The Walden Project is enjoying the sunshine and the change of the bird's song as spring approaches. Our Friday and Saturday groups are proving that youth still love the outdoors, in all weather. No matter their background or challenges in life, they are all smiles as they tell stories about their day while warming their wet, cold and muddy selves by a fire. The teaching of therapeutic skills, and just old-world health wisdom, in such a beautiful and fun setting really is a joy to facilitate. We work with so many youth and families that have fallen through the cracks of the traditional healthcare system, due to poverty, being a single parent or any number of barriers to treatment.
We are able to help the youth build skills at Forest Hill, but our free community groups really take the next big step; one missing completely from traditional healthcare. The idea is to build a sense of community around youth and families, creating the natural supports that endure over time. These community groups not only provide opportunities for fun and play, but also for learning and personal growth.
Bird watching, kayaking, and surfing are some of the many great activities we facilitate. It gives us time and space for youth to learn about nature and the environment. Through these activities, they can develop an appreciation for the natural world and find out more about different local species of birds and marine life. Additionally, these activities promote physical fitness and outdoor recreation. Not to mention - tons of fun!
On the other hand we have Tuesday game nights with video games, movie nights, board games, and open gym at Olalla Center. These also provide many benefits for youth. Video games help improve hand-eye coordination, problem-solving skills, and creativity. Movie nights provide opportunities for discussion and critical thinking about different themes and messages in movies. Dodgeball is a fun and active game that promotes teamwork and sportsmanship. Who doesn’t love some healthy competition?
Overall, community groups that offer a wide variety of activities help youth develop multiple skills and interests. By providing opportunities for both outdoor and indoor connection, youth are learning, playing, and growing in a supportive and engaging environment. We are excited and grateful to help create shared experiences and community together.