Leap of Faith

Meet one of the travelers on this year’s Bali for Families expedition – a cheerful 12 year old girl.

She’s standing on a large rock, maybe 10 feet over a freshwater mountain pool, the kind of place you see in travel magazines.

She wants to jump off like she’d seen some kids and parents before her do… she’s afraid… afraid to jump.

Haven’t we all been in that place at some point in our lives? In some way?

She leans forward and then steps back off the jumping spot, her heart beating fast.

Mustering her courage, she steps back to the edge again. This time voices of encouragement, shouts of, “You can do this! You got it,” come from all sides. We see her lean forward and after a moment, retreat from the edge.

Will she do it, we all wonder.

We lean towards her- attention riveted.

She steps forward. I’m in the pool, wanting to be a reassurance that someone is there in the water.  She moves back to the edge for the third time.. pondering.

Kadek, our unfailingly cheerful Balinese guide, gives her a nudge. Was it the nudge or had she already decided? Maybe a little of both.

She jumps. It’s as if it’s in slow motion and then she’s in the water.

She swims out easily to cheers of “You did it!”. She’s laughing and elated.

Her story doesn’t end there.

At the Children’s Home she pairs up with two of the older kids to learn a dance to a song she loves… Havana. The three of them perform it for a crowd at that night’s birthday celebration. It isn’t easy for her on a lot of levels, she wants to quit, to step back off the rock, but sticks with it.

Later, after an inspiring snorkeling experience at a gorgeous coral reef, she decides to take the Intro to Scuba class, something that wasn’t even on her radar screen, and proudly earns herself a two week pass to do 12 meter dives.

I can’t say what impact it had on all of us. I can only speak for myself.

I grew. I felt I could do things that are hard. I decided at 64 years old I would learn to surf. Sounds crazy. There’s more to it than her jump. But I will say it gave me courage.

I feel we all stepped into the light from under the umbrella of uncertainty…like so many other similar moments during that journey.

Word of Mouth

As we return to Portsmouth after leading wild and wonderful adventures to Bali in February and April, we’re taking a minute to reflect on the humbling honor it is to witness the growth, family bonding, and new connections that are rife in these trips.

But don’t listen to us go on and  on. Here’s what a few of this year’s family expedition travelers said on the last day before coming home:

“I took risks I never would have taken if I didn’t leave the U.S.A. and go halfway around the world. I don’t want this trip to end.”    –Brooke, 12 year old traveler

 “I can’t believe how much this trip allowed us to really immerse in culture and meet Balinese people, starting with our drivers who we spent so much time talking to and learning from.”  –Joanne Stella

“I have a goal to bring home the kindness, peace and happiness of the Balinese people. We love the time with the other American families, the children’s home kids, and most of all, our own family. This trip to Bali is something you can’t really understand until you experience it.”  –Lisa Brown

“I can’t imagine a better combination of families and people to spend time with than this group.”  –Becca Hedlund


And we love these comments from 12th grade boys and girls on our April High School Science and Leadership Expedition:

“I was really afraid of going away to college but now I realize I can go somewhere new where I don’t know anyone and make friends. I know I’ll be OK.”

“I’ll literally do anything to spend another night at the orphanage. Sleep on the floor. Anything. I love how I feel when I’m around those little kids.”

“I never realized how much I have at home and never realized I can handle so much less. I can do without. I can be uncomfortable. People here have so little compared people at home but here they’re really happy.”

Curious what the hoopla is all about? We are booking our 2019 expeditions right now and we’d love to share these same types of memories with you and your family.

May Myschyffe

With a nod to the sort of good old-fashioned events which unite a community, Planet Rangers After Hours activities bring great local families together.

This month join us at the New Hampshire Renaissance Faire. Throw on a home-made costume (any costume will do) and get ready for unicorn rides, the antics of the court magician, jousting, archery and a line-up of shows on the queen’s stage.

We’ll meet at the festival grounds in Fremont Sunday, May 20th at 10:30 am and the whole family is welcome. Details can be found here.

Registration – In Three Easy Steps

“I love filling out forms,” said noone ever.
When registering online for your upcoming Planet Rangers program or summer camp, we want it to be as easy as possible. To that end, follow the steps below:
  • If you are a returning summer or afterschool camper and/or you already have a profile in our online system, click here to log in using your email and password. Once in your parent dashboard, click “enrollment” on the top bar, choose the camper you want to enroll, and then choose your preferred enrollment option(s). You must scroll to the bottom of the page and click on Save and Continue to move on to the enrollment questions and complete the process.
  • If you are new to our programs or have no profile online with us – welcome! Click here to set up a profile in the system and proceed with enrollment. You can make this process go faster by setting up your profile online ahead of time and then completing enrollment when registration opens.
When will enrollment be confirmed? We’ll get back to you as soon as we possibly can. We do take time to ensure we have balanced programs – a mix of ages and of boys and girls in each camp or program week. In addition, we want to make sure to include those campers who were waitlisted last time. If that was your situation, please note that on your enrollment request.
Questions? Hitting a snafu? Don’t worry – we’ll work with you to make it right.