Offering guidance, support, and unconditional love to youth of incarcerated parents through mentoring and outdoor adventures.
Idaho Wilderness Journeys

You may journey through the wilderness,
but you don't have to do it alone.

How we help youth

Wilderness Journeys provides no-cost opportunities for youth in grades 6-12 to engage in the outdoors in a meaningful and fun way, with several guided excursions per year.

Activities include hiking, camping, mountain climbing, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, kayaking, ziplining and snowshoeing The outdoor adventure aspect of our program helps draw youth who may not be interested in a mentoring relationship alone.

The presence of a caring adult to provide support and guidance during the absence of their incarcerated parent is one of the best ways to help teens get through their own "wilderness journey." We match each youth with a Christian adult volunteer mentor for a minimum of one year to provide guidance, support, and unconditional love.

We also do whatever possible to encourage stronger family bonds during and after incarceration. Incarcerated parents who remain close to their families are more likely to stay out of prison once they are released.

A Vulnerable Population

Over 1.7 million children in the United States are serving a sentence for a crime they didn't commit.

They are living without one or both parents while the parent is incarcerated.

The number of children with one or both parents incarcerated has grown nearly 80% since 1991. An estimated one-third of children in the welfare system have at least one incarcerated parent. And no single government agency has responsibility for--or even a handle on--this problem.

This vulnerable population must find their way in the world while one or both parents are absent from the home. Teens are particularly susceptible to making poor choices with negative consequences that follow them the rest of their lives. Youth with incarcerated parents are more likely to struggle in school, drop out, live in poverty, and become criminals themselves.

Our Vision For Youth

Our vision is to care for the spiritual, emotional, and physical health of youth with incarcerated parents through providing no-cost access to the great outdoors, exposure to Christian role models, and long-term mentoring.

We also strive to support healthy families during and after incarceration through assistance to meet particular needs.

Located in Boise, Idaho, we are the country's only ministry combining mentoring for youth of incarcerated parents with outdoor adventures. Our services are available regardless of the type of parental incarceration (state, federal, or immigration).

How You Can Help

  1. Like us on Facebook
  2. Tell a friend about Wilderness Journeys
  3. Volunteer to be a mentor
  4. Donate (every little bit helps!)
  5. PRAY!

Meet Our Executive Director

Wilderness Journeys Director John Crow

John Crow, Executive Director

John grew up in Boise, Idaho in a Christian family, accepting Christ at a fifth-grade church camp. He attended the United States Military Academy, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in 1996. John served much of his adult life in both active duty and reserves, completing his service as a lieutenant colonel. He eventually sensed a call to ministry, and received his Masters of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary in May of 2013. John and his family returned to Boise soon after.

John and his wife, Mindy, have four sons: Sergei, Josiah, Stephen, and Asher. John was ordained in 2015, and serves as the Pastor of Service and Outreach at Epworth Chapel on the Green.


Youth of incarcerated parents are more likely to face poverty and crime, unless someone intervenes.

For information about supporting youth as a Wilderness Journeys Adult Mentor, call 208-501-4037 or email us.

In addition, you can print and mail the following forms and we will get in contact with you.

pdf Mentor Application
pdf Mentor Volunteer Agreement
pdf Mentor Ministry Standards

Request A Mentor

We offer guidance, support, and unconditional love to youth of incarcerated parents through mentoring and outdoor adventures.

To request a mentor, download and print the following forms. Mail them to the address at the top of the forms, and we will get in touch with you right away.

pdf Protege Application
pdf Protege Interest Survey

We are here for you. Call 208-501-4037 or email us to learn how you can join our program!