Program descriptions are below. For more information, please see the Program Schedule (or click activity below) for an overview of the activity schedule and program requirements, the VineCorps Calendar for day-to-day time and location details, the Registration page to register for youth activities, and the Volunteer page for adults interested in volunteering.
During the school year, VineCorps runs weekly Study Halls where volunteer learning coaches offer students homework help, academic tutoring, application assistance (for schools, financial aid, employment, and other programs), STEM activities, goal-oriented life-skills mentoring, caring accountability, and plenty of encouragement.
Throughout the year, VineCorps' College
& Career Preparation program works comprehensively with high school juniors and seniors, along with their parents, forming peer support teams to ensure they graduate on time and move directly, successfully and affordably into college or other solid post-secondary opportunities. In addition to assisting with schoolwork, strengthening academic skills, and guiding research and application processes for admissions and financing, VineCorps also focuses students on the habits of attitude and behavior most advantageous to educational and career attainment.
Year round, VineCorps hosts weekly supervised Open Gym sessions that provide a healthy recreational outlet for pick-up basketball, indoor soccer, hanging out, and other appropriate uses of the space.
VineCorps emphasizes to students that they should not only seek to meet their own legitimate needs, but more, they should recognize and experience themselves as needed — as instrumental in the well-being of others. In addition to making sure they complete their graduation service requirements, VineCorps provides opportunities for youth to plan, participate in and reflect on a variety of service-learning activities.
VineCorps assists teens as they prepare for and seek out employment. In addition to the mechanics of the job search — resumes, application forms, work permits, interview practice, networking, etc. — VineCorps also addresses crucial "soft skills", such as communication, positive attitude, accepting feedback, teamwork, taking initiative, and reliability. Pursuit of summer employment begins in winter.
VineCorps strongly encourages and provides support for youth to participate in intensive, away-from-home programs that specialize in cultural, language, service learning, and outdoor adventure immersion. The new, fertile perspective gained can be transformative in young lives, inspiring a more mature approach to the year-long grind of family, school and work responsibilities. (At right, VineCorps youth in Guatemala with Hoops Sagrado, an excellent example.)
During the summer, VineCorps operates an adventure leadership development program with weekly challenges in the great outdoors. Most are day-long (and long-day) outings here in the mid-Atlantic region, but some are overnight for one to three nights and venture further away. Activities have included hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, flat-water and ocean kayaking, water tubing, horseback riding, high ropes courses, camping (in the mountains and on the beach), spelunking (caving), paintball, go-carting, and youth-directed community service projects.
Activities are designed to be fun but difficult, pushing the group beyond its collective comfort zone and thus presenting opportunities to practice effective communication, team-building, problem-solving, collective responsibility, conflict resolution, engaged citizenship, and other leadership skills in exciting, real-life contexts.