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Posted: Aug 15, 2008, 05:30

New Perspecitives


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Ava, Missouri
Paul Griffis, Director

New Hope Wilderness Camp is a 21-day, Christian-based wilderness program for young men and women ages 11-20 years old who struggle with behavioral issues such as defiance and hostility towards family, truancy, substance abuse, violence and depression, eating disorders and lack of respect. This is not a co-ed program; males and females are divided into separate programs.

Paul and Velma Griffis are the Directors at New Hope Wilderness and have both worked extensively with the Yanomamo Indians of Venezuela and Brazil. Paul has a degree in Intercultural Studies and is EAGALA certified as an Equine specialist, both in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Equine Assisted Growth and Learning. He has been a Youth Pastor and served as a Missionary in Venezuela and Brazil. Velma, also a Missionary, has a degree in Intercultural Studies.

Horses are utilized as the main activity and therapy with the students, with the first two weeks devoted to learning about the care and safety in working with the horses, eventually working toward group trail rides.

Students and staff live primitively, sharing one room cabin tents that are insulated and set up with wood heaters in the winter months. All primary cooking is done over a campfire and part of the daily chores involves gathering firewood for cooking. Physical activities include hiking, jogging and cleaning the horse trails. Evenings are reserved for sitting around the campfire and discussing a nightly "World View Devotional" before going to sleep.

[This information came from the New Hope Wilderness Camp website.]


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