Forces of Nature

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MY TRUTH

by PARKER BOUNDS JOHNSON 10.3.2013

FIRST SUNRISE

God is not anything you can possibly come up with in your human brain. God is experience. God is trial and error. God is loving the ones that hate you and trying to understand the things you don't believe in to the point you sacrifice your own life. God is never giving up. And never letting others give up.

God is the reward you give yourself when you never stop trying to love even if it's not the way others might think is the right way. Love or die. Love everyone to the point where you have no love to give to yourself for long enough that the universe leaves you with no one else to love but yourself.

God is change. God is stepping into the darkness and finding hope in the little things. Read the signs, listen. Don't do ANYTHING you don't believe in with every last cell in your body. God is the motivation to seek the most articulate way of communication to help your fellow man in a way that fits what you think is perfect for his situation. Even if you aren't perfect, do your best. It is the kindness they try to teach u in grade school that sadly your perception of the world during or soon after will do its best to prove you otherwise. There is no devil or man-god, you are both, or one, or the other--whatever you choose to be, whatever side you choose to feed.

God is conquering the fear inside you that overwhelms your lost human flesh and tests you from the time you enter the world to the time you leave. God is when you see two dogs playing and it brings a smile to your face no matter what you think others feel about it. God is when you see wrong so much in your life that you hate and hate for so long you have no other option because you are so miserable the only other option is try the complete opposite. You didn't know tho.

God is overcoming the feeling of frustration you have because you feel the English language doesn't have enough words to explain to your Mother exactly how you are feeling when she is sitting at your bed at night watching you cry and fall apart clinging to the last ounce of hope you become free one day. Most of all God is the unconditional love and forgiveness everyone in the world should have for one another. No matter what. Understand one another, don't quit when you get frustrated, use that frustration to build hope for your next attempt. God is everything and or nothing--whatever you desire to believe because in the end good will prevail. Either nothing matters or everything matters. I choose to believe everything matters.

I know from here there is only more to learn and higher to climb.

Thank you family for not giving up on me. Show me this if I need it again one day. Show it to someone else if you think they need it.

Do not hide the love, die for it.

🙂

Parker Bounds Johnson

Copyright 2013

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The Pine Cone
by Breanna B Johnson
Artist

The Ponderosa Pine is a tree that grows taller than all others in climates that would seem unable to support such life. In our recent history, these trees were landmarks of hope and encouragement to many pioneers coming west on the Oregon Trail.

This pine cone fell from the branch of a mighty Ponderosa growing in arid earth under the central Oregon high desert sun.

The cone's scales follow the same spiral curves as those observed in sunflowers, seashells, and the arms of our Milky Way. This beautiful recurring geometry is described mathematically by the Golden Ratio and the Fibonacci Numbers, which can be observed within our own bodies and throughout our natural world.

Its symbolism has inspired humanity through time and across civilizations. From ancient Rome to ancient Mesopotamia, it is found in art, architecture, and spiritual symbolism. Osiris--The Egyptian god of transition, resurrection, and regeneration--carried a pine cone staff, and many Hindu deities have been depicted holding a pine cone in their outstretched hand.

The pine cone has been historically associated with enlightenment, spiritual awakening, and the "third eye." The pineal gland is thought to be the physiological center of the "third eye", and resembles a tiny pine cone itself.

A single cone contains seeds that could potentially grow a whole forest of Ponderosa Pines. It opens with the warmth of the sun and closes with the saturation of rain, waiting patiently for favorable conditions.

May the pine cone's beauty and mystery inspire wonder, curiosity, strength, and the sensation of interconnectedness between you and the natural world like is has inspired me.

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Creative Selections
from
Artists, Musicians, Writers, Poets & Performers

Introducing Forces of Nature. We need you. We need your unique perspective. We need your deeper understanding to help us all better understand. And we need you to help us tell the deeper story that is happening all around us—invisible to many but in plain sight to you.

