Each week consists of hiking and layover days. On hiking days the group moves from one camp to another and on layover days they stay put. This layover gives the group time to catch up on laundry, do more involved initiatives and therapeutic activities, and rest and enjoy the wilds of Montana and Idaho. There is generally one layover days a week. Additionally, our program therapist joins the group every Tuesday-Thursday to bring in letter and work with students. This is his chance to modify individual treatment plans as need and provide extra support to staff and students.
After the group arrives at a desired camp location for the night there is much to do including setting up individual sleeping shelters, gathering firewood, collecting water, and getting the evening fire going. After chores are done student have Solo journal time, one on one time with staff, free time and cook dinner. Following dinner is the evening group, or Truth Circle. This is the longer group of the day and an opportunity for students to engage in conversation on a much deeper level. It is a time for the teens to discuss their challenges, struggles, hopes, dreams, families, and histories. Staff support and guide this conversation, but it is the teens who ultimately make Truth Circle a time for real personal growth and discovery.
Our program is divided into four elements, water, fire, earth and light, and each element focuses on a different set of skills. Once a youth has demonstrated their ability to meet the skill set of one element they can move onto another. Each element is tailored to meet the specific ability level of the youth and works to empower and challenge youth. Water focuses on rapport and safety, fire looks at self control and challenge, and earth requires the student to act as a mentor and teacher to other students. The final element, light, is the culminating 2 day solo experience that prepares students to return to their families.