Mom has already stuffed a spare pack of tissues in her purse because life is about to change. Her sweet, precious, all-grown-up baby is heading off to college. Her and Dad have packed up all of the essentials for dorm life: clothes, school supplies, sheets, towels, snacks, and plenty of coffee (maybe even a wad of cash!).
Rewind! All of those items are helpful and necessary as a teen from high school transitions to adulthood in college. But how can you prepare your sweet, precious, almost-grown up baby for college, other than buying a slew of new material possessions?
We toss around the phrase “college-ready” like it’s going out of fashion. But what does that really mean? I challenge you and your family to redefine the traditional definition of “college-ready.”continue reading
I discovered this incredible work by chance while searching through a listing of outdoor jobs on an online database in the summer of 2011. As a recent college graduate, I was neck deep in the angst of entering the job force. I had never heard of Wilderness Therapy before, and honestly, I remember feeling unsure if I wanted to do it or not. I pictured a boot camp where students just cried all day and yelled at each other as field instructors ran around saying things like, “take accountability for your actions!” or, “let the tears flow!” Nonetheless, something about it captivated my imagination. So I applied for a job as a Field Instructor and read every book about it I could get my hands on. As I read Shouting At The Sky, a book describing a writer’s personal wilderness therapy experience, I started to understand that this wasn’t like anything else I had ever heard of; it sounded compassionate, powerful, raw, even sacred.continue reading
The Brilliance of a Circle and Nature: Working with Group Dynamics in the Wilderness
A group of people sitting in a circle in the wilderness is an image we can all imagine, have seen, and/or been a part of. It's a powerful image. Why is this such a powerful image? It is something that has been going on for centuries. There is inherent wisdom, not only in the act of sitting in a circle and being a part of a group but also in what the magical element of the wilderness provides to this already rich experience.
1. It keeps you busy.
On top of spending 8 hours a day inside a building, students get to go home with plenty to occupy their evening. Although it's been widely mandated that students only get 1 hour of homework on average each weeknight, most high school students are lucky enough to go home with at least 2 hours of homework! The standard, endorsed by the National Education Association and the National Parent-Teacher Association, is the 10 minute rule. 1st graders can have up to 10 minutes of homework a night, 20 minutes for 2nd graders, and 120 minutes for 12th graders. This makes perfect sense, but oftentimes teachers aren't communicating across different content areas. Students may very well be gifted more than the recommended amount of work to last them through the night.
How many times have we seen someone we love refuse to do something without ever trying? In our hearts, we know that if they would just give it a try, there is a good chance that they would succeed. We may think, “They lack self-esteem or self-worth”' this is partially correct, but it is missing the most important part of the equation: Self Efficacy. Self-efficacy is one’s belief in the ability to accomplish a particular task. Self-efficacy differs from self-esteem, which is the respect one has for oneself; this is an important distinction when dealing with adolescents. For the pre-teen and teen population, the general confidence adolescents have in their ability to accomplish a task correlates directly to whether they are successful in that task or not. At Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness we find it particularly true while working with individuals suffering from substance use problems.
Just how do we approach academics at Makarios Community School? In her recent blog, Jannica Morton shared several points of how a Democratic Free School is similar to Finland's #1 internationally ranked education system. Before ever reading anything about Finland’s major shift, I began to explore educational alternatives which eventually lead to the creation of Makarios Community School, the first Democratic Free School in the Dallas Fort Worth area.
The university model of education requires students to do the majority of the learning on their own, and most don’t know how. They’ve spent four years spending 35 hours a week in a classroom where the teacher tells them what is important and what will be on the test. Then they go home and cram to remember that information long enough to pass.
Then they go to college and take 4-5 classes about 3 hours long. They think it will be a breeze (12-15 hours), but those courses are condensed. Instead of a year, they are learning the same amount of material in a semester. Professors don’t ‘teach’ the material, they use class time to reinforce what students studied on their own in textbooks and videos the prior week and answer questions to clarify understanding and show correlations between different pieces.continue reading
Google announced today that it will be making the new Google Search Console available to everyone in the coming weeks. Specifically, verified users in Google Search Console will be able to access the new Search Performance, Index Coverage, AMP status and Job posting reports.
Google said the new Search Console reports provide “more transparency into Google’s indexing, stateful two-way communications between Google and website owners to help resolve issues faster, and a responsive user-interface.”
Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness utilizes a therapeutic wilderness model: primitive living, ceremony, metaphor, and affinity for the beauty and spirituality of nature. This model lends itself well to natural and logical consequences rather than contrived, verbal, didactic therapy models. Adolescents in our program are removed from their comfort zone and immersed in a new culture, where therapists and field staff provide a small universe of lessons mirroring the larger universe in which they live.continue reading