Here is a new and supportive place where we can share our hearts—excerpts from our inner journey, —our struggle in the darkness, our dull and sharp pain, our unseen triumphs, our quiet contemplations, our deepening love, our subtle insights, our profound epiphanies, and most importantly our tender hopes.

If you have created something with your heart and soul that helps us build a connection with you and one another, please consider sharing it here.

Do you have a song, a poem, a drawing, a painting, a sculpture, a craft, a photo, performance, a dance, a short story, a speech, verse, a reflection, a maxim, a comic line, a recipe, an invention or a tattoo design...?

Please send your submissions for possible selection and feature in this column and on our social media sites.

By submitting your work, you give us permission to share it with others who visit our website, view our social media sites and support our mission.

We at Parker Bounds Johnson Foundation applaud and respect your original work and therefore would encourage you to protect it through copyright, if desired, before submission to our public entity and public social media sites.

(The PBJF Board of Directors reserves the right to select submissions for public presentation at its discretion.)

Please send your submissions to:

[email protected]
or through Facebook Private Messenger at @PBJWilderness4Life

Thank you for being Forces of Nature!

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Creative Selections
from
Artists, Musicians, Writers, Poets & Performers

Introducing Forces of Nature. We need you. We need your unique perspective. We need your deeper understanding to help us all better understand. And we need you to help us tell the deeper story that is happening all around us—invisible to many but in plain sight to you.

Here is a new and supportive place where we can share our hearts—excerpts from our inner journey, —our struggle in the darkness, our dull and sharp pain, our unseen triumphs, our quiet contemplations, our deepening love, our subtle insights, our profound epiphanies, and most importantly our tender hopes.

If you have created something with your heart and soul that helps us build a connection with you and one another, please consider sharing it here.

Do you have a song, a poem, a drawing, a painting, a sculpture, a craft, a photo, performance, a dance, a short story, a speech, verse, a reflection, a maxim, a comic line, a recipe, an invention or a tattoo design...?

Please send your submissions for possible selection and feature in this column and on our social media sites.

By submitting your work, you give us permission to share it with others who visit our website, view our social media sites and support our mission.

We at Parker Bounds Johnson Foundation applaud and respect your original work and therefore would encourage you to protect it through copyright, if desired, before submission to our public entity and public social media sites.

(The PBJF Board of Directors reserves the right to select submissions for public presentation at its discretion.)

Please send your submissions to:

[email protected]
or through Facebook Private Messenger at @PBJWilderness4Life

Thank you for being Forces of Nature!

___________________________________________________________________________________________

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Mental Health is Physical
by Ben Sutherland

For centuries, largely thanks to a lack of scientific knowledge, there has been a mysticism projected onto the brain. This fundamental lack of understanding resulted in a distancing of the brain and the rest of body and consequently there was a distancing of the mental from the physiological. This logical assumption is not baseless and false but it does a great disservice to those who are suffering from mental health issues out there and aren’t given the credence they deserve because there is no obvious physical manifestation of their ailment.

The physiological component of mental health became very apparent to me this past summer. I was in New York being dragged round an art museum by my girlfriend. I had begun to run a lot again as the cross country season approached and it was slowly beginning to take a toll on my mental health.

The all too familiar anxiety and depression began to creep back into the picture. I was medicating and getting fairly regular psychological consultations and so figured this level of management was sufficient and did my best to just shrug it off.

However, as I walked round this museum, I noticed that I was beginning to limp. There was no pain, just an incredibly exaggerated walking gait. My heart sank. I thought I was injured again and I got on the next train back to college to get the athletic trainer to take a look at it. An MRI showed nothing and a thorough examination by the athletic trainer, an orthopedic surgeon and a chiropractor revealed nothing. There was nothing physically wrong with my leg. In fact, I was repeatedly told my leg was in great condition and there was absolutely no reason that I couldn’t walk. However, the limp persisted.

