Wow! The first day of Family Weekend is a tremendous whirlwind of activity. Launched by a Welcome Orientation at The Schoolhouse with a motivational presentation and a mini concert by the Ironwood Student Band! The day is then set in motion with reunifications, smiles, laughs and yes, tears. All of the emotions you could imagine after not seeing your child for 10 weeks, or longer. After that, the families head off for a day of family therapy, experientials and some quality family time together.
The Farmhouse residents enjoy a much deserved and greatly anticipated trip off campus beginning in the mid-afternoon. Some families choose to plan an exciting array of activities and adventures. Other families choose to spend some quiet time together. These weekends are a great opportunity to acknowledge and appreciate the significant effort and growth of the family throughout their Ironwood journey. Frye Students are involved in a variety of activities here on campus that range from baking groups, pine-box derby races, and a large, family style dinner.
This always leaves the question as to what happens to the new resident’s with whom the families are not able to participate in Family Weekend. Rest assured that our staff plan a good mix of activities, exploration and time to converse with peers and staff. Today gave them an opportunity to step up their effort of support by taking on all of the campus barn chores and spending lots of time with the Ironwood equine team. Some “soon to graduate” students spend extra time in school while others take the opportunity to Mentor residents at Frye and participate and Family Therapy group sessions. These students are paired with a staff who are excited to create adventures and unique opportunities to challenge and reward the residents not participating in the Family Weekend experiences.
While we are all making the most of these special moments here on campus, there are several family members not able to attend these weekends. This dynamic is a powerful reminder to be appreciative and intentional with the time we do have with those we care about…the most.
Ironwood wishes all of you back home a nice weekend.