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New Perspectives - May, 2000 Issue #69 

The Selkirk School of Experiential Education
Dan Krmpotich

208-267-8875 or 208-267-7940

The Selkirk School of Experimental Education is offering a 45-Day Summer Adventure opportunity for adolescent boys whose behavior or academic performance indicates a poor attitude, lack of maturity, family problems, low self-esteem, or a lack of direction. It is the “personal expression” of Dan Krmpotich, who designed the program based on his experience of over twenty five years of working with teenagers in trouble.

During the 45-day program, the adolescents will participate in rock climbing, mountaineering, glacier travel, a ski clinic and white water rafting. Each adventure activity will last from four to seven days, with two to four days between each activity. On the days between adventure activities, they will debrief and write about the previous activity, while training for, and re-supplying for the next adventure. They will also work for six hours on each of those days between the treks, on a science-based project with the U.S. Forest Service.

Each of the activities will take place in Northern Idaho, Montana and Canada, and are selected for adventure, skill-building and emotional growth. Activities are evaluated in terms of one’s behaviors and thought processes by asking, “What is success? What is failure? Did you get the outcome you hoped for? Why? What kind of thinking got in the way of having the outcome you wanted? How do you change? How can your successes be applied to your relationships and your academic performance?”

Rock climbing will teach, among other things, perseverance, mind-body control, and introduction to handling fear, which is a multifaceted analogy for understanding trust, as well as the technical skills necessary for rock climbing. They will have a ski clinic on a glacier in Canada, using “shorty skis” as an easier way for beginners to learn to ski. The whitewater rafting will teach boat-handling and how to read white water, and they will learn white water rescue with members of the Northern Rescue Association. In the public service component of the program, they will participate in spawning bed enhancement for bull trout with Fish and Game Scientists, and will work with Forest Service Scientists doing marmalarium and blister rust control and ancient tree stand surveys.

Director, Dan Krmpotich, will be the lead instructor and counselor. He has worked in adventure and emotional growth education since 1975, and is a certified Ski Instructor, Mountain Guide, Avalanche Awareness Instructor, and Chief trainer for the Northern Rescue Association. His 25 year safety record spans upwards of 30,000 client days with not a single incident requiring hospitalization. He says: “Physical safety is a given. My record speaks for itself. A human blooms fully only in an environment free of fear, where emotional safety is the norm. Our underlying essential goal is to teach our students how to find emotional safety and even how to create it.” Selkirk School also maintains a consulting agreement with Doug Ratelle, PhD, Clinical Psychologist.

Copyright © 2000, 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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