Second Nature Welcomes New Parent Coordinator, Raegan McClymont

Second Nature Utah welcomed Raegan McClymont to their team back in the fall of 2021. As a highly respected member of the crew, Raegan was given the opportunity to transfer into the Family Programming Department, earning her the Parent Coordinator title.

As a coordinator, she is dedicated to providing the highest standard of care to the parents and families of students participating in Second Nature’s wilderness therapy program.

About Raegan McClymont

Growing up in Pennsylvania, Raegan attributes her fondest childhood moments to the nature of the West. She believes her outdoor adventures led to extremely positive personal growth as a young child.

These powerful experiences ultimately led to her achieving an undergraduate degree in Adventure Education. Leadership, communication, and group dynamic skills were all part of the course, alongside learning various outdoor living techniques.

To prove her dedication to the cause, Raegan McClymont even spent a semester studying at the National Outdoor Leadership School. And unsurprisingly, she continued to fall more deeply in love with the West’s stunning nature.

Raegan enjoys snowboarding and rock climbing in her free time and hopes to explore Utah’s ethereal wilderness in the coming year.

From Field Instructor to Parent Coordinator

While conducting extracurricular education at the National Outdoor Leadership School, Raegan heard about Second Nature Utah.

Naturally, the program spoke to her, and she began working as a Field Instructor in late 2021.

Her favorite parts of the job were actively engaging in challenging discussions and developing a deep understanding of the student’s life stories. And, of course, laughing with them daily was thoroughly rewarding.

However, as January 2022 rolled around, Raegan transferred to the Family Programming Department, becoming Parent Coordinator.

The Parent Coordinator Role

As Parent Coordinator, Raegan helps to welcome new families to Second Nature and introduces them to their new resources. Raegan also helps to facilitate parent day and overnight visits as well as the Second Nature family Intensive program.

She provides high-quality, sensitive care to parents and the rest of the students’ families, ensuring everybody progresses toward the same goal.

Her role can be boiled down to two main factors — communication and connection.
While the adolescent is the individual receiving the wilderness therapy, the entire experience becomes a vessel for family intimacy and cohesion.

The Parent Coordinator and other staff members facilitate communication as the initial step in reconnecting family units. Both after and during the program, parents and students report feeling closer, thanks to the continued efforts of the new Parent Coordinator, Educators, Therapists, and Field Instructors.

Raegan ensures ultimate efficacy by coordinating parents’ visits with the rest of the team, ensuring the students are informed of their arrival and are comfortable with their progress.

She works closely with the whole group as well as individually with parents for an all-encompassing view of the situation.

It seems Raegan’s experience as a Field Instructor has stood her in great stead for the sometimes-demanding yet always-rewarding role of Parent Coordinator.

The future is bright for Raegan McClymont, Second Nature’s newest Parent Coordinator, and all the families lucky enough to meet her.

Teen Wilderness Therapy – Nomadic vs Basecamp vs Adventuring Programs

Wilderness therapy is an interactive and engaging approach to mental healthcare designed to help teens become successful adults. Its focus on outdoor engagement helps teens learn healthy coping mechanisms while participating in group activities, learning survival skills, and experiencing self-growth outside the confines of modern life. There are currently three main styles of wilderness therapy, each with their own approaches and benefits.

Although all three styles of wilderness therapy get teens out of their usual environments and into the great outdoors, they’re unique in their scope. Second Nature Wilderness discusses nomadic, basecamp, and adventuring programs and explains what makes them effective therapeutic techniques.

Second Nature Wilderness Family Therapy

Nomadic Wilderness Therapy

Nomadic wilderness therapy is designed to make group members work together to become as self-sufficient as possible. Teens are expected to pack their own backpacks and prepare for the entire duration of the expedition. Yet, they must work together to cook food, prepare shelters, and provide for the group’s benefits.

As best as can be, the teens and their supervisors remain as cut off from society as they can until the program ends. Therapists drive out to conduct formal group sessions before leaving again until the next week. Therefore, it’s up to the instructors and staff to provide much of the ongoing therapeutic treatment.

