TAP (Therapeutic Adventure Program)

Today was really fun and cool. The best part was climbing the rope. I learned that all of us are a community. I felt better when we were all helping each other. I hope all of us will change from this experience.
— 10-year-old participant from a local elementary school

If I can accomplish this, I can accomplish things in my life, and it’s better to go up in the mountains rather than stay around the house and be bored.

New Mexico GSA Network

You…have given me so many opportunities to learn and to feel good about myself; you’ve really made a difference in my life!

Adventure Out

The whole experience made me feel accepted, comfortable, confident, and human, a human of equal capacity as every other.

The trip gave me a sense of belonging to the community. My issues with the GLBT community were discussed and validated. It promoted self-awareness and made me more comfortable with my own sexuality.
— 26 year-old participant

The Chama River trip has given me a lot of insight to know and learn more about HIV positive men, including my partner. The experience helped me to love myself more as a person and gave me more strength to take care of myself, as well as my partner. Gracias por todo.
— 34 year-old participant

During the Chama River trip I felt an incredible sense of unity with a group of people I had known only 3 days. I felt and shared in another’s pain and success. This intimacy level has made a great impact on my sense of confidence. I truly felt that I was taking a part in another’s healing, which has contributed to my own healing. I learned how to open more and share myself with others. I learned very quickly that stretching my perspective was necessary to experiencing the many benefits of this time together. Thank you so very much!
— 56 year-old participant

The most effective aspect of the SFMC programming was…

That the adventure experience takes the clients out of the everyday environment to participate as a team to problem solve and overcome barriers to progress individually and as a team.

The most effective aspect was creating a safe learning environment for the youth and understanding of program and population. This helped to effectively apply metaphors, examples, behaviors, and experiences to this specific population and cultural backgrounds.

Clients have the chance to experience challenges that they can relate to their own lives and then immediately reflect on that experience.

Using their thinking and analytical skills in some of the activities. I like when insight is requested from my clients–they feel validated.

I feel that allowing the girls to be themselves and having them take responsibility for themselves was fantastic and refreshing. Teens are hardly ever trusted to take responsibility for themselves.

Giving youth knowledge and helping them understand the power they have to help themselves and others.

The staff is effective at modeling healthy communication styles.

Setting safe physical and emotional boundaries. It also helps residents enhance social skills through numerous techniques.

Self growth through participating in programs at the SFMC:

This is totally one of the best programs at YDDC. The outings made my time go much easier and kept me with a better hope of going home early….I like the wilderness now and definitely looking forward to the future.

It was fun. I learned a lot about woods and environmental stuff. It made me more calm and relaxed. I really like the Mountain Center. I learned how to encourage people I don’t necessarily like, so it was a good experience.

[The Mountain Center was] a place where you can be yourself and no one puts one another down. It was a fun experience.

Thank you for letting us go to the Mountain Center. I had so much fun and I communicated with other people and became friends with more people.

I had a lot of fun and learned how to challenge myself… I also learned to be more open with compliments, and use it to support my friends as much as they support me.

Overall: Testimonials about Experiences at SFMC

Mountain Center fue la mejor experiencia de mi vida. [The Mountain Center was the best experience of my life.]

The SFMC is one of the greatest programs ever.

The SFMC is the most coolest program I’ve been in.

I feel aligned with the philosophy and approach utilized here. I am deeply grateful for the positive experience provided by you all! You create such a gift and consistent container for girls (staff too!) to relax and participate with lower levels of anxiety.

I would not change anything. The staff and the facility were very accommodating, knowledgeable and were very good with our clients. I would definitely recommend the SFMC! Thank you for everything!

The residents of SATC enjoy the physical experience and in processing are able to relate the experience to their treatment and lives.

Comments about the Santa Fe Mountain Center Staff
I think that having a facilitator who is from their community and speaks their language was greatly effective. Continuous reinforcement of the five-finger was also effective.

I loved having your staff to support me in lessons, in teaching activities, and creating a fun relaxed atmosphere for me to enjoy my students.

The positive language and non-confrontational manner of dealing with situations is excellent.

The staff and the facility were very accommodating, knowledgeable and were very good with our clients.

The staff is effective at modeling healthy communication styles.

The staff worked well with youth to adapt to change things around to help open up youth more.

All the staff were very positive, friendly and most of all understanding and patient.

I think the staff are really smart because they know how to get teenagers like us to talk and have fun.

Thank you for your knowledge, passion and hard work! I had a wonderful time and really appreciated your guidance and knowledge!

I like the Mountain Center a lot. Thank you for all the good things you do for us kids.

“How did you, as an agency staff, benefit from the SFMC program?”
This program has always been beneficial to me as a staff as well as a participant. The main goal is for the clients benefit but I as a staff gain a lot of insight from seeing the clients work on themselves.

Watching the kids be successful and achieve the goals they set is very renewing to me as a teacher because they struggle so much academically.

We were able to utilize what they learned about listening and transferring it into class environment.

I benefited by watching the students engage, participate and gain new knowledge.

I learned things new and gained more trust with kids.

Having amazing SFMC staff to work with and learn from.