July 05, 2011
Local Program Helps Soldiers Transition from War Zone to Home
Meramec Adventure Learning Ranch Program in Steelville Cited in National Magazine
Program helps soldiers adjust to lower risk environment at home
Accelerated troop withdrawals could increase need for transition programs
Steelville, Mo. (July 5, 2011) – Nearly 1.9 million U.S. troops have been deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq since October 2001. Most return successfully to normal lives. Some have experienced serious problems readjusting when returning home.
Brett Bailey, an Army Ranger and director of Meramec Adventure Learning Ranch in Steelville, knows well the emotional and psychological adjustments military personnel need to make when returning from deployment. Bailey has developed a program of high adventure activities to help returning military release adrenaline and re-channel the need to conduct high-risk, high-thrill activities equal to the living and working conditions of a war zone.
The Meramec Adventure Learning Ranch program and its other outdoor activities designed for military personnel and their families were cited in a national magazine published by The Alliance for Children and Families (AC&F) in June. AC&F is a 350-member association that provides a variety of services to private nonprofit human service organizations throughout the United States and Canada. AC&F members are organizations dedicated to serving children and families and/or that are focused on economic empowerment. To read the article visit www.meramecranch.org or www.alliance1.org.
Meramec Adventure Learning Ranch is the therapeutic adventure and experiential center of Great Circle’s therapeutic recreation program. The ranch is one of the most extensive high-adventure bases in the Midwest featuring state-of-the-art recreational facilities, three miles of riverfront, wooded hills, fields, streams, bluffs and caves.
For many years it has served as a center for recreational therapy for children in treatment programs at Boys & Girls Town of Missouri. When Boys & Girls Town of Missouri merged with Edgewood Children’s Center of St. Louis to form Great Circle, the ranch continued as the recreational therapy center of the expanded agency.
Meramec Adventure Learning Ranch is an accredited member of and follows all standards of operation of the American Camp Association. The director is a certified Single Pitch Instructor through the American Mountain Guides Association and a Single Pitch Guide with the Professional Climbing Guides Institute. Challenge courses are built, inspected and certified by Association of Challenge Course Technology professional vendors. All activity staff members are trained extensively and regularly to the highest standards using state of the art equipment, training, and techniques in all activities. Programming staff also have advanced backcountry/wilderness first aid training and certifications.
For more information visit www.meramecranch.org.