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VISIONS Service Adventures

About

VISIONS programs are grounded in a philosophy that has been changing the lives of teenagers for 30 years. We believe it is best to do one thing and do it well. That’s why across all programs we have one model, built on the pillars of meaningful service, full cultural immersion and open-minded exploration. This is not a teen tour. This is a time to step outside of yourself, to do more and be more.

Our student volunteers work among Blackfeet and Northern Cheyenne people on Montana Indian reservations and with indigenous Athabascans in Alaska, as well as abroad in South and Central America and the Caribbean.

Programs are 10 to 25 days long, and some sites include Spanish language immersion. In addition to VISIONS programs for high school students, we offer one middle school program in Montana.

Founded
1989
Headquarters

203 North Church Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
United States

Reviews

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Charles
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I had a great time in Alaska last summer thanks to VISIONS. Not only did I have the chance to get familiar with building and meet amazing people, both locals and volunteers, but I also grew as a person. Meeting with the local population and getting to know their culture/lifestyle was definitely a highlight of my trip. I still remember the ice climbing, canoeing, and camping trip, and now have many amazing memories to look back on. Would definitely recommend it to any high schooler looking for a summer camp/program.

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Kevin
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I spent a summer with VISIONS on the British Virgin Islands. I had the chance to spend time hanging out with the locals, trying new things, and most importantly help out the community. Till today I still have the contact of the friends i made on the island. Food was great i get to try the food made by a local lady everyday that I have never tried any else where. Besides the cultural experiences I also scuba dived for the first time in my life with them. The staffs are very helpful and open-minded, they are people that you can count on. Honestly one of the best experiences I’ve had.

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Max
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I had the most amazing summer last year thanks to Visions which helped me become a more empathetic and compassionate person. Visions combines making its groups help others and themselves through both community service, and sessions in which the group reflects on the program and themselves. I truly believe that this program can help improve all teenager's lives around the world and I fully recommend it to anyone looking for both an amazing experience, and community service hours. Thank you Visions.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would be open and social from the very start and let myself enjoy the program for it's full time span.
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Danielle
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I could not have asked for a better summer in Peru. The trip was life changing such that it exposed me to meaningful service and introduced me to new ways of life. Visions is a great balance between working, exploring, socializing, and stepping outside of one's comfort zone. I could not have asked for a better experience. I strongly recommend Visions to anyone who loves the outdoors and is looking for a down-to-earth experience. Also... the food in Peru is amazing... but warning: guinea pig may or may not be on the menu! It was so fun getting to try out my Spanish.

What would you improve about this program?
Make it so that you are not allowed to go with a friend.
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Nick
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

It was hands down one of the coolest things I’ve ever done fro eating a rat going to a local markets and see the many historical sights. I will never forget the people of Cambodia and the locals who helped our group. My job there was building a bathroom and teaching English at a school and I would say it was one of the most rewarding experiences and if you love to travel Make friends and see things many tourists don’t then this program is for you one of the best experiences I’ve ever had will never forget it.

What would you improve about this program?
only thing I would improve is there boy girl ratio even though it’s really out of there hands on who applied for the program

Programs

Displaying 1 - 9 of 13
VISIONS Service Adventures
VISIONS: Peru High School Service Program
Peru
9.94 •16 reviews

Work with indigenous farmers on an evolving irrigation project...

VISIONS Service Adventures
VISIONS: Montana Blackfeet High School Service Program
United States of America
9.62 •13 reviews

Live on a ranch amid the rolling grasslands of the Blackfeet...

VISIONS Service Adventures
VISIONS Nicaragua Service Adventure Program
Nicaragua
9.83 •6 reviews

Take part in the transformation of Nicaragua from war-torn and poverty...

VISIONS Service Adventures
VISIONS: Cambodia High School Service Program
Cambodia
9.5 •6 reviews

Engage with Cambodia’s fascinating culture, challenging history and...

VISIONS Service Adventures
VISIONS: Dominican Republic High School Service Program
Dominican Republic
9.83 •6 reviews

Join our efforts in Santo Domingo to organize a summer camp for kids...

VISIONS Service Adventures
VISIONS: Montana Northern Cheyenne High School Service Program
United States of America
8.6 •5 reviews

Learn the storied history of the Northern Cheyenne tribe, who live...

VISIONS Service Adventures
VISIONS: British Virgin Islands High School Service Program
British Virgin Islands
9.5 •4 reviews

Embrace a rare opportunity to engage in crucial hurricane relief work...

