Outcomes Part 2: Skill Development

It’s been awhile since our latest blog past, as we’ve been busy building content for our soon-to-launch website.  Stay tuned, as we’re preparing to send out a number of exciting updates in the coming weeks!

At BaMidbar Wilderness Therapy, we see skill development as an important pathway to nurturing and building resilience for our students.  Resilience is defined as the process of adapting and overcoming in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress.  Resilience is not some magical trait that’s determined at birth; it is a learned ability that takes time and practice.

The wilderness environment provides an unparalleled opportunity for experiential learning geared toward developing the skills that contribute to resilience.  BaMibdar’s curriculum focuses on fundamental skill development, such as effective communication, conflict and anger management, healthy emotional expression, relapse prevention strategies, goal setting, problem solving, emotional intelligence, social perceptiveness, practices of self-care, and much more.  Through formal daily groups, students learn the concepts and strategies behind various essential skills.  Our caring and compassionate staff then assist students in practicing and applying these during the innumerable teachable moments that arise when a diverse group of individuals spends eight weeks together in a wilderness setting.

In addition to fundamental skill building, BaMidbar’s students build technical expertise through program activities.  Students make fire without matches or lighters, learn to set up tents or tarp shelters, build  snow caves, pack backpacks for outdoor adventures, prepare effectively for various weather conditions, climb rock walls, ride  mountain bikes, bake challah in an outdoor oven, cook over a fire, read Torah,  and make art, instruments, and other objects with primitive materials.  Throughout all these activities, students build the confidence and pride that comes with task-mastery, and learn that they can persevere through challenging tasks.   When in the future they face new obstacles or difficult decisions, they will be able to reach back to their time at BaMidbar and say, “I have done this before; I can do it again.”

At BaMidbar, we recognize that change does not happen overnight, and the pathway to and through recovery is a lifelong journey.  BaMidbar is not a panacea, and we will not solve all of a student’s problems in eight short weeks.  However, by emphasizing fundamental and technical skill development, we hope our students will walk out of BaMidbar with the knowledge and ability to recognize and assess challenges, set goals, persist through setbacks, overcome obstacles, and practice self care throughout the process.

To learn more about other outcomes at BaMidbar, click here.