Daily Life

Helping families chart the course

Seasonal Approach

True North has the benefit of a seasonal model that allows us to customize our environment depending on the season to provide the safest and most effective experience. From May through November, True North operates within an expedition model, hiking and camping outdoors. From November through May, student life is based on our expansive winter campus, sleeping in heated cabins, yurts, and wall tents and enjoying both the hundreds of open and forested acres our winter campus has to offer as well as a variety of heated indoor facilities. Year round, students have access to State and National forest land in the Mad River Valley and surrounding Green Mountains.  During their experience at True North students have the opportunity to roll up their sleeves and get involved in a number of classic Vermont activities.  Whether they are hiking, tending to orchards, or collecting berries in the warm weather or strapping on snowshoes or skis in the winter months, our students have opportunities to discover new and exciting challenges.

Daily Life

Young Adults

At True North, young adults participate in a combination of adventure-based and basecamp living experiences that include a focus on individual and group therapy, group expeditions, and service projects in the community. Carefully planned daily activities are structured around the seasons to ensure a dynamic, therapeutic, and safe experience for our young adult students.  In the summer, young adults are involved in a number of classic New England activities including multi-day canoe trips, backpacking and backcountry camping, rock climbing, paddle boarding, and disc-golf. Throughout the winter, they participate in downhill skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and indoor rock climbing. Young adults also participate in year-round yoga and cooking classes to add balance to their exiting adventure experiences and promote wellness and independent living skills. Meaningful activity supports our student’s ability to engage in the process and maintain focus on personal growth and development.

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Food & Gear

Every True North student is issued brand new, top-of-the-line gear and clothing upon enrolling in the program.   It is vital that students have materials that are appropriate for our activities and conditions, and each item has been hand-selected and carefully tested to ensure comfort and safety. True North provides students with the quality brands that we use ourselves, including Merrell, Marmot, Thermarest, MSR, Deuter, Darn Tough, and more. All students receive the same items, contributing to a sense of equality among students, and we offer items in a variety of colors and styles.

Students enjoy a diverse, nutritionist-approved diet including local and organic foods that can be modified according to most specific dietary needs and allergies.

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Outdoor Skills

All True North students complete a written curriculum that includes opportunities to learn outdoor living skills. As they practice these skills, they also practice patience and perseverance and develop executive function skills including planning, organization, and time management. Students build their sense of accomplishment and confidence as they master these challenging skills.