“It is not our programmes that make the impact but rather through bringing people into a sense of belonging that we empower them to make their own lasting life changes.”
– Mary Wanhill (Founder & CEO)

Your support will transform lives!


Our complementary programmes are designed to address the needs of individuals through a holistic approach. By incorporating fun activities, exploring spirituality, and applying psychological understanding, we strive to establish a secure and inclusive space where young people feel a sense of belonging.

  • Engage with young people aged 9-24 years.

  • Seeks those in need of a supportive community filled with action and fun.

  • Based at Paengaroa in the Bay of Plenty - 40 minutes from Tauranga, Rotorua and Whakatāne

Our activity-based programmes are designed so that they work in parallel with life learnings and engage individuals in a growth mindset.

  • Addresses struggles in social and academic areas.

  • Supports those who are marginalized or labeled with cognitive or behavioral issues.

  • Aims to reduce vulnerability to educational failure.

  • Works to steer away from risky behaviors leading to destructive outcomes.

How to engage!

  1. Make a referral (see button below) - we will assess needs and suitability and contact you

  2. We will create a client plan for you to authorise and complete parent/caregiver consent

  3. We will then engage with young person to deliver client plan

Strengthening identity through activity-based one-on-one and group sessions interwoven with clinical counselling.

Matched, casual and group mentoring to intentionally guide towards discovering purpose for life.

Empowers young individuals to thrive in the workplace by cultivating resilience.

Residential camps focused on inspiring people to step into a hope-filled future

Gatherings, one-on-one activity sessions and group sessions to empower young people in their values.

Leadership trainings, volunteering and staff functions with a focus on releasing their potential.

Why us?

Youth Encounter offers young people a unique opportunity to engage in programmes that move away from traditional modes of delivery.

  • Unique approach in delivery of clinical counselling modalities

  • Incorporates activity-based delivery as a tool for courage, talent unlocking, and skill growth

We have used a strong evidence base to develop programmes that intentionally facilitate change in youth.

  • Guided by our Live Life Wide Open Framework

  • Intentionally facilitates positive change in youth

  • Activity-based programs are designed to align with life learnings

  • Journey towards greater possibilities

Our Live Life Wide Open Track

Means to have a forward focus and we believe this is the hope our people need, to see a positive future and head towards it. This is the track we want to take people down as we parallel life learnings with activity based experiences to engage individuals in a growth mind-set.

Programmes are delivered from Youth Encounters Home Base (Tūrangawaewae) within a country setting that provides a therapeutic environment to create a sense of belonging for people to call their second home. It is a space to facilitate all we do and deliver high quality programmes to positively impact our community.

We have a broad reach across communities which includes Tauranga and Western Bay of Plenty with some catchment areas within the Eastern Bay (including Whakatane and Rotorua). Camps are based out of Papamoa and Waikato with the total catchment for camps being North Island wide.

Youth Encounter values inclusiveness so we work and respond to youth from all ethnicities within a culturally sensitive and safe environment. This includes youth who identify as Maori, Pacific or who have a disability. Our staff come from diverse ethnic backgrounds and are upskilled to work with youth with specific disabilities and we modify our equipment including the dirt bikes, to ensure activities can be enjoyed by all.

"My son is really enjoying the course with the Encounter team.  He is hard to turn off when he gets home and is excited to tell us about the day.  I can see he is building in himself and is more helpful at home.  It is doing him wonders.  Thank you very much." - Debbie (parent)

Your support will transform lives!


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