Switchbacks: A Therapeutic Backpacking Program

True North Counseling Launches a New Program for Teens

I was introduced to Willard Gray when I was 14 years old. He was the 4-H Extension agent in Warrick County, Indiana. Willard introduce 3 other boys and me to the woods of Southern Indiana and Kentucky. He was a wonderful man. We spent time hiking ad camping in the Land Between the Lakes, Mammoth Cave, and in many, many state parks and forests. We were birders and foresters. I remember riding to Illinois early one morning to watch the Greater Prairie Chickens in the driving snow. He gave me memories that I will never forget.

True North Counseling believes that introducing young people to nature will change their lives.

We are launching a new program called “Switchbacks.” We will invite teenage boys and girls from the inner city and kids of color to hike and backpack into the woods of Jefferson Memorial Forests, as well as the forests of Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee and parks throughout the country. This therapeutic backpacking will teach them about birds and trees and help them disconnect with the internet and connect with nature.

True North will recruit men and women who want to invest in the lives of young people. These men and women will share their love of the forests and woods.

True North will provide backpacking gear and a vision for these young people. Trips will include campfires and inspirational stories. The program will include cohorts of 6 teens that last 6 months. All alumni from the program can continue to participate with new cohorts. They can share their visions with new participants.

If you want to sponsor one of these young people or be an adult mentor, contact True North at 502-777-7525.