The wilds can be a place for youth to find freedom, discover themselves, and be challenged to take the reins of their own lives with confidence. That’s why a wilderness boarding school can be such a gift to your child. Different school wilderness programs offer different programs within them, but in a general sense, here are some key benefits that your child can expect from a wilderness education program.
The Healing Space of the Natural World
Study after study has proven that greater immersion in the natural world is important for emotional development in children. The existentialists certainly believed it, and scientists seem to have evidence that supports it: nature can be a place for people to find emotional healing. Whether that means finding refuge from personal trauma or taking some breathing room from the common stresses of adolescence, this is most certainly a key factor of why wilderness programs can be a kind of unconventional therapy or consoling for high school-aged students—whether they’re just facing the normal stressors of their teenage years or are grappling with bigger problems.
Team Building and Community Building
Every person benefits from discovering the bonds of friendship and in learning to be both be vulnerable with others and to allow others to be vulnerable with them. This may sound purely emotional, but a wilderness recreation program can provide unique situations and opportunities that allow students to bond with their teachers and with each other and build tight-knit, genuine community with each other. Learning this teamwork and sense of unity with others is great for all adolescents in setting them up for healthy relationships throughout their lives.
Room to Try for Themselves
Teachers like to talk about self-efficacy. It’s the confidence someone has that if they keep trying at something, they will eventually succeed. Not every student has this, but it’s a vital ingredient to a life well-lived, no matter what that student chooses to do in their future. Recreational Wilderness programs present unique and challenging situations where students can try something new, take a risk on something where they may not feel very confident in themselves or the results. Through coaching and the help of other students, they can find success. They can discover the joy of the challenge, and the innate ability to envision goals and believe that through hard work and a little risk, they can actually achieve their goals.
The Simple Joy and Thrill of Adventure
Kids like to try new things, stretch their wings, and have fun. Wilderness programs allow students some space to experience the thrill of adventure under the watchful eye of educated, licensed professionals who both understand the sports at hand and how to facilitate these challenges in a safe and constructive way. This provides the thrill of the chase. It lets kids seek adventure while having someone to reach out to in the process.
The Chance to Learn New Skills
Outdoor wilderness programs may allow your child to learn a new skill or sport that they otherwise wouldn’t have encountered, or to grow in a sport that they already love. Perhaps they can take on skiing for the first time, or learn how to care for a horse even though they’ve never been on one before. They can stretch their rock climbing skills, learn new bouldering techniques, and get a fuller grasp of the competitive world of outdoor sports. Whatever their interest or their passion is, a wilderness program lets them dive deeper into fresh or familiar waters, letting them constantly learn something new.
Are you interested in a wilderness boarding school with recreational programs for your child? If so, contact Global Academic Consultants for support with finding the program that fits your child’s unique needs.