Summer Outdoor Adventure Therapy Program

Water, Equine Adventures, & Peaks

Our outdoor adventure program is based on A Hero’s Journey, by Joseph Campbell. Our students will participate in weekly adventures with their group, either water, equine, or peaks, with a culmination multiday trip at the end of the summer.

 “The Hero’s Journey as a Roadmap to Positive Change”
By understanding our own hero’s journey, and being able to recognize and respond to the call to adventure, we can become agents of positive change for ourselves, for others, and for our community.”

The Academy at Sisters adventure groups focus on:

  • Relationships (with self and others)
  • Communication
  • Group dynamics
  • Group development
  • Healthy/productive problem solving

The intention of these groups is to help students internalize their own inherent strength and potential, and to help them have a felt experience of success and personal growth. The groups will be small, led by a therapist, and include the use of ceremony, journaling, personal reflection, and somatic and experiential therapy are interwoven throughout the group.


Paddle, Row, Splash, Swim!  By visiting and spending time in alpine lakes, ancient rivers, and natural springs and creeks we will experience some of the best spots in Central Oregon.  The theme of this group is about adventure, team work, accessing internal strength and wisdom to safely push boundaries and create new skills as well as connections. It will include paddling, swimming, and playing in Central Oregon’s best water.  Searching for a secret underwater forest, a flooded windmill, and  hidden hot springs, we will paddle across lakes, up to the mouth of rivers and creeks, and through meandering waterways.  We will cook dinner outside, play water games, have plenty of time for quiet reflection and savoring the stillness. We may even be out under a full moon!

Girls Paddleboarding


Accessing remote areas throughout Central Oregon, some places only accessible by horseback, can be a great way to experience the outdoors without the crowds.  The theme of this group is about connection in relationships, with a focus on learning and practicing nonverbal communication, building connections with self, each other, and their horse, and being vulnerable in relationship. Learning the dynamics of healthy relationships, how to adjust expectations and problem solve together, practicing effective communication, and the experience of being successfully assertive is all part of the equine track. This group also includes a half day of community service at a local rescue or sanctuary for horses and potentially an immersive workshop with an equine expert at a local ranch, both experiences to broaden the student’s skill and appreciation of working with animals.


Ascending buttes, mountains, and peaks, this series will highlight some of the best views in Central Oregon.  The theme of this group is about perseverance, and the rewards of stepping into new challenges, accessing internal strength and wisdom to safely push boundaries and create new levels of ability.  It will include setting intentions, taking on new challenges, building trust, and learning and practicing goal setting and personal growth, interspersed with lots of play and practicing identifying and enjoying rewards along the way.