Introducing the Alumni Network at Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness
Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness (BRTW) strives to guide families and their children in thriving together in a sustainable, lasting manner. In the spirit of this consistent and diligent support, Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness is pleased to introduce the official BRTW Alumni Network. The Alumni Network will provide former students and families access to each other as well as direct contact with the program itself. Through the BRTW Alumni Network, families will be able to share their experiences and insights via virtual and in-person student and parent mentorship opportunities.
BRTW’s Family Services Coordinator, Cayce Collins, will lead the rollout of the Alumni Network. A former Field Instructor herself, Cayce understands the nature of the unforgettable connections that students and their families make while at Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness. Families and students often seek to connect through shared experiences they had while in the program. The safe, impactful environment cultivated in BRTW’s student and family programming is difficult to recreate elsewhere. Cayce is thrilled to oversee the BRTW Alumni Network and provide families opportunities to connect with each other over their meaningful, unique experiences in wilderness therapy.
BRTW has already begun to welcome alumni students back to the adolescent and young adult programs as Student Mentors. Over the course of a week in the wilderness, returning Student Mentors provide current BRTW students healthy student-mentor relationships, encouragement, and wisdom. Alumni mentors model consistent effort, adaptive emotional regulation, and thoughtful problem solving with a positive mindset, showing current students what they may also be capable of. Current students need experience, strength and hope that after the wilderness, life not only goes on, but can be better— that people can heal and families can repair. A mentor’s experiences can also help them to understand what they can expect after wilderness.
Former BRTW parents can stay connected with each other through the Parent Support Network, which currently consists of over 600 current and alumni parents as well as some BRTW staff. Through BRTW’s Family Programming, alumni parents may sign up to be Parent Mentors, who are assigned to current BRTW parents to provide support and wisdom. Parent Mentors and Alumni parents also frequently participate in the weekly group parent support call.
Stay tuned for updates and information as the BRTW Alumni Network continues to evolve.
Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness offers clinically driven wilderness therapy programs encompassing advanced therapeutic skill, an immersive nomadic wilderness model, licensed therapy and assessment, and multiple treatment options for struggling teens ages 13-18 as well as young adults, ages 18-30 in their Emerald Arrow program. Their individualized approach, family support, and commitment to service translates to an unparalleled experience and better outcomes for youth and families.