What Does Day One Look Like at Evoke?
Like the first day of school, the first day at Evoke can be exciting, scary, and full of unknowns. This snapshot into the day will hopefully help shed some light on the process. The saying goes: “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” This concept of gradual steps is the key focus of Day One.
Evoke’s Day One has been developed with the intention of best serving and supporting both new clients and their families. Over the years we have come to understand how to make this transition as smooth as possible, given how hard it is for everyone involved.
While there are a lot of people working to prepare for Day One, our Evoke Transport Team is pivotal for the clients during this time. These staff are the first people who the new client will interact with and be supported by. The main focus of the two transporters is to be with clients throughout the intake process and provide a high level of care and support for them. Transport understands how the program works and can offer specific insight to client questions. Before a client has even arrived, the team reads through the relevant client information so they can best understand where the client is at in life. They look at clients’ strengths, areas for growth, and any pertinent information to provide a framework for individualizing the process for them. The team also prepares all of the field equipment the client needs to spend their time out in the beautiful wilderness.
Once the client arrives to our care, Transport focuses on creating a welcoming and safe environment for the new face. They will give a general layout for the day, and most importantly, be there to support any questions or initial challenges that the client is experiencing. One key factor that our team coaches on is that all feelings are ok on this day; clients may feel unsure, anxious, excited, confused, or even angry about being here. We will meet them where they are in the process and find the ways to support them there.
Typically, after the initial meet and greet, the client and Transport head over to get an intake physical from a doctor. We always take physical safety as our first priority and want to make sure the client is fit to go into the backcountry. The physical is a typical checkup like one would get before starting school or entering sports for the season.
While this part of the day happens at Evoke, the Parent Coordinators are hard at work for the family and support system back home. They are the thread that ties together what is going on at Evoke with the folks back home. They send the family a welcome email with all sorts of helpful information to have as part of the home-based support system: including weekly webinars and the Parent Portal. They also call with the first two client updates the parents receive.
Meanwhile, back at Evoke….
After the intake physical, the client often has one last front country meal before leaving the world of refrigeration, then it’s on to the moment where they get to dress the part of a wilderness backpacker. Clients have been encouraged to come to Evoke with very few possessions. The personal items they do bring are carefully inventoried and stored to be returned upon transition to their next step.
Evoke has a large inventory on site that allows us to make sure we tailor the clothes, backpacking gear, and food to each client. Working with our Warehouse Manager, the Transport Team builds clients’ personal food divvy keeping in mind any dietary restrictions. The Medical Team prepares any medications and checks in with the client to make sure any medical needs/concerns are addressed prior to going out to the field. The Administration Team organizes assignments and curriculum that have been tailored to the client’s needs, therapeutic focus, and individualized education programs (IEP’s).
Now that they look the part, it is time to drive out of town and leave roofs and walls behind for the big skies and open spaces of the great outdoors. It is typically at this point in the day where the Parent Coordinator will call parents with the second and final update of the day. This is another great opportunity for the family to ask any more questions that have come up for them.
On the drive to our field area, the Transport Team briefs the client on what to expect once they get to their group and how life will look in the backcountry. Once at the group area, the Field Staff meets the new face and a thorough pass off of all important information and supplies transpires between the Field Staff and Transport. The client enters camp where they will be aided by a team that model supporting each client where they are at in their life and process. After what is typically a full day of travel and a lot of time going from one place to another, it is finally time to sit with oneself and take it all in.
This aligns seamlessly with the first phase that clients enter at Evoke, which is called the Earth Phase. Life slows down in the backcountry and this initial phase of the program allows clients space and time to absorb information along with what is going on without having to dive into the deep end right away. It is a time for reflection and a great time to reconnect with the Self and let the journey begin to take shape.