Emerald Arrow: Young Adults Cultivate Resources for Lasting Change in Wilderness Therapy
Emerging adults are often in a stage of inquiry related to identity, purpose, and meaning. Emerald Arrow, a Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness program, is specifically designed to address the challenges young adults ages 18-29 face. Primary Therapist Anne Wilzbacher, LCMHC, and the Emerald Arrow team work to provide meaningful opportunities for students to engage in formative opportunities for creativity, education, skill-building, and connection.
Emerald Arrow’s weekly creative intensives and skill-building workshops offer students exposure to various forms of creative expression and exploration of interests. Creative intensives range from painting and drawing to making pottery, writing, playing music, bookbinding and more. Skill-building workshops are centered on life skills essential to fostering confidence and competence in areas such as nutrition, meal preparation, budgeting, first aid, career and interview skills, communication skills, volunteering, and overall health and wellness. These experiences are designed to serve as tools to support emotional regulation, authentic self-expression and exploration of one’s passions.
Students in Emerald Arrow are also presented with opportunities to connect with others who have overcome adversity, want to share about their career field, or who work with young adults in other contexts. By exposing students to a variety of shared stories, the Professional Speaker Series provides inspiration for the future and illustrates how every individual’s journey is unique. Twice monthly, professional guests visit Emerald Arrow and spend time alongside students, sharing experiences and stories, teaching a variety of skills and participating in group discussions and activities.
An alumni student recounts her experience in the program: “Emerald Arrow allowed me to rebuild myself and rebuild the relationships around me in the process. I conquered mental and physical challenges I never thought I was capable of… I could never thank the staff and the nature I was surrounded with enough. I would recommend this program to anyone who needs a real change in their life. It is an experience I will never forget and never regret.”
Designed to serve young adults long after graduation, the unique program elements in Emerald Arrow, combined with the overarching therapeutic structure, offer insight to young adults’ passions, capabilities, and goals, and serve as practical resources which they can access for life.
Emerald Arrow: A Bold Path is a Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness program for young adults. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, Emerald Arrow provides a safe, holistic, and clinically sophisticated environment for struggling young adults to reflect upon themselves, their family systems and their futures, and to work through challenges in an immersive wilderness environment.