Serve the Community

IMG 2617 300x225 Serve the CommunityIn less than a month, a group of our students and staff will be traveling to Haiti to serve through the Global Orphan Project. Not only do we serve when we’re in Haiti, but also before hand, in our efforts to raise support.

Our most recent efforts to serve the community include some of our boys pulling shrubs at a local business for nearly four hours! Together, our boys really got into the work and service. They were excited to step back at the end and look at the efforts of their labor! Our girls were actively involved in serving dinner at a local church that hosted a fundraiser for our trip. Not only did they serve dinner, but they also had an opportunity to spend time getting to know families in our community.

Daniel Schlenker, Shelterwood’s Volunteer Coordinator, has planned these service project fundraisers. He noted, “It’s been really neat watching the students having fun while working so hard to serve”.

Maggie Grumieaux, Shelterwood’s Case Coordinator, has been on four Haiti trips, this will be her fifth. She states, “ Our students don’t expect to get out of the trip what they do. Many expect to just go and hang out with kids, but they end up coming home changed”.

When I follow up with students about their experience serving in Haiti, they are quick and eager to point out the love they felt in the midst of their service. One of the girls spoke of her trip and exclaimed, “Serving in Haiti made me experience pure love and it was awesome!”

In serving our community now, we are gaining experience and excitement for our service trip to Haiti. Serving locally has also been an awesome way for our school to watch our students to open their hearts to others and give back. Please join us in prayer as we quickly approach our service adventure to Haiti!

 

 

Horses guide therapy sessions

DSC 0001 copy 300x199 Horses guide therapy sessionsHorse therapy is a critical component in any top-notch therapeutic boarding school.

Horses have been used for many things over the years like robbing banks, delivering the mail, pulling plows, and even jumping in efforts to win Olympic medals, but did you know that now they are being used as teachers in therapeutic schools?

Horses actually teach class and guide therapy sessions at our school.  Believe it or not, horses are very expressive and are able to communicate verbally and non-verbally.

Surprisingly, relationships with people and horses are very similar, allowing teens to talk to the horse like they might communicate with another person.  But unlike people, horses cannot be controlled or manipulated and therefore provide real unbiased feedback to the teen.  But don’t worry; the teens rarely get kicked.

In fact, our horses are quite gentle when providing an immediate response.  Yet, they are able to highlight the short-comings in one’s communication style with the firmness that only a thousand pound beast might.

The instructors are watching this interaction to help the teen uncover patterns of communication. With time, the partnership that is built between the horse and a student is potent and enables a student to work out some very personal issues. And so the horse arena becomes a counseling arena as teens battle to gain their voice while revealing themselves for the first time.  It is a magical experience that awakens self-understanding even among the most oppositional of students.

Our primary goal is not technical riding or horsemanship tasks or even to foster a love for horses, but rather to provide an opportunity for teens to learn about themselves and how they communicate. Partnering students with horses has become a fantastic tool at Shelterwood through which teens can express themselves. Who knew that the best teacher your son or daughter might have is standing in the pasture eating grass?

Stay tuned to subsequent blogs where we discuss other special therapies including, our low ropes course, recreation therapy, sand tray, art, and music – all of which are being used by Shelterwood to help teens uncover the motivations that maintain feelings of depression, anger, and anxiety.

If you are interested in Horse Therapy give us a call to learn more.  (800) 584 5005