Contact us Monday through Friday 8:00am CST to 4:30pm CST at 715-327-4402

18th Annual Passage Scramble a Success!

Sunny skies and perfect temperatures led to a great turnout for the 18th Annual Passage Golf Scramble, themed “Around the World in 18 Holes”. Frederic Golf Course was a busy place as 32 teams readied for the Noon shotgun start at the course’s largest tournament of the season. The event was a huge success with dozens of community members and organizations stepping up to raise over $17,000 to support Northwest Passage’s Alumni Award Fund. Northwest Passage has been dedicated to restoring hope though innovative mental health services for children and families for over 40 years. The money raised will be used to support both current and past residents who demonstrate success on their road to recovery.

First Place Team: Rusty, Marcus, Matt, and Travis Helland

Teams enjoyed a delicious meal of international-themed cuisine as they listened to Northwest Passage Alumni speaker, Jade, explain how her time at Northwest Passage has shaped her future. Jade was the recipient of a camera through the Alumni Award Fund and explained how that gift has allowed her to connect with positive role models and mentors in her community. As Jade heads off to college this fall, she expressed gratitude to everyone who came out to support kids, like her, as they work to improve their futures.

The first place prize of $300 was awarded to Team Helland, consisting of father Rusty, and sons Marcus, Matt, and Travis Helland, and was graciously donated back to the Alumni Award Fund. Though there were undoubtedly many shots to cheer for on the course throughout the day, none compared to Ethan Alexander’s hole-in-one on #9. Ethan, a recent graduate of Frederic High School, was awarded a GoPro courtesy of Larsen Auto Center of Frederic for his effort.

Ethan Alexander scored a hole-in-one on hole 9

The day ended with dozens of valuable prizes, including a big-screen TV, golf equipment from TaylorMade, Callaway and Ping, a gas grill, Adirondack chairs, weekend stay & play packages, and much more being awarded to lucky raffle winners. Northwest Passage would like to thank their many sponsors and prize donors for contributing to the success of the 18th Annual Passage Scramble.

Healing in the Riverway

PROFESSIONAL ARTISTS ANDREW WALSH, JAMES NETZ, AND KAREEN KING INSPIRE CREATIVITY IN RESIDENTS

The In a New Light Gallery was alive with excitement on August 10, 2019 as nearly one hundred Northwest Passage residents, staff, and supporters gathered to celebrate the conclusion of their fourth Artist-in-Residence (AiR) Season titled “Healing in the Riverway”. The AiR program was developed to provide a therapeutic experience with art for the youth of Northwest Passage. Each summer professional artists are welcomed to historic Schaefer Cabin on the Namekagon River to share their talents and philosophies with young people struggling with mental health issues.

This summer the kids spent two weeks in June with returning artist and professional photographer, Andrew Walsh. Andrew came from Portland, OR to lead the kids in nature photography and create unique double exposure portraits of each photographer, merging their image with a natural element that holds meaning for them, creating wonderful and unique works of art. The kids then spent two weeks with professional nature photographer James Netz, a local artist who splits time between the Twin Cities and Hayward. James is passionate about the outdoors and capturing its beauty and was able to inspire the kids to use their cameras to see nature as art. The final artist to visit Northwest Passage was Registered Drama Therapist, Kareen King from Osage City, KS. Using artistic modalities like storytelling, poetry, creative expression, metaphorical exercises, music, and improvisation, Kareen helped the kids capture their thoughts and feelings in written biographies and reflections, and vocalize their experiences through song and spoken word performances.

The unique resident portraits and photographs will be on display at the In a New Light Gallery, located at 7417 N Bass Lake Road in Webster, through September 2019. Admission to the gallery is free and open to the public M-F from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. For more information about Northwest Passage, please call 715-327-4402 or visit nwpltd.org.

This program was supported in part by grants from the Wisconsin Arts Board, National Endowment for the Arts, Arts Midwest Touring Fund, and the St. Croix Valley Foundation.

