Grow Your Vision
ABOUT RIGHT TREE
Since 2011, Right Tree, an Elk Rapids-based 501(c)(3) has been using outdoor recreation, adventure programming and community service to help girls discover their worth, their gifts, their voice and their future.
Our name comes from the Garden of Eden, where Adam and Eve ate off the wrong tree -- the tree where our value comes from reputation or looks or income or accomplishments. We all need to be reminded to eat off the right tree -- the Tree of Life where our value comes from who God says we are.
Growing up has never been more challenging. On top of the "normal" issues in the lives of teens, the negative, judgmental, predatory nature of social media coupled with the hyper-sexualized airbrushed fantasy world around them has girls struggling with identity, anxiety and depression as never before.
As empathy fades, friendships struggle, face-to-face conversation disappears and girls’ self-worth is battered, our technology-free, spend-time-together events help girls discover they are not alone in their struggles, they were created for a purpose, they bring something to this world no one else does, they ARE enough just they way they are, their circumstances do not control their future, they are growing into someone even more amazing, and the Creator of the universe knit them together in their mother's womb and they are fearfully and wonderfully made. Our focus is to speak positively into girls' lives in creative, challenging, encouraging and life-changing ways to help every girl believe and live our motto: Every Girl Matters!
Within a framework of challenge, adventure and over-the-top fun, girls are provided with safe, encouraging settings and opportunities to share, discuss and address critical issues in their lives - topics like social media, relationships, lies girls believe about themselves, emotional intelligence, body image, anxiety, toxic friendships or gratitude. Working in groups and one-on-one with staff, every drop-in, day-camp-style, and multi-day trip is themed to cover important topics and every "campfire" discussion provides opportunities to do that. New friendships develop over shared challenges, pre-conceived notions fall away as girls share common struggles, and confidence grows as girls recognize and realize their possibility and potential.
Grow Your Vision
While Right Tree is not specifically a Christian organization, and welcomes anyone & everyone regardless of their beliefs, every person involved in leadership has a deep personal relationship with Jesus Christ. As we work though issues and questions facing teens, Jesus will be part of those conversations because He is part of our stories. Our foundational belief in the inherent worth and potential of every person comes from the knowledge we are each uniquely created by a God who loves and celebrates us.
Each summer for our Summer Adventures program, we interview, screen, and hire female staff from across the U.S. with degrees, or completing their degrees in education, recreation, social work or a related field. All have a love for junior high girls and all bring extensive experience working with youth in a variety of settings. They have a passion for sharing their stories and speaking positively into girl's lives. Our programs are very staff-driven around the gifts and talents each staff member brings. Employees often return for multiple summers but we always look forward to welcoming new staff to the Right Tree family.
M.A.D. Club is staffed by our Program Director (click here to meet our M.A.D. Club Program Director) as well as volunteer junior & senior high school students and adult females from the community -- all with a passion for supporting and encouraging middle schoolers, a vibrant faith, a sense of humor, a willingness to think outside-the-box.