The environment is a crucial component in successful treatment. This is both the physical environment that we live in, as well as the community that we create. The Summit campus has 54 acres and features a central lodge containing a commercial kitchen, dining room, and living room. This is the hub for campus activities. A fully equipped Academic Center is the base for academic instruction. When not on expeditions, students live in comfortable cabin-dorms and function as a team. This environment and the social community it supports facilitates the transition from the wilderness setting to home or boarding school, making the transference of skills learned in the back country more successful.
Group process lies at the core of Summit Achievement’s therapeutic approach and is the backbone of the environment that we create as a community. Most activities are accomplished in a group setting. In addition, each evening students engage in guided group discussions to resolve issues related to group living and provide feedback to group members. These sessions are important because students will often hear feedback from peers that they have difficulty accepting from adults. We know that personality is formed and shaped largely through one’s contact and involvement with others; Summit believes it can be reshaped through this same intensive process.
Students on expedition master a variety of outdoor living skills, including camp craft, navigational skills, and backcountry safety. Expeditions and adventure activities at Summit are not a survival ordeal. Students are given the best clothing, gear, and equipment available in order to make the experience as comfortable as possible, while retaining a reasonable level of challenge. The food, which is top notch for backcountry cooking, is nutritious and filling.