Learning by doing through experience. Expedition based experiences can boost self-esteem, instilling a sense of pride and accomplishment, like cresting a mountain range or carrying everything you need on your own shoulders. At the Rites of Passage Ranch Long Term Care Program we use our trek program, a one-of-a-kind outdoor education experience, to help our residents gain confidence and self-reliance. Combined with long-term residential treatment, these week long expeditions are a powerful way to accelerate recovery, teaching through personal experience that challenges can be overcome. Our guides are skilled at using the treks to identify and capitalize on opportunities for both group and individual therapy, finding moments to emphasize and reinforce the principles at the Rites of Passage Ranch Long Term Care Program.

“Fun”, “Transforming” and “Life-changing”.

These are some of the words that our residents use to describe their experiences in wilderness therapy.

Staying Safe

Risk is an inherent aspect of wilderness experiences and we embrace it as a key part of the learning process. Recognizing and managing risk is an important life skill our residents will need to develop if they are to succeed in their recovery from substance abuse. Having a chance to develop these skills in a real, yet supervised setting is invaluable to our residents.

An Abundance of Natural Beauty

Our program takes place in several locations all over the Olympic Peninsula and the San Juan Islands. Our empowerment based wilderness program is a unique wilderness experience based around family model therapy using the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy treatment model. Our approach integrates the therapeutic factors of wilderness experience with a nurturing and intense therapeutic process, which helps our resident’s access feelings and emotions suppressed by anger, drugs, alcohol and depression.

New Pair of Glasses

In addition to the self-reliance, judgment and confidence gained by our residents, the wilderness therapy treks also offer time for participants to reflect, grow and heal. Away from the distractions and details of day-to-day life, residents find they can focus on building relationships, understanding themselves and gaining fresh perspectives on their lives and ambitions.

Trail Experience

While many residents graduate from the Rites of Passage Ranch Long Term Care Program with a love of the outdoors and new found love in backpacking and hiking, many arrive to us with no prior outdoor experience. All necessary equipment is supplied by Rites of Passage, so no special purchases are required and residents are trained in techniques such as kayaking, sailing and snowshoeing as a part of the trek program. The trek program is designed for novices and led by highly trained outdoor professionals who enthusiastically share their passion for the mountains and sea with the residents.