This summer, students from The Family Foundation School got to return to wilderness through a summer-long program designed and facilitated by therapist and Dean of Admissions Jeff Brain. Students who had begun their healing and recovery journey in wilderness were able to gather their back-packs (emptied of text books), tarps, hiking boots, and bow-drilling gear and head out into the wilderness of the beautiful Catskill Mountains.
The expedition enabled the students to re-experience wilderness and re-connect to what they learned there by performing many of the traditional activities, including cooking their own food, doing solos, building shelters, calling standing groups (or the like), hiking (up to 11 miles a day), journaling, playing pelt and of course, busting fire! Also included in these outings were a few students who did not initially go to wilderness but wanted the experience. These students were mentored by those who had attended wilderness.
Several wilderness programs were contacted for technical and practical support and Jeff would like to thank SUWS of the Carolinas/Phoenix Outdoors, Second Nature and especially Adirondack Leadership Expedition (ALE) who not only provided bow drilling supplies, but also sent their Field Director Hal Beck and Executive Director Tracy Edwards to the school one day to provide the students with some unique and specialized wilderness activities. We appreciate their support and collaboration.