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Parent Visits at Entrada: How to Prepare for the Reunion

Posted by Ashley Nelson on July 21, 2021

E45B9D79 07F5 4C58 99A2 01821B698E07As a parent coordinator, my job is to help guide parents through their child's stay at Evoke. I am here to offer support, assist in any way I can, and answer any questions a parent might have (don't worry, there aren't any "silly" questions). One of the main questions I get from parents is, "When can I visit my child in the field?" For most, it's been a long time since they last saw their son or daughter, and the anticipation for connection, and even just a hug, can be difficult.

Typically, a visit can happen about halfway through their child's wilderness journey, and the therapist they are working with will make sure to let them know when the right time will be. Parent visits are one of my favorite aspects of our program. This opportunity is a parent's chance to see what their child is doing out in the field, to witness their progress, and to experience the healing powers of nature for themselves. A parent visit is also an opportunity to come face-to-face with the Evoke staff they have been communicating and working with, including me and their therapist!

Before a parent officially begins their journey to Evoke, their therapist and parent coordinator will work with them to schedule a time that works best. We will give parents plenty of notice so they can plan accordingly with travel arrangements. Parents will receive an email from us that will give all the information they will need for this visit. For example, some of the information included is what parents should bring with them and what we will provide. We take care of all the important things like the pack, gear, food, and even layers to stay warm when the weather is cool. That way, all the parents have to do is focus on seeing their child!

To best prepare for the visit, there are a couple of things parents will need to do. First, we ask parents to rent a 4-wheel drive vehicle as they will be following either the therapist or one of our staff out to their child's group. Some examples of 4-wheel drive vehicles that are best include Toyota Rav4s or 4Runners, Nissan Rogues, Honda CRVs, or any model of Jeep. And second, due to Covid protocols, we ask that parents either provide proof of full vaccination or receive a negative Covid test result no more than 72 hours before their visit.

On the day of a visit, parents will be greeted by their parent coordinator at the office and will be guided into our lounge to relax, enjoy some coffee, and get "geared up." Our logistics coordinator, Crystie, will be the go-to person during this process. She will have parents fill out paperwork, make sure we have the correct sizes for gear, and ultimately pack the pack for parents! Crystie can also help answer any questions parents may have on the day of their visit. Once Crystie has everything all packed up, it's time to hit the road!

Once out in the field, parents meet with staff before entering the camp to go over some of the rules and expectations of the group. Then it's the moment everyone has been waiting for: the reunion! For the next 24 hours, parents will be able to spend time as a family, attend a session together with the therapist, and perhaps even learn to bust a fire!

We know this time is short but experiencing what your child is experiencing as a family unit is so powerful and impactful. I am excited for your visit, and I look forward to meeting you at our office!

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