Grampians WASP life change program to launch

A GROUNDBREAKING life change program for young people will launch in the Grampians this month.

The Wilderness Adventure Survival Program – WASP – is targeted at people aged 12 to 20 and uses adventure therapy to help them uncover pain and frustration and learn constructive ways to cope, in a safe, supportive environment.

Horsham-based program development co-ordinator Brendan Scale said the one-week program from October 30 to November 3 would eliminate the need to send young people away from the Wimmera to access support.

“Historically, young people would have to go interstate, but this is an opportunity to help them in our own backyard,” he said.

“There has been a need for this for many years, not least because sending people interstate is costly.

“The Grampians program is a one-off at this stage, but we’re hoping it could lead to more things.”

NSW-based Delhuntie Youth Care – which Mr Scale’s parents established – will run the program.

Mr Scale has worked in the Wimmera for about 15 years. His work has included developing Wimmera Drug Action Taskforce and the Knowledge is Power school-based drug education program.

He said the WASP combined the fun and thrill of being outdoors with the therapeutic changes young people needed to overcome issues they faced.

“It could be dealing with the regular things teenagers go through, or it might be more serious things like questioning their self-worth,” he said.

“As part of the program we get them to write some of the struggles they’ve faced on an old junk car.

“Then we give them a sledgehammer and they can release their frustrations.

“It helps them to see they are not defined by those things, and they can move forward.”

Mr Scale said ensuring participants were linked with services and support were crucial elements of the program.

He said people could call him on 0448 816 695 for more information.