooms shared with other Rustic Pathways students of the same gender, they will all have running water and American style toilets except for the overnight camping when bathrooms will be outdoors. When not in hotels, showers will be rustic and no hot water at times.
There are typically more girls than boys however the exact numbers vary from week to week.
Rustic Pathways generally strives to maintain a ratio of approximately 1 guide for every 5 students. In the program, there will be three American guides, and at least one local guide. Our guides go through a rigorous selection process including interviews with our Country Director and a full background check.
Because safety is our number one priority, all of our programs have guides that are certified with First Aid and CPR training. Many of our guides are also qualified Wilderness First Responders, EMTs, Wilderness EMTs, or Life Guards.
Students should pack enough clothes and personal items to last through the program. Laundry may be available at some of the hotels, at an extra cost.
Students will have limited to no access to internet during the program. They will be able to purchase international phone cards in the Dominican Republic, which can be used to call home. We will facilitate at least one call a week to parents.
Contact Us: For more information about Advanced Leadership Challenge you can email email@example.com.
Advanced Leadership Challenge combines well with the following programs.
Ages: 16 to 18 years old
Length: 16 days from the USA
Hours: Up to 70 hours awarded
International airfare is not included in the above cost. Please check our Travel Desk for airfare pricing and specifics.
|Departs Tue||Returns Wed||Availability|
|18 Jun||3 Jul||Sold Out|
|16 Jul||31 Jul||Very Limited|
Dates shown are inclusive of travel time from the United States. Most Rustic Pathways trips interconnect, allowing you to design your own perfect summer program.Apply Now