The theme of fall at Red Top Meadows is community service and the importance of being a positive member of a community. The staff and residents recently returned from their Fall Wilderness Experience where our residents paired up with the Jackson Ranger District Forest Service Trail Crew to work on trails down the North Fork of Fall Creek. The ultimate goal, that we have been working on over the past few years, is to revive a multi-purpose trail that is referred to as “The Knob.” This trail will ultimately provide another option for the surrounding community to hike, trial run, mountain bike, horseback ride and hunt.
Long Draw Outfitters, working out of a hunting camp in the area had discussed, with Trail Supervisor Tim Farris, a particularly problematic section of low-lying predominately mucky trail near their low camp. As a result, this years mission was to reroute about 1/3 mile of trail out of a low wallow and to drier, higher ground on the side-hill above. Our residents camp on-site for the duration of one week to complete our work. Our crews were fortunate to find sunny afternoons of hard work to warm themselves up from frosty mornings with frozen boots. After crushing out a significant part of the reroute in the first two days, the crew spent the final days perfecting their work and closing the old trail.
This trip provides a valuable opportunity for our residents to take pride in hard work and feel like positive members of a larger community. One resident said after the trip, “I’m proud to have accomplished such a large project with all the other people that were working side by side with me. I felt part of a community when we would stop at lunch and just enjoy each other’s company, then eventually get back to work.”
Go check out their reroute before the snow falls! If you don’t get there this season don’t worry, their hard work will benefit the surrounding community for years to come.
In late February, Teton Youth and Family Services was privileged to receive a grant in honor of Robert Dellenback from the Geraldine W. and Robert J. Dellenback Foundation. The grant will be used to establish and implement the Robert J. Dellenback Scholarship Program. The scholarship will make it possible for young men struggling with behavioral, emotional and mental health issues to access services at Red Top Meadows (RTM) so that they may live healthy and constructive lives. The generosity of the Dellenbacks will allow us to develop an option for youth in need of residential care at Red Top but who may not be court ordered to the program.
Since 2011, the Bob and Dine have supported more than 30 scholarships for the Red Top Summer Wilderness Experience and attended each summer wilderness ceremony. They have heard and seen firsthand the impact the wilderness program has on re-directing and improving the children’s’ lives. And the couple loved hearing from and meeting the boys and staff, taking great pleasure in making the opportunity possible for students that would otherwise not receive help. In the course of attending the ceremonies, and talking with the staff and students, they developed a deeper understanding of the boys in our residential treatment program. They learned that when a youth demonstrates internal struggles, by acting out in school, becoming depressed, being suicidal or physically aggressive, or is in an abusive or neglectful home environment, the Department of Family Services will intervene with the judicial system and may place the child at the Van Vleck Group Home or Red Top Meadows Residential Treatment Center.
The Dellenbacks also learned that State financial concerns have begun to limit access for youth receiving the important services they need, and they wanted to help make it possible for more young men to have access to our services, including our wilderness experiences. I talked with Bob about the need for youth to access care in November 2016 and he was immediately interested in helping meet the need. Tragically he was never able to see the scholarships reach the students they will benefit, as he suddenly passed away in December. Knowing how much this meant to Bob, Dine has elected to carry out Bob’s commitment and we are honored to be able to provide treatment for young men in Bob’s memory.
The Geraldine W. and Robert J. Dellenback Foundation, Bob and Dine specifically , will make it possible for as many as four young men who have learned to not trust anyone and to constantly be on guard, to gain new perspectives on people, the world and their future which will improve the rest of their lives.
That would make Bob very happy !
Personal Finance (Modern World and You) Students learned how to be responsible shoppers in order to set themselves up for successful financial futures.
Math Geometry students used proofs to understand geometric theorems. The work was challenging but they overcame the challenges through independent practice, partner practice, and consistent feedback. They proved their skills and knowledge by scoring highly on a final exam. Algebra students learned how to read and draw graphs. They wrote stories based on graphs. The class is now moving into using the distributive property and writing equations. Pre-Algebra students translated written phrases into mathematical expressions. They used the distributive property and solved for variables in one and two step equations.
Language Arts In Language Arts class, students explored the use of poetry as a mode of expression. They found literary devices in songs and poems, read and analyzed famous poetry, and became proficient at writing multiple types of poems.
