søndag den 11. november 2012
Hi, my name is stacey and im 15 years old. I am a SUWS Idaho survivor.
I was sent there in October of 2001 and graduated three weeks later on October 31. A day later I arrived at Mount Bachelor Academy in Oregon.
I had an ok experience with suws. It is a very unique program. The first night you arrive you are placed in a group with about 7-9 other kids boys and girls and two instructors are assigned to each group.
On the first week you cannot talk to anyone in your group not even the instructors unless you are spoken to. you are given assignments to put up traps,make a bow drill set and other outdoorish things. Each group is assgined to a "Field Supervisor" who is the one person in contact with the parents or guardians of every kid in the group.
On the second week this person come and visits the group at whatever site they happen to be at that day. he has a one hour session with each kid individually. On the first night of the second week we get moved up into "family phase" where you are allowed to talk to your peers and actually get to sit by the fire to eat your dinner with everyone else as opposed to sitting by yourself in the cold eating near your sleeping bag. The menu consists of oatmeal with no flavoring for breakfast, one slice of pita bread with peanut butter on it for lunch and rice and lentils for dinner. If every bite is not eaten you receive a consequence like staying in the desert for an extra week.
At the end of the first week we all went on solo, which is where we go out into a huge field and all get assigned to a tent which is very secluded from the tents of the other kids. for three days straight you stay in your tent and dont leave it unless it is to use the bathroom the instructors will bring you yuor food without speaking to you and if you have your 3 traps set up you get rewarded with a loaf of bread ( which is heaven, when you havent seen anything edible for 2 weeks)The third week you become the search and rescue team of the desert and are supposedly officialy "on call". We do cpr training and other emergency training.
About two days before we are supposed to leave we get a call on the radio saying that there are two runaways from another group and we have to k=hike out into the desert to find them when we do there is one girl laying on the floor complaing of a hurt skull we do everything we are trained to do and then at the end we are told that it is a simulation and we did very well. Every single person from my suws group went on to a emotional growth boarding school including me.
What made the program so hard was probably the conditions in which we were living and the fact that we had no contact with our family except for 2 letters at the most. We hiked about 3-7 miles a day which was extremely difficult when your carrying a 70 lbs pack on your back and only weigh 100 lbs.It didnt help that the instructors were hostile and uncaring and most of the kids are completely depressed and sinical about everything. For the most part i would say it was a good experience for me and it was definetly a rude awakening but i wouldnt wish it upon my worst enemy and would die before having to repeat it myself.
Gregory Owen Jones and Rocco Magliozzi who never made it home from SUWS but died during their stay at this wilderness program.