BBYO offers an incredible range of travel opportunities for Jewish teens to explore the world together. Each of BBYO’s 30+ travel and camp-based leadership programs is designed to foster tight-knit community building, encouraging teens to form bonds that last long after summer comes to a close. These experiences also give teens the chance to explore Jewish traditions, make cross-cultural connections, and immerse themselves in different communities across the globe. Find program options at bbyo.org/ajt.
One of BBYO’s Atlanta-area teen members, Leo S., traveled to Ecuador in 2023. The program he attended focuses on integrating teens into daily community life through a variety of service projects. Along the way, participants also experience thrilling activities such as riding the swing “at the end of the world,” hiking to hidden waterfalls in the rainforest, and climbing to the top of mountains for panoramic views. Leo’s experience illustrates the profound bonds teens form on these Summer Experiences:
Over the summer I had the amazing opportunity to join BBYO on their volunteer program called Stand UP Adventure Ecuador. It was an incredible experience that allowed me to explore a whole new culture while discovering important aspects of Judaism in my life. I worked in a school and on a farm throughout the three-week adventure to earn 30 hours of service. Going abroad, I was able to see how much a person can learn and grow in such a short period of time. While the trip went by fast, the memories will last me years and I met people who I now call my best friends.
Traveling with BBYO to Ecuador opened my eyes to the different ways of living and culture in different parts of the world. On my trip, we got to hike, explore, and sightsee in five different locations spanning the Cotopaxi Volcano in the Andes to the Amazon Rainforest. The moment that sticks out to me the most was the last Shabbat we spent together as a group. We were given the day to explore the city of Baños and rejoined with each other at dinner to share stories and prayers.
I would recommend a summer with BBYO because they provide an amazing opportunity to see a new and unique location while embracing your Jewish values and expanding your Jewish geography. They are all-inclusive programs and once-in-a-lifetime trips! If I could give any teen interested in the Ecuador program advice, I would tell them they should go for it! When will you have to opportunity to go to Ecuador on a fully programmed trip again? You will get to meet new people, see incredible places, and experience all four seasons of the year in one summer.
BBYO has been providing meaningful experiences to Jewish teens for 100 years, and seeks to welcome as many teens as possible for their Centennial Celebration Summer. While Ecuador is only one of BBYO’s programs, Leo’s story is emblematic of what parents and teens have said about BBYO Summer Experiences for generations.
BBYO’s professional staff love connecting with families and answering their questions about Summer Experiences. The goal is simple: finding the right program for your teen! You can always email firstname.lastname@example.org; they also offer information sessions throughout the year designed to help families learn about the different types of programs offered. Find registration information at bbyo.org/ajt.
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