Having not been able to walk for three weeks, I was beginning to lose hope. My last resort was to go and see doctor that we had had success with in the past who was based down in Boston. To my great surprise, he had seen something like this before. He diagnosed me with Conversion Disorder. Conversion Disorder is generally defined as a physical symptom that cannot be explained by a physical cause. In my case, the doctor concluded that my depression and anxiety had gotten to the point where they had caused by leg to stop working so I would have to acknowledge the problem, stop running and begin to treat it.

That is exactly what I did and after another 4 weeks of limping, I began to walk normally again.

That was about as an exaggerated and blatant example of mental health issues presenting in physiological ways. However, this is the case for far more regular mental health issues too. Recent studies have managed to detect chemical imbalances in the brain and other physiological markers in the blood that allow medical professionals to identify depression. Anxiety also brings with it a whole load of physical symptoms including trembling and panic attacks. Consequently, mental health isn’t really mental at all. It shows up physically. It is diagnosable by tests and it is very very real.

To try and push off mental health issues as something that is “all in your head” is simply wrong. Not only is it wrong, but to perpetuate these attitudes is dangerous to the point that it is getting people killed.

If your friend told you that they had cancer, you wouldn’t tell them it was made up. You would take them seriously. Mental health problems are no different. In fact, amongst teenagers and young adults, mental health issues kill significantly more people every year than cancer does in the same demographic. It’s time we started treating mental health issues as they should be treated, as genuine and potentially life threatening health problems.

Your mental health concerns are not something you have created in your head, they are genuine issues and they are valid. You should not feel ashamed of going to get help.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

My Treatise On Death
by Dominic Paul

Before the school year began, a dear friend of mine took his life. The last important person in my life to die was my Great Grandmother, who passed away at the age of 91. When I was told she had died, I didn’t really know what to do. I was only about 9 or 10, and I don’t think I was able to really wrap my head around it at the time. I didn’t even cry, I just stared into the void, letting it sink in. Recently however, I did cry. I cried into the shoulder of my dog, who didn’t know what was going on but boy was I glad she was there for me. After a couple hours, still feeling unsettled and shaken, I climbed into the attic of my garage, sat down and meditated. I don’t normally meditate because in one’s busy schedule, who has the time? This time however, I did meditate. I sat criss-cross, closed my eyes, and breathed in and out. All the sounds of the outside world continued, the birds still chirped, the wind still blew, the children continued to scream and shout playfully. The world kept turning, just as it always has and always will.

15 days after Parker Johnson’s death, I spoke with his mother and told her how I felt I had made my piece. She was curious how I was interpreting his passing, and asked for me to write my thoughts down. Finally on December 11th, I have done so, and while I feel it only scratches the surface of what I’m trying to say, the soil is rich and ready for planting, so here it goes.

The physical being that was Parker Johnson is dead, he has passed on from this earth. However, who Parker Johnson was for me, and was for the others who loved him dearly, has not and will never die. Because in my heart of hearts, I believe this: Who Parker Johnson was, was not based solely on him and him alone. Parker Johnson was formed due to the love and nurturing of his beloved parents and sister, and his whole entire family (even those from School, Rugby, Tucson, and the MHN). He was a being created by all of his experiences and interactions with other people. Every person he met or who had an affect on him, created him into what he was, and what we loved about him. while the flesh and blood that was created is gone, his being still lives on in all of us who knew him, admired him, and loved him. I will forever react to certain things the way I do today because of Parker Johnson.

Every time I eat a molasses cookie, every time I listen to rap music, every time I see a tattoo, I will react and think the way I do because of my experiences and interactions with Parker. That goes for everyone else too. Every time you hear a song, see a piece of art, every time you eat cinnamon toast crunch and ice-cream! Parker is as much a part of who and what you are today as you were of him, as you ARE, of him. You will continue to pass these experiences and points of view on to your kids, and they to other people, so that Parker Johnson lives on. That is the case in every death, and in every loss of life. I see my Grandma Jeanne in my Mom; in every joke that she tells, every meal she cooks, and in every caring hug and kiss. I even feel her every time i watch someone get schooled in checkers. I feel these loved ones because I am these loved ones, and you are too. And I love you.

