Martin Naffziger, M.Ed., and Dr. Heather Tracy, Ed.D., presented in early 2020 at the annual NATSAP conference. The topic? Once through wilderness, how do we guide students back into the realities of our technological world?
Dr. Tracy presented the latest research on the positive and negative effects of technology use as well as presented a framework for how to assess and discuss intentionally moderate use.
Martin Naffziger then outlined how New Summit Academy re-introduces technology into student lives in an intentionally gradual way using process-based scaffolding. Enjoy!
We eagerly awaited our educational consultant’s recommendation for after care programs for my son who was on track to complete his wilderness program. Our son had made significant progress in wilderness, but we believed his therapist and other experts who assured us that his work was far from done and that after care was the necessary next step. Our EC provided three choices... one a more innovative program in Costa Rica. Costa Rica?!? You have to be kidding us! No way are we sending our 16 year-old kid to a foreign country when he’s barely out of crisis mode. No. Way. Give it a look, our EC counseled. Talk to them, I think it might be a good fit for your son. We were paying him for his advice, so we agreed. Why not?
After calls with all programs, we chose to divide and conquer visiting two schools. I toured the school in the mid-west. The program seemed solid and the staff engaging. The location was remote, mountainous, and beautiful, but cold. I could see him here, I thought. This could work. When I compared notes with my son’s dad, however, the differences in our impressions were striking.
He talked about being greeted by staff with hugs, how a white board marked out all activities for the week, from therapeutic groups and excursions for surfing, down to who had a dentist appointment on Wednesday. He talked about close, individual engagement, comprehensive personal growth plans, and tailored learning programs. And he talked about the beautiful outdoor setting, with an open air gym and dining hall, not to mention delicious food. The comparison between the two schools was hardly fair. But could we send our son off to another country during this difficult period in his development? Ultimately, we decided yes. And we are forever grateful that we made this choice.
These are some of the factors that got us “over the hump” about sending our son to a school in a foreign country:
I cannot describe our entire experience at NSA but I offer a few highlights:
Hogar de Vida is an orphanage right down our street, but it's more than that. It's a place of hope and growth for everyone involved.
It doesn't matter whether you are a director, accountant, teacher, or student at NSA... you all share a common goal of spreading 'love' and 'joy.'
We asked some of our students and staff, "What makes Hogar de Vida so special?" ...and this is what some of them said.
"It's not about material possession, it’s not about who’s cool or not, it’s about connecting one-on-one with another human being who wants to be loved and accepted. Both our students and the little kids get that feeling from their interaction." - NSA Staff
"One big community working together towards a better cause - that's the beauty of Hogar de Vida!" - NSA Staff
"It makes me feel like a parent for a day. It's really cool to see their faces light up when they see us, and it's the same both ways, my face also lights up. I'm very happy when I go there." - NSA Student
"It was my first time going to an orphanage, people made it seem a lot harder than it was, I’m somewhat good with kids, but especially with my Hogar de Vida ‘son.’ A previous student had him before me, and no one really ‘wanted him’ - he would spit on me or climb up from behind, mess around... But it takes time. If you show them that you care and you want to be around them, even just the vibe of that, they will pick up on it. And he just became a whole new person - he comes up and grabs my hand; I'm now his best friend and he's mine." - NSA Student
"The experience as a whole - it not only helps me as a person but also them. They get to interact with people that are older and a positive influence on their life, which they might’ve not had in the past." - NSA Student
"They don’t think anyone besides the ‘tias’ would care for them. As some of us are young men, or getting to be there, it’s very positive for them to get and see positive 'male' examples, and we as students get to build our identity in a way too." - NSA Student
"For someone who struggles with comfortability around little kids, it’s honestly still pretty fun to see everyone having a fantastic time, and even if you aren’t a great fan of little kids, you can still help out. I still enjoy seeing them have fun." - NSA Student
This holiday week, most of our students are spending Thanksgiving with their families. Those students spending the holiday with New Summit Academy have a week full of fun and celebration!
Happy Thanksgiving to all of our extended family at New Summit Academy!
This past week, our students have been engaged alongside out staff in working toward earning their Wilderness Advanced First Aid (WAFA) certifications.
New Summit Academy has been pairing with the Wilderness Medicine Institute for years in facilitating this professional-level certification for students and staff as an opportunity to truly challenge themselves in an experiential, hands-on curriculum, as well as to help with our risk management during Integrated, Recreational, and International Aventuras.
Throughout the week-long course, our dedicated WAFA instructors teach students how to recognize and respond to a variety of situations that include:
- Risk management and assessment
- Patient assessment techniques
- Injury management
- Common wilderness medical problems
Each time students learned classroom content, everyone sprang into action, with half of our students and staff simulating medical emergencies on campus, and the other half acting as the first-aid responders, with the support of our teachers and instructors throughout the process. This is true (and very valuable) experiential education!
This month, NSA will celebrate the graduation of four young men, ready to venture into the world and experience continued success.
After graduation, our students and staff will engage in a month of experiential learning, including the Wilderness Advanced First Aid (WAFA) certification course, international Aventuras to Peru and South Africa, and a SCUBA certification in Bocas del Toro, Panama.
Stay tuned for more updates on these once-in-a-lifetime opportunities!
Earning Honor Status at New Summit Academy means so much more than making good grades (although, that’s part of it too!)
An Honor Student is recognized by his SCAFA Advising Team as consistently guiding his behaviors according to the NSA value system and excelling in the areas of scholarship, citizenship, character, community service, and leadership.
While earning Honor Status allows the students additional privileges, this flexibility comes with a higher level of trust earned over time, and Honor Students willingly accept the responsibility of helping out their peers as well as the community as a whole.
Blog authors may be students, staff, parents or colleagues. We're all-inclusive! Just enjoy!