Adventure Therapy and Experiential Treks are a big component of many programs within the CERTS Group. In fact this is an integral part of our Southern Utah Programs including Kolob Canyon, Moonridge Academy and Mountain Springs Preparatory Academy. These programs are perfectly situated for almost all types of outdoor adventures and experiential activities. Our students are within an easy driving distance of numerous National Parks including Zion, the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Capitol Reef and Cedar Breaks National Monument. There are countless horse trails, lakes for kayaking, deserts to explore and mountains to hike. Playing hard is necessary to balance the intense therapy that occurs each day. We believe that the more a student plays, explores, builds mastery, connects with nature and others – the more open they will be to making those adjustments towards a healthier, more balanced life.
True Moments of Change
Both Kolob Canyon and Moonridge Academy have Adventure Therapy and Experiential Treks as integral components to their programs. Each Wednesday includes an Adventure Therapy activity and once per month both programs go on an Adventure Trip. Just this Spring along, Kolob Canyon adventured in Joshua Tree in April, Mead Lake and at Canyonlands National Park. Moonridge Academy experienced the beauty of the Valley of Fire, Arches National Park and Cathedral Gorge. At Kolob Canyon and Moonridge Academy, our therapists have said more than a once, that the best breakthroughs, the best therapy rarely happens on a couch. The true moments of change have been seen with our students while hiking in the rain, laughing with friends in a raft or facing their fears as they rock climb higher than they’ve ever gone before.
At Mountain Springs Preparatory Academy, we believe that travel is the great teacher. Our outstanding, formal classroom education is complimented by regular trips outside of the classroom to study in nature’s classroom. We call these education-led, field trips Experiential Treks! Students describe these treks as powerful, fun and life-changing. They live and experience what they are studying rather than just reading about it. Because many of our students are “hands-on” learners, this unique approach works well for them. For all of our students, these special treks provide memories and learning experiences they will never forget.
Mountain Springs Scuba Trek
Why a Scuba Trek? Well, who doesn’t want to live on a boat for 7 days with amazing catered meals, a sun deck to lounge on, and all the water play toys you can imagine? Not to mention literally playing with the sea lions in the water, seeing the incredible marine life 40 feet underwater, whale watching, and parasailing 600 feet in the air? All with your friends. It’s a no brainer!
But it goes beyond that. Training our Mountain Springs students in scuba diving is some pretty clever back door therapy, that includes deep dives into the skills of:
- Emotional and physical regulation
- Breathing techniques
- Commitment to safety
- Planning and preparedness for “what if’s”
- Using relationships for connection and enjoyment as well as safety
- Appreciation for nature and the environment
To certify in scuba diving, our students participate in weeks of classes, then pool training and finally open water tests to make sure they can safely employ what they have learned.
What a concept. Deep learning, lots of practice, a team helping you, and then finally launching into the ocean (but still with buddies and support)! Much like student’s transitioning from wilderness or RTC (deep learning) into Mountain Springs (practice and team), and then truly being prepared to launch home or to college.
See? We’ve thought this through.