Recreational Therapy in Youth Programs
There are a wide variety of youth programs out there for teenagers, whether it’s troubled teens with emotional issues or problems with addiction or teens from poorer areas with less access to local activities. Whatever the goal of the youth program, the majority of them will use recreation as a keystone in striving to achieve it.
At Ozark Teen Challenge, in helping teenagers with difficult issues, we believe that this focus on recreation is deeply important for a lot of reasons. We’re going to take you through some of them in this blog entry.
What is Recreation Therapy?
Using sport and other physical, recreational activities to help teenagers or children and adults deal with different problems is commonly referred to as “recreation therapy”. The focus on recreation therapy is to aid in rehabilitation – whether from an injury, illness or an addiction – through physical activity, while also helping the recipient grow and nurture bonds with others.
In our Teen Challenge youth programs, we commonly encounter teenagers who, as a side-effect of their issues, have found themselves isolated and alienated from their peers, their families, even their own sense of self. Combining the Teen Challenge philosophy with recreational therapy is a powerful way of helping them reconnect.
What Kind of Recreation is Involved?
At Ozark Teen Challenge, our youth programs involve a selection of different recreational activities to complement our overall plan – team sports, inclusive half-marathons, camping and hiking and more.
Team sports are one of the most effective ways to bring people together. Working as a team to achieve a victory, fostering strength of mind, body and spirit.
Even for someone who has never had to fight through to the other side of a battle with addiction, a half-marathon can be a major personal goal. For anyone who has lost a significant amount of weight through exercise, the immense feeling of achievement will be very familiar. Ozark Teen Challenge looks to creating that feeling for our teens, while we help them to help each other reach new personal goals.
Camping and Hiking
Ozark Teen Challenge understands how important forming the personal bonds of friendship is to teenagers, especially teenagers dealing with some serious personal problems. Camping and hiking offers focus and responsibility while surrounded by the peace and tranquility of God’s world, allowing the teens in our youth programs time for reflection with the support of each other.
The Importance of New Experiences in Our Youth Programs
These are just some of the example of recreational activities we offer as part of our youth programs, which are also just a smaller part of a whole that aims to rid teenagers of the burden of addiction and the potential of setting their lives down a much darker path.
What Makes Ozark Teen Challenge Unique?
Recreational therapy can be extremely effective for a lot of people, but there is a unique element to the way Ozark Teen Challenge and the Teen Challenge family approaches teen rehab – a deep, strong and powerful relationship with God. We work with the Word of the Lord to develop troubled teens mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually and offer an experience like no other.
You can find out more about our youth programs and recreation therapy programs on the Ozark Teen Challenge website.