Ashcreek Academy recreational activities are therapeutic in nature and enhance the overall treatment experience. Our extensive experience and has shown us that boys learn and retain more when doing hands-on activities. We strive to have our young men learn to fall back in love with activities that depression may have taken away and/or expose them to new activities that they may learn to love that can be used as healthy alternatives to possible unhealthy habits that they have developed. The activities consist of experiential groups and recreational activities designed specifically for boys.
Our outdoor focus, horsemanship, and superior academics, help set us apart as one of the top residential treatment centers for boys.
Our experiential groups are designed so that our boys must use cooperation and teamwork to gain success. Through planning, attempting, and finally achieving success the boys learn those things by “doing”.
Participating in and processing these experiences allow the students to learn about the necessity of trust, communication, responsibility, teamwork, and their roles in success.
The goal of these activities is to challenge each student and have them experience incremental success in order to experience personal insight and build self-confidence. Experiential activities also provide the boys with an opportunity to get their energy out and these activities have been shown to improve their moods as well.
Some activities that our boys participate in include:
In just 20-30 minutes, we can be in some of the most beautiful places in the country, all while working on: Increasing Character, Endurance, Patience, Problem Solving, & Confidence. Experiential therapy can help the students in so many ways; the many physical and mental challenges alone will help them figure out the way they interact with the world, and the sense of accomplishment helps re-build self confidence and self-love.
Experiential Therapy tasks are rarely a solo sport; they require teamwork, trust, patience and confidence in oneself and others. We teach this through one of our favorite activities: rock climbing. One of the first things one learns in rock climbing is how to belay another climber, which is the technique of holding another climber safely by the rope from the ground in case they fall. If the climber slips, the fall is never more than a few inches because the belayer on the ground keeps the rope tight. The belayer also is the person who brings the climber safely back down to the ground. As the climber learns to stretch his abilities and his confidence, the belayer on the ground keeps him safe. Through this, both the climber and the belayer learn how to trust and be trusted.
Problem solving is another lesson that is learned while on Experiential Therapy outings- one cannot control everything that happens in the outdoors. All one can do is control their response to the change and work on the next step in front of them. We help our students understand how to generalize this to home and school.
Safety is very important to us, so our therapists and our trained instructors make it a priority. They ensure the well being of the boys every step of the way on our experiential outings. This is a huge part of our program and it helps re-build the character of the young men at Ashcreek.
Mountain biking is a favorite of the boys and something just about every boy can jump into – even if he hasn’t ridden for a while, or been off road. As part of our experiential therapy activities, we find it also an outstanding activity not only for the health benefits and the fun, but also as a valuable therapeutic activity. People come from all over the world just to experience some of the well known trails that are literally right in our back yard.
Biking off road requires a set of new skills much different than traditional biking. As the boys begin tackling more and more demanding trails, they learn the value of understanding the limits and advantages of their equipment. In the beginning, the boys don’t want to bother learning the seemingly complex combinations of gears which would make it much easier to take on a steep hill – and try to brute force it up the hill, not using the tools they have literally under their feet.
Another benefit of being smack-dab in the middle of three world famous national parks is the amount of water adventures right in our back yard!
River rafting, kayaking, canoeing and fishing are more great adventures that requires a lot of hard work and teamwork. We enjoy miles of stunning scenery, history, wildlife, and geology sprinkled in on our adventures.
Our therapists walk through the days events with the boys and relate the journeys lessons to our lives at home, our relationships, and our individual potential. This is what experiential therapy is all about.
Our boys frequently engage in off-campus recreational activities. Our excursions give the boys a chance to draw closer to the beauty of nature, allowing time to meditate in the great outdoors.
These recreational activities are strategically used to help our boys experience healthy life choices that replace the previously negative activities they engaged in before treatment. Our goal is also to help them find new things to do long after they graduate from our program.