blueFire Embers Program for Young Girls

blueFire’s Embers Program was created to support the unique needs of young girls ages 11-15. We help students that may be struggling with one or more of the following issues: grief or loss, low self-esteem, anger, adoption issues, trauma, learning disabilities, school refusal or failure, social struggles, executive functioning issues and may have a long history of behavioral or emotional problems

This program is specifically designed to meet the demanding developmental needs of younger adolescents in a wilderness camp environment filled with consistent routines, structure, and concrete experiences needed to create lasting behavior change. These single-gender groups help to create the peer social environment that best facilitates therapy for students in this age group.

Teaching Important and Useful Skills

Throughout this program, we focus on teaching and developing skills that will be transferable to the real world. Our students learn healthy coping skills, communication skills, organizational skills, making and sustaining healthy relationships, and much more. A combination of individual, group, equine and family therapy are used to help students focus on their own behaviors, identify their feelings, understand where those feelings are coming from and learn healthy ways to cope with those feelings. 

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In the wilderness, girls do not have access to technology, mirrors, makeup, or other distractions, which frees their minds to be vulnerable and live in the moment. This is an ideal time for our team of field instructors and therapists to engage with your child to support her as she develops courage and self-identity. Removing young girls from their fast-paced lives and away from distractions helps them reflect on their own behaviors and the way that these behaviors impact the world around them. Embers see the value in experiential learning as every step of this journey serves as a teachable moment for students. 

Canine-Assisted Therapy in Wilderness Programs

blueFire utilizes animal therapy in many aspects of their program. Our groups, including the Embers girls group, get canine and equine-assisted psychotherapy on a weekly basis. For some students, working with animals reminds them of their pets back home, which brings a sense of familiarity and security. Animals have a unique way of connecting with students who may struggle to connect with staff and peers.

In the case of the Embers girls group, our primary therapist, Dr. Paul Goddard, works with his certified therapy dog Jessie. Jessie, who is shy, teaches the girls that they need to be patient to win over her attention.

Relationships with animals are built on developing strong nonverbal communication skills and greater social awareness. These relationship skills can be transferred to human interactions. Between canine-assisted therapy and weekly equine therapy sessions, Embers girls build a sense of community with not only peers and staff, but also our therapy animals.

Who We Help

This program is unique in the sense that it is open to a very specific age range. We welcome female students ages 11-15. These students may have a diagnosis such as the following: Depression, Anxiety, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Mood Dysregulation Disorder. Young girls who have had a long-standing battle with these issues tend to be a great fit for our program. While not limited to this list, here are some behaviors that potential candidates may exhibit:

  • Temper tantrums
  • Having a hard time with change
  • Difficulty with transitions
  • Food texture issues
  • Mood swings
  • Oppositional behavior
  • Manipulative behavior
  • Anxiety
  • Poor emotional regulation
  • Making and maintaining relationships
  • Identity and trauma
  • Avoiding responsibilities
  • Instant gratification
  • Lack of resilience
  • Overuse and abuse of social media
  • Easily influenced by others
  • Negative internal dialogue
  • Externalize blame

Benefits of Gender-Specific Treatment

Girls are typically more comfortable expressing their emotions than boys and thrive in an environment that allows for connection and support from their peers. Girls also face significant social struggles during this period and benefit from the support of a close-knit community. There is a greater focus on teaching relational skills, like building trust, respecting others, and healing from past experiences of being bullied or rejected by their peers. Surrounded by other young girls who have gone through similar issues, students find the motivation to make changes in their lives and to participate in a variety of adventure activities we offer.

Want to Learn More

We are happy to answer any question you have about bluefire wilderness

Let Us Help You

Our unique program allows us to create an individualized approach and plan to help your daughter get on the path towards lifelong happiness and success. By combining outdoor activities, therapeutic support, and family programming we are able to influence a positive change in the life of your family as a whole. Our program helps with diverse issues and our staff is highly qualified to help young girls confront and cope with their emotional and behavioral struggles. Embers wilderness therapy empowers young girls to regain confidence and control over their lives.