News & Events

Yellowstone expedition will open eyes, open doors for 10 Cincinnati teens

Published: July 7, 2015

Preparatory trips include Thane Maynard-led tour of Cincinnati Zoo   

Cincinnati, July 7, 2015 —  Ten high school students will soon be winging their way West for the adventure of their young lives: an expedition to Yellowstone National Park. The students participate in programs at the Cincinnati Arts & Technology Center.  which uses  a variety of programs to help at-risk students stay in school, graduate and launch careers.
The Yellowstone trip, August 3 -7, will include hiking, preparing healthy meals, team-building, and lessons in personal growth. The students will study geology, wildlife management, and proper nutrition for active living. They’ll take advantage of their time in one of the most beautiful places in the world to hone their photography skills. They’ll keep journals with drawings and personal observations and will summarize trip highlights in a daily log.
The students are preparing for the trip by participating in a series of meetings and outdoor adventures to learn about the natural world as well as how to survive and thrive in natural environments. On Friday, July 10, Cincinnati Zoo Director Thane Maynard will guide them on a personal tour of the zoo, and introduce them to some of the wild animals they’re likely to see at Yellowstone. Other excursions include a Nature Center hike, Kids Expo at Paddlefest and a visit to Pyramid Sculpture Park, as well as instructions on travel do’s and don’t s, packing list planning, and an outfitting session for equipment and clothing for challenging environments.
This is the second CATC trip to Yellowstone National Park. Like the first trip, in  2013, the 2015 experience is framed in the lessons of writer and philosopher Joseph Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey. The students are learning, for example, how to face challenges, conquer fear, recognize growth opportunities, and use their personal transformations to contribute to society.
They’ll have plenty of opportunities to practice these new skills. None of the students has previously traveled by plane, hiked  in mountainous terrain, or seen a wild animal in its natural environment. Most have never traveled beyond their urban neighborhoods.
The students were selected for the week-long trip via a rigorous process that included a written application and a review of their records for dependability, commitment and teamwork.
Both the 2013 and 2015 trips have been made possible through a partnership among Park Journeys, Yellowstone Park Foundation, Yellowstone Association and the National Parks Service. Park Journeys is a youth development organization that is currently working with the National Center for Arts and Technology and its affiliated centers such as CATC.
About the Cincinnati Arts & Technology Center
The Cincinnati Arts & Technology Center (CATC) is a non-profit agency that helps at-risk   Cincinnati Public Schools students stay in school, graduate and launch careers. Most of our students are high school juniors, seniors and over-age underclassmen who lack sufficient credits to graduate. We use a combination of the transformational power of the arts, studio-based course work that meets Ohio standards for credit recovery, and workforce development programs to help approximately 400 students per year prepare to live economically self-sufficient lives. On average, 93% of our seniors graduate. CATC is patterned after the highly successful Manchester Bidwell Training Center in Pittsburgh, and is a model for national replication of programs that use the arts to help children succeed. For more information, to donate or to sponsor a child, please visit or call CATC at (513) 562-5500. Media inquiries: (513) 475-0002