Turning Winds Academic Institute Activity Track Development

Over a span of nearly twelve years, Turning Winds‘ staff and students have embarked upon numerous TREC expeditions that have totaled almost three-thousand miles of backpacking in some of the most serene mountainous, environments in this country. To put that into perspective, we could have backpacked from from Washington State to New York- 2,800 miles. We are excited to announce the development of two additional activity tracks which further capture the interests of our clients: mountain biking and white water rafting.We recently returned from a six day mountain biking TREC. This experience was nothing less than amazing! With a group of ten boys and two support-staff, anticipation for the big event nearly exploded once the bus had arrived at base camp in beautiful Coeur d’ Alene , Idaho National Forest.

For five days, we utilized our mountain bikes to climb the mountains, cross rivers and discover viewpoints that not even Hollywood could reproduce. It was a test of endurance that was rewarded with a taste of great accomplishment. On our first ride together, there were a number of students who lacked confidence in their abilities to conquer the varying terrain. However, by the end of the trip, that had all changed-self confidence had increased tremendously.  Something special happens to these wonderful youth while engaged in these outdoor educational  experiences.  Fears, doubt and uncertainty are defeated by a conquering spirit of triumph, hope and courage.

Each day the students participated in narrative therapeutic assignments. At the end of each day, we all participated in empowering, process groups in which we explored how our experiences on the trip could be equated to real life situations with peers and family. Even the staff, myself included, completed these thought provoking assignments.

Prior to our departure for home (back at the school), we collectively decided it would be a good idea to end with a gesture of gratitude and service. With that noble desire, We found a campground which had been destroyed by past campers who clearly did not have a similar level of appreciation for this beautiful part of the country as we did. The campground was littered with trash and the fire ring had been destroyed. It was so great to see these young people take ownership of the service project and give back!

No doubt, this will be an experience that all of us will remember with fondness throughout the remainder of our years…I can hardly wait to get out there and do it again!


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