PDF HIKE with Kids: The Essential Guide for Parents, Grandparents, Teachers & Youth Leaders

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A 15 year old student who suffers from autism and struggles in life told his counselor at the end of the first hike:.

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A teenage girl who suffers from anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem told her counselor:. A high school student that attends a special class for Exceptional Children told the Nippers a year after he completed the program:. The above statements are real, and reflect the impact that this program has on at-risk kids, who need encouragement, leadership, improved self-esteem and confidence, and recognition from adults who truly care about them and their futures. James and Cheryl Nipper have received broad community support for their program.

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Now in its third season, this program has now served students in Avery, Caldwell, Catawba, Lincoln, and Gaston counties, and the Foundation hopes to expand to other counties later this year. They feel that they have the most qualified and experienced young group of people that can be found in all of Western North Carolina, who provide leadership lessons, role-modeling, and wilderness adventure, with an aim to instill more confidence and self-esteem in these at-risk students.

These young men and women have rallied around their cause, committed themselves to the goals of our program, and given them courage to continue their efforts. Each and every one of these young men and women are committed to using their leadership, compassion, and technical skills to provide these kids with a meaningful and exciting experience that they will never forget. The hiking trails at Grandfather Mountain State Park offer some of the most rigorous and challenging hiking trails in the Southeast, and include areas rated as either moderate or strenuous.

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Some areas feature ropes and ladders, and provide some of the most phenomenal views existing in the High Country. The Jason Project, Inc.

If you wish to donate to this project please visit GoFundMe. News Events Guide About. Watauga High School Playmakers Popular Articles. There seems to be no single cause of a homosexual orientation. A common opinion of experts is that there are multiple factors—genetic, hormonal, psychological—that may give rise to it. Generally, homosexual orientation is experienced as a given, not as something freely chosen. By itself, therefore, a homosexual orientation cannot be considered sinful, for morality presumes the freedom to choose. These terms often express a person's level of self-awareness and self-acceptance within society.

Though you might find the terms offensive because of political or social connotations, it is necessary to be sensitive to how your son or daughter is using them. Language should not be a barrier to building trust and honest communication. You can help a homosexual person in two general ways. First, encourage him or her to cooperate with God's grace to live a chaste life. Second, concentrate on the person, not on the homosexual orientation itself.

This implies respecting a person's freedom to choose or refuse therapy directed toward changing a homosexual orientation.

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Given the present state of medical and psychological knowledge, there is no guarantee that such therapy will succeed. Thus, there may be no obligation to undertake it, though some may find it helpful.


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All in all, it is essential to recall one basic truth. God loves every person as a unique individual. Sexual identity helps to define the unique persons we are, and one component of our sexual identity is sexual orientation. Thus, our total personhood is more encompassing than sexual orientation. Human beings see the appearance, but the Lord looks into the heart cf.

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God does not love someone any less simply because he or she is homosexual. God's love is always and everywhere offered to those who are open to receiving it. Paul's words offer great hope:. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Rom For the Christian believer, an acceptance of self and of one's homosexual child must take place within the larger context of accepting divinely revealed truth about the dignity and destiny of human persons. It is the Church's responsibility to believe and teach this truth, presenting it as a comprehensive moral vision and applying this vision in particular situations through its pastoral ministries. We present the main points of that moral teaching here.

Every person has an inherent dignity because he or she is created in God's image. A deep respect for the total person leads the Church to hold and teach that sexuality is a gift from God.

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Being created a male or female person is an essential part of the divine plan, for it is their sexuality—a mysterious blend of spirit and body—that allows human beings to share in God's own creative love and life. Like all gifts from God, the power and freedom of sexuality can be channeled toward good or evil. Everyone—the homosexual and the heterosexual person—is called to personal maturity and responsibility. With the help of God's grace, everyone is called to practice the virtue of chastity in relationships. Chastity means integrating one's thoughts, feelings, and actions, in the area of human sexuality, in a way that values and respects one's own dignity and that of others.

It is "the spiritual power which frees love from selfishness and aggression" Pontifical Council for the Family, The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality , , no. Christ summons all his followers—whether they are married or living a single celibate life—to a higher standard of loving. This includes not only fidelity, forgiveness, hope, perseverance, and sacrifice, but also chastity, which is expressed in modesty and self-control.

The chaste life is possible, though not always easy, for it involves a continual effort to turn toward God and away from sin, especially with the strength of the sacraments of penance and eucharist. Indeed God expects everyone to strive for the perfection of love, but to achieve it gradually through stages of moral growth cf. To keep our feet on the path of conversion, God's grace is available to and sufficient for everyone open to receiving it. Furthermore, as homosexual persons "dedicate their lives to understanding the nature of God's personal call to them, they will be able to celebrate the sacrament of penance more faithfully and receive the Lord's grace so freely offered there in order to convert their lives more fully to his way" Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Letter on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons , , no.

To live and love chastely is to understand that "only within marriage does sexual intercourse fully symbolize the Creator's dual design, as an act of covenant love, with the potential of co-creating new human life" United States Catholic Conference, Human Sexuality: A Catholic Perspective for Education and Lifelong Learning, , p. This is a fundamental teaching of our Church about sexuality, rooted in the biblical account of man and woman created in the image of God and made for union with one another Gn 2—3.

Two conclusions follow. First, it is God's plan that sexual intercourse occur only within marriage between a man and a woman.

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  7. Second, every act of intercourse must be open to the possible creation of human life. Homosexual intercourse cannot fulfill these two conditions. Therefore, the Church teaches that homogenital behavior is objectively immoral, while making the important distinction between this behavior and a homosexual orientation, which is not immoral in itself. It is also important to recognize that neither a homosexual orientation, nor a heterosexual one, leads inevitably to sexual activity.

    One's total personhood is not reducible to sexual orientation or behavior. Respect for the God-given dignity of all persons means the recognition of human rights and responsibilities. The teachings of the Church make it clear that the fundamental human rights of homosexual persons must be defended and that all of us must strive to eliminate any forms of injustice, oppression, or violence against them cf. The Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons , , no.

    It is not sufficient only to avoid unjust discrimination. Homosexual persons "must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity" Catechism of the Catholic Church , no. They, as is true of every human being, need to be nourished at many different levels simultaneously. This includes friendship, which is a way of loving and is essential to healthy human development.