‘Life change’ program
Wimmera youth experiencing tough times have an opportunity to participate in a new ‘life change’ program in the Grampians.
The WASP recovery program is delivered throughout a weeklong intensive camp based on adventure therapy.
Former alcohol and other drug counsellor Brendan Scale is spearheading the Grampians program, created by his family’s not-for-profit organisation, Delhuntie Youth Care.
Delhuntie Youth Care is based on NSW’S mid-north coast and also delivers programs in Victoria.
Mr Scale is the organisation’s program development co-ordinator and is thrilled to have an opportunity to deliver the WASP program in his own region.
Based in Horsham, Mr Scale has worked in the Grampians and Wimmera regions for the past 15 years.
He has a degree in counselling and extensive experience in youth work, alcohol and other drugs and general counselling.
Throughout his time in the region Mr Scale has developed several programs, including Wimmera Drug Action Taskforce, the Knowledge is Power school drug-education program and Mud Map to Manhood.
“Real change comes through experience – through living the recovery,” Mr Scale said.
“That’s why we started up this program here. Counselling is great, but unless you’re putting it into practice, you’re not going to change too much.”
The program is for young people aged 12 to 20 and is designed to help participants uncover their pain, hurt and frustrations and learn ways to deal with them constructively.
“Youth services have been screaming out for something intensive like this, where people can go away to work out what their core issues are and then be linked back into services from there,” Mr Scale said.
“What this program does is give young people an opportunity to have lots of fun, be in the great outdoors and take on challenges.
“It’s also an opportunity to look at what’s going on deep down in their lives and what’s stopping them from moving forward. It’s only one week but change can be quite rapid if you’re dealing with the right issues in the right environment.”
Activities include team-building games, morning swims, abseiling, camping, hiking and anger management.
“There are plenty of programs where you can take kids on camps and take them on the high ropes and things like that. We do that, but it has a very strong therapy focus,” Mr Scale said.
“We also do follow-up work. We check in with the kids, make sure they are linked in with a school or a service.
“The program is suitable as part of an ongoing wellbeing plan for young people in schools.”
Mr Scale said the program was open to youth across the Wimmera, Mallee and Grampians.
“Anyone can refer a person for the camp – schools, parents, someone from a sporting club or a young person themselves,” he said.
The program usually costs $1400 a person but the first Grampians camp is half price.
“Being a small, family notfor-profit service we don’t get any funding from anywhere, so we have to charge to cover wages,” Mr Scale said.
“But we wanted to keep the cost as low as we can, so the Grampians camp will be $680.
“For the average family, it’s a lot of money. With this in mind, we welcome all inquiries for the program and, after a discussion, will make a decision regarding sponsorship on a case-by-case basis.”
Mr Scale has called on businesses, community groups and individuals to consider sponsoring the camp.
“We’ve already had one community member say this camp is great, can we sponsor one kid?” he said. “We’re talking with schools and other services to see if they can help fund it.”
People can call Mr Scale on 0448 816 695 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about the camp or becoming a sponsor. People can also search www.delhuntie.org.au for more information.