An outward journey to our innermost places
The Three Strands Wilderness Program is the final leg of a client’s journey and the beginning of a lifelong mission. By the time clients are ready to leave the Ranch Program, they have gained a deeper sense of themselves, experienced the joys of personal competency and true friendship, and have become willing to believe that a life of sobriety and striving is one worth living.
Transitioning from life on the ranch to life in the wilderness marks the beginning of a journey that tests what we believe about ourselves, our place in the world, and our ability to sustain positive and purposeful recovery. The Three Strands Wilderness Program allows clients to test their skills, trust their senses, and gain confidence in their ability to remain on the path to well-being and recovery. It is also the gateway to a profound and lasting personal transformation that ingrains a permanent sense of connection to the earth, the self, and the community.
Wilderness Programming facilitates self-change. We create an environment that encourages every client to find and surface their greatness.
The journey begins at Camp Hope, an outpost of canvas tents that serve as base camp for two seven day group expeditions into the surrounding hills and mountains. The seasons determine camp life and activities and determine necessary gear and supplies. Days are spent practicing the art of living with the land, climbing and traversing with safety and confidence, staying dry and warm, overcoming obstacles, discerning the ancient patterns of nature, and supporting one another along the way.
Learning to lead and to give back is also a significant part of the wilderness experience. Clients with more experience share skills and mentor those newer to the program. But importantly, they also prepare for the time when they’ll set out alone.
The Final Solo Trek
Although never completely out of eyeshot of trek leaders, the solo trek is a vehicle for self-discovery. Clients at this stage have the skills and mindset needed to sustain themselves in the wilderness completely. By this time, the remarkable physical and emotional changes that have taken place since arrival are fully formed. Only in solitude can clients experience their inherent ability to unify with the natural world.
Alone, we can surpass our preconceived limits, eliminate the noise of daily life, and finally hear the quiet voice from deep within. Somewhere along the way, among the great pines, towering Rockies, and clear-running streams, a new understanding will grow and solidify in the heart and mind. It will be a subtle realization with life-long implications. A young person will come to the simple realization that everything needed to live a life of meaning and joy is contained within.