Every year Caribbean Mountain Academy (CMA) takes students on a hiking trip up Pico Duarte, the Caribbean’s highest mountain. Like the mountainous terrain, students experience ups and downs along the way. There are frustrations, aches, and frigid nights, but there is also conversations, growth, and deepened relationships. Watch the video above to learn more about our latest hike up this beautiful mountain.
As parents, we love hearing about the positive things our children are experiencing. At our Christian residential treatment center, students definitely enjoy the adventure activities such as mountain hiking, going to the beach, zip-lining, or river rafting. These opportunities also give them fun things to tell their family about. Adventure activities help students learn in a fun environment.
Students grow in self-confidence when they achieve things they’ve never done before. For example, one student said after a long and difficult hike, “My entire life everybody has told me that I can’t do anything and that I’m worthless, but today I climbed a mountain and nobody can take that away from me.” Students also have opportunities to learn teamwork as they work together to achieve their goals. For example, they get to cheer their fellow students up the mountain or encourage their river rafting buddies to keep paddling. We find that these are also great bonding experiences for the students. The staff also uses adventure activities as teaching opportunities. Conversations naturally come up about teamwork, leadership, and their own relationship with God. It’s a fantastic way to open up deep and meaningful conversations in a non-threatening or upsetting way.