Get High Naturally
Organized by: Danielle Carr
Helping students rise above poverty and drug abuse by engaging them in their natural environment to develop perspective and confidence.
Get High Naturally aims to take Tupper Lake Middle/High School students struggling with substance abuse hiking up some of the notorious 46 High Peaks in an effort to challenge the student's perception about their own perspective and personal abilities.
Tupper Lake is nestled in the heart of the Adirondack Park in New York State. It is a small town of about 3,000 people threatened with significant community challenges The poverty rate is increasing and families commonly struggle with substance abuse. The age of which students are getting involved in drugs is getting younger, drug use is getting more dangerous, and the student drop out rate at school is growing exponentially. Recreational programs and other activities that help develop self-esteem and personal identity are limited in Tupper Lake. Locally there is an abundance of nature-based opportunities, however there is a large disconnect between students and the natural world around them.
Hiking mountains is a proven way to reduce stress, be healthy, process emotions and life events and develop confidence in oneself. Whether youth feel an instant attachment to nature or not, every youth that has worked hard to summit a mountain felt accomplished and proud in ways that they usually not had in their lives back home. They develop a sense of accomplishment as a group of peers, and leave with “war stories” about their experience in the woods instead of their experience being high. It is relatively cheap and accessible to youth as they get old enough to drive and can be developed as a life long coping skill.
Get High Naturally seeks to outfit a groups students with gear, food and water for and transport them to a designated high peak with the goal of summiting the mountain. We are partnering with local businesses and organizations to offer monthly trips throughout the year. Students are asked to be substance free for the day, to leave their cell phones or other electronics in the car and to experience having fun and working hard in the natural world.
Our goal is to provide an unique experience for over 100 youth over the course of the year.
Danielle Carr is the founder of Get High Naturally. She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor with 10 years of experience working with adolescents and families. She has extensive experience in wilderness therapy and co-occurring mental health and substance abuse issues for adolescents and their families. Having experience working in outpatient, inpatient, school and wilderness settings, Danielle has found that the most effective way to initiate change in youth is to offer them a different perspective.