Holy Family’s Outdoor Adventure Program for Teens

What makes JOURNEYS unique?

journeys-canoeIt is a joint venture between Chicago Voyagers, one of Holy Family’s newest outreach partners, our sharing parish St. Malachy-Precious Blood and our Teen Faith ministry. There is no other such venture in the Archdiocese of Chicago.

The Parish Sharing program, “builds bridges between parishes that differ in race, ethnic backgrounds, economics, and geography.”  Our sharing parish, St. Malachy -Precious Blood unites African American and Latino Catholics on the west side of Chicago. This past spring, thanks to the work of Teen Faith catechists Stephanie Hagan and Gretchen Kozlowski, twenty (20) teens from Holy Family attended Mass at St. Malachy-Precious Blood and then joined their peers for an engaging conversation over breakfast about teen life in both faith communities. The only question at the end of that eventful morning was, What’s next?’

The answer: JOURNEYS – an outdoor adventure program helping teens in both faith communities

  • journeys-bikingBuild self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Nurture self-reliance, initiative and personal responsibility
  • Discover common ground in the midst of diversity
  • Foster the building and sustaining of effective relationships
  • Develop leadership skills
  • Promote the purposeful use of leisure time
  • Expand connection with the natural world
  • Cultivate an appreciation for and recognition of the divine in nature
  • Encourage teens to deepen their relationship with Christ


Downloadable Forms & Documents

Its a new year and we need a new form. All participants must fill out a 2018 CV release.

Upcoming Trips

Camping and Caving (May 5-6)

Join us on a camping and caving adventure. We will sleep in tents (provided) and explore Devil’s Lake State Park. On day 2, we explore the underground world. Be prepared to get wet and dirty and to squeeze through small openings!

Sailing Voyage (June 25-29)

Join us June 25-29 for a multi-night sailing adventure on Lake Michigan. You will be the crew on a 26′ sailboat for five days – learning all aspects of how to sail the boat. We will sleep and eat on the boat and have a shore excursion or two.

Cost is $500 + $500 fundraising. This is a discount over market rates. All proceeds go to benefit at-risk youth, providing them with their adventure.

Wilderness Canoe Expedition (July 12-18)

Join us July 12-18 for a wilderness canoe adventure in the Boundary Waters Wilderness in Minnesota. We will explore the lakes, paddle in teams, and camp in the largest wilderness (one million acres) in the Midwest.

Cost is $500 + $500 fundraising. This is a discount over market rates. All proceeds go to benefit at-risk youth, providing them with their adventure.


March 3-4, 2018 JourneysOvernight Hiking Program Summary

The first weekend in March, ten Holy Family and St Malachy + Precious Blood (our sharing parish) teens and adults spent the weekend together exploring the outdoors and getting to know each other. After checking into our cabin in the woods, we picked our teen leaders for the day. They led the group in planning the rest of the day. We then played a game of get to know each other jenga before heading out. The group choose to push themselves and hiked 8 miles through the woods! Upon returning, we divided into teams for cooking and getting the campfire ready.

The second day started with breakfast and a discussion on privilege and our role in it. We headed back outside to explore the amazing canyon of Waterfall Glenn, including Rock Glenn waterfall. We finished with a prayer of thanks and are looking forward to renewing friendships on our next adventure.

January 6, 2018 Journeys Scuba Program Summary

On Saturday, January 6th, ten Holy Family and St Malachy + Precious Blood (our sharing parish) teens took to the depths of a local university pool to learn how to scuba dive. Twelve of us (hmm…that special number again), too to the water aided by six instructors from Learn Scuba Chicago (LSC). Captain Bob gave us a safety lesson – going over key things like clearing water from your mask, how to check your oxygen gauge, and how to equalize our ears on the way down.

The teens enjoyed exploring this new world – we event did charades, practiced precision swimming through hoops and played underwater games!