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Sorry for the strange posts…

27 Aug

Hey all, sorry for the last few strange posts.  One of our staff members had their account hacked and we believe a BOT was posting nonsense on their behalf.  We know your email inbox needs nothing less than more spam, and we are embarrassed it had to come from us. Please accept our sincere apologies for these extraneous messages.

With gratitude, TRP

Women of The Recreation Project

8 Mar

Women of TRP

Here in Uganda, as in many countries around the world, International Women’s Day is celebrated as a public holiday. It is an opportunity for us to thank the powerful, vibrant, and remarkable women in our lives. Whether family, friends, or colleagues, it is important to remember how much they mean to us.

At TRP, we think of ourselves as family, friends, and colleagues. This is our chance to highlight the amazing work that our female coworkers and facilitators do for us.

From left to right:

Lamunu Irene has been with TRP for many years. She began as a facilitator  and has steadily moved up. As our Outdoor Adventure Program Manager, Irene is responsible for sculpting our programs to fit the needs of our clients. As if that were not enough, she also manages TRP’s finances (and keeps the rest of us on track). She is generous, thoughtful, and truly is TRP’s anchor. We are grateful for her every day.

Alimocan Janeth has been a facilitator for us for a long time. Her experience with our material is evident every single time she comes to work with us. We know we can call Janeth to work with any program-whether it’s the climbing club, remand home, piggery training, or even a company retreat, Janeth never fails to demonstrate complete mastery of our curriculum. Her patience and easy smile lift encourage all of us to strive to do our very best.

Brenda Ojera is one of our facilitators-in-training. Coming to us originally from the piggery training, Brenda immediately showed a knack for grasping the life skills piece of our curriculum. We decided early on that she would make a very strong facilitator, and we have been blown away by her progress. Brenda is always eager to learn more, and her gentle but focused demeanor has allowed her to progress quickly. We are truly lucky to have her on the team.

Not pictured: Irene Laguti, Aliroker Jenny.

Though two of our other amazing staff members could not be with us for the picture, we want to celebrate them as well. Irene and Jenny have both been with us for a long time. We know we can call on them both for any program. Irene has recently become instrumental in facilitating our climbing club. Jenny has a remarkable way with children, and we are always sure to call her if our program involves working with young ones.

These five women not ensure that The Recreation Project is able to function, but truly are the keepers of the spirit of TRP. We work every day to teach individuals how to support each other, how to interact healthily with their communities, and how to manage their emotions. The women of TRP are not just masterful teachers of this material; they are master practitioners of it. We are endlessly grateful, both professionally and personally, for their presence in our lives. Happy International Women’s Day from TRP.

A Letter from our Executive Director

5 Feb

Dear Friends of The Recreation Project,

My name is James Wagenschutz and I’m am thrilled to be The Recreation Project’s new Executive Director!  Eleven years ago, my college roommate and good friend, Ben Porter, embarked on a journey around the world to help others through active healing experiences.  It is in this vision and good faith that I carry the torch forward in providing the operational efficiencies and fiscal sustainability to provide inspirational healthy spaces for youth to reclaim courage and self-belief, ignite resilience and develop life skills through outdoor adventures.

With a diverse background in health and wellness programming development and implementation, leadership in sport, fundraising, building collaborative partnerships and a life traveled exploring the outdoors, I am bullish on the future of TRP.  As a field employee of Outward Bound in the early 2000’s, I experienced first-hand accounts of transformative positive behavior change and unrelenting courage through active team building experiences.  More recently as an Academy and Performance Director for a youth soccer club, I worked tirelessly to ensure that the administration and operations would be carried out smoothly and in the best interest of the youth by forming strong partnerships in the community.  Collectively, 15 years of working at non-profits gives me a unique insight and ability to collaboratively guide TRP’s vision and mission.

I am a dynamic educator and leader who believes in the power of human connection through social experiences, reflection and opportunities for individual growth and perseverance.  The staff we have currently are doing exceptional work and they need our continued support.

The Recreation Project is well positioned to enhance the rock climbing and bouldering walls in Northern Uganda, expand its’ mobile offerings, diversify its enhancement of local skill development, and continue our transformative work in the Remand Home.

I hope you’ll join me, the past and current staff, the Board and your fellow friends of The Recreation Project to help thousands of youth ignite resilience and develop life skills aiding in a better humanity and healthier connected world.

You can contact me at

In health,


Join us in Welcoming our New Executive Director!

2 Feb

Join us in Welcoming our New Executive Director!

The Recreation Project is excited to welcome our new Executive Director, James Wagenschutz!

James is an educator, teacher and licensed sport performance coach and director. A former field employee at Outward Bound, national anti-doping manager, collegiate soccer coach and academy director with over 15 years’ experience in the non-profit sector, he is well poised to lead TRP’s efforts in Denver, CO.

With an undergraduate degree in Exercise and Sport Science with a concentration in Wellness Program Management and a Masters in Sports Medicine, James brings a unique view and experience in facilitating healing experiences via outdoor adventure and sports.  He has managed a budget in excess of $3M, formed partnerships generating hundreds of thousands in budget revenue or savings, managed the VIK allotment for a FIFA World Cup and spearheaded a brand-new nationally competitive Academy program from the ground up.

As a former TRP board member of two years, he has traveled the country and the world educating others in sport science, sport performance, behavior change and overall health programming.  James currently resides in Colorado with his wife and two young children who all love to play in the outdoors and stare at the stars at night.

Born in Captivity

28 Jan

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As we enter a new year at The Recreation Project (TRP), we are reaching out to develop new partners and reconnecting with those who have worked with us in the past. Last week, we had the privilege of working hand-in-hand with Empowering Kids in Uganda (EKU), an organization that works closely with children born in captivity during the conflict here in the North. They focus on providing education, developing a stable home life, and finding employment opportunities for the youths with whom they work.

EKU and TRP have been strong partners for several years. As is tradition, the youths came to TRP for two days and two nights, during which we worked with them on leadership development and relationship building. The benefit of a multi-day program is remarkable. We at TRP are given the chance to develop strong bonds with these youths, creating a very powerful and impactful program. Many of the participants have worked with us in past years and are familiar with our work and how we go about teaching conflict resolution and critical thinking.

Our ability to witness the growth and development of these youths over the years is encouraging and comforting for us as well. Though the stories of some of these individuals may initially inspire sadness or frustration, seeing them grow into themselves and embrace life is an incredible reminder of why we are here at TRP. Hearing them discuss the best way to complete the Impossible Wall or listening to them cheer on their friends as they prepare to take the Leap of Faith, we are reminded of the value of teaching support, listening, and respect to all those that come through our facility.

Our partnership with EKU is a strong and important one. It is a privilege to work with organizations that are committed to changing lives. We hope that students learn as much from their experiences here as we learn from them.

NOTE: No pictures or names are included in order to protect the anonymity of the students and their caretakers.