Originally posted at:
Dom made a Tumblr—
the musing of a young man who seeks to change his own perspective as well as the perspective of others. (Link)

*Thank you Dominic Paul. You wrote this thoughtful prose December 12, 2014 just a month and a half after Parker crossed over, and it popped up today....A gentle reminder from Parker? It sure feels worthwhile to share again.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Objectivity:
by Ben Sutherland

Contributing Writer for PBJF Forces of Nature

I am having a bad day. I am walking to the train station after a weekend in New York. My knee hurts and I am limping very badly. It’s the same knee I had surgery on last year and I suspect a reoccurrence of the same injury or something worse. I have slept poorly the last few nights, the heat is bearing down and I am tired. That piercing sad feeling is making a comeback, that familiar inexplicable pessimism and sense of despair.

I descend into the subway and hobble quickly onto the train. The train is delayed and the doors remain open. As I stand there, waiting for the train doors to close, a little boy walks into the carriage. He can’t be much older than 10. He is wearing clothing peppered with holes and his shoes are ripped. He announces to the crowded carriage that he is selling popsicles for a dollar each. He shuffles through the carriage and collects what can’t be more than two or three bucks before he quickly ducks out of the carriage as the doors close.

I don’t know the circumstances that led to this boy collecting money on the train, but I can confidently speculate that it is an unfortunate set of conditions which have devastated the early portion of his life.

In that moment, I realized my knee was insignificant. The biggest problem I have is an injury which threatens to hinder a few weeks of my training. Training for a set of competitions which, whilst they are intrinsically important to me, are arbitrary and irrelevant to my quality of life. Things aren’t that bad.

This realization doesn’t cause the sad feeling to dissipate. It remains pretty much constant. However, it is now put in perspective. I made a conscious decision, I refused to let this irrational sad feeling dominate my life. It was there but I wasn’t going to give it the credence it desired.

It is a hard thing, when you descend into that dark place, to realize things aren’t that bad. It is something I tell myself regularly now, so when I fall into a depressive spiral I have something to cling onto. Things get better, things aren’t as bad as they seem and you aren’t alone.

The depressive spiral, which unfortunately a far too prominent feature of our society, tragically takes the lives of so many people every year because they falsely belief their situation is insurmountably difficult. These situations are almost never as bad as they seem to the person at the time.

Depression is not a rational thing. That is the threat it poses to us: It takes away our perception of reality. Objectivity is a vital component to overcoming this disease. I don’t have the solution. Far from it. But it is nonsensical that I am sadder than that little boy on the train. It took me a really long time to reach this level of self-awareness, a self-awareness which protects me from depression’s irrational and despairing claws.

Objectivity: a focus on the facts presented to us by reality rather than our own biases or perceptions, is the key. So here are the facts: despite what you might think, you are not alone. Help is out there, it is readily available and it is effective. Life is worth living. Your situation might seem dire, but it will get better. It will always get better.

Those are the facts, never forget them.

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Mental Health is Physical
by Ben Sutherland

For centuries, largely thanks to a lack of scientific knowledge, there has been a mysticism projected onto the brain. This fundamental lack of understanding resulted in a distancing of the brain and the rest of body and consequently there was a distancing of the mental from the physiological. This logical assumption is not baseless and false but it does a great disservice to those who are suffering from mental health issues out there and aren’t given the credence they deserve because there is no obvious physical manifestation of their ailment.

The physiological component of mental health became very apparent to me this past summer. I was in New York being dragged round an art museum by my girlfriend. I had begun to run a lot again as the cross country season approached and it was slowly beginning to take a toll on my mental health.

