The innovative In a New Light project, based in Spooner, Wisconsin, is the subject of a segment that will be aired at 8 p.m. tonight on Wisconsin Public Television. You can watch the entire video below, which was filmed at the Sandrock Cliffs area along the river near Grantsburg.
The show explains that In a New Light helps young people troubled by drugs, alcohol, mental health issues, and other problems find “hope and a fresh start.” It got its start in, on and along the Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway – it has grown to send participants to Yellowstone and Rocky Mountain National Parks. In a New Light has been funded by the National Parks Foundation.
Teacher Benjamin Thwaits says the program has been successful beyond his expectations, helping young people learn to express themselves, and experience the “inherent therapeutic benefit of nature.” He says it gives confidence and hope to kids who have given up, “Most of these young men and women have never been recognized for something positive. The only recognition they’ve gotten is for something they’ve done wrong.”
Thwaits points out that some of the traits common to kids who come to the Northwest Passage treatment center are the same qualities found in great artists: they are risk-takers, sensation seekers, and don’t respect convention.