Part of our program is run at a remote camp site in the Towoomba range named Heavenly Downs. Heavenly Downs is a 600 acre block of land that we utilise as a therapeutic back drop to healing young people with complex trauma. There are many links to literature explaining and backing how being one with nature can heal the mind, body and soul. Here in the remote location a lot of societies distractions are removed where our participants are able to focus on healing themselves with the help of professionals and the structure of the program. On the property there are 2 dams, 3 separate camping sites, walking/bike tracks, a mechanical workshop and a dwelling which at times is utilised when mother nature (the weather) is bad.
The Benefits of Nature:
It seems intuitive that we like to spend time outdoors, but science has now identified some of the reasons we actually NEED time in a more natural setting. In fact, there is a term for this, Eco therapy that refers to the various physical and psychological benefits of being outside.
A 2009 study found that the closer someone lived to a green space or nature area, the healthier that person was likely to be. In fact, those who lived closest to a park, nature preserve or wooded area were less likely to suffer from anxiety or depression.
Another study found that those who spent time hiking or resting in a forest had measurably lower cortisol rates, heart rates and blood pressure.
The University of Illinois conducted research that showed that children with ADD/ADHD experienced a reduction of symptoms after spending time outdoors (this ties in with a less well-studied theory that these disorders are at least partially “nature deficit disorders:”
The reasons above along with hours and hours of research and experience is why we consider our camp retreats key to our positive outcomes.