The all too familiar anxiety and depression began to creep back into the picture. I was medicating and getting fairly regular psychological consultations and so figured this level of management was sufficient and did my best to just shrug it off.

However, as I walked round this museum, I noticed that I was beginning to limp. There was no pain, just an incredibly exaggerated walking gait. My heart sank. I thought I was injured again and I got on the next train back to college to get the athletic trainer to take a look at it. An MRI showed nothing and a thorough examination by the athletic trainer, an orthopedic surgeon and a chiropractor revealed nothing. There was nothing physically wrong with my leg. In fact, I was repeatedly told my leg was in great condition and there was absolutely no reason that I couldn’t walk. However, the limp persisted.

Having not been able to walk for three weeks, I was beginning to lose hope. My last resort was to go and see doctor that we had had success with in the past who was based down in Boston. To my great surprise, he had seen something like this before. He diagnosed me with Conversion Disorder. Conversion Disorder is generally defined as a physical symptom that cannot be explained by a physical cause. In my case, the doctor concluded that my depression and anxiety had gotten to the point where they had caused by leg to stop working so I would have to acknowledge the problem, stop running and begin to treat it.

That is exactly what I did and after another 4 weeks of limping, I began to walk normally again.

That was about as an exaggerated and blatant example of mental health issues presenting in physiological ways. However, this is the case for far more regular mental health issues too. Recent studies have managed to detect chemical imbalances in the brain and other physiological markers in the blood that allow medical professionals to identify depression. Anxiety also brings with it a whole load of physical symptoms including trembling and panic attacks. Consequently, mental health isn’t really mental at all. It shows up physically. It is diagnosable by tests and it is very very real.

To try and push off mental health issues as something that is “all in your head” is simply wrong. Not only is it wrong, but to perpetuate these attitudes is dangerous to the point that it is getting people killed.

If your friend told you that they had cancer, you wouldn’t tell them it was made up. You would take them seriously. Mental health problems are no different. In fact, amongst teenagers and young adults, mental health issues kill significantly more people every year than cancer does in the same demographic. It’s time we started treating mental health issues as they should be treated, as genuine and potentially life threatening health problems.

Your mental health concerns are not something you have created in your head, they are genuine issues and they are valid. You should not feel ashamed of going to get help.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

My Treatise On Death
by Dominic Paul

Before the school year began, a dear friend of mine took his life. The last important person in my life to die was my Great Grandmother, who passed away at the age of 91. When I was told she had died, I didn’t really know what to do. I was only about 9 or 10, and I don’t think I was able to really wrap my head around it at the time. I didn’t even cry, I just stared into the void, letting it sink in. Recently however, I did cry. I cried into the shoulder of my dog, who didn’t know what was going on but boy was I glad she was there for me. After a couple hours, still feeling unsettled and shaken, I climbed into the attic of my garage, sat down and meditated. I don’t normally meditate because in one’s busy schedule, who has the time? This time however, I did meditate. I sat criss-cross, closed my eyes, and breathed in and out. All the sounds of the outside world continued, the birds still chirped, the wind still blew, the children continued to scream and shout playfully. The world kept turning, just as it always has and always will.

15 days after Parker Johnson’s death, I spoke with his mother and told her how I felt I had made my piece. She was curious how I was interpreting his passing, and asked for me to write my thoughts down. Finally on December 11th, I have done so, and while I feel it only scratches the surface of what I’m trying to say, the soil is rich and ready for planting, so here it goes.

The physical being that was Parker Johnson is dead, he has passed on from this earth. However, who Parker Johnson was for me, and was for the others who loved him dearly, has not and will never die. Because in my heart of hearts, I believe this: Who Parker Johnson was, was not based solely on him and him alone. Parker Johnson was formed due to the love and nurturing of his beloved parents and sister, and his whole entire family (even those from School, Rugby, Tucson, and the MHN). He was a being created by all of his experiences and interactions with other people. Every person he met or who had an affect on him, created him into what he was, and what we loved about him. while the flesh and blood that was created is gone, his being still lives on in all of us who knew him, admired him, and loved him. I will forever react to certain things the way I do today because of Parker Johnson.

