Circle of Courage

Kayaking - Circle of Courage


Many life events (i.e. disabling injury, chronic health problem, mental health or emotional problems, personal loss, etc.) have the potential to significantly alter how an individual lives his/her life.To overcome these events often requires that another person help the individual to properly prepare themselves with the right attitude, knowledge, patience, and commitment to change. And with any change, courage is required.We have adopted the extraordinary work of Dr. Larry Brendtro, Dr. Martin Brokenleg, and Dr. Steve Van Bockern as a core philosophy and have adapted it to direct our approach to outdoor programs with disabled populations.


Circle of Courage_LogoThe Circle of Courage Model © provides a framework to help individuals to learn new ways to achieve their potential and to improve life satisfaction. Through exposure to a variety of therapeutic experiences in outdoor environments participants learn new ways to develop four key qualities (belonging, mastery, independence, and generosity).

The Spirit of Belonging
The Spirit of Mastery
The Spirit of Independence
The Spirit of Generosity

When an individual has been recently injured or diagnosed, or for that matter, at any point throughout the rehabilitation journey or path to recovery it is imperative to meet, connect, and interact with others who can provide support and relate to the many issues that must be confronted along the way.As an individual learns to adjust to the many challenges of having a physical disability, a chronic illness or a special health need, it is this Spirit of Belonging that provides the foundation and the basis for determining future success.

Learning new skills, or for that matter, relearning ways to perform tasks that may require adaptations serves to provide an individual with a sense of competence. It is the Spirit of Mastery that motivates an individual to strive for success and achievement of one’s goals. Equally important, however, it is the sharing of these successes and accomplishments with others who may be confronting similar obstacles that strengthens one’s spirit. Competence and mastery are achieved by teaching an individual to observe others, to listen to others, to share with others and to learn from others.

Providing opportunities for an individual to discover a sense of autonomy and control over their environment helps them to learn personal responsibility. It is the Spirit of Independence that provides an individual with the discipline and ability to control their own destiny. As a person with a physical or developmental disability, a chronic illness or a special health need, performs more difficult tasks and confronts new challenges in different environments, he/she learns to adapt. It is through meaningful guidance and support that persons develop the necessary skills to achieve functional independence.

As stated in the Therapeutic Adventures – Creed, we have a responsibility – a spiritual, a moral and a therapeutic obligation to future generations so that they may enjoy the outdoors.The Spirit of Generosity reminds us that we must give back to others in need. Sharing with others our skills, our God given gifts, our unique talents, as well as the lessons and truths we have learned over time provides us with purpose, meaning and joy.

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