Phase 2 of the expedition (Weeks 2-3) emphasizes self-reflection time. Students will hike quietly, except during trail breaks when staff is present to monitor the conversation and encourage it to remain productive and positive. This individual approach requires the students to spend many hours a day in thought and serious reflection about their problems, their lives, and the therapeutic feedback they are receiving from our staff. They will have time to reflect on communication from family members through letters and meetings with their therapist.
This period is heavily monitored by our therapist. The students will have meetings twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. This is also known as camp council within their trail family.
These meetings will center on topics concerning daily camp life. These topics will consist of hard and soft skills. Hard skills are topics that include food preparation, water-purification and land navigation. Soft skills are topics such as communication, respect and teamwork.
By the end of Phase 2, most participants have developed insight into their past behaviors and are starting to take responsibility for their actions. Students move at different speeds, however, and are given the time they need to progress. During Phase 2 we encourage students to ask the question, “What do I do and why do I do it?” in reference to their behavior and actions.
Phase 2 of our wilderness therapy program also consists of the students having to be responsible for all of their daily activities. They cook their own meals, and set up and tear down their own camp. They get their own water and build their own fire in the wilderness.