Deception, Trust and Rainbow Trout



By Caleb Cottle | Added November 12

The recreational therapy department recently returned from an amazing trip to the Current River in south central Missouri.  This trip was the culmination of weeks spent learning about Trust. During this three day trip students canoed up to 24 miles catching fish and crawdads while playing in the water and having memorable adventures. 

Trust is not a concept that comes easy for our students.  If anything deception, the opposite of trust, comes much more naturally.  By learning to disguise dangerous hooks, turning them into delicious looking lures, and by practicing the fluid art of fly fishing our students have had the opportunity to explore the perils of deception, and the powerful experience of Trust.

As CALO staff and students sat around a camp fire under the stars one night, our stomachs gorged on freshly cooked trout, great opportunities to be vulnerable and caring for one another arose.  Writing furiously in their journals students responded to questions such as: Who is it I trust most in this world, and why?  One boy, in response to this question wrote the following;

The person I trust the most is my Mom and Dad.  They are my family.  They showed that they care and love me just by them adopting me.  They have done everything that they can to help me have a good and better life.  They stay resilient even after I have one of my screw the world attitude days.  They wont and have not ever given up on me.  They are true at heart as well as of mind.  They have given me the will and the strength to keep going stubbornly towards my goals.

Another boy responded to the following question quite honestly:  What are the lures that have deceived you?

Some lures/ traps and tricks I have fallen for are drugs, alcohol, tobacco and women.  These lures are easy to fall for because they always promise the best, when in reality you are in for the worst.  Lifes a struggle.  In the future I will not just judge and weigh my options by the surface of the thing, but rather by the depth of its reality.  Things are rarely ever as they seem and in life sometimes risks are what makes your life what it is.  You have to be prepared to step out of your comfort zone in order to win.

One of the sweetest moments of the camping trip was sitting around the fire and sharing with one another the answer to this question:  If you really knew me you would know that I  As students and staff sat around the fire sharing their hopes, their dreams, their fears and their triumphs it was evident that we are more similar than we are different.  We all have insecurities, we all have fears, we all need validation and caring, and we all need someone to believe in us.




About the Author

Caleb Cottle, B.A. Program Director

Caleb Cottle is the Program Director at CALO. As fortune would have it, ten years ago Caleb learned he could get paid to go camping. That was all it took to get him to Southern Utah working in a wilderness program with adolescents. It did not take long for Caleb to fall in love with the therapeutic process of change within an experiential environment. Since that time Caleb has worked in numerous treatment settings and held a variety of positions including field guide, front line staff, live-in staff, staff trainer, recreational therapist, and program director. Caleb has always believed in the power of experiential opportunities and the hands on lessons that they teach. While there is great power and insight in traditional talk therapy, experiencing the world and therapy experientially allows a multidimensional sensory experience that allows increased self-efficacy and improved self-concept. Caleb enjoys sharing these and other CALO principles with staff, students and those in the industry considering CALO as an option for their child. Caleb enjoys a variety of outdoor activities including fly-fishing, climbing, boating, camping and snowboarding. However, Caleb's greatest interests are his wife Raylene and their four children. As a family they enjoy many of these activities together. Having a family has taught Caleb the value, purpose and absolute joy of true friendship and safe relationships.

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