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Riverside boys get muddy in Savage Dash

The Riverside boys got the chance to participate in the Savage Dash (AKA Mud run) held in Spooner, Wisconsin over the weekend. The Dash is a 5K run that features various muddy obstacles and lots of fun throughout the course. As the residents at Passage move through our treatment programs, they have many opportunities for growth. When the kids do especially well, they earn special privileges, like participating in public events like the Savage Dash. Two of our boys, Carlos and Garret, have earned this opportunity and were able to compete over the weekend. Carlos and Garret have have done a great job in showing respect for themselves and others and they are willing to participate in all activities in the program. Well done guys! One of their staff members, Xavier, ran alongside them throughout the race. Garret finished strong coming in sixth overall, but all three who competed had a great time and were covered in mud by the end of it. Two other boys, Holden and Mathanial, also had an opportunity to partake in the festivities – they stood on the sidelines cheering on their peers and capturing the event through the lens of cameras. Mike Brown, Riverside Supervising Staff Northwest Passage thinks community is important and we incorporate this into our programs. We like to get the residents participating in community events to show them

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Prairieview harvests a healthy snack

The ladies at Prairieview started a garden this spring and they just harvested the fruits, or should we say vegetables, of their labor.  The girls were able to harvest some fresh green beans, cucumbers, zucchini, and broccoli, giving them organic and fresh produce to serve for their evening snack. They also grated up some zucchini and froze it to make bread, cake, and other goodies over the fall and winter. The peppermint, spearmint and chamomile should be ready soon for the group to make a calming tea after they are harvested. After gaining this gardening experience, the group may also try experimenting with growing hoops this fall. Tracey Mofle, Prairieview Weekend Primary Staff Growing and harvesting a garden teaches the residents of Northwest Passage many things. It teaches them a respect for the environment and shows them where their food comes from. It teaches them to care and nurture the plants.  It gets them eating healthy. It teaches them to work together to reach a goal.

Girls finish strong in 5K

Three Prairieview girls participated in the third annual Webster Education Foundation 5K on Saturday, August 8. The Webster Education Foundation funds enrichment projects in Webster that enhance educational programs; it was a great event for the girls to participate in! Week after week, the three girls got up earlier than any of their peers in order to train for the event. They started the race at the Webster High School at 8 a.m. on Saturday morning and each of them finished in the top of their age groups. Ndolo (No. 169) finished first in her age group, Alexis (No. 170) finished second in her age group, and Lydia (No. 173) finished second in her age group. They showed dedication in both training and participating. Several members of the staff ran alongside the girls while others greeted them at the finish line, supporting them every step of the way. Physical activity is a priority at all Northwest Passage programs because regular physical activity is not only good for the kids’ bones and muscles, but it also helps to reduce feelings of depression and anxiety and promote overall psychological well-being.

Prairieview goes to Namekagon River on photojournalism assignment

On July 25, a group of four young girls from Northwest Passage Prairieview hiked down to Schaefer Cabin for a day of recreation and relaxation. Schaefer Cabin, is tucked away in the woods sitting above the Namekagon River. The rustic log cabin, large grass yard, cozy fire pit area, and alluring forests surrounding this region makes it an ideal place to find privacy and peace. (Schaefer Cabin is in the process of being renovated to become a retreat center for residents at Northwest Passage.) On this day, the girls were there to play by the river, but they also had their first photojournalism assignment. Meet, interview, and photograph Branda Thwaits. Park Ranger Branda arrived shortly after the girls finished their picnic lunch. Branda stepped out of her truck with her inviting smile, hopeful eyes, and bright voice. She works as a ranger for the National Park Service and is considered to be an ambassador to the local river ways. She is a brilliant planner with a knack for connecting groups of people with positive experiences on the Wisconsin rivers. Branda brought along her mucking tools, and together we gathered on the shoreline of the Namekagon River to explore together. We began to investigate and learn about the small creatures that are usually overlooked by the paddlers and fisherman. One young

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Women of the Valley project takes girls to River Falls

On July 11, 2015, a group of seven girls from Northwest Passage Prairieview set out to meet and interview Danette Olson – their first assignment as a photojournalist team. This summer the girls at Northwest Passage will meet many women throughout the St. Croix River Valley to learn from them and try to capture their stories. This is part of a summer program connecting the youth with women who have overcome obstacles and who also advocate for the environment. Danette is a leader and inspiration in the St Croix River watershed area through her work in humanities, the arts, and conservation. The meeting place was Glen Park in River Falls, Wisconsin. The girls gathered around Danette as we stood by the Kinnickinnic River. The authentic woman standing before us shared her passion for theatre and asked the girls to embrace their imaginations and tell a story with another by giving one word at a time. Together they created some imaginative short stories. The interview included thoughtful questions designed by the girls. One observant girl from Northwest Passage noticed Danette’s necklace. She begins the interview by asking about the meaning of the symbol on the necklace. Danette explained that she got the piece of jewelry, which depicts a metallic person hanging from the leather cord, almost 21 years ago. The symbol

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Prairieview girls are introduced to solar ovens

The girls at our Prairieview program recently learned how to capture the suns UV rays, convert them into infrared rays, and use them to make food. Each girl was given a pizza box that had been donated by staff. With these boxes, the girls worked in teams to construct solar ovens using only basic materials. This activity had many benefits to the girls. They not only got to work on their team-building and communication skills, but they got to learn a new and fun way to cook, along with some fun facts: The amount of solar energy that strikes the Earth in one hour is more than enough to provide all of the Earth’s energy needs for a complete year! Solar ovens have a long standing history and are used all over the world, including places where firewood is scarce. They are a great way to make food without the use of electricity. After completing their project, they were even able to test their ovens, “roasting” marshmallows for s’mores. Brittany Bosak, Prairieview Teacher At Northwest Passage we strive to give the young men and women a well-rounded education. This includes many different and interesting things; like how to design and make solar ovens! Thank you to the staff who help make this possible.

Fun with Track and Field Day

Northwest Passage Riverside held their fourth annual Track and Field Day on Thursday, July 16. The boys at Riverside used different skills as they competed in some lighthearted events both individually and as a team, while also getting to enjoy some treats during the day. There were five teams; the blue, green, yellow, purple and pink team. Each team consisted of four or five kids and one staff member. During the events, the boys had to work together completely, using all their social and team-building skills. They had to review each challenge and figure out the best way to complete it. They used the problem solving skills they have been working diligently to improve and together came up with the best solution. They were there to help each other and always cheer on their teammates. The team activities included: two relay races, Oreo contest, golf ball toss, the obstacle course, and wet sponge dodge ball. They also had the opportunity to strive as individuals through a pie-eating contest, punt-pass-kick competition, soccer kick, 40 yard dash, and basketball shooting. These types of activities helped to keep the boys active while also reminding them of good sportsmanship. Each individual showed strengths and had something to be proud of at the end of the day. They all enjoyed themselves immensely and were given

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