While visiting the program a few summers ago, a clinical director in Children’s Mental Health, Sara, experienced first-hand the healing power of nature. A young man, Anthony, was considering dropping out mid-way through the expedition and Sara was hoping to help change his mind. They were out in a kayak near a bed of kelp to reflect and talk about it. Each time Sara said something poignant, a whale breached.
“You really have a lot of strength.”
The whale appeared.
“You are going to influence others whether it’s positive or negative.”
The whale popped up again, almost as in agreement with Sara.
This continued for another 20 minutes and both Anthony and Sara felt an immense sense of peace within themselves. Anthony decided to continue and became a positive leader for the rest of the group.
Experiences like these are what make this program so unique and powerful for the participants. They are given the opportunity to learn important individual reflection, team building skills, primitive skills, and survival techniques to capitalize on the tremendous personal growth that the wilderness shares with us.
Our Children’s Mental Health program used to offer therapeutic wilderness expeditions including camping, hiking, canoeing and fishing. We no longer have that dedicated wilderness program, but our kids get outside and do those activities nevertheless.
Names have been changed to ensure confidentiality