Those of us who work in this field recognize that it is never an easy choice to send your child away from home for any period of time. With this in mind, it makes sense that we often receive questions from parents surrounding what a child’s first few days at Evoke will entail. Here is an overview!
In the field, we do things every day to minimize our impact on the natural surroundings. These routines have both aesthetic and practical reasons: supporting the animals and plants we share our space with, other humans who will use the area after us, and ourselves. Minimal impact camping practices can be similar to the front country chores of cleaning a house.
When eventually your child’s time in the wilderness is at an end, many feelings will pop up for you. This could include, and of course is not limited to, feelings of relief (we did it!), pride (they did it!), a variety of concerns about next steps (did we pick the right one, will they engage, what if they stay upset?), as well as fears about them coming home or sadness that they are not able to at this time.
Posted by Marie Svatek, M.D., FAAP on September 21, 2022 | 2 comment(s)
In November of 2020 we interrupted our son, Gabe’s, junior year to send him to Evoke. After 12 weeks at Wilderness, we made the tough decision to send him on to therapeutic boarding school (TBS). In August of 2021, we brought him back home to begin his senior year of high school.
Recently, I was sitting with my therapist and complaining, AGAIN, that I am in a rut, unhappy, and not sure why my relationships were still complicated after doing all the things she told me to do. “Why am I still struggling to see a future for myself that I am content with? Why am I still hinging my happiness on finding a partner and fixing everything in my family?” I asked plaintively.
It's been said that the cost of important lessons in life goes up each year. Like a form of inflation built into the human psyche, the lessons we don’t learn today have a tendency to come at a more painful cost in the future. As a therapist working with families across their lifespan, it seems each year brings bigger responsibilities that come with more serious consequences. Whether life is giving you a crash course on boundaries and self-care or a reminder that grief and letting go is deeply woven into our daily lives; circumstances beyond our control are constantly trying to teach us about the nature of healing and growth.
Friday morning, I woke up to several missed calls from my roommates. Typically, they don't call to chit-chat with me at 6:30 am while I’m on vacation visiting my girlfriend's family, so I knew that something had to have gone wrong back at home. With my head spinning, I quietly went to the worst place in my mind. I thought, “Juni (my beloved dog) must have run away or got run over.” As I wiped my tired eyes and called them back, I braced for what could have been some of the most devastating news I’ve heard in a while. My roommate somberly answered the phone, I convinced myself I would never see my dog again, and he responded, “Did you let anyone borrow your car while you while you’re gone?”
In addition to managing the equipment needs for the Evoke, I also coordinate the dietary needs for our participants and staff. I follow a similar philosophy that I use for our gear, in that we want the focus to be on clinical growth, and not that someone’s gear doesn’t work, or that the food doesn’t work. We pick food that packs well, provides the necessary calories and nutrition, and tastes good. All dietary needs and adjustments are discussed by the Clinical, Field, and Medical departments so that we cover all the bases.
Posted by Kevin “KP” Padowicz on August 10, 2022 | 0 comment(s)
I had an exciting opportunity to work a field shift over this summer, and as always I was grateful for the chance to be reminded of the power of so many of the things we do out in the wilderness. There’s nothing quite like sleeping under the stars, relying almost exclusively on water for hydration, not having a phone, and sharing in vulnerable ways with people you are living closely with. While I usually look toward these types of things in anticipation, the reminder of them in practice is always appreciated. On this recent shift however, I was also lucky enough to get an especially impactful reminder and maybe some new perspective on the power of gift giving in the wilderness.
Posted by Cate, Wilderness Field Staff on August 03, 2022 | 2 comment(s)
Every Tuesday, field staff at Evoke participate in the rituals of "shift change." Those who have been out in the wilderness supporting our students for a week return to the frontcountry for showers, practical errands, and catching up with loved ones. Those who have been home, resting and re-centering, prepare themselves for submersing themselves in the backcountry. This is a piece one our staff wrote about this day and the unique mix of feelings it brings up.