This portion lasts for one week to ten days and takes place in the Allegheny National Forest in rural northwestern Pennsylvania. The participant will learn to live with minimal necessities and will gain the inner strength and endurance training required to thrive in a state of discomfort. Basic wilderness skills will be taught, requiring real-time listening and learning. The experience is designed to facilitate a relationship of mutual trust and respect between mentors and participants. This will be essential for the teamwork involved to complete future missions such as assisting local charities with much needed work projects.
While in the program, participants will benefit from exposure to and engagement with an unparalleled team of exemplary community leaders during nightly fireside discussions. Unique to a customized program, is the experience participants will receive from intentional and meaningful interactions geared to best support them through their individual challenges and to reach their highest potential.
Here is what a previous participant of the Quest had to say about this feature of the program:
“Clint was talking to me about my situation. I told him what happened and he gave me advice on walking away from a fight, about how it wasn’t worth it. Slade also told me that it doesn’t prove anything if he or I fight someone and beat them up because I play hockey and he wrestles and if anything it just makes us look weak. I’d heard about it being important to walk away from a fight before but I had never really thought about how it might be harder to walk away than to fight. Clint told me ways that i could use the aggression that I had to better my athletic career and studies by using it to focus or to play better and harder.”
While the participant is on mission, Natasha Silver Bell will be available by appointment to support the family as needed through her expertise and experience. Many times the families who select Due North Quest may need some support or guidance as they may want to maximize their own insight on how to best support their young adult in the program. Working one on one with Natasha has proven eye-opening and beneficial to the families especially for the parents.
Wellness and wholeness within the family creates and supports wellness and wholeness in the participant and families often benefit from added tools and skillset to maneuver the new dynamics and possibilities available for their relationship with the participant once he has gone through the transformative process of the quest.
Note that there is no typical day on the Quest. The schedule, activities and missions are tailored to the specific needs of each participant and are adjusted at the discretion of the team in order to best support each participant in their ultimate development.
A sample day on the Quest Phase One could look like this:
- Early wake-up
- Physical endurance activities (cardio/high intensity/impact/agility)
- Morning Mission: Geared toward pushing inner limits and community building (examples: building cabins, trail clearing)
- Break for lunch
- Afternoon Mission
- Recreational excursion (rock climbing, hiking, canoeing)
- Fireside Talks: community leaders/strong male role models, dedicated team of speakers hand-selected by our director