Field Trips Build Confidence

field trips

One important component of the Ironwood program is field trips. The field trips we have at Ironwood usually consist of some community work and a treat after, such as a local clean up project and then going out to eat as a group. Other field trips could be a relaxing time away from a daily schedule for the residents to go ice-skating, boating, or swimming. Field trips are very enjoyable and a nice privilege and they are also productive and important components in the student’s journey of returning home. Some key points that express this are the challenges and benefits of field trips that impact the residents in numerous ways. Also, this facet of the program can affect us outside of Ironwood and be used in the real world. Field trips can have lasting and great impacts on residents. 

There are many benefits and challenges from the field trips that residents get to experience. Some can be uncomfortable, while others may give hope and enlightenment to the students. Some benefits would be that field trips let the students become more accustomed to life outside their Ironwood bubble. Residents usually haven’t been off campus much, or even at all, before coming to the Farmhouse. By taking the residents on trips outside of their comfort zone, it lets them get reintroduced with the life outside so that they get gradually more comfortable being off campus. This lets residents prepare for when they are ready to go home. Another benefit would be that residents get to use coping skills that they have been taught. These can include grounding when feeling overwhelmed by so many sounds/people, or the stop skill taught in DBT when they see an opportunity to do something that doesn’t follow Ironwood guidelines. One more benefit could be for the students that struggle with substance abuse and addictions. Field trips let them have more opportunities to get used to being around substances, such as people smoking in public places, or nicotine/alcohol in a gas station. At Ironwood, there are no substances of any kind, but in the real world it won’t be like that. Outside, substances are everywhere, so by being reintroduced to seeing these things, it lets us practice using the tools learned and to resist the temptations and urges to use those substances. It also tests willpower and shows if we are ready to come back home with the capability to set safer boundaries. 

The notion surrounding field trips at Ironwood can very much be beneficial in the real world. In fact, we may already use these skills without realizing it. The idea is that Ironwood field trips let residents learn how to cope when faced with new and uncomfortable situations. It also teaches that unfamiliar situations can sometimes turn out to be extremely positive experiences. 

This facet of the program can be beneficial and challenging for the residents. Field trips at Ironwood can help students to build long term confidence, while also offering fun experiences to remember and hold on to. Field trips are also a great way for both residents and staff to connect and make the Ironwood experience a much more favorable time. We are all looking forward to having more amazing field trips in the future