“It’s a Christmas I will always remember”
CLAYTON, GA, December 10, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ — Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness recognizes that the holiday season is a difficult time to enroll a loved one into wilderness therapy. During a time when family is the focus, having a child far from home can generate difficult emotions for families who are celebrating at home.
Blue Ridge Alumni parent, Michele, shares her experience around the holidays last year: “My son spent Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years in the woods 2 years ago. It was difficult not having him home, but I knew that it would have been difficult having him home that year too. I just told myself that we could give up 1 holiday season without him in order to have many happy ones in the future.”
Blue Ridge’s mission during the holidays— and all year round— is to provide individuals and families with the tools and resources they need to forge meaningful connections, maintain healthy relationships, and to act in alignment with their personal values. The skills taught at Blue Ridge aim to empower students to work with their loved ones to build the foundation for a renewed, thriving family system.
Although this work can be especially challenging during the holiday season, the holidays can also provide students with meaningful opportunities to reflect, experience authentic connection with peers, and to learn about finding gratitude in emotionally challenging times.
Michele continues, “My son still tells the stories of playing football, the amazing dinners and a snowball fight on Christmas morning. But don’t worry, the snow came fast and disappeared just as quickly… To the parents whose kids are in the woods this year, please know that they will always remember the year the holidays spent at Blue Ridge… You’ve got this… and it’s worth it. Last year’s holidays were so much sweeter with him home and healthy!”
For students celebrating away from home, Blue Ridge staff understand how important it is to bring cheer to the woods and create special moments. Alumni student, Samantha, attended Blue Ridge from December ’21 to March ’22. She describes what it was like to celebrate Christmas in the field:
“I remember feeling a little sad that I wasn’t home for it, but to be honest, Christmas at Blue Ridge is one of my favorites. When we woke up, there was a little gift in our boots from a staff member who couldn’t make it to the field that week. When we got to camp, a string with ‘stockings’ tied on to it from our therapist, and there was this little baby pine in the middle of camp that the staff decorated with battery lights and little gifts underneath.”
Samantha continues, “I don’t remember much of the day other than having so much fun cooking this whole special meal as a group – we all cooked, did water, and kept the fire going… I remember us all sitting around a handmade cowboy pit and laughing, singing Christmas songs, and eating a wonderful meal, and opening the gifts our parents sent in. There were a lot of tears – both sad about not being home, and happy and thankful for the amazing day and effort our staff put into making this a good day for us. It’s a Christmas I will always remember.”
Located in the North Georgia and Western North Carolina mountains, Blue Ridge’s licensed treatment program provides sophisticated clinical treatment in an immersive wilderness model. Foundational transformation for families occurs through utilizing individualized clinical treatment together with intensive family-focused support and whole-body health and wellness. To learn more about Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness, visit www.blueridgewilderness.com or call the Admissions line at (888) 914-1050.
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