VISIONS Service Adventures
VISIONS: Guadeloupe High School Service Program
Guadeloupe
9.5 •4 reviews

Dive into La Vie Francaise with a Caribbean-Creole twist, on the...

VISIONS Service Adventures
VISIONS: Alaska High School Service Program
United States of America
9.67 •3 reviews

This program is your unique opportunity to live in an Athabascan...

Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Molly Williams

Molly is a 16-year-old lover of adventures, from finding new experiences at home in Michigan to embarking on international service trips.

Why did you choose this program?

I chose VISIONS because I liked the way they presented themselves: NOT as a teen tour.

I wanted an authentic experience and an opportunity to see a country as more than a tourist. VISIONS is very focused on respect for the culture of the native people, no matter the location.

I liked that I knew I would be able to give back to the country through service while also getting a taste of the culture, food, and natural beauty that makes Peru special.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

VISIONS helped every step of the way. Tuition cost covers all meals, in-country transportation, lodging, park passes and more.

The only thing we were responsible for was buying flight tickets, which were organized by VISIONS' travel agent. They even gave us the contact information of other participants that would be on the same flights so we could meet up at the airport.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

I would encourage anyone going on this trip to remember to appreciate the little moments. It was easy to get caught up in the excitement of seeing Machu Picchu or exploring the streets, but the memories that mean the most to me are the ones that were seemingly insignificant at the time.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

A typical day (excluding the weekend trip to Machu Picchu) included waking up early for a breakfast cooked by you or your peers, then the group split for service until mid-afternoon. The rest of the day was spent on short hikes or attending workshops, with great evening activities too.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

Going into this trip, my biggest fear was that I wouldn't like the other teens in the group, or wouldn't have anyone to talk to. The second we all met at the Lima airport I realized I shouldn't have worried.

It was the most interesting mix of people I have ever had the privilege of getting to know. Despite totally different ages and backgrounds, our conversations were always interesting and having so many different people and new friends made every adventure much more special.

Would you recommend this trip to a friend?

I would absolutely recommend traveling with VISIONS to a friend. Everything was so well organized and I couldn't have had a better experience.

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Amanda Pincock

Job Title
Summer Program Director

What is your favorite travel memory?

I have so many! My favorite thing about travel is making connections with people.

Once when I was backpacking through Europe I was spending the night in a train station in Italy. A young Italian couple was doing the same thing and sat down with their packs across from me.

I didn't speak any Italian and they didn't speak any English, so we communicated with gestures, and then taught each other words all night. It was a great way to wait for an early morning train.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

Visions has really allowed me to grow into the Director that I want to be. I work and direct programs all over the world, including Native communities in Alaska and Montana, the West Indies, Asia and Africa.

I am able to build relationships with elders and other leaders and motivated people in our host communities, which is extremely important to me, especially after returning from the Peace Corps. I am also able to work with wonderful Visions staff members on my team at site, and guide and shape our programs to be the best they can be for our community, as well as for our summer participants.

I really enjoy getting to spend time with the outstanding high school students we have each year, and helping them see the world a little differently. I think one of my favorite things about the summers is seeing our participants stretch themselves and grow.

Visions is a one-of-a-kind service program that allows time every day for participants and leaders to reflect on their experiences. It's great to be part of that, and to be so present.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

While I've heard many students tell me that Visions had an enormous impact on their lives (many students have told me it was the best summer of their life, or that it changed them for the better), one of my favorite stories is that one of my students from our Alaska program decided to join the Peace Corps after college, and contacted me to ask me about it.

She was sent to the same area of the world I was in (West Africa) and now also speaks French. She coincidentally moved to the same city as me, and we ended up joining a bluegrass band together!

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

There really are so many wonderful places, it's hard to choose! I've also been lucky to have worked for Visions for so long that I've been able to spend time in a lot of our locations.

I have not yet been to Myanmar or Cambodia, and would definitely love to visit either. I'd also love to visit Peru or Ecuador and the Galapagos.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

One of the many things I love about this program is that it's been modeled after Peace Corps, meaning we live in one community for an extended amount of time, get to know people, get to know the village and the area, and really make a connection with that place.

We also get to do service that has specifically been requested from the community, which is very different from doing what we (as outsiders) would think would be a need.

When I travel as a Visions director, doors open and I feel part of the community right away. This is so different from traveling from place to place all summer.