This week we are celebrating one year as Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness! So much has changed in the last year and we are thrilled to share our evolution and growth. We are proud to continually serve and support families with a primary goal of setting up students and families on their path to healing and helping teens to reconnect with the best version of themselves.continue reading
User Profile @monicajenner66
When my best friend ﬁrst tossed the idea my way, I had two competing thoughts, of equal size and strength, immediately pop into my brain. Thought #1: “She believes in you, and wants what’s best for you. She wants to have a fun experience together.” Thought #2: “She is a lunatic, and even after being friends for 35 years, she is clearly trying to kill me.”
They wake up and immediately reach for their phones. They get in the car and immediately pull out their DS. Their faces are aglow, and you can see the reflection of their devices in their dilated pupils. Screen time for kids has been a hot topic ever since the first handheld device came out almost half a century ago. We still struggle every day with our children's faces glued to the screen. Sometimes we may even find; we're guilty of that as well!continue reading
The other day when we were talking about public school and your Democratic Free School (Makarios), we realized that…
- We’ve never really explained to you why you’ve never been to public school.
- Within this absence of explanation, you’ve made up some pretty wacky reasons.
We're writing to set the record straight.
I had no idea what I was getting into when I started as a field guide in 2011. What I did know, however, was that the wilderness provides a powerful backdrop for anyone searching for something. I had recently gotten back from a four and a half month backpacking trip from Georgia to Maine on the Appalachian Trail (The “AT”), where I had experienced that fact first hand. When I started the Appalachian Trail, on the surface I was a confident and probably somewhat arrogant recent college grad. However, internally I was scared to death by the fact that I still had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I had always liked the outdoors but unlike many of the people I met during the trip, I was not fulfilling a lifelong dream by hiking the full length of the AT. Rather, I was fulfilling a dream that I had had for all of about two months after realizing that I was about to have to graduate and this was something that could help delay my entrance into “the real world.”
July 17, 2012, is a day forever burned in my memory. It is the day that I witnessed my son have his first grand mal seizure. He was nine years old. It is also the day that began our family journey toward learning about epilepsy and the number of kids on the autism spectrum that struggle with this comorbid condition.continue reading
This week a new parent at the school asked me: So do you all get a paycheck? Or are you all volunteers? Short of a discourse about how we each have justified working at what amounts to being a burger flipper, I just smiled and said: some of both. After all, as most individuals who work for non-profits, we are passionate about our work at Makarios.continue reading
As the Family Support Therapist at Blue Ridge, I work with the parents of our students in the field. My role is to offer space for families to experience their own process, which often parallels the student process but is distinctly different for obvious reasons. Teens are in the woods, with both the discomfort that it brings and the luxury of not having to attend to their “normal” lives.
According to a 2015 Bloomberg survey of job recruiters, these are the “less common, more desired” traits that today’s recruiters are looking for in job candidates. Of course, these traits are less common in a society where you’re taught for thirteen years in a top-down approach with limited communication, under the leadership of an adult one hundred percent of the time, doing what you’re told and only what you’re told. In this system, correct answers are even marked wrong if a student uses an alternative method to find it. Where is there room to grow skills like communication, leadership and creative problem-solving in such an environment?continue reading