By Patrick Devlin, MSW, CADC II
We live in a society that is lacking in providing any meaningful acknowledgment for the significant transitions of the human life cycle, namely the leap from adolescence into adulthood. We have arbitrary markers that seem to be absent of any real substance; getting a driver’s license, voting, graduating from high school or college, are all unceremoniously hallow.
The past handful of generations have been handicapped by an abundance of choices, misguided sentiments that you can be anything you put your mind to, and a trophy for minimal effort. The clinical data is in and it shows that our youth are paralyzed with anxiety about making the wrong choice and are affirmed not for their efforts but for inherent characteristics which result in nothing if they are not harnessed in their ability to be resilient and step outside their comfort zone. A young person with a great creative gift will produce nothing if they are not able to take bold risks and live into their potential.
A byproduct of this void are the generations of adults that feel like they are “big kids”, not having the sense of ownership and responsibility that comes with adulthood. Rather we see young people that are entrenched in patterns of dependence, avoidance, and no sense of direction. This can also be manifested outwardly as depression, anxiety, and a general feeling of being without a purpose. How can people know that they have arrived and be affirmed for their gifts if we do not provide the opportunities for it to be validated?
An answer to this problem is rooted in older traditions. The practice of young people going alone into the wilderness to seek a vision for their life and their place in the community is thousands of years old and transcends any particular culture. At Dragonfly we provide this experience for students in a safe and therapeutically sophisticated container.
On August 29th, two Dragonfly students went out for their Vision Fast ceremony. The first two days were spent in preparing for their experience and identifying their intentions in going into the wilderness alone. On the morning of the third day they stepped out. Both students elected to fast during their time on the land. They remained in the wilderness without a 4-walled shelter, food, or the company of others for 3 days and 3 nights. They came back on the 4th morning and joyously rejoined their group with food and laughter. After some time to re-acclimate, they shared their experiences from their time alone and their stories were mirrored back to them and they were welcomed back to their community as new members with a new role to offer the people in their lives.
- Into The Wild: Dragonfly 2020 Trips
- An Exceptional Discovery: By Kathryn Sabol, Academic Director
- A Day In The Life Of A Dragonfly Mentor: Camo
10/29 Family Workshop (virtual)
11/11 Parent Cohort Virtual
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