Every time I eat a molasses cookie, every time I listen to rap music, every time I see a tattoo, I will react and think the way I do because of my experiences and interactions with Parker. That goes for everyone else too. Every time you hear a song, see a piece of art, every time you eat cinnamon toast crunch and ice-cream! Parker is as much a part of who and what you are today as you were of him, as you ARE, of him. You will continue to pass these experiences and points of view on to your kids, and they to other people, so that Parker Johnson lives on. That is the case in every death, and in every loss of life. I see my Grandma Jeanne in my Mom; in every joke that she tells, every meal she cooks, and in every caring hug and kiss. I even feel her every time i watch someone get schooled in checkers. I feel these loved ones because I am these loved ones, and you are too. And I love you.

Originally posted at:
Dom made a Tumblr—
the musing of a young man who seeks to change his own perspective as well as the perspective of others. (Link)

*Thank you Dominic Paul. You wrote this thoughtful prose December 12, 2014 just a month and a half after Parker crossed over, and it popped up today....A gentle reminder from Parker? It sure feels worthwhile to share again.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Objectivity:
by Ben Sutherland

Contributing Writer for PBJF Forces of Nature

I am having a bad day. I am walking to the train station after a weekend in New York. My knee hurts and I am limping very badly. It’s the same knee I had surgery on last year and I suspect a reoccurrence of the same injury or something worse. I have slept poorly the last few nights, the heat is bearing down and I am tired. That piercing sad feeling is making a comeback, that familiar inexplicable pessimism and sense of despair.

I descend into the subway and hobble quickly onto the train. The train is delayed and the doors remain open. As I stand there, waiting for the train doors to close, a little boy walks into the carriage. He can’t be much older than 10. He is wearing clothing peppered with holes and his shoes are ripped. He announces to the crowded carriage that he is selling popsicles for a dollar each. He shuffles through the carriage and collects what can’t be more than two or three bucks before he quickly ducks out of the carriage as the doors close.

I don’t know the circumstances that led to this boy collecting money on the train, but I can confidently speculate that it is an unfortunate set of conditions which have devastated the early portion of his life.

In that moment, I realized my knee was insignificant. The biggest problem I have is an injury which threatens to hinder a few weeks of my training. Training for a set of competitions which, whilst they are intrinsically important to me, are arbitrary and irrelevant to my quality of life. Things aren’t that bad.

This realization doesn’t cause the sad feeling to dissipate. It remains pretty much constant. However, it is now put in perspective. I made a conscious decision, I refused to let this irrational sad feeling dominate my life. It was there but I wasn’t going to give it the credence it desired.

It is a hard thing, when you descend into that dark place, to realize things aren’t that bad. It is something I tell myself regularly now, so when I fall into a depressive spiral I have something to cling onto. Things get better, things aren’t as bad as they seem and you aren’t alone.

The depressive spiral, which unfortunately a far too prominent feature of our society, tragically takes the lives of so many people every year because they falsely belief their situation is insurmountably difficult. These situations are almost never as bad as they seem to the person at the time.

Depression is not a rational thing. That is the threat it poses to us: It takes away our perception of reality. Objectivity is a vital component to overcoming this disease. I don’t have the solution. Far from it. But it is nonsensical that I am sadder than that little boy on the train. It took me a really long time to reach this level of self-awareness, a self-awareness which protects me from depression’s irrational and despairing claws.

Objectivity: a focus on the facts presented to us by reality rather than our own biases or perceptions, is the key. So here are the facts: despite what you might think, you are not alone. Help is out there, it is readily available and it is effective. Life is worth living. Your situation might seem dire, but it will get better. It will always get better.