Reading Students read the novel Wonder by R. J. Palacio and started reading Auggie and Me by the same author. Following each reading session, students spent time responding to writing prompts to analyze and make connections with the text.
Science Biology students demonstrated their knowledge of meiosis by showing the stages as well as inputs and outputs using string, beads, and pipe cleaners. Next, students compared and contrasted the processes of mitosis and meiosis. They then learned the skills and vocabulary necessary to model the processes of transcription, translation, and mutations with K’Nex building toys. They demonstrated their understanding by acing a test that required them to model the processes with Twizzlers, Mike n’ Ikes, toothpicks, and Dots. Physical Science students triangulated the epicenters of earthquakes, determined their magnitude, built a seismograph to develop a scale for mock earthquakes, and used data to determine the age of rocks through radiometric dating.
Social Studies World History students researched prominent Roman figures and conducted oral presentations on their findings. The class also did an in-depth study of the Roman empire and correlated its downfall to current American political, economic, and social realities. U.S. History students researched individual mountain men involved in the western exploration of America and analyzed the role of the United States in the exploitation of lands and people spawned by the concept of Manifest Destiny
Life Literacy/Issues in Diversity Students read the graphic novel American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang and practiced finding evidence to support arguments about the text. All students participated in two Socratic Seminars, completely run by students, in which they posed questions, directed the discussion, and built on their understanding of themes within the book, their lives, and the world. For their final project, students prepared responses to discussion questions and presented their thinking in oral presentation. The class also viewed the film The Mask You Live In, which explores issues related to male stereotypes.
VISION: All students will acquire the academic, social, and behavioral skills necessary for success in school and in life.
MISSION: To increase students’ confidence as learners by providing multiple opportunities for academic, social, and behavioral success; to cultivate students’ capacity to generalize the process of learning in the classroom to learning in life; and to empower students’ ability to make and sustain positive change.
Dick Lundeen has retired after 35 years of working as a Therapist for Red Top Meadows. Over the course of 35 years Dick counseled well over two hundred and fifty young men and boys. Dick had a unique ability to connect with even the most challenging of young men. Dick was passionate about serving our population, Wyoming kids who need some guidance toward living a healthier life, and being safe, contributing members of society. During his years at RTM, Dick remained very strong in his conviction of the power and effectiveness of the Red Top approach. This approach entails caring and trusting relationships, physical activity, individual and family therapy, gaining knowledge, and wilderness experience. Dick also served as a mentor and teacher to several decades of Red Top staff. He was always willing to take the time to talk with young staff about how to work with kids, and how to take care of themselves while doing this challenging work. In the course of this mentorship Dick formed many lifelong friendships and had a profound effect on the lives of many people. Dick has given so much of his energy, spirit, and wisdom to Red Top Meadows; the kids, the staff, the facility have all benefited enormously by having Dick as a member of the community. It has been less than two months since he retired, and his presence is missed daily. We will continue on at Red Top, helping kids to become healthier, and we will carry on the traditions and work that Dick leaves behind after his many years of service.
THANK YOU DICK!
Armed with freshly printed resumes, prepared for potential interview questions, and excited to ask employers questions of their own, the students of Red Top Meadows recently took part in mock interviews with real employers from local businesses. Avery Bedford, a teacher from the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, along with Jamie Lasden, Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, worked with the teaching staff at Red Top Meadows to organize a career exploration course. The resulting course was an engaging, relevant, and comprehensive tour of finding, obtaining, and continuing employment. The course started in November and culminated with the mock interviews the last week of January. Students spent time deciding what careers and potential after school jobs would be right for them. They filled out job applications, developed resumes, found appropriate jobs, discovered who to contact for employment, and learned how to present well to employers. Prior to the mock interviews, the students took a field trip to meet with local employers and discover some potential jobs within the valley. Additionally, Avery worked individually with our high school aged students to identify goals and resources for the future. Since beginning to work with Avery, one of our students has secured a consistent volunteer position with the Animal Adoption Center. That volunteer work is providing priceless on-the-job experience. While Avery’s work with the school has wrapped up for now, she continues to work with individual high school students and fosters career and employment awareness as well as future planning.