Sunday, June 28, 2009

Young Warriors Apache Wellness (Wilderness) Camp

Here I am with my friend Alex!

We had some community members from the San Carlos Wellness Center come up and talk to the youth about being in healthy relationships.

We hike down these steep stairs and eventually back up (my calves were hurting for days) to get to the water to swim.
This place is gorgeous and just what we all needed to relax and get rejuvenated. 

If you close in the background you will see a kid standing on a rock. I had been swimming but not wanting to get my hair wet. All the Apache Staff and kids started shouting my name. Finally my friend Nikki told me if I dove off the rock into the water they would give me an Apache name--and so I did. My Apache Name="She who guides the little ones."  I love it!

Friday, June 26, 2009


I am a better person for watching this video many times and trying to implement it into my life.

This past week was rough (as has been my summer job all around). Because the other 2 therapist quit the week before I was doing the work of 3 this week. Each day I did 4 straight hours of group therapy followed by another (at least) 2 hours of notes. The kids I'm working with have a lot of issues but I love them and there is intrinsic value in working with them. Thank goodness it is so because there is really no validation coming from anywhere else. My boss is completely overworked, overwhelmed, dealing with catastrophic issues day after day, and doesn't have the time to truly thank or validate our staff. I know they need it because I do (thanks to those of you who let me vent to you and validate me!)

For the first few weeks I was a bit absorbed in my desperation for validation and a bit uneasy with my need to be appreciated. Then I realized that everyone I was working with was in the same boat--overworked, exhausted, and sorely needing validation. So I wrote a few notes in the wee hours of the morning with a flashlight under the beautiful stars to let each of them know what I had noticed about them.

The notes were nothing big but when I looked in their eyes as I handed each of them a note I saw myself-my need to feel that I mattered-that what I was doing was good enough. One of my coworkers (upon receiving her note) just burst into tears. She is on the cusp of quitting.

I guess what I'm saying is it doesn't take much to validate others. To sincerely compliment the people you love in your life. To notice the little things they do. To thank them for what they bring to your life and let them know that they are AMAZING!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Summer Job

The few of you who actually still read my blog might be interested in why I have been so MIA!

I got a new summer job working as a therapist at a therapeutic camp. I work up at the "Point of Pines" Wellness camp on the San Carlos Apache Reservation. The camp runs for 7 weeks M-F and I come back home (to the Valley) on the weekends. We do tons or crafts, go hiking, fishing, and of course have group therapy. It is a crazy but amazing job!  I also get to work with some of my friends from Boston so that is wicked awesome!
So you have an idea of what camp looks like.  Take note of the bit porch swing that I adore!

The gorgeous Reservation (aka the Res).

So far I think my favorite part of our first week (last week) was the hike to the cliffs/ruins we took the youth on!

Our first day we got to camp but couldn't find the keys to get inside. Thus began the "curse of the camp". These are the Youth Mentors we have working with us up at camp. They are Native Apaches that are college age and we couldn't do it without them.

One of my favorite spots for our journal time/personal time the youth have every day.

I saw these holes and thought it would make a great picture if the kids climbed inside.

Then I tried and realized it was a lot harder than it looked! If you look close you can see my feet are over my head as the hole angles downward and in order to stay inside I had to put all my weight on my forearms.  

One of the groups of kids that went hiking.

Molly & Kylee. I have some of the great co-workers!