On September 27, my husband and I took my son, Forest, to Arizona and dropped him off at Anasazi Foundation to embark upon a six week wilderness camp/journey of self discovery known as "The Making of a Walking."
Why? Because Forest was dealt a crummy hand in the biological dad department. Without going into details, his relationship with his father has always been destructive, but two years ago it hit rock bottom.
Afterwards, Forest fell into a deep depression and withdrew from us, not sure how to cope with what he was feeling. He got mixed up with some troubled kids at school and began making poor choices. After being suspended twice last year, and getting caught smoking pot in his room in May, we came to realize that as parents,we just didn't have the skills necessary to truly help Forest succeed at growing into the fine young man we know him to be, especially with his Dad's example ingrained in his subconscious. Professional help was required to undo what had been done to him.
After much research, I chose Anasazi Foundation, a non-profit organization which pioneered wilderness camps for troubled teens. Anasazi has successfully used ancient teachings to guide "YoungWalkers" toward a whole and peaceful heart for nearly forty years.
Anasazi has provided our family with a chance to create a New Beginning. During Forest's six week journey he is guided by experienced Trail Walkers, and visited each week by a therapist (called a Shadow) while he learns survival skills, and is given opportunities to discover his own way of making choices and relating to people, different from how his dad programmed him. Meanwhile, we are at home, doing our own extensive work with his Shadow so that when Forest comes home the changes he's made will be embraced, understood, respected and supported by his family.
When we dropped him off in September, we had the great pleasure of meeting two teen boys who had just come off the trail the day before. One of them had been dragged there against his will, and sat before a group of nervous parents and calmly reassured us that we had made the best possible decision for our boys. Both boys were adamant that they would not slip back into the behaviors that brought them there. They were polite, self-assured and shared some heartfelt awakenings with us. Their parents barely recognized the wise young men they had become!
The tuition for Anasazi's six week program is $435/day, plus an $895 admissions fee. The financial commitment of this program is completely unrealistic for our family - But even more out of the question is NOT sending Forest to this camp! He is truly grateful to be on this sacred journey, discovering how to un-learn the self-destructive behaviors his biological dad taught him.
Because of our financial situation, Forest has received a generous $5500 scholarship from Anasazi, leaving close to $11,500 in remaining tuition - plus funds necessary for airline tickets, hotel and travel expenses.
My parents paid for half of Forest's tuition and along with a few other family members, the airfare for our family to travel to and from Arizona. We are all so grateful to them, and now we need your help to round up the second half of the tuition, and some funds for rental cars, hotel rooms, food and hiking gear we need to purchase for when we join Forest on the Trail November 6-8.
We appreciate even the smallest donation! To thank you we have put together a handful of fun rewards for different donation levels, including bookmarks, a pre-release e-book copy of my new novel, QUICKBANE, wildlife photography prints, handmade leather cuffs, wallets, guitar pick & earbud cases, original oil paintings, custom leather handbags and even a chance to have a character in Chelsea's next novel named after you! Pictures of rewards coming soon! All rewards will be delivered by December 15th, 2012, with the possible exception of the Star Keeper award, which could take a bit longer to design and fabricate.
Thank you so much for your time and consideration! If you feel comfortable sharing our story with your friends, please do!
With love and gratitude from our family to yours,
Chelsea, Nate, Forest and Cyrus
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