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October 8, 2010

Pacific Quest Gathering - Pacific Quest: Wilderness Therapy for Teens & Young Adults

Pacific Quest recently held an informational and educational gathering for visiting educational consultants on the Big Island of Hawaii. Educational consultants arrived from the Midwest, East and West Coast, and Southern U.S. to learn about the services Pacific Quest provides for struggling youth.  Our guests were greeted in camp with a welcoming ceremony, drumming circle, and a delicious lunch prepared by Pacific Quest students.  Afterwards, a garden tour of our four organic farms captured the key components and stages of our program for the consultants. Our guests were able to ask students about their Pacific Quest experience and what led them to our program. The afternoon on the farm concluded with traveling to the nearby town of Pahala, where guests stayed in an old plantation house and surrounding cottages. In the evening, our guests experienced an authentic Hawaiian experience, with locally grown food and local entertainment.

The following morning, Pacific Quest therapists and wellness staff delivered interactive presentations about our program. Topics included were: the wellness program at Pacific Quest, including our focus on nutrition, sleep, and self-care, education about the different phases a student experiences at Pacific Quest, a mindfulness activity, engagement in forming intents to live by, and our sustainable growth model.

Following the educational presentations, we loaded the vans and spent an afternoon engaging on the farm and with students. Staff and guests put on work gloves, and joined students in working in the nursery, transplanting plants, and harvesting mangoes and papayas on the farm. Students shared their experiences and knowledge of the farm with our visitors and were active teachers for the day.

After getting dirty and working the farm, our caravan loaded up and drove to the Kona side of the island, for interaction with the PQ staff and a traditional Hawaiian luau. Educational consultants learned how to dance the hula and performed for the guests at the luau. Guests had the chance to discuss the program, ask questions to staff, and to relax and enjoy the beauty of Hawaii.

What came from this gathering was an exchange of knowledge between educational consultants and the students and staff at PQ. Our guests were able to experience our students’ daily life and engage in learning about the mind-body-emotion connection. One of our goals at PQ is to educate others about sustainable growth, a tenant of our program. By hosting this event, we were able to share our sustainable growth model through experiential education, informational sessions, and one-on-one interaction with students and staff.

Mahalo to everyone who participated in this event!

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