A Special Connection.
Last month Chrysalis shared a powerful experience with some of our girls and their fathers. So many of our students get to embrace the engine of change that is the outdoors while completing wilderness therapy. This time, they had the opportunity to do so tracing a few miles of the journey that Lewis and Clark undertook on the Missouri River and sharing some of the discoveries they have made on their own journeys with their fathers.
Like all adventures there were some challenges, including a headwind the first day that would blow canoes back upriver in stretches if anyone took a break. Some folks on the trip had a different challenge of hiking up a canyon for the first time with their daughter, a new challenge they had never shared before.
The reward for going out and seeking the danger and discomfort of a journey into the Wild is often not what we thought it would be. Sometimes it is anti-climatic, much more often though it is greater than we would have expected. Bringing fathers and daughters together to traverse across a wilderness landscape allowed many of them to see each other in a new light. It allowed men who have been fighting for the lives of their daughters a chance to bond and support one another. It gave girls who have been working hard for months or years a chance to show unequivocally how they have grown.
It was a true privilege to bear witness to this process. We often encounter families that are suffering from deep wounds within their relationships. On the Missouri for those precious few days, we were able to share in the healing of those wounds.
Starting shortly after we parted ways with our fathers to head back to everyday life we started receiving emails from them, here are a few:
“I want to thank you and your team for organizing and hosting such a fabulous trip. The thought, consideration and the expertise of your team at so many levels and in so many areas, made this a wonderful interpersonal experience. Personally, when I witness the work you guys are doing for our children and for us parents and specifically, the results I see in my daughter, it is humbling and I thank my lucky stars that she is in your hands. Our children are the most important thing in our lives, so thank you for caring for them.”
“Thank you all for a great trip and special event with my daughter. Memories were made!”
“What a great trip! It was incredibly meaningful and awesome for me to be able to spend virtually every minute of 4+ days with my daughter communicating more openly than ever before.”
“Thanks for a terrific trip. I want to express my sincere thanks, gratitude and admiration. I felt that I not only connected with my daughter in ways that I haven’t done for years, but also with the other girls, fathers and you all. Way exceeded my expectations. And I’m very grateful.”