Comments: 924 • Responses: 9  • Date: 

jpasch51153 karma

I've heard of these programs. What did you do to deserve it?

2020204hourstogo37 karma

I think a lot of things contributed to it. I was the youngest of 5 kids and my oldest two brothers were really easy for my parents to handle. My next two brothers were pretty rebellious and the one closest in age to me was schizophrenic, depressed. He killed himself when I was 12 and that was really hard. That sent the family into a tailspin of sorts. My mom always drank a lot, but it got worse after my brother's suicide. I just started acting out. I didn't know how to handle the situation. I didn't care about school or obligations. It was easier for me to cut class, drink, do drugs, basically just run wild. My mom would get really aggressive when drunk and would pick fits and throw things, so there were a few times I ran away and got picked up by the cops and sent to juvie. I fought a lot in school. Kids would make fun of my brother for killing himself and that made me really angry, so I'd fight them.

Depression runs in my family and my parents had me seeing a psychologist and psychiatrist and I had to go to court-mandated counseling from the times I ran away. None of it really worked, but what worked well for me (at the time) was cutting so that just added to the problem.

A lot of things kind of culminated together and I think my parents just got fed up.

opieparks34 karma

How did you spend your day?

2020204hourstogo31 karma

Some days were a bit different, but here's a general timeline.

8AM- Wake up call from staff. You have five minutes to get dressed and ready and take down your shelter if you're moving camp that day.

8:05ish- Go to main portion of camp (about 150 yards away from shelters) and make breakfast, morning chores (digging a sump for food waste), brush teeth, eat.

845ish (and I say ish because we were not allowed to have watches and most of the time, field staff wouldn't tell us what time it was)- break down camp. Bury latrine and sump, break down ashes and coals from fire and scatter them. It was a "leave no trace" kind of thing so we had to make it look like we weren't there. Collect water jugs and place in pick up location along with trash.

10AM- start hiking if it was a hike day. We would generally stop for 2-5 minute breaks every 1.5 hours.

1ish- 20-30 minutes for lunch and rest.

130PM- start hiking again. Hike until we reached our destination. Some days we only hiked maybe 5-6 miles, other days, we'd be hiking well into the night if we'd been slow on chores and gotten a late start or if someone refused to move.

If it was a shorter hike, we'd get to our camp site and set up camp and do work in work books, school work, meet with therapists (once a week usually).

5-6 depending on the day- dinner. During dinner and after field staff usually held group discussions about stuff and depending on where you were in your stay, you'd have certain assignments that had to be shared with the group and that would be done at this time and after dinner.

7ish-bed- In winter, generally just worked on our assignments in our shelters, but in summer when there was light, we'd do some group, team building activity.

10-11- bed. Sometimes we'd get woken up in the middle of the night to break camp and do a night hike.

This is just a very basic outline. Things changed all the time but that's sort of the basic parameter.

pmarch9114 karma

What are you doing now that you're home?

2020204hourstogo63 karma

I'm working for an animal rescue organization on the east coast.

Ocorn13 karma

What was the worst experience you had or saw when you were out in the wilderness?

2020204hourstogo21 karma

The worst thing I think for me was bug season. Right about the end of June, early July, the bugs were terrible. There were mosquitoes everywhere. In your sleeping bag even. You could wear all the DEET in the world and long sleeves and pants and they'd still get you. When you went to the bathroom, the longer you went, the longer they'd bite. And I mean bite the butt, anus, vagina, anything available. I started to have trouble breathing and my heart rate went up really high so I was sent back to base camp to have the nurse look at me. I had something like 350 mosquito bites. It fucking sucked.

luv4ever221 karma

How many other members were there? What reasons did the others have for being there?

2020204hourstogo3 karma

There were anywhere from 6-8 groups when I was there, all in different locations around the area, usually at least three miles from each other. Each group varied in size, but there's supposed to be one staff for every two kids and so groups usually stayed at about 8 kids. Sometimes much smaller or larger and new groups were added if more kids were sent to the program.

The other kids were there for anything you can imagine. Drugs, fighting, eating disorders, depression, cutting, mental health issues, abuse issues, criminal behavior, whatever.