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Adventure Recreation Program

"We use experiences and play to lead youth to a better place in life."

The Adventure Recreation Program offers year-round activities for youth in New Directions Residential Programs to encourage growth, imagination, self-confidence and healing.

What is Adventure Recreation?

Adventure Recreation offers more than 50 distinct activities for kids residing on the Wyndham Lawn and Randolph Residential Campuses. 

Through New Directions' Adventure Recreation Program, youth receiving residential services are able to experience a wide variety of activities through a "challenge by choice" format.

"I never thought I'd like being active, but the staff make it fun!"

What is "Challenge by Choice"?

"Challenge by choice" means youth decide if and when to participate and that staff encourage youth to expand the limits of their comfort zone. We encourage youth to do their best and respect their decision to stop when they feel it is too much. By doing so, our staff empower youth and set them up for success by creating an environment conducive to learning the skills necessary to overcome future obstacles.

Adventure Outings

New Directions also brings residential youth to a variety of destinations including: 

  • Allegany State Park

  • Griffis Sculpture Park

  • Letchworth State Park

  • The Eternal Flame Trail

  • Holiday Valley

  • Rock City State Forest

  • Allegheny Reservoir

  • Allegheny National Forest

  • Niagara Falls State Park

  • Lockport Nature Preserve

Our Goals

Adventure Recreation encourages youth to try new activities, explore new interests, and learn lifelong skills for living healthy. Fostering good character is a primary outcome that we strive for in recreation. We believe the more youth can participate in activities, the more opportunity they will have to build self-confidence and belief in themselves.

Training and Certification

General Training

All programs and activities are lead by trained and certified employees at New Directions. Typical staff certifications include CPR, first aid, horsemanship, water-sports, and/or challenge course facilitation. Lead staff maintain Wilderness First Responder certifications.

Trauma-Informed Training

Staff are also educated on basic trauma informed principles, which help to guide the readiness of youth to engage in adventure activities.

Emergency Training

In the event of an emergency, staff are trained in determining appropriate emergency action responses in all types of conditions and locations.


Our Program is certified by:​​​

  • COA: Council on Accreditation

  • AEE: Association for Experiential Education

  • CHA: Certified Horsemanship Association

Contact Information for Adventure Recreation:

Erie and Niagara Counties:

Melissa Bonello

Phone: 716-535-1789

Fax: 716-XXX-XXXX

Allegany, Cattaraugus, and Chautauqua Counties:

Missy Martin

Phone: 716-358-3636 ext. 5232

Fax: 716-XXX-XXXX

Wyndham Lawn Campus:

Randolph Campus:

Kristen Janson

Adventure Recreation Supervisor

Phone: 716-433-4487 ext. 503


Zachary Garber

Adventure Recreation Supervisor

Phone: 716-300-8103


"I've learned to take my losses along with my wins."

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