All Kinds of News for October 10, 2018
During the summer of 1999, Echo Springs students and staff set off on their first excursion to the Last Frontier. 20 years later and the brave Echo Springs students are accepting the invitation to journey through an exploration of self, nature and power. The rugged and beautiful terrain provides not only a metaphor of life within the geography itself but an excellent reacquaintance with the empowerment of connecting with the wild that so many students have previously experienced through wilderness therapy, family vacations, Scouts or even summer camps. For a few, this is their first time experience of being, breathing and sleeping where the wild things are.
During the trips, students incorporate their teachings from Echo into the new and often times intimidating environment of Alaska. On this last trip, students took initiative to organize AA meetings, yoga circles, meditation and conflict resolution. It has been even more rewarding to see the boom upon return. The experience is applied back into the daily life at Echo as students take on new challenges with additional confidence and courage. If one can sleep in tents amongst the grizzlies and wolves, one can survive taking a class or two at Northern Idaho College while managing all the other components of progressively increasing responsibilities.
Students were able to flex muscles in resiliency and managing anxiety and self-doubt, as well as exercising their actual arm muscles paddling 60 miles over 9 days. As a group, they practiced teamwork by setting goals, supporting one another, asking staff for assistance, and provided thoughtful feedback to each other throughout the experience.
“We became connected on a level we never had before. Cooking, sleeping, singing, kayaking and exploring together was an experience I’ll never forget.” - Danielle G. 22
Echo Springs wishes to thank Breakwater Expeditions for partnering with Echo Springs over the last 7 years and guiding students safe and soundly alongside icebergs, seals, and sea otters with the creaks and thunderings of the calving glaciers. This special partnership between Breakwater Expeditions and Echo Springs is what ultimately led to Doug Kim-Brown to pass the Echo Springs' baton to John Winton 5 years ago, to carry on Echo Springs' young adult support services and carry on the legacy of empowering lives into prosperous futures.
Echo Springs values the opportunity to inspire students through explorations outside of comfort zones with the purpose of promoting catalysts for outward and inward discoveries. Just in 2018 alone, different sets of Echo Springs' students have surfed on Costa Rican shores, bicycled through the medieval walled cities of Italy, boated along the coastline of Croatia, and sea kayaked through the icy waters of Alaska.
Travel is beautiful and a fortunate opportunity to experience life in 3 dimensions, inspiring cerebral wonder and awe with all the physical senses maxed to the fullest. The journeys shift perspectives and create impact and imprint lifelong memories.
"The experience in Alaska gave me an opportunity to connect with not only my community but with myself. Being out in the wilderness away from all the distractions of day to day life was a way to see myself and what I am truly capable of which is much more than I had ever imagined.” Scout Christensen, age 19.
About Echo Springs
Echo Springs Transition Study Center empowers young adults to live effective, productive, and joyous lives. Students identify interests, assess strengths and weaknesses, and learn to manage challenges. Echo facilitates the opportunity to re-envision dreams. Students learn they can accomplish realistic goals. Echo Springs supports students in the transition from passive onlooker to active participants in their own lives and futures.
Visit Echo Springs’ gallery to see photos from these adventures.