Camping in the Vermont woods can be demanding and rugged, especially for long periods of time. However, every Wednesday at True North, guide teams of two pack their necessary belongings into a backpack and head into the field for a full week’s time to support our students through their True North journey.
True North Guides are responsible for their group’s well-being and safety around the clock during their week-long shifts. This requires them to have a unique and dynamic skill set. Their love for the outdoors is generally coupled with a sincere desire to serve and understand young people and to be companions in their change process. Words often used to describe True North guides are: confident, compassionate, patient, humble, intuitive, hard-working, caring and relationship-focused. These traits are what allow True North guides to foster a supportive and nurturing culture that both our students and staff operate within.
At True North, we take pride in our exceptional team of dedicated and experienced professionals. As an integral part of the treatment team, guides take part in an extensive hiring and training process before they begin working. The typical True North guide applicant has a background and experience in a variety of areas such as outdoor education, recreational trip leading, camp counseling, college orientation and programming, residential advising, teaching, emergency medicine, wilderness survival, and other mental health qualifications.
Throughout their time at True North, guides rely on their previous experience, extensive training, and the support of the senior staff as they provide for the physical safety and encourage the emotional growth of the students. They participate in weekly trainings with the field leadership and clinical teams so that they can be mentally and physically prepared to manage the various needs of specific individual students throughout the week. They have opportunities to learn and develop skills and understanding that are crucial to their work at True North and beneficial to their personal and professional growth. This tends to lead to furthered careers and education in both the outdoor and mental health industries. You will even find that many of the Course Leaders, Operations and Program staff members at True North have logged field days cooking over fires and running Truth Circles with our students!
Our passionate and dedicated guides help to make the wilderness an inspiring and nurturing experience for our students. Without them, True North would not be the program it is today.