Wilderness Program


Wilderness Program

Face to Face Academy is unique in that we offer the students a wide array of challenges and experiences that they may never encounter in their daily lives. The Wilderness Program is one of the ways we can offer these opportunities. The ultimate goal is to teach each student about what nature can offer, develop a sense of teamwork and being part of a group, and enhance leadership skills. Experiences include hiking, overnight camping, and indoor rock climbing.

 

Before each trip there is a trial period where any student who is interested in the trip goes through a series of tasks. First, they must attend a meeting that covers all the trip details including gear lists, permission slips, information on where we will be hiking/camping, and basic expectations.  The second task of the process is to attend a day hike using the packs that will be used on the overnight trip. Day hikes are about 3 miles with packs weighing 5-10 pounds. In their packs they carry the lunch for the day and supplies they may need. After the day hike the students really get a feel for what it means to be outside, to work with a group, and what their physical limitations or strengths are while hiking.
 
In general on overnight trips we hike 4-8 miles a day, totalling 16-24 miles a trip, and camp three nights. Students are expected to help out around the camp site, encourage each other on the trail, be respectful to the environment and each other, and have an open mind about their new experience. They learn new skills such as building a camp fire, how to keep yourself clean while camping, what it means to be responsible for your own equipment, putting up and taking down tents, how to survive in nature, cooking outside, and much more. Students participate in a reading and journaling experience in addition to the overnight camping. These trips give the students an excellent sense of accomplishment. It’s a different kind of challenge than they’re used to, and in turn we hope they can apply the experience and skills they've developed into their daily lives.