Trails Momentum Student-Led Advocacy Groups Add New Activities to Program
Trails Momentum, a wilderness therapy program for young adults, has added alternative exercise activities to their programming, as a result of student-led advocacy groups on campus. Recently, students worked together to come up with new activities that they want to incorporate into their life at base camp as part of Trails Momentum’s focus on empowering student voices and decision-making.
Together, students chose to add Just Dance as one of their exercise activities. Students have been enjoying playing Just Dance as a fun activity that is a workout, builds confidence, and encourages bonding as a group.
Students participate in a biweekly Advocacy meeting with staff, where they are able to voice their opinions on changes they want in the program. In this meeting, students propose ideas with supporting information on why and how they should be added to the program. Other examples of added activities include tie-dyeing shirts, community-wide lunches with all student groups, and student-designed and student-led group bonding experiences.
“Students advocated for more exercise options, including Just Dance,” said Director of Student Development Sarah Parlier, Ph.D. “Nowadays, most students say that their exercise time is a highlight of the day.”
This model is a great way to give power and choice to students resulting in better participation. Since students are shaping the way the program is and are involved in the process, they are invested in the activities and are able to create programming that is aligned with their various interests.
Trails Momentum’s programming presents opportunities for students to practice self-advocacy skills and build confidence. Self-advocacy is an important skill for young adults to learn and practice in order to transition into being the decision-maker in their own lives. To support these skills, each group of new students will shape the program to their needs and interests. Trails Momentum empowers all students to individualize the program to best support their goals.
Trails Momentum is an adventure-based outdoor program for young adults ages 18-25 who are struggling to launch themselves into adulthood. Students are guided on a journey of self-discovery where they develop self-concept and are empowered to make the transition into independence. Adventure programming, clinical services, family involvement, college coursework, and social skill development are seamlessly interwoven to maximize the transference of important life skills and address clinical and behavioral challenges.