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The Compassionate Hallway

Courthouse Corridor Features Inspiring NWP Images

The main hallway of the Polk County Courthouse has recently taken on a new look. A variety of breathtaking photographs now adorn the walls thanks to a partnership between Polk County Judge Jeff Anderson and Northwest Passage. The two joined forces to create the “Compassionate Hallway”, a project Judge Anderson has been pondering for nearly four years. The goal of the “Compassionate Hallway” is to help calm the setting for those undergoing some of the most stressful and emotionally challenging moments of their lives. Whether a victim or a defendant, a witness or divorcee, a family member of someone affected or the child of someone undergoing a stressful situation, many find themselves forced to wait in the hallway outside the three courtrooms with little to look at other than other anxious faces or the commercial shade of neutral beige that covers the length of the hallway. The “Compassionate Hallway” project turned the long hallway into a stage for a display of photographs from around the world.

 

Julie Hall, Development and Communications Director, said “When Judge Anderson contacted Northwest Passage to be part of the Compassionate Hallway project it was a natural fit. His desire to create a space to offer inspiration and encouragement in the courthouse building closely aligns with Northwest Passage’s mission of restoring hope to those we serve. We’re happy to have been a part of making Judge Anderson’s vision a reality”.

 

Northwest Passage’s success is due in large part to its high-impact experiential programming. They have implemented a powerful therapeutic arts program, In a New Light, and showcase their residents’ inspiring artwork to the public at the one-of-a-kind In a New Light Gallery in Webster, WI. 

 

Funded with private donations and grants, the In a New Light program has provided an opportunity for Northwest Passage’s youth to travel around the country, and even internationally, capturing amazing sunsets, beautiful wildlife and serene wilderness scenes with their cameras. Along the way, many also captured parts of themselves that were otherwise out of reach.

 

Mark Elliott, Executive Director, said “Many of our kids’ lives have been defined by their mistakes, they’ve never received positive feedback or acknowledgment for the good things they’ve done. When they take a photograph they can be proud of, then see that photograph displayed to the public and be so well received, it has the potential to tap into feelings they may have never experienced. Feelings like pride, self-confidence, and acceptance. That can be a defining moment in the lives of our kids”.

 

The Compassionate Hallway features 70 of these inspirational photographs, each including a reflection, portrait, and biography of the photographer. The Compassionate Hallway is open to the public during regular business hours at the Polk County Court House. 

Your support helps fund In a New Light programming and projects like the “Compassionate Hallway”!

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Spring Break with Sasquatch!

Bigfoot spotted at Riverside campus!

Most kids get a week off school for spring break, and the kids of Northwest Passage’s Riverside program were able to enjoy some fun as well. The theme for the week was “BIGFOOT” and our residents were able to incorporate the theme into many areas of their day.

School lessons for the week focused on the lore of Bigfoot and discussions supporting both views of this mythical creature. The kids watched Monster Quest episodes from the History Channel and other educational documentaries to learn about the various sightings and scientific evidence both supporting and refuting the existence of Bigfoot. The kids made and decorated Bigfoot cutout cookies in Culinary Arts class and enjoyed Bigfoot coloring pages, word searches, connect the dots, and math problems.

Expressive Arts offered the boys a chance to create custom fit cardboard Bigfoot slippers. They also embarked on a Bigfoot photography field trip expedition, set up a trail camera on the peninsula to try to catch the elusive Sasquatch on film, and played Bigfoot Bingo with custom playing cards.

The week culminated with the Bigfoot Dash. The kids strapped on their cardboard Bigfoot slippers and took turns running a timed obstacle course. There were a lot of laughs as the boys navigated the challenges of running with big feet! There were no losers, however, as each runner was rewarded with a Bigfoot cutout cookie at the end of the race. The week of fun concluded on Friday night with popcorn and a movie – “Harry and the Hendersons” of course!

The Bigfoot Dash

Step 1: Ready, set, GO!

