HOW DOES IT WORK?
Guidance – Community – Nature
For guidance we believe that the educational and therapeutic components complete each other. Role modeling by staff and others, learning skills, and responding to expectations are always opportunities for growth. In addition, individual and group sessions allow for self-reflection, processing, and support on deeper levels and needs.
Living as a community is a powerful element in our program. Developing a sense of community happens though experiences such as field expeditions, workshops, and day to day living together. Learning in all levels is first and foremost experiential and immediately relevant, thus meaningful and long lasting.
The challenging wilderness is a powerful accelerator for growth. The connection to nature and then to ourselves and others is a key element. Coping in the challenging outdoors legitimizes emotional difficulties and pain, which leads to self-regulation based on familiarity rather than fear. This competency, together with self-reflection is what creates ownership on steering our own lives upon return back home to our families and social arenas.
Our Home Base
Our home-base living arrangements are located within a beautiful Kibbutz community in the north-central part of Israel. Our program compound consists of 6 bedrooms in two buildings with 2 or 3 participants per room. Rooming will separate boys from girls and depend on needs and appropriate matching.
Our Daily Program
“Free Spirit” is an 8 to 10 week program in Israel, packed with meaningful experiential learning, delivered in English. There are three major elements to the daily program:
Routine daily living at the base location – these include “Ulpan” studies in Hebrew; General studies relating to life in Israel, diversity and Jewish life, as well as other relevant subjects; Extracurricular activities; Agricultural field work; and individual and group session and activities.
Special days – Short field trips to the major historical and cultural sites in Israel, combined with meaningful visits with significant persons of interest and inspiration in the diverse Israeli culture.
Expeditions – Five-day-long expeditions, each geared toward different aspects of coping, experiential learning, and group process in the tradition of wilderness and adventure therapy.