We Do One Thing
by Nancy Minges, M.A., Wellness Program Director
We help youth learn, heal and thrive.
We do this in a number of ways, across all our programs. Our method of change, and our principles, in many ways are inter-changeable.
We connect youth more deeply to themselves, to nature, and to community. We see disconnection as the root of most, if not all issues: disconnection from one’s body, emotions, needs, values, how their mind works, how nature works, community, and nature itself as a living system.
We believe there are 4 relational roots for growing a human: authentic relationship, embodied peak experience, nature, and connecting to community.
We are constantly striving to support youth, and ourselves to gain self-awareness, and capacity. Capacity to feel, be with, gain understanding, and to become empowered stewards of their lives, and our planet.
In all of our programs we teach mindfulness, play games for fun, get our hands dirty, push our limits, learn directly or indirectly about brain science, and about sparking more happy chemicals. We learn inquiry, both internally and externally, and we learn how to be in relationship with all of the non-human beings of nature. In our field science programs, we learn this through the scientific method of inquiry. We then apply that to ourselves. We learn about bugs, and rivers, and streams, and what meadows do. We learn how we are like meadows too. We learn about animals, and we identify our spirit animals. We learn how to use their qualities when we get stuck.
We learn how to wonder, have awe, and develop curiosity. We gain self confidence, learn to step into what makes us uncomfortable, how to ask for help, how to make group agreements, and how to support one another. We make art, and theater, and we have campfires. We make moccasins, and dream catchers, we make customized aromatherapy sprays for our stress. We challenge ourselves past our limits–and we grow. We make hot chocolate, and we sit by the fire. We let go of what is out of balance, and we come into a larger understanding of who we are, and what our place in this world is.
We get scared. We overcome fear. We climb. We rappel. We ski. We get wet, and cold. We hike mountains that seem too big. We traverse in snow that seems too deep. We ride killer single track. We leave our houses for the first time in months, to take a tentative walk out into the field. We tell our stories. We laugh about most everything; and, sometimes we cry. We learn how to listen. We “meadow-tate”. We discover our passions. We develop a relationship with joy. We learn how to see through a systems lens, as John Muir says, “When we look at one thing, we find it is hitched to all things”.
We write poetry, we draw, we set goals, and find new ways to keep “me time” in our schedules. We discover what our growth edge(s) are, and we find ways to support what is trying to emerge. We do this in all of our programs. It looks a little differently in each of them, but if you know what our principles are, you see them everywhere.