It’s Not Only About Adventure – Aspiro Students Learn Primitive Skills
Aspiro Adventure is an outdoor mental and behavioral health treatment center with a clinical model based on adventure therapy. Adventure activities are paired with treatment plans which are created by licensed mental health professionals. Included in these treatment plans are weeks full of high adventure, weeks of backpacking in the backcountry, and also weeks where students can slow down and process the changes within themselves. This includes times where students focus on primitive skills, creativity, and mindfulness.
During the primitive skills weeks, students learn how to create items made from rustic materials such as wood, leather, twine, stone, and more. They learn to focus, be mindful, be creative, and be safe at the same time. Students appreciate the opportunity to create something they are proud of and can take home after Aspiro. They enjoy having a variety of experiences in addition to the program’s adventure component. Examples of student projects include wooden spoons, bowls, leather bags, chess sets, walking sticks, jewelry, skateboards and leather journals. The therapists also appreciate the primitive skills weeks because it provides an opportunity for assessment of students in a different environment and it allows them to help students find and pursue additional talents and interests.
Skills Camp is led by Aspiro’s Skills Camp Director, Dave Nessia. He is a professional primitive skills instructor and a dedicated outdoor survival enthusiast. He has over 20 years of experience working with youth at outdoor programs. Dave has extensive knowledge and a contagious positivity, which sets the tone for the fantastic student experience. He has also showcased these attributes on The History Channel’s television series Alone. He competed in two seasons of Alone and made it to the top three contestants in season 3, which took place in Patagonia. Dave has made survival his passion, along with sharing and teaching youth. He inspires students to practice mindfulness while making their creations and teaches them how to fully experience the “here and now.” Students discover a new side of themselves and create some fantastic pieces of art.
Aspiro Adventure is a short-term wilderness therapy program located in Utah, serving adolescents ages 13-17 and young adults ages 18-26 with varying degrees of social, emotional, and behavioral challenges. Aspiro is accredited by the AEE/OBH and is a NATSAP Research Designated Program. For more information about Aspiro, contact us at (801) 349-2740.