Intended to provide respectful healing experiences in a wilderness environment, these courses implement personal growth methodologies and a simple support model that honors the griever. The grief work that is purposefully woven into every aspect of the curriculum is not intended to provide therapy, but rather to facilitate an environment where young people can connect, build relationships, and share in a relevant healing experience with real-world outcomes.
Participants begin to build an inclusive, supportive “crew” on day one as they join in a nightly discussion circle, acknowledge their shared losses, and begin the healing process. As they tackle problem solving challenges and engage in high impact activities such as rock climbing or ropes courses, students experience moments of self discovery and also reinforce their new community of support – their grieving crewmates. Students are encouraged to share their stories and insights on a daily basis as they participate in meaningful grief rituals as well as grief-centered reflection activities designed to help students understand how their experiences thus far might translate to coping skills back home. During the final debrief students identify continued, healthy support mechanisms and a positive network of peers who they may call on in the future.
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