Those are the facts, never forget them.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Wild Hearts Announcements (click to expand)

Wild Hearts
Outdoor Adventures

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Embracing the importance of getting outside in Nature and experiencing first hand Nature's power to heal body, mind and spirit, we are creating a supportive community of souls who are committed to each other and those who seek a healthful lifestyle.

We welcome those who share our values and especially those seeking continued healing and a positive community through getting outside in the beautiful wild places together.

We will be getting outside every month all year round--no matter the weather! Adventures include hiking, backpacking, and camping.

Please let us know if there is a special activity or talent you would like to contribute that directly or indirectly helps us do our job better, helps youth and families such as excursion ideas, therapies, hands on courses, mental health training, counseling services, etc. Please send us an email or use our Contact Page.

Thank You!

Your PBJ Wild Hearts Coordinators—

Tyler Holmer
Matt Wood

Parents of PBJ Wild Hearts Coordinators—

Bend:
Jennifer Burnett
Bob Burnett

Portland:
Emily Vanderipe
Bret Vanderipe

Joining us for an adventure? Download your release form by clicking here.

Joining us for an adventure?
Download your activity participation forms

Participation Forms
0
PBJ’s Wilderness4Life has a great post-wilderness opportunity for current youth and young adults from Oregon and Washington who are currently in your program, or who have recently graduated! Wild Hearts is a program that's designed to create a safe space for wilderness grads to continue to be immersed in nature with peers who have been through similar experiences.

We want to reach Oregon and Washington families who may be looking for support after bringing their children back home from “Wilderness.”

We will be hosting ½ day, full day, and weekend long excursions for wilderness graduates to create a network of support in their community.

In addition to our hikes for youth and young adults, we will also be hosting periodic outings that are designed specifically for their family. These will be designed to help families experience some of what their children/loved ones may be experiencing during their time participating in wilderness therapy.

We are so excited to start welcoming families & wilderness grads to the PBJF Wilderness4Life experience!

Below you will find a Q&A section that may also be helpful when talking with families. If there are questions that have not been answered below, or you would like to learn more about the Wild Hearts program, please do not hesitate to reach out!


FAQs:

Who will be leading these hikes?
We have a network of volunteers who have been trained in Mental Health First Aid, and some of our volunteers have experience with wilderness therapy programs themselves. These are individuals who see the value in connecting with nature, and the life-long impact that can have on one’s mental health and success.

We invite you to learn more about the Parker Bounds Johnson Foundation, and our volunteers!

What will be happening on these excursions?
We will be reflecting many of the skills that your children have learned through their wilderness program. We will be leading hikes, and other activities that are challenging, but accomplishable. We will be asking participants to “Check-In” and share where their mind, body, and heart are, and what they are feeling.

We will also support participants in leading hikes, check-in’s, games, and other activities with the guidance of our volunteers.

Where will excursions take place?
All over Oregon & Washington! We have excursions planned in locations from Bend, The Columbia Gorge, Mt Hood, Mt St Helens, Mt Bachelor, The Oregon Coast, Forest Park, and all over Oregon and Washington. You may have noticed that there are locations listed for each of these dates. We will be providing specific trailheads/addresses a couple of weeks prior to the date of the excursion.

How much do excursions cost?
We will be accepting donations for travel & supplies. We want these activities to be accessible for all youth and families who are interested. We will be providing transportation, and limited amounts of gear that participants will need to be safe and successful on our excursions. All donations help us make these activities accessible to as many individuals as possible.

** Find Out About Upcoming Events! **

Wild Time

We invite you to send us your moments in nature videos.


Try your calm and steady hand at 30 or 60 second video clips of your favorite wild places so when we can’t get out in nature, nature can come in to us. Take a “Wild Time“ break at work or at home and find your virtual happy place...

Click here to submit your video.

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