Skip to main content

Troubled Teens "Fish" for solutions!

By Stephen C. Schultz


The sky was blue and a gentle breeze fluttered through the aspens in a wave like motion. The truck strained a bit as it wound its way up the mountain pass at 9000 feet above sea level. Shawn Brooks and I were headed to the annual camp out for the students at Oxbow Academy. Each year, the students and staff head to the mountains for week of camping, hiking and fishing. While group and individual therapy still takes place throughout the week, it provides a more relaxed atmosphere for students and staff to interact.


 We pulled off the highway onto a dirt road that wound up the hillside to where the camp was set up. As we approached, there was a group of students and staff playing a game of “horse shoes”. I got out of the truck and walked towards the big tarp that covered the cooking/food area. As I approached, four or five students came running towards me with a stringer of fish. They were so excited and a couple of boys started cleaning the fish while a couple more stoked the fire. They were going to have their fish for lunch.


The look on these boys’ faces and the excitement they demonstrated wasn’t due to the fact they were having fun, and they certainly were, but it was due to the fact that they had attempted something difficult, mastered it, and were successful. There is a sense of accomplishment and joy when you develop competency in a difficult task. The other thing that was fun to see is that these kids were simply being kids having kid experiences.  It’s sad to think that there needs to be a place like Oxbow Academy, but to the parents of these boys who have struggled with sexual trauma, sexual abuse, NLD, attachment and aspergers issues at such a young age, it has been a relief and an opportunity to redirect the lives of these young impressionable teens.

Comments

Louise Slater said…
Fishing is a really fun pastime that I have done many times with my dad. It is a wonderful way to be outdoors, near water, and learn about both patience and nature.

Popular posts from this blog

Perfectly Wicked - A new take on an old fairy tale!

Guest Blogger Amanda Schultz Age 15 There she was…hair as black as night, lips as red as blood, skin as white as snow. Standing by the window, washing dishes, whistling while she worked. Snow White. I shudder with disgust every time I hear her name. What kind of a name is that anyway? “Snow White”. Gahhh, it’s a name that practically begs to be made fun of. Yet, there she goes, frolicking around like she owns the Enchanted Forest. No. I’m the Queen. I’m in charge. My magic mirror was mistaken. I’m the Fairest of them all, not that sorry excuse for a princess. One bite from my poison apple and that air-head will be so ugly not even her mother could love her. And I will be the Fairest once again! I suppose that I should rewind a little bit. It wasn’t always a competition between Snow White and me. In fact, back in the day, we had a nice little system going on. I would rule the kingdom and practice my magic, while Snow did the dishes and tended the garden. She stayed out of my w

Lessons I learned from a childhood experience with bullying

By Stephen C. Schultz The dew around the window was starting to bead up. In a classic case of chaos theory, the little beads of water gave way to gravity and randomly bounced and bumped their way to the window sill like a steal marble in a pinball game. There was a small pool of water in the cracked and peeling beige paint. I sat facing the window, staring at the small engraved stone nestled in the flower beds. There weren’t many flowers at this time of year. Mostly rhododendrons and Oregon grapes reaching skyward from the damp bark mulch that covered the planter area.   The month of January in Eugene Oregon was filled with days and days of mist and fog.   In fact, pretty much from October through June was filled with fog, rain, mist, showers, freezing rain and occasionally snow. The local weathermen didn’t bother with predictions about the chance of precipitation; they took pride in developing new adjectives to describe the type of precipitation and how much you can expect.

An Open Letter to Parents Researching RedCliff Ascent

By Stephen C. Schultz "We will be known forever by the tracks we leave." Having been raised in Oregon, I spent the majority of my childhood and teenage year’s steelhead fishing the coastal waters, climbing the Middle Sister in the Cascade Mountain Range, drifting the McKenzie River and hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.  I have mentioned to friends, family and colleagues on many occasions;   “From a therapeutic standpoint, there is no better place to have a student’s issues manifested quickly than in a wilderness setting.” The question then becomes, “Why do therapeutic issues rise to the surface in an Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare program like RedCliff Ascent ?” Throughout the years of teenage development, most teens spend a lot of time with friends. These friends think the same, dress the same, act the same, listen to the same music and sometimes get into the same types of trouble. Some teens also develop patterns of communication and manipulation