Kokoda Challenge Youth Program (KCYP)
The KCYP is a life skills program for 15-17 year olds, affectionately known as our ‘Kokoda Kids’, who come from all walks of life and every segment of society. It is a program available to all young people who are seeking direction and motivation to succeed. We passionately believe there is no difference between those who are expected to fail and those who are expected to achieve – except for opportunity and the right support.
The KCYP is 9 month program that involving weekly training sessions for the first 6 months to prepare for two major peak experiences designed to challenge and change participants - both phsyically and mentally. This is followed by 3 months of fortnightly volunteer service days to give back to their local communities.
Woven through the program is the history of the Kokoda Campaign of WWII and draws on inspiration from our Australian Diggers who faced insurmountable odds and achieved what no one thought was possible. All young people in the KCYP are mentored in harnessing the same qualities displayed by the Australian soldiers: Courage, Endurance, Sacrifice and Mateship, otherwise known as Kokoda Spirit.
THE EXPERIENCE OF A LIFE TIME
Our 2022 'Kokoda Kids' will venture from the reef to rainforest and to the outback for a trek with donkeys as their peak experience - an 11 day trip exploring the indigeneous culture, environmental beauty and historical towns of Far North Queensland. The team will trek remote and rugged areas of the Atherton Tablelands which form dramatic and beautiful landscapes, with the added challenge of leading and camping with donkeys. Following the trek they will then experience Australia's indigenous culture first hand with a night on Cooya Beach with the Kuku Yalanji people, who will guide you through the traditional methods of fishing. They will also visit the Daintree Rainforest, the oldest continuously surviving rainforest on earth, and spend a day snorkeling and adventuring at the turtle rehabiliation centre on Fitzroy Island. This is a home grown experience that will honour our Kokoda diggers, be culturally and historically significant and offer a truly unique adventure.
COMMITMENT TO SUCCEED
KCYP differs from other programs because it’s long-term. The 9 month commitment from April to January includes physical training and mentoring in preparation for two peak experiences - the 96km Kokoda Challenge in July and an 11 day Reef, Rainforest and Donkey Trek in Far North Queensland in the September school holidays. This trek will be a physical, mental and historical experience of a lifetime and is followed by a further 3 month period of community service to learn the value of giving back. KCYP participants will graduate in January of 2023, provided they meet the strict commitments of the program which are designed to ensure personal discovery and fulfilment. The extended time frame of the KCYP allows for opportunities for all participants to learn, make informed choices, form life long bonds, develop community connections and flourish.
WHAT THE KCYP INVOLVES
DOING WHAT YOU THOUGHT IMPOSSIBLE
20 weeks of Sunday bushwalks, mid-week training sessions, two-day overnight camp and participation in the 96km Kokoda Challenge.
CREATING LIFELONG BONDS
Regular activities which encourage team work, cooperation and leadership skills, going beyond your comfort zone with likeminded people to make lifelong friends.
EXPERIENCING HISTORY AND CULTURE
A funded 11 day Reef, Rainforest and Donkey Trek in Far North Queensland, that honours our Australian veterans and enables you to experience our cultural heritage.
GIVING BACK TO OUR COMMUNITY
3 months of fortnightly community service to learn the value of community, the true meaning of sacrifice and a chance to give back to those who make this program possible.
DISCOVERING YOUR POTENTIAL
Discovering a sense of purpose, forming life skills of responsibility and reliability, developing confidence and learning that you are capable of extraordinary things when tested with difficulty.
"KCYP completely changed my perspective on life, it helped me figure out what I wanted to do and what kind of person I wanted to be. It gave me complete life direction. It’s big, amazing and magical and it’s different for every person, it really does impact you as an individual and the way you see the world around you."
TIFFANY, 2015 KOKODA KID
"KCYP has been the best change in my life. I’ve improved in fitness, learned more values and how to take the Kokoda spirit everywhere with me. Because of this program I have the confidence and ability to run for school captain, because of this program I can achieve the unachievable and do the impossible."
MIKALA, 2018 KOKODA KID
"KCYP gave me the confidence to be the person who I am today. The fellow Kokoda Kids and Leaders have become some of my best friends, they’ve helped me gain direction and figure out what I want to do. Now I’m enrolled in University and I’m continuing to support the Kokoda Kids to come."
AARON, 2017 KOKODA KID
"Being a Kokoda Kid has absolutely changed my life, it’s given me opportunities I would never have had. Being able to create a bond, hike every weekend with people who have become like family, meet new people, make new friends, experience new cultures... It has been an unforgettable experience."