Basecamp Wilderness Therapy

With basecamp wilderness therapy, participants have a home base that they return to once a week. Here, they can take part in more traditional therapy sessions, get a good night’s sleep in a comfortable bed, and enjoy some of the modern luxuries they’re accustomed to—showers, hot meals, and the wonders of the Internet.

During the rest of the week, though, they’re out in the wilderness completing group activities, learning survival skills, and working on their interpersonal relationships. Because they return to basecamp every week, there’s no need for them to be as self-sufficient as with a nomadic program. Yet, they’re still expected to develop healthy social skills needed to work together.

Second Nature Wilderness Family Therapy

Adventuring Wilderness Therapy

Adventuring wilderness therapy is a style that focuses on challenge and adventure. Participants are typically engaged in more strenuous activities, such as rock climbing, whitewater rafting, and skiing. The goal is to help participants push their limits and learn to cope with difficult situations.

Adventuring programs are typically shorter in duration than the other two styles of wilderness therapy. This is because the activities are more intense and require more supervision. As such, there’s less time for traditional therapy sessions.

Picking the Right Wilderness Therapy Program

The right wilderness therapy program for your teen will depend on their needs and preferences. If they’re struggling with substance abuse, anxiety, or depression for example, a nomadic program may be best. For others, a basecamp program that includes traditional therapy sessions may be more beneficial.

No matter what style of wilderness therapy you choose, the goal is to help your teen grow and thrive. With the right program, they can learn the skills they need to become successful adults and manage heavy emotions, interpersonal conflict, suicidal ideation, and addiction.

Final Thoughts on Wilderness Therapy

Wilderness therapy is a beneficial approach to mental healthcare that can help your teen become a successful adult. Although there are three main styles of wilderness therapy, each offers its own benefits, and the right program could help your teen overcome ongoing mental illness.

The Lingering Effects of COVID-19 on Students

For the most part, it seems as if the COVID-19 pandemic has reached its conclusion. Yet, many of its effects are still visible throughout the nation. While doctors may talk about long-term COVID symptoms, educators have noticed a sizeable difference in their students after returning from online classes. Mainly, their test scores are down, and their grades are suffering.

After more than a year of studying online, it seems as if students have forgotten how to learn in a real-world environment. Second Nature Utah reviews the lingering consequences of COVID and how a necessary shift away from traditional learning styles may have caused some damage to many students’ grades.

Second Nature Utah Reviews

Test Scores are Statistically Lower on Average

According to data collected by the Brookings Institute, national math scores are down between 0.20 and 0.27 standard deviations among the nation’s primary and middle school students. Although these two numbers may seem relatively small, they are actually quite large when considering the distribution of test scores. This data suggests that, on average, COVID-19 has caused students’ scores to drop more than any event in recent history.

In addition to lower test scores, many students are also struggling to maintain good grades in their classes. High schools in Houston, Texas reported a major increase in the number of students earning at least one F grade during the fall of 2020, up to nearly 50%. Since returning to school, though, their grades have not improved.

Now, many high school students worry that they’ll be unable to attend colleges or universities because they’re under-prepared and unable to take the SAT, ACT, or any other standardized test used to place incoming students.

Second Nature Utah Reviews

Low-Income and Minority Children Continue to Suffer the Worst

During the pandemic, it became excruciatingly clear that demographic differences were affecting lower-income and minority children’s ability to study online. According to a report from the American Educational Research Association, Hispanic and Black students were less likely to have access to a computer at home, compared to nearly 95% of White students.

This difference in access to technology meant that many students were unable to attend online classes, complete assignments, or take part in necessary activities to succeed in school. Resultingly, their grades have suffered tremendously. In fact, Hispanic and Black students were more likely to receive an F grade in at least one class and they were also more likely to have their GPAs dip below a 2.0.

What’s more, these students are also less likely to have access to the resources they need to improve their grades. For example, they’re less likely to have a tutor, or to be able to afford one. This perfect storm of factors has resulted in Hispanic and Black students struggling more than any other group to overcome the setbacks of lost learning during the pandemic.

The Bottom Line

When we talk about the effects of COVID-19, it’s easy to be blinded by the economics and social politics but there’s no way to avoid the evidence that nearly two years of online classes have drastically harmed our children’s education. For now, school boards must work around the clock to reverse the losses and help underprivileged students regain their footing at school.