Adults aren’t the only ones who can experience the benefits of gardening. At The Camp Recovery Center’s Meadow Lodge, teenagers are discovering the many ways in which gardening can enhance addiction recovery.
Named The Parent Appreciation Garden, parents donate a plant in recognition of their teen’s progress in our rehabilitation program, which their child plants in a designated area around the Meadow Lodge. The adolescents volunteer to plant, cultivate and harvest a variety of fruits, vegetables and herbs and learn about the process as part of the academic curriculum.
The garden gives parents the opportunity to show appreciation for their child and gives the adolescents a chance to leave behind a piece of themselves for future residents to enjoy. Our hope is that this concept of giving back will continue to guide them through their recovery.
Gardening introduces teens to a variety of recovery concepts:
- Rather than using chemicals to fertilize crops, teens learn about the many benefits of organic gardening and translate this lesson into their own recovery from chemical dependence. When mealtime comes, the teens have the opportunity to taste their freshly picked produce.
- Gardening gets teens outdoors and involved in a hands-on activity. Surrounded by the peacefulness of nature, the garden can be a meditative place to relax in between therapy sessions, educational lectures and 12-Step meetings.
- The gardening project gives adolescents a positive way to be part of building something up rather than tearing it down. When the seeds begin to sprout, teens feel a real sense of accomplishment.