FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
You’ve Got Questions - We’ve Got Answers
WHAT IS 'INTENTIONAL ADVENTURE'? IS THIS NATURE THERAPY?
Intentional Adventure can happy anytime, anywhere, and be done by anyone. Our goal is to help facilitate the process and make sure we can support, enhance, and integrate the experience into participant’s lives so the change lasts far beyond the experience itself.
The approach is based on the individual’s own experience, history, and goals—which we recognize are always changing over the course of a lifetime, a year, a week, even the adventure itself!
We blend a variety of methods engaging first from the power of awe, beauty, and the outdoors to do its work. We know experiencing the emotion of awe in an outdoor setting can mean a 17% reduction in overall stress and nearly a 29% reduction in PTSD symptoms, as well as increasing prosocial behaviors like increased curiosity, connection, and optimism.
We recognize there can be incredible value of exertion and exhaustion to feel good, sleep, better, and be fully present in a moment. These are all things that can often be a challenge to feel when we don’t immerse ourselves in transformational adventure.
We recognize as well that all of these experiences can bring up feelings—good and bad, that need extra attention. From our own experiences leading, guiding, and being in the outdoors, we know that too often, many of us sitting around the camp fire are not trained or equipped to help manage and engage in these emotions.
Our teams train in and use therapeutic practices that help people identify what and why they may be feeling shameful, guilty, bad, sad, or fearful about in their past and present, or even why they may be feeling anxious about the future—and work with the outdoor experience to help let that go and add in feelings of hope, positive engagement, connection and pride in one self and one’s experiences. This work will be part of the integration piece.
So, yes, time outdoors and in nature is very therapeutic, but is not always what someone is directly or primarily seeking—and we honor that by working with everyone’s intentions as they share them with us.
WHAT IS 'AT HOME ADVENTURE'?
We know you can’t always get out for a bigger trip, even in a day. And during the early lockdowns of the Covid-19 pandemic, we wanted to find a way to support our community. So we asked our friends if they’d like to come together for four days in a row and commit to some sort of hour long adventure each day before we got together. And it was amazing!
People did everything from sleeping in their sleeping bags in their living rooms or back porches, making coffee outside, hiking with their rafting gear, or even turning their trip to the grocery store, or baking bread for the first time into an adventure! Some wrote poems, sat in hammocks, watched adventure films, or pored over maps dreaming about where they’d like to go. Some spent a few hours, but most found a way to squeeze in an hour of adventure each day—and really with the first day being the ‘trail head’ it was a three-day commitment.
Just like in person adventures, we did intention setting before and integration after the event.
At first, we thought we had something that would maybe be 60-80% of the ‘real thing’. We soon realized we had something different entirely, but equally as awesome. Folks met each from around the country who may never have been able to meet face to face prior to that. People could adventure at different times, but still be together with the thought of their groups and then share their daily experiences around the ‘campfire’ on zoom. Participants joined in from all different ways of being and different physical abilities, access to the outdoors, and desires. Some even told us they hated camping but loved the adventure! Nearly all, have stayed in touch in some way, and everyone has expressed an interest in getting together in person when they can!
WHAT CAN I EXPECT ON A FACE TO FACE TRIP?
On the trip, you can expect to be physically pushed if you're interested, or to relax into the adventure. We will go over your intentions ahead of time and work to help you stay in line with them.
Every morning and every night, we will meet before embarking on that day's adventure. You are welcome to share your thoughts on the day. At the same time, there is no expectation that you will have to speak. Both your voice and your quietude are welcome!
We will ask every participant to think about why they are speaking, why they are responding to others, and to refrain whenever possible from the words, should, could, or would.
THE WEBSITE REFERENCES RESEARCH, WHERE CAN I READ IT?
Here's the link to one of the studies we reference. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2018-27538-001
And the abstract:
The power of nature to both heal and inspire awe has been noted by many great thinkers. However, no study has examined how the impact of nature on well-being and stress-related symptoms is explained by experiences of awe. In the present investigation, we examine this process in studies of extraordinary and everyday nature experiences. In Study 1, awe experienced by military veterans and youth from underserved communities while whitewater rafting, above and beyond all the other positive emotions measured, predicted changes in well-being and stress-related symptoms one week later. In Study 2, the nature experiences that undergraduate students had during their everyday lives led to more awe, which mediated the effect of nature experience on improvements in well-being. We discuss how accounting for people’s emotional experiences during outdoors activities can increase our understanding of how nature impacts people’s well-being. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)
WHAT ABOUT FOOD AND DRINK?
In most cases, we will be able to provide you food and non-alcoholic beverages, though sometimes meals will be purchased by participants. We strive at all times to ensure everyone on the trip can be as present as possible. However, we believe you are adults and can and will make adult decisions about what, and how much, you consume.
Safety, is however, paramount to the experience. If someone does overconsume and becomes a significant threat or distraction for themselves or others on the adventure, they may be asked to leave, or sit out the rest of the adventure.
In the event this does happen, this does not preclude someone from future engagement with Happy Grizzly.
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE FEE?
We’re glad you asked! The cost of your course covers the outstanding technical guiding of our partners, their logistic needs to guide our group, permitting, and insurance. It covers a partial industry standard tip for the guides above and beyond the published price. It often covers the cost of food and sometimes lodging and transportation. It also covers our team’s time, the cost of pre- and post-trip conversations with our team, as well as our team’s travel to and from the event. A smaller fraction of your trip cost goes to pay for the basic administration, marketing, insurance, and infrastructure necessary to run a business.
WHAT IF I CAN'T PAY THE RECOMMENDED PRICE?
In many cases, we will have an opportunity to let some participants pay what they can or a reduced rate. Just let us know what works for you and we will do our best to work with you to get you outdoors with us.
CAN’T I JUST DO THIS MYSELF OR WITH MY FRIENDS?
Certainly! But we believe you will get a lot out of working with our professional guides and professional staff who do this work for a living!
Many of us have benefited from time outdoors with friends and strangers alike that end up hitting on all of the things discussed throughout the website. We strongly encourage you, and will help you find the resources if we can, to go outside on your own, with your family, and friends.
Mentorship in the outdoors and further technical training is also priceless. Any adventure can be transformative! We do think however, that our staff does an incredible job elevating everyone’s experience, building teams, and allowing everyone to relax and be fully present and themselves without having to worry about putting together the logistics of a trip, facilitating conversations, or being constantly engaged. We really believe that time with us will make a significant impact in your life!
In fact, we’re also working on a mobile app based off of our experiences outdoors and at home, that will allow people to walk through our process from setting intentions, prescribing a variety of adventures, giving you discussion prompts, and even the integration. This is meant as a supplement to, introduction of, or even continuation of what you will experience with us virtually or in person.