Equinox RTC Hosts New and Improved Experiential Week
Equinox RTC, a residential treatment center for teen boys ages 14-18, hosts a new and improved experiential week.
Equinox has wrapped up yet another successful experiential week! At Equinox, experiential week happens at the end of each academic quarter. For this experiential week, Equinox focused on serving their community and balancing leisure, recreation, adventure, service, and self-care. Equinox students spent the week “finding their why” for community service. Students were asked to challenge their beliefs about themselves and their value within the community. One of the most common challenges Equinox young men face are negative beliefs about their value and their place in the community and so the school encouraged the students to speak with each volunteer organizations about their “why”, and were gratified to see their perspective on the importance and impact of serving their community shift.
Equinox kicked off the week supporting Asheville Greenworks, a local non-profit organization that describes themselves as “ tree-hugging, river loving environmentalists” who work for a “Clean & Green” environment. The focus was on cleaning up the Hominy Creek area, which is close to the French Broad River, and is often littered with trash. The positive impact on this area will minimize the amount of trash that reaches the river, leaving the water cleaner when students come back to kayak the French Broad in the Summer. Equinox students learned about the “trash trout,” a device set up in the river to catch trash and debris coming downstream. Students got particularly excited about pulling a refrigerator out of the river, recycling an old RV door, and the brand new soccer ball they found in the trash trout.
Day two took Equinox students and staff to a familiar location, with a different intention. Hickory Nut Gap Farms is a local farm that has been serving the community since 1916. Equinox’s primary connection with them is through Equine Therapy. This time rather than the horses working for students… students worked for them. The Equinox family was pleased to support the staff at the barn by helping them dig trenches for the upcoming rain, cleaning stables for the horses they so adore, and oiling up the leather saddles so they would be ready not only for the next equine therapy sessions but for the locals that come to the farm for trail riding and lessons.
On day three, the outdoor rock climbing trip got rained out, so they went to the local rock climbing gym and continued to condition their bodies for outdoor climbing. Students were able to challenge their fears, resiliency, and endurance.
On day four students took the reins of the programming. The primary focus was leisure and self-care. Self-care was broken down into 3 categories: body, mind, and spirit. Students were challenged to find something more than music to rejuvenate themselves. They ended up with face masks, bicycling, meditation, and exploratory conversations about spirituality and higher powers.
On day five Equinox spent the morning with Holmes Educational State Forest, an organization that started as a nursery and blossomed into a living outdoor classroom where visitors can learn about the local natural forest environment. The group did some trail maintenance, and helped get the pollinator garden ready for spring. Afterward, it was a quick ride into Dupont State Forest where students ate a picnic lunch at the base of a waterfall and explored to find two other waterfalls right off of the trail.
It was a lot of work for one week, and all along the way, Equinox students were challenged to balance service to others with service for themselves. It was incredible to hear their perspectives and beliefs develop and to see them practicing their therapeutic skills in the real world.
About Equinox RTC
Equinox RTC is a leading residential treatment center for boys ages 14-18. Equinox is unique in its focus on Relational Trauma, which includes grief, loss, and attachment. Trauma, Loss, and Attachment, providing clinically intensive treatment for boys struggling with anxiety, depression, substance use and abuse, learning disabilities, and other emotional and behavioral needs. Equinox offers a combination of clinically sophisticated support with a whole-person approach including adventure therapy, a health and fitness program, and a whole foods diet. Equinox provides a fully accredited school, with broad course selections taught by licensed teachers in a college-preparatory environment.