News & Pics
May We Ask You a Question?
- Would your family like to be part of our APG (Alternative Peer Group) —Wild Hearts Youth/Young Adults Wilderness Excursions “WHY WE...” walk, hike, ski, ride, sail, camp, paddle, swim, dance, bike...laugh, cry, rest, sing, share, love, hope....live?
Please let us know if your son or daughter and family would like to participate by emailing us or calling us directly at (503) 810-9100.
Ski Trips, Volunteer Training, and Calendar!
- Lovers of Nature, Kids and a Healthful Life!
We are creating an epic calendar for PBJ Wild Hearts Youth/Young Adult Wilderness Excursions “WHYWE” for 2019 and we would love for you to be involved!
We are collaborating with some wonderful organizations! Let is tell you about OYO! OYO (Oregon Youth Outreach) is organizing 2 ski/board trips planned to Cooper Spur Mt Hood on 2/9 and 3/9. This is an amazing program here in Oregon with a leader who is passionate about supporting kids and getting them outdoors!
We are working with other generous organizations to plan a multi-night raft trip this summer, a section hike of the PCT in September and we are also collaborating with vibrant organizations such as FIR (Families In Recovery) with similar missions that support a cohesive community for at-risk young people who are committed to a sober and healthful life to ...sail, raft, hike, camp, paddle, backpack, climb, learn and even work with horses, mules and donkeys...and much more—Love it!!!
Do you have an idea? Let’s build this together! We are at the beginning grass roots on this and all energy and ideas are welcome! You in?
If you are ready to be committed as a volunteer leader or participant on one or more of the upcoming Wilderness Excursions or want to create and lead one yourself, we welcome you to step up!
One prerequisite to being involved on “the trail” is some basic training! We are asking that each PBJ volunteer commit to taking a FREE course in Mental Health First Aid and an introductory class Talk Saves Lives.
Go to the below website for dates and time and locations near you for adult and youth courses. Since we are working mostly with youth, teens and young adults, the Youth Course is recommended, but either is fine if your schedule dictates.
The MHFA courses are 8-5pm for one or two days in Beaverton, Portland, Vancouver, and Newberg. There are free courses in or near anyone’s city.
Talk Saves Lives is Free and only 45 minutes and is offered through AFSP— American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Talk Saves Lives with AFSP. This is being offered on 2/23 Saturday at 1:30pm—2:15pm with Drift4theCause and PBJ, location to be announced.
Let us know if you want to be a part of Wild Hearts WHYWE and the alternative peer group (APG) we are building within our clean and sober community—and if so which course you are signing up to take. Grab a friend and let’s do this together!
WE is What’s Essential. When we do it together, magic happens. It’s “WHY WE...hike, ride, sail, ski, camp, paddle, walk, swim, dance...breathe, laugh, love, hope...heal.
Breathe In The Wild,
Portland/Vancouver PBJ Wild Hearts Moms of Wilderness Tribe & Meet Ups
- Every other Tuesday at 7pm Ava Roasteria, 4847 Meadows Rd, Lake Oswego, OR
Contact Emily Vanderipe
As we reflect back on our first full year and our mission, we find humbling satisfaction and hope in our collective efforts to help families by “sending struggling youth to wilderness therapy treatment programs” and “contributing 20% to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP).”
With your help we have already provided much needed grants to 7 young people served from Washington & Oregon:
4 males ages 16, 18, 20, 22
3 females ages 15, 15, 16
The fantastic wilderness therapy programs matched our grants 100%—effectively doubling your and our contribution!
We are enthusiastic about actions in the works to grow our “Wild Hearts” effort to create a supportive sober community in the outdoors.
We are currently receiving training in Talk Saves Lives with AFSP, Mental Health First Aid, Red Cross Emergency First Aid training and soon ASIST training —(Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) to be effective forces in our community. Thank you to our generous sponsors! More on this coming in future posts.
We are meeting wilderness program directors and clinicians to create personal and more closely collaborative relationships from coast to coast to better serve families. More on this coming.
In the past 12 months we made contact with many parents, wilderness programs, educational consultants, business owners & managers, and community leaders. In those conversations we were reminded that so many parents and the public are unaware of wilderness therapy programs, their effectiveness in helping struggling young people or the data that confirms their success rates. It occurred to us that we can do so much more in making parents aware of wilderness therapy programs, how to access them, how to find funding through loans and grants and how to receive financial assistance provided by PBJF.
