Girls at New Life Children’s Center recently set forth on a two-week outdoor adventure series to celebrate summer’s end while gaining new life skills. Inhabiting and interacting with nature gave them a meditative sense of calm, allowing them to experience the wonder of pooling riverside waters, layers of canyon rocks and catching a bass larger than anyone expected. “Nature is filled with little miracles,” said Lisa Brown, Director of Volunteer Services at New Life Children’s Center. “Being in this new setting while still receiving support from our expert staff and those hosting allowed the girls to find healing in a new dimension.” The annual adventure is hosted by Ascend Outdoor Adventures, a nonprofit adventure ministry based in Austin, TX.

Research shows that spending time in nature can reduce stress, anxiety and depression and have a positive impact on mental health. Giving the girls at New Life Children’s Center an opportunity to connect with nature and learn new skills helps them relax, builds their confidence and shows them they have the strength to take on new challenges.

The girls began the adventure series by learning about the seven principles of “Leave No Trace” — a program that teaches how to respect and enjoy nature while minimizing impact. Later, they visited the beautiful Guadalupe River State Park, where they hiked and learned how to fish. They also completed obstacle courses and trust exercises. “These allowed our girls to practice trust in action and gain confidence in their abilities to tackle challenges,” said Lisa. They wrapped up the series and practiced their new outdoor skills by canoeing on the river behind New Life and exploring the limestone layers of the Canyon Lake Gorge.

New Life Children’s Center is a residential treatment center dedicated to changing the lives of courageous young women ages 11 to 17 through in-depth clinical therapy, personal development activities and spiritual care in a safe setting.

Are you interested in supporting our mission? Contact Lisa Brown for more information at [email protected] or by calling 830.964.4390 extension 3805.

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