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Opinion & Essays - Apr, 1991 Issue 

The Making of a Walking
(602) 962-4991
Mike Merchant, Admissions

The following comments were made by two families that graduated recently from ANASAZI wilderness survival in Arizona.

"When you're walking, there is nothing to do but think. You think about life, your relationships and problems."

The other graduate said after being home for awhile, "this has exceeded all the dreams I had while on Anasazi. I never dreamed that we could be so happy being together."

One of the parents said, "Since she's been back... we know what it's like to be happy every day."

During the program the children start by hiking to a campsite to join the others and start learning skills such as harvesting manizanita berries. They learn survival skills and learn about the Anasazi Indians, while counselors monitor their progress. The usual length is 43 days. While the teens are away, parents attend a two-day seminar where they discuss habits that cause friction at home, and at the end, the parents join the teens for a solo camping phase in which the teen cares for his or her parents without the help of counselors.

Follow-up studies indicate that "76% of the parents of Anasazi young walkers recognized significant improvement in the areas of most concern at the time of admission."

Copyright 1991, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced without prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)

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