Step 3: Tap the pole 5 times!

Step 5: Hide like Bigfoot!

Step 7: Hit the garden gnomes with a raw egg!

Step 9: Get the rubber chicken in the hole!

Step 2: Jump the hurdle!

Step 4: HOWL like Bigfoot!

Step 6: Clear another hurdle!

Step 8: Hula-Hoop 5 times!

Step 10: Enjoy a Bigfoot cookie!

Under the Surface Collection Makes an Impact

A selection of iconic photographs from Northwest Passage’s “Under the Surface” collection recently inspired visitors to the Dwight Foster Public Library in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. The exhibit, entitled “Under the Surface”, hung in the library from March 1 to April 1, 2019, and was one of the most attended exhibits held in the library’s history. Anne Moser, librarian for the Wisconsin Water Library at UW-Madison, held a talk on March 9 entitled “Great Lakes Challenges and Opportunities”  as a compliment to the underwater photography on display.

Many library visitors felt compelled to write to the artists and share their thoughts and interpretations of the exhibit.

Wow! Absolutely gorgeous and inspiring. I hope you give yourselves credit not only for your talent but for the courage it takes to be vulnerable enough to share yourself with others in this way. Thank you for touching my heart today, and best wishes to you all.

Nichole

Visitor, Dwight Foster Public Library

This exhibit took my breath away. What a fantastic program! I am blown away by how these kids have overcome pain and hardship and channeled emotions and experiences into creating great art. Thank you for sharing!

Yoyi

Visitor, Dwight Foster Public Library

Amazing photos. So very proud of these young artists, not only for their photos but for the difficult changes they are making in their lives. Wonderful program!

Pat

Visitor, Dwight Foster Public Library

I am the librarian responsible for bringing exhibits to our library. This exhibit generated the most comments – all positive – of any exhibit we have had in the past 8 years. People loved the subject and quality of the photos. They were moved by statements of the students. They were happy to hear about the great program that produced the exhibit. Kudos to all.

Amy Lutzke

Assistant Director/Reference, Dwight Foster Public Library

The Dwight Foster Public Library has a long and interesting history and operates in its second century with a proud record of achievement. Since its inception in 1890, the library has added greatly to the quality of the cultural life of its community with a constantly expanding variety of educational and informative materials and services including a community space to showcase art, like that of Northwest Passage residents, that addresses environmental and mental health issues.

Meet Dr. Jennifer Olson

Dr. Jennifer Olson, PSY.D.

Dr. Jennifer Olson, PSY.D.

Pediatric Neuropsychologist

Northwest Passage is pleased to welcome Dr. Jennifer Endre Olson, Psy.D. to the clinical team at our Prairieview campus. Dr. Olson holds a doctoral degree in Clinical Child Psychology with a specialization in child and adolescent psychopathology. She received intensive training in pediatric psychology, developmental psychopathology, and neuropsychology while at LaRabida Children’s Hospital and the University of Chicago. She completed her post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Chicago with Catherine Lord, Ph.D., widely recognized as the foremost authority in the early diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders. At LaRabida, she became a certified independent trainer on the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS, ADOS-2, and ADOS-T) and the Autism Diagnostic Interview (ADI-R). Through continued association with Dr. Lord, the University of Michigan and Boston Children’s Hospital, Dr. Olson solidified her own sub-specialty on the diagnosis of autism. Now internationally recognized herself, Dr. Olson has spent much of the past two decades teaching and training others about assessment and the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders. With this expertise, she has conducted hundreds of clinical and research trainings across five continents and in more than two dozen countries.

Dr. Olson was recognized in British Columbia, Canada in 2006 with an Award for Service to the Autism Community and again in 2008 with an Education Award as part of the British Columbia Autism Assessment Network (BCAAN) for her work setting up a training-based, province-wide network of diagnostic services and recurring refresher education programs.

