Reflections & Updates, Therapist Journal

Blackwater Outdoor Experiences: 2016 Accomplishments

I have been working at Blackwater Outdoor Experiences as a Field Therapist for a little over a year at this point. What has been able to be accomplished since my last post about Blackwater Outdoor Experiences?

We have been able to have 7 successful 22 Day Therapeutic Wilderness Expeditions for the 2016 year. Throughout that time we launched social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. On Facebook we were able to launch a Social Support Network group for students and their families of our expeditions to get weekly motivational posts, ask questions, discuss with other group members, and have professional resources available to them. Most recently we were able to update our website not only in it’s appearance but in the amount of information that it offers those who visit it. You can now find information about our aftercare support, our 22 Day program, and some of the latest testimonials from students and family members. For mobile users, we even included the ability to dial our number just by clicking a link.

Through generous donations we have been able to get participant T-Shirts made so that our students can have a physical take away from their expedition beyond their journals and used gear. Our relationship has grown with Caron Treatment Centers in Pennsylvania has grown that they consider us their designated wilderness program. We have seen students of our expeditions continue on with their college studies and write essays about the lessons and experiences they took away from their expedition with us.

As treatment program we have connected with Virginia Commonwealth University’s COBE program and their RAMS in Recovery program including presenting at their Family Education Program earlier in the year. Our partnership with Longwood University researcher Dr. Catherine Franssen continues to gather more data on the effects wilderness programs have on the stress levels and stress hormones in students who go through our program.

New aftercare programming resources have been uncovered such as those from Inner Change, and Real Recovery. New potential financial assistance programs have been identified in an effort to supplement beyond scholarships from our companion Wilderness Alternatives, Inc. (WAI).

What does the future look like for Blackwater Outdoor Experiences?

We have another expedition coming up on January 15th, 2017 to kick off the New Year. We are looking for another full time Field Therapist, Field Guides for upcoming expeditions, and even an Inbound and Product Marketing Manager to help us continue to grow! These are the highlights of the 2016; will you be apart of this with us in 2017?


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