Skip to main content

Wilderness Treatment Provides Perspective


By Stephen C. Schultz


Editors Note: This is another excerpt from some of the material that teens and young adults learn while at RedCliff Ascent. Students gain physical competency, develop emotional insight and demonstrate improved maturity. This particular segment provides a thoughtful perspective for teens and young adults who have been raised in relative comfort.
 
 
Earth

Many “primitive” peoples considered the earth to be their true mother and the sky their father, and that there was a grandfather, (Creator) somewhere beyond it all.  In this you can see a basic difference between the worldview of the old ones and of our own.  They thought they belonged to the earth; we believe that the earth belongs to us.  You wouldn’t cut off your mother’s hair, or drain out her life’s blood.  You wouldn’t blow smoke in your fathers face, or poison his breath.  Yet we have no hesitation in destroying anything that is merely a possession.  We seem to have this notion that we can just run down to Walmart and get another planet when we use this one up. 
 
 
Those who lived a hunter/gatherer existence were usually pretty low impact, they didn’t stay in one place too long, and they didn’t make very much that wasn’t bio-degradable (sound familiar?). They were also nomadic in lifestyle, they followed the herds and the seasons in the most efficient way possible.  For instance, a small family group might shelter in a deep valley during the winter; then, as spring warmed the lowlands, they could follow the new growth and young, vitamin-rich greens up the slopes as the snows receded.  Then spend summer in the cooler highlands.  Finally, as fall arrives, the family follows the frost and deer and berries down slope until they are back in a sheltered valley again.  And this was the way life was, once upon a time.

Your experience in the program will also follow the nomadic lifestyle. Although there are items given to you upon entering the program, such as the food you eat, there is still a strong reliance on the earth that you will experience. The water you drink, the wood you gather to stay warm, and the elements that create comfort or miserable conditions are fundamentally a part of the program. As you come to understand your reliance on the earth perhaps your appreciation for what it provides will grow. Simple luxuries like lying on a sofa will take on new meaning.

Comments

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