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Thistledew Camp – Wilderness Endeavors Program

Updated: January 27, 2005

Wilderness Endeavors is a year-round, short-term program run by the Minnesota Department of Corrections for boys and girl’s (served separately) 13 to 17 years of age. The purpose is to provide the student with a very safe but challenging environment in which to discover and develop tools for change and personal growth. The course includes intensive adventure activities, wilderness travel, and adventure therapy methodologies. Each youth may earn two full-year school credits. The experiential education credit is earned through active participation in the high adventure activities of solo, rock climbing, high ropes and wilderness expeditions. The physical education credit is earned through arduous physical activity needed to complete these ventures.By placing a small group of ten youth in an emotionally and physically demanding program, Wilderness Endeavors will help each youth to reach beyond his preconceived limitations. For many of these youth, being placed in high adventure and wilderness activities takes them out of their “comfort zone” and will induce the mental and physical stress essential for personal growth. Wilderness Endeavors will instill positive principles of empowerment, confidence, and perseverance. Each youth will achieve gradual successes on progressively difficult and rewarding tasks.In addition to offering adventure and wilderness activities, Wilderness Endeavors uses teaching methodologies to help each youth “process” the experiences and transfer them to real life situations. This methodology involves individual and group processing, daily check-ins, journal writing, daily themes, and activity debriefings.Wilderness Endeavors is a highly intensive program. The youth are involved in structured programming for 12 -16 hours per day. Each youth is held accountable for his behavior and expected to actively participate in the entire day-to-day schedule of events. The instructors will be spending 24 hours a day for 21 continuous days with the group, which allows for a basis of trust and communication to develop between staff and student. Staff members are able to take an empathetic approach to teaching and directing the students because the elements of the wilderness and adventure activities themselves bring about the aspects of change which are described above.

Company Type(s): Non-Profit
Company Category(ies): Camp
Region(s): Central North US
Grade Level(s): Not Applicable


Address 1: 62741 County Rd 551
City: Togo
State/Province: Minnesota
Country: United States
Postal Code: 55723


Phone: 218-376-4411
Fax: 218-376-4621
Contact Person: Mark Gordon, Director of Adventure Programs

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