Ashcreek Academy recreational activities are therapeutic in nature and enhance the overall treatment experience. Our experience and studies have shown that boys learn better when doing activities kinesthetically or hands-on. 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 are a healthy alternative.
Our recreation activities consists of experiential groups and recreational activities specifically designed for boys.
Our outdoor focus, horsemanship, and superior academics, help set us apart as one of the top programs for boys.
Experiential groups are designed so that the community of boys must use cooperation and teamwork to gain success. Through planning, experiencing, and finally achieving success the boys learn by “doing”.
Participating in and processing these experiences allow the students to learn about the necessity of trust, communication, responsibility, teamwork, and improved self-concept.
The goal is to challenge each student and have them experience incremental success and to build personal insight and self-confidence.
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. But the sense of accomplishment helps re-build self confidence and self-love.
Experiential Therapy tasks are rarely a solo sport; it truly requires not only teamwork, but a lot of trust, patience and confidence in yourself and others. For example, with rock climbing- one fo the first things you’d learn is how to belay another climber, which is a technique of holding another climber safely by the rope from the ground in case they fall suddenly. If the climber slips, the “fall” is never more than a few inches because the belayer on the ground has his back. As a belayer, you also learn how to bring the climber back to the ground safely. The combination of the climber stretching his confidence and abilities while the belayer on the ground keeps him safe provides both boys the opportunity to learn to trust and to be trusted.
Problem solving is another lesson that is learned while on Experiential Therapy outings- when things change in the outdoors, you can’t control it. All you can do is control your response to the change and work on the next step in front of you. We help our students understand how to generalize this to home and school.
Our therapists our trained instructors insist on absolute safety, they ensure the well being of the boys every step of the way on our outings. This is a huge part of our program and helps re-build character in our young men.
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.