Holiday Expeditions Expands Struggling Teens’ Worldview While on River Trip

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Holiday Expeditions, a white water rafting company recently took students from Mountain Springs Preparatory Academy on an instructive and restorative six-day rafting trip.

Students of Mountain Springs Preparatory Academy enjoy whitewater rafting through Desolation Canyon

It was good for the kids to get out and it was a really positive experience

This past week, Holiday Expeditions, a family whitewater rafting business, guided transitional teenagers down the Desolation Canyon in hopes of expanding their worldview and improving their mental and physical health.

Mountain Springs Preparatory Academy is a boarding school for students coming out of residential treatment. For the second year running, the academy has taken its students on a white water rafting trip to learn teamwork, dependability, collaboration, trust and problem solving.

“It was good for the kids to get out and it was a really positive experience,” said Mike Wassmuth, river guide for Holiday Expeditions. “It helped the kids feel more comfortable around each other and with themselves, so it created a good team building environment.”

Holiday Expeditions does discounted camping trips with other organizations as well, including the University of Utah’s Burn Unit and amputee children from Shriners Hospital. For the rafting company, it is an opportunity to interact with the community and help spread the healing effects of the river.

“The river is therapeutic for mind, body and soul,” said Karen Johnson, adventure trip consultant for Holiday Expeditions. “With a river rafting trip, you can get back in touch with nature and think about personal goals and who you are.”

For the students who went on the Utah white water rafting vacation, the experience was one to remember.

“This was my first time going river rafting,” a 15-yearl-old girl said. “I thought I knew what to expect, but it was so much better. It was great to feel like I was a part of something bigger.”

Holiday Expeditions plans to continue working with the Mountain Springs Preparatory Academy in the years to come. The river outfitting company also expressed a desire to add more excursions like this one to its schedule.

“This river rafting trip lets us see each student’s strengths and weaknesses against a new backdrop,” said Ariel Wolter Rhoades, dean of student life at Mountain Springs Preparatory Academy. “Holiday provides great interpretation of historical sites, strong physical guidance on the river and lots of delicious food.”

About Holiday Expeditions
Holiday Expeditions began in 1966, when Dee Holladay and his wife Sue took the plunge to become river outfitters. Due to its respect for the lands, rivers, guests and employees, the family-owned-and-operated company has grown exponentially. Each of its guides is professionally trained in first aid and river safety, and with over 44 years of experience, the company provides guests the opportunity explore the nation’s wild lands safely and securely. Holiday Expeditions has a philosophy to protect the environment through education and conservation, and as such, uses oar-powered and paddle rafts.

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