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Benefits of Outdoor Recreation at Wolf Creek Academy

A faith-based therapeutic boarding school, Wolf Creek Academy instills character, integrity, responsibility and accountability, all while giving your struggling teenager the opportunity to achieve a quality education. We also believe that it’s really important to ‘get off the porch’ and enjoy the benefits of the great outdoors.  Give us a call to learn about our adventure therapy activities at Wolf Creek Academy in scenic NC.  (877) 477-9653 

Benefits of Outdoor Recreation

Experts say that outdoor learning is quite beneficial to students because it makes them healthier and happier, and they do better academically. The various benefits include: 1

  1. Students who get to experience an outdoor learning environment tend to be more attentive and, therefore, have a better recollection of the information that was shared.

  1. Consistent exposure to nature decreases stress and anxiety, helps elevate mood, and helps with emotion.

  1. Children often have too much exposure to digital screens via televisions, computers, and cell phones. This can result in a “nature deficit disorder,” which may lead to obesity and possible psychological and academic issues. Outdoor learning allows students to put their focus back on nature.

  1. Outdoor environments naturally inspire children to be more physically active.

  1. Exposure to bright sunlight found in nature is also healthy for vision. Bright sunlight is necessary for the eyes to develop properly, lowering the risk of nearsightedness.

  1. In outdoor settings, children are more motivated to work together in groups, which can improve their social skills. They learn to manage conflicts, communicate, and cooperate with their peers in a more effective manner.

  1. Outdoor learning provides children with hands-on experiences in nature. Most children learn better by using their senses. Outdoor environments provide the perfect place to do this. Instead of viewing different types of plants or wildlife on a computer or TV screen, they can see, smell, hear, and touch them in nature. Students can even start a garden and grow fruits and vegetables, which may have them wanting to sample their harvest. These hands-on experiences cultivate a love of nature and get them.1

Outdoor education and play support emotional, behavioral and intellectual development. Studies have shown that students who learn outdoors develop: a sense of self, independence, confidence, creativity, decision-making and problem-solving skills, empathy towards others, motor skills, self-discipline and initiative. 2

Learning outdoors is active and increases students’ physical, mental and social health. Some studies have even shown follow-up (e.g., non-school) physical activity increases with outdoor learning. Access to nature has also been shown to decrease the symptoms of ADHD. Outdoor learning and access to nature also decrease stress levels of students and teachers. 2

A number of studies have documented increased school performance through outdoor education. Research has document increased standardized test scores, enhanced attitude about school, improved in-school behavior, improved attendance and overall enhanced student achievement when students learn in and about nature.

In addition, outdoor education effectively employs a greater range of children’s intelligences. Many researchers contribute the increase in performance to increased relevance and hands-on experience of learning outdoors.  2

Outdoor Exploration and Learning at Wolf Creek Academy

Adventure therapy at Wolf Creek provides a therapeutic context in the midst of an indoor or outdoor activity where our students are given opportunities to implement what they have been learning in individual and group counseling.

At Wolf Creek, experiencing therapeutic adventure together is not only great for the spirit but also great for bonding as a team and with our therapeutic program staff. Experiential learning opens doors for more self-discovery to take place.

Wolf Creek Academy is located in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina. Students ages 13-17 live on campus and attend school year-round. Our lodges are comfortable yet rustic mountain lodges. However, the emphasis is not on staying inside, it is on getting outside and off the porch. Our grounds have large open grass fields where students play soccer, whiffle ball, kickball, frisbee, lacrosse and a variety of other games.

There are volleyball and basketball courts, as well as Gaga ball pits. Students can swim, fish, or relax on a float in our ponds on sunny afternoons or ride down hills on sleds in the winter. Our location makes it possible for year-round outdoor fun on and off-campus with ski resorts, the Appalachian Trail, waterfalls and national parks all within minutes of Wolf Creek Academy school for troubled teens!

Find Help Now at Wolf Creek Academy

So many teens have lost sight of a clear and positive future, but we see so many reach for their highest potential when given the tools and education to do so. Please call Wolf Creek Academy at (877) 477-9653 if you are ready to see your struggling child develop into a successful young adult.




1 https://www.learningliftoff.com/the-surprising-benefits-of-outdoor-learning/

2 https://www.uwsp.edu/cnr-ap/leaf/school-grounds/documents/outdoor%20education%20research%20for%20school%20Grounds.pdf