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News & Views - April, 1994 Issue #27 

Just Off The Press
Woodbury Reports' SUMMER DIRECTORY 

(The following is from the first edition of the Summer Directory, available in April, 1994 - see order form on the last page) 

by Linda Shaffer 

Summertime! It has a magical ring. Lakes. Hiking trails. Fishing. Camping out. Sleeping in. A summer job. Ice cream cones. Catching frogs. Playing ball. But many of our youth today are having not so magical summers experiencing none or little of the above. Or they MAY have in the past, and this "stuff" isn't "cool" anymore. 

So for the adolescent 13 to 17 (wanting to be going on 29), an entire segment of childhood's growth and development may get thoroughly passed over. And especially ripe for this missed childhood experience of an "old-fashioned summer" is the adolescent who is struggling emotionally and/or educationally. ( They seem to go hand in hand.) 

Many parents, no matter how difficult the challenges of raising a child may be during the school year, often hold on to the fantasy that "summertime" will be a reprieve AND MAYBE the struggles will fade away if Johnny or Susie can just get that summer job and be there on time and dress in a fashion that won't get them fired. 

There are still some families today who ask their relatives OUTWEST if Johnny can work at the ranch this summer -- to keep him away from the gang influence creeping from the city nearby into his suburban community. The hope is that the cows and buffalo scene instead of the mall and movies and street corners, will teach an adolescent how to feel good expending energy on developing a work ethic instead of getting better at spending money and just plain old hanging out. 

When the best laid plans at Uncle Harry and Aunt Susan's summer cottage in northern Minnesota turn into pot parties and not coming home instead of water skiing and catching fish, THEN PERHAPS A MORE INTENSIVE SUMMER WILDERNESS EXPERIENCE can be an answer. Or at the least an assessment time in a healthy setting to decide what is REALLY needed in a school setting in the fall. 

And that is why we compiled this SUMMER DIRECTORY OF EMOTIONAL GROWTH/SPECIAL PURPOSE PROGRAMS. A Directory for parent and professional looking for camp (sort of) but with an intensive counseling component staffed by professionals who are not only excellent at teaching wilderness skills , but also at tackling difficult emotional issues incapacitating our kids to varying degrees-- and bringing along the marvelous skills of Nature as Excellent Teacher. 

This Summer Directory will certainly expand as our research continues and we receive recommendations from other professionals and parents regarding other healthy summer experiences for our youth. 

Copyright 1994, 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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