Summer is a time when children and teenagers can take a break from school, relax, have fun, and enjoy their freedom. When the weather warms, opportunities for exploring the outdoors and enjoying summer activities flourish. However, the benefits of summer go far beyond just having a good time. At WinGate, this season between school years provides unique opportunities for teens and young adults to come back to center, heal from trauma, and overcome their struggles.
One of the major benefits of summer programming at WinGate is the endless opportunity for connection with nature and outdoor exploration. WinGate is located in southern Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, surrounded by some of the most stunning natural landscapes in the country, including Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, and the Grand Canyon.
This beautiful natural environment offers a variety of outdoor activities and boosts the production of serotonin and dopamine, two of our brain’s happiness chemicals. Children and teens who spend time outdoors not only get exercise and fresh air but also develop important skills such as problem-solving, decision-making, and teamwork. Natural landscapes also provide opportunities for kids to learn about the environment, natural history, and the importance of conservation.
In addition to physical activity, summer can also be a time for youth to focus on their mental health and well-being. They can take a break from the stress of school and engage in activities that promote mindfulness while reducing stress and anxiety. At WinGate, there are many opportunities for teens and young adults to participate in mindfulness activities, such as journaling, crafting, or meditation. These activities support the development of relaxation and coping skills that help manage stress and anxiety throughout their lives. They can also learn strategies to improve their connection with themselves and regulate their emotions, leading to a more positive outlook on life.
Summer at WinGate provides opportunities for youth to develop their social skills in a therapeutically structured and supportive environment. They can practice supporting one another, participate in group activities, and learn how to communicate effectively with others. These skills can be especially beneficial for shy or introverted children struggling to make connections during the school year. WinGate offers opportunities for youth to collaborate on projects, build positive relationships, and develop empathy for others. Social skills like these are essential for success in school, career, and personal relationships.
Finally, summer at WinGate can also be a time for teens and young adults to develop their sense of responsibility and independence. They can take on new challenges, such as planning and leading a group crafting activity or volunteering to help with tasks at camp. These experiences can help them develop important life skills such as decision-making, time management, and problem-solving. Therapists help teens and young adults take on leadership roles, set goals, and develop a sense of personal accountability. These skills will serve them well throughout their lives and prepare them for future academic and career success.
Overall, summer at WinGate provides youth struggling with their relationships, mental health, or academics with a wealth of opportunities for growth, learning, and fun. From outdoor exploration to peer group bonding, a healing summer at WinGate can help teens and young adults develop priceless skills while enhancing their mental and physical well-being. With experienced licensed therapists, high-quality programming, and a beautiful natural setting, WinGate is the perfect place for teens and young adults to build resilience, relationships, and lifelong skills.