First, a little bit more on why accredited wilderness therapy programs and a piece of our story:
Attending a wilderness therapy program immediately removes them from the destructive or dangerous environment they are in and people with whom they are associating that are a harmful influence. For most, it is the first time they become sober or can begin to find peace in months or even years. It is the first time they actually have the opportunity—in a supportive and therapuetic environment— to take a close look at themselves, their dangerous behavior, the harm it is causing them and the ones who love them and begin to dig deep at the root cause of their suffering.
They receive the best behavioral health counseling available by highly trained and educated professionals in the field who meet them “where they are” supporting them and teaching them tools for gaining self esteem, healing deep wounds, how to lead a sober life and establish an appreciation and connection with the healing power of nature.
In our desperation we remembered a counselor’s mention of two women with PhDs who are professionals at helping parents place their struggling kids in appropriate wilderness therapy and therapuetic continuing care programs across the country. We were also fortunate to have a kind-hearted lawyer and judge who believed that helping young people receive therapuetic care rather than putative incarceration gave Parker, 19 at the time, the option to attend a wilderness therapy program. Parker chose wilderness therapy. He was escorted from the courtroom by “Brett” an empathic professional escort and onto an airplane headed to an excellent program in Asheville, North Carolina for young adults. The healing and peace literally begin on that plane.
We slept restfully for the first night in years. Parker was in the best possible place he could be, in the hands of true professionals.
Wilderness therapy gave us our Parker back. It gave us our family back.
Here’s how to get help:
- Go to our website at www.pbjwilderness4life.org to our Resources Page and click on each of the 9 programs to find the one you feel best fits the needs of your child. There are hundreds of therapuetic schools and programs, across the nation. We currently have granting relationships with the 9 listed below.
- Contact all or your top pick programs directly and talk to an admission advisor about your child’s struggles and needs to determine the most fitting program.
- Fill out their application. Let them know you are interested in financial assistance if needed.
- Once your child has been accepted, the program admissions advisor will direct you to their financial need application or to the PBJ grant application to determine if and for how much you may qualify. PBJ is presently collaborating with these and several more excellent and trusted wilderness therapy programs to help families have the best and most trusted options available for their child. These direct partnerships include or will include 100% grant matching benefits and more! Grants are provided based on need and availability* of funds. *please note new funds will be available after our annual October capital campaign and new partnership roll out. Please call us for questions regarding this step.
- Finally, coordinate transportation with them and ask to arrange for a professional escort if necessary.
Contact Educational Connections in Oregon, at www.educationalconnections.com . Call Anne Locke Davidson, PhD, 503-478-9727 or email her at [email protected].
Pam Sheffield, 413-575-7584, [email protected]
Or in Bellevue Washington, call Kristin Kajer-Cline, MA. Kristins phone 425-467-0505 and email [email protected].
These experienced, well-educated, and empathic women are committed to helping families identify the most appropriate educational and therapeutic options for their children.
They have vast knowledge of available programs across the nation. They perform an in depth assessment so they can help you select the program that would be the most effective for your child.
They will help you with the application process and travel escort if needed. They will track your child’s progress in wilderness and they will be by your side while your loved one is away.
They will also connect you with other local parents where they facilitate a bi-weekly support group. This connection with Educational Connections was one of the best decisions we ever made. We strongly urge you to seek the guidance of an educational consultant at the very beginning of this process.
We have learned so much on this journey. We want to share what we know with families so we can help them and their loved ones avoid the anguish we suffered, and further, avoid the grief we now endure and from which we are hopeful that one day we will heal.
One wish is that we would have discovered wilderness therapy as an option much sooner. We feel certain that it could have helped avert “troubles” that found Parker. Perhaps it would have had a bigger impact at a younger, more formidable age. Another wish is that we would have given him the opportunity to go back to wilderness therapy as a young adult. Perhaps this could have given him and us more time. We want to convey that you and your struggling child still have this opportunity and so please take it.
The belief in the power we have in wilderness therapy programs and nature itself to help heal and provide teaching and tools continues stronger than ever—despite and because of the physical death of our Parker.
Breathe in Peace,
Dan & Liz