- Participants learn basic first aid skills, identification of poison ivy and animal safety, how to prevent, identify and treat cold and heat injuries, the importance of proper nutrition and hydration, what to do about blisters and minor cuts, and so on.
- These include the physical survival skills that the participants learn in the wilderness with which they could actually survive if they had to (this is hypothetical - we never ask the participants to “survive” on their own - staff always puts safety first). When you read about your child working on making cordage, traps, fires, tinder bundles, full dry fire kits, shelter building, and bow-drilling, they are talking about the “hard” skills.
- Soft skills include some standardized tools we want each participant to learn such as assertiveness, emotion regulation, and management, appropriate basic communication skills such as “I feel” statements and Active Listening. In addition, soft skills include those individualized skills (treatment plan) that a particular participant needs to learn as determined by the participant, the instructors, the clinical supervisor, home therapist, and the parents. For example, a participant might be working on addressing abandonment issues stemming from adoption and how to express those feelings to his or her parents.
- Participants learn the proper etiquette for being in the forest with a community. For example, it is important for every participant to help with group tasks, to contribute individual skills to the maintenance of the group, to respect and support peers’ health and safety, to hold self and others accountable for behaviors which are unproductive or dangerous, and so on. Expedition behaviors are about consideration and helping others. Often, participants have been focused on themselves and these customs are a way to teach participants how to break that habit and to lead by example.
- Participants learn basic Map & Compass skills as a part of the Responder phase. They will assist instructors in navigation, co-lead hikes with instructors, and other “staying found” skills.
Icons made by www.flaticon.com/authors/freepik