The Camp Recovery Center Introduces Gardening Project as a Complement to Substance Abuse Treatment for Teens

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As part of The Camp’s integrative approach to adolescent substance abuse treatment, teenagers have begun cultivating a Parent Appreciation Garden.

The gardening project gives our adolescent clients a positive way to be part of building something up rather than tearing it down.

Adults aren’t the only ones who can experience the benefits of gardening. At The Camp Recovery Center’s Meadow Lodge, teenagers are discovering the many ways in which gardening can enhance addiction recovery.

Named the Parent Appreciation Garden, parents donate a plant in recognition of their teen’s work during drug rehab, which their child plants in a designated area around the Meadow Lodge. The adolescents volunteer to plant, cultivate and harvest a variety of fruits, vegetables and herbs and learn about the process as part of the academic curriculum.

“The garden gives parents the opportunity to show appreciation for their child and gives the adolescents a chance to leave behind a piece of themselves for future residents to enjoy,” said Wendy Nolen, a case manager at The Camp. “Our hope is that this concept of giving back will continue to guide them through their recovery.”

Rather than using chemicals to fertilize crops, teens learn about the many benefits of organic gardening and translate this lesson into their own recovery from chemical dependence. When mealtime comes, the teens have the opportunity to taste their freshly picked produce.

In addition to contributing to a healthy diet, gardening gets teens outdoors and involved in a hands-on activity. Surrounded by the peacefulness of nature, the garden can be a meditative place to relax in between therapy sessions, educational lectures and 12-Step meetings. It also introduces teens to various recovery concepts and builds their confidence.

“The gardening project gives our adolescent clients a positive way to be part of building something up rather than tearing it down,” said Jeff Geiger, CADC-II, the Adolescent Program Director at The Camp. “When the seeds begin to sprout, teens feel a real sense of accomplishment.”

The garden is part of a larger beautification project underway at The Camp’s Meadow Lodge. Inspirational murals and new curtains and décor are all helping to make the Meadow Lodge an even warmer, more inviting place for teens to recover from addiction.

About The Camp

The Camp Recovery Center provides comprehensive detoxification, residential, outpatient and aftercare treatment programs for adults and adolescents struggling with drug or alcohol addiction. For more than 25 years, The Camp has been one of the premier substance abuse treatment programs in the country, providing a uniquely effective combination of therapy, medication management, 12-Step work, and recreational and experiential therapies to build a firm foundation in recovery.

The Camp Recovery Center is a proud member of CRC Health Group, which offers the most comprehensive network of specialized behavioral healthcare services in the nation. With the largest array of personalized treatment options, individuals, families and professionals can choose the most appropriate setting for their behavioral, addiction, weight management and therapeutic education needs. CRC Health Group is deeply committed to making its services widely and easily available to those in need, while maintaining a passion for delivering the most advanced treatment available.

For more information, please call (866) 515-5253 or visit The Camp Recovery Center.

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James Bailey
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