July 10, 2010 00:52 by Caleb
With summer in full swing CALO students are spending quite a bit of time on the water. It has been a refreshing and fun change up in the recreational therapy curriculum to focus on communication while having fun behind the boats.
By now most students have passed off their entire swim test and are working very hard to pass off each step of their water skiing test. This is not an easy test. Each student has to complete the following tasks:
- Get up on two skis
- Ride behind the boat for one full minute
- Cross both wakes behind the boat in the same ride
- Lift each ski completely out of the water for five seconds
- Jump the wake getting both skis completely out of the water
- Ski on one ski for thirty full seconds
Having completed each one of these difficult tasks our students will then have the opportunity to choose their next area of expertise which may include wakeboarding, knee boarding or wake skating.
There is a phrase that we use quite regularly here at CALO, “Every moment is a therapeutic opportunity.” There have certainly been many therapeutic opportunities while teaching the students to ski. Recently one of our female students who had never successfully skied before went out on the boat and refused to try skiing. As she put it, “I am afraid of failing, and I don’t want to fail in front of all my peers.” With some gentle encouragement and a lot of support from her friends she finally took the risk of getting out of her comfort zone. She got up and passed off her one minute ride on her third pull.
It is not uncommon for this type of success to become contagious and enter other areas in our student’s lives including academics, canine therapy and family relationships. The arena is different, although the principles are the same. Calculated risks taken under the supervision of trusted adults create opportunities for increased self concept and confidence.