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How Do You Know It Works?

Posted by Gail Bramlet on December 09, 2014

Gail Bramlet“How do you know it works?” This is one of the most common questions we get in the office from our new families. It isn’t easy to trust someone you’ve never met with your child, and I’d like to share my answer.

Second Nature has a longitudinal study in place, tracking change in participants during and after the program, which has revealed significant improvement. As the study continues, more and more data supports the benefits of wilderness therapy in the populations that attend.

I have been given the gift of seeing more than the numbers. I’ve seen students who, after a few years, have returned as field staff to help other students achieve the same successes. I’ve worked with parents who, after their child leaves wilderness, volunteer to mentor new families through the first few weeks, and are excited to share their stories.

And I’ve watched an all-volunteer core of parents and Second Nature team members launch the Second Nature Alumni Foundation. This organization’s goal is to provide financial support to families in need to attend a Second Nature program as well as assist them in attending the aftercare they chose. No one in the group accepts any form of pay so that more of the funds go directly to care.

Alumni parents John and Julie lost their son Ethan recently, and decided that the impact the wilderness program had on their family had to be shared. To honor him, they created a specific fund within the general fund. The goal of the Ethan Taylor Scholarship Fund is to sponsor at least one young man with an opiate addiction through Second Nature Entrada and into aftercare each year.

So how do I know it works? I can quote the statistics and show you the charts, which make the objective part of my mind confident. I can also tell you that when I see students return to teach, parents reach out to comfort other parents, and families work together to financially support the healing achieved through wilderness in the form of the Foundation, my heart “knows”.

Comments

I am interested in learning more about the volunteer opportunities within the foundation. I can be reached at foureasleys@earthlink.net or 314-566-6831.

Posted by Sarah Easley

I find it very difficult to de-tach myself from such a wonderful program. It’s been about 1 year since my daughter graduated SN Uintas and I find myself, still, logging on to the webinars and reading all the recommended books.
We are far from being a financially wealthy family and we put a lot on the line so to offer this gift of wilderness therapy. While I am unable to financially help at this time, I would love to share my story of hope and offer support to other families.
Since I am Canadian, I would be open to reaching out to other Canadians and Americans alike.
I wish you well in your endeavours to reach struggling families and their youth. Best wishes for a happy, healthy New Year.

Posted by Julie MacCallum-Chudyk

Our daughter Sarah spent 74 days at Second Nature Blue Ridge 3 years ago. She went on to Chrysalis a therapeutic Boarding school for 2 years and is now home with us for her senior year of high school. Second Nature made such a wonderful impact on Sarah’s life and our family. She returned last winter to mentor for a week and is returning in a few weeks to mentor again. Everything that she experienced in Wilderness is what opened her up to grow.

Posted by Liz Snyder

The foundation is a terrific idea. My daughter found her way in life through the Second Nature Entrada program and has realized her full, amazing potential in wonderful ways. She wouldn’t be where she is without the supportive therapeutic environment and the wonderful staff of the Second Nature Entrada program. My heart knows as well.

Posted by Deanna Garen

It works, hands down. My daughter was in Utah four years ago and she will readily agree that SNWP helped to save her life. She took responsibility and reengaged with her life, her family and her friends. And she hasn’t looked back. I have helped others send their kids to SNWP and I’m still willing to help.

Posted by Cheri Fox



I was out with 2NE back in 2011 and it was the most eye-opening experience of my entire life. There simply is no better way to gain an understanding of who you are and who you want to be. The staff was excellent, the students with me were all engaged, and you can’t beat living in the wilderness! While I’d like to help out, I’m in Ohio and don’t really make enough money to donate to the cause. Is there anything else I can do to help from here?

Posted by Ben Brewer

The eight weeks my daughter spent with Second Nature in Georgia in 2008 marked a turning point in our lives. I believe it made her future success possible. The path has not been a straight one, of course–we incurred a $20,000 debt to send her to wilderness; we could not afford aftercare, and schooling was a challenge; my husband and I divorced two years later; my daughter attended rehab for a second time, her addiction having escalated to heroin.

In a few months she will celebrate five years of sobriety. Her life is full of love and hope for the future. I am still paying off that $20,000 loan, but it was worth it. It’s worth anything to get your child back.

I often thought, back in 2008, about how only the wealthy seem able to provide their children with the help they truly need. I’m glad to see this inequity rectified, even for a few, by this new organization.

Posted by Ashley Crownover

The eight weeks my daughter spent with Second Nature in Georgia in 2008 marked a turning point in our lives. I believe it made her future success possible. The path has not been a straight one, of course–we incurred a $20,000 debt to send her to wilderness; we could not afford aftercare, and schooling was a challenge; my husband and I divorced two years later; my daughter attended rehab for a second time, her addiction having escalated to heroin.

In a few months she will celebrate five years of sobriety. Her life is full of love and hope for the future. I am still paying off that $20,000 loan, but it was worth it. It’s worth anything to get your child back.

I often thought, back in 2008, about how only the wealthy seem able to provide their children with the help they truly need. I’m glad to see this inequity rectified, even for a few, by this new organization.

Posted by Ashley Crownover

(Sorry, I got the year wrong–it was 2009)

Posted by Ashley Crownover

The eight weeks my daughter spent with Second Nature in Georgia in 2009 marked a turning point in our lives. I believe it made her future success possible. The path has not been a straight one, of course–we incurred a $20,000 debt to send her to wilderness; we could not afford aftercare, and schooling was a challenge; my husband and I divorced a year later; my daughter attended rehab for a second time, her addiction having escalated to heroin.

In a few months she will celebrate five years of sobriety. Her life is full of love and hope for the future. I am still paying off that $20,000 loan, but it was worth it. It’s worth anything to get your child back.

I often thought, back in 2009, about how only the wealthy seem able to provide their children with the help they truly need. I’m glad to see this inequity rectified, even for a few, by this new organization.

Posted by Ashley Crownover

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