All Kinds of News for January 10, 2018
The weather forecast in the Northeast complicates the choice for a parent or educational consultant to refer a young person to a wilderness therapy program. Yet there are tremendous benefits and opportunities that a student and family can gain from these experiences, and it is important to try to work through the fear that can be associated with cold weather. Summit Achievement has been operating continuously in New England for over 21 years and has honed the skills necessary to manage this climate safely.
To make the experience one in which a young person will be challenged but ultimately find success, Summit takes several steps to address the winter elements. First, Summit is the original hybrid wilderness therapy program with a mountaineering emphasis. Clients spend three nights each week in the wilderness and four nights on its beautiful campus, attending classes in the school, living in heated log cabins equipped with bathrooms and showers, participating in individual and family therapy while eating healthy meals prepared by a professional chef.
Summit trains staff to make safe, conservative judgments when it comes to managing the environment. Students are outfitted in the most up-to-date wilderness equipment (suppliers include Marmot and Outdoor Research) designed specifically for the conditions the student will find themselves in. Staff will teach students the best way to use their gear to stay comfortable in the woods. Along with this equipment, Summit’s expeditions are planned on a weekly basis allowing the program to get accurate weather forecasts for the coming trip and plan the itinerary accordingly. One priority of winter camping to actively manage is frostbite. Summit does this through a handful of redundant systems like proper education on how to prevent it, using equipment designed for the environment, making hot chocolate or tea, and staff checking each student's fingers and toes several times a day to make sure that their extremities are warm and dry. When the weather is at its worst, Summit has three wood-stove heated shelters strategically placed around our main campus in Stow, Maine. The shelters provide protection from the elements and the wood-burning stoves help everyone keep warm and dry.
The wilderness during the winter months is often some of the most beautiful and serene settings you can find. Just being out in the wilderness at this time of year feels like a significant accomplishment and precipitates gains in self-confidence and helps put other risks and challenges into perspective, helping to mitigate low self-esteem, depression and anxiety.
Summit Achievement founded in 1996, is, and always has been, guided by positive reinforcement and the power of choice. Our outcome-focused treatment program employs effective therapeutic and educational principals. Through the process of engaging therapy, classroom academics and exciting wilderness expeditions, students experience the therapeutic benefits of outdoor adventure-based activities while learning to manage the demands of a more traditional environment. As an intentionally small, owner-operated wilderness therapy program, we serve adolescent boys and girls, ages 13-20, from around the world.