In addition to clinical practice, Dr. Olson’s expertise has facilitated involvement in a number of longitudinal genetic and epidemiological studies on Autism Spectrum Disorders, including

  • the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) Pathways in ASD Project, one of the largest and longest-running longitudinal studies of the development of young children and adolescents with ASD,
  • the Epilepsy Phenome Genome Project, a genetic study evaluating de novo mutations in children with epileptic encephalopathies;
  • the Simons Simplex Collection (SSC), a core project of the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) that established the first permanent repository of genetic samples from 2,600 simplex families and
  • the Simons Variation Individuals Project which probed phenotypic variation, and in particular the phenotypic expression of individuals with a deletion or duplication of chromosomal segment 16p11.2.

Additionally, Dr. Olson holds positions as a visiting instructor at the University of British Columbia, and Ovspring Developmental Clinic, Singapore. She has also served as adjunct professor at both Ball State University and the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. 

Dr. Olson continues to pursue clinical research interests related to the assessment of Autism Spectrum Disorders in diverse populations, particularly in developing countries such as India where, as a co-project lead of PICAN, the Provincial Autism Resource Center Indo-Canada Autism Network, she maintains a clinical/research Autism Training Autism Network.

Dr. Olson’s motivation for doing her work is to understand the complexity of each child, help them to believe in themselves, realize their strengths and appreciate their resiliency.

Meet Dr. Michael Woodin

Dr. Michael Woodin, PH.D.

Dr. Michael Woodin, PH.D.

Pediatric Neuropsychologist

Northwest Passage is pleased to welcome Dr. Michael Woodin, Ph.D. to the clinical team at our Prairieview campus. Dr. Woodin’s strong background in pediatric neuropsychological assessment and intervention makes him a welcome member of the team. In addition to his neuropsychological background, Dr. Woodin formerly served as a Graduate Program Director and Clinical Professor at Miami University where he focused on courses in psychological assessment, evidence-based interventions, collaboration with educational and medical professionals, neurodevelopmental disorders, and teacher education. While working in higher education, Dr. Woodin actively worked as a neuropsychologist in service to urban and rural school districts providing direct service and consultation to teachers, administrators, students, and their families. He was comfortable providing services in the schools as he previously worked as a teacher, English Department Head, and Special Educational Administrator.

Dr. Woodin is an expert in neurodevelopmental disorders who has authored current books on brain research, childhood development, assessment, clinical case studies, and special education. He has conducted and published neuropsychological research in the areas of behavioral genetics, neurocognitive phenotypes, the 22q11.2 microdeletion syndrome, attention, executive functioning, working memory, giftedness, anxiety, and evidence-based interventions for use in school and clinical settings.

Before joining Northwest Passage, Dr. Woodin worked as a pediatric neuropsychologist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the Rush-Presbyterian Medical Center in Chicago, and in private practice. He received his training in Pediatric Psychology, Pediatric Neuropsychology, assessment, and therapy through the Children’s Seashore House and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia where he completed his residency. He also completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in Pediatric Neuropsychology at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center in Philadelphia where he was part of a team that completed groundbreaking research on the neuropsychological profile of children with velocardiofacial syndrome, a genetic condition that has links to schizophrenia, mental health concerns, and childhood problems with social cognition. 

Dr. Woodin has consulted at the state and national levels and worked extensively with public, private, and charter schools to effect positive change for students, staff, and parents. He spent several years as a teacher and administrator for a private and residential summer school program in Vermont for individuals with learning disabilities. Dr. Woodin has presented at international, national, and state conferences and has actively trained professionals such as psychologists, teachers, administrators, and graduate students.

Dr. Woodin is proud to be married to Teresa, his wife of 23 years and to be the father of his two teenage sons, Connor and Brendan. Dr. Woodin is thrilled to work with the children and teens who come to Northwest Passage by giving them a great overall assessment, finding their strengths as well as identifying their weaknesses, and helping them to move forward and live a life worth living.

Valentine’s Day Love

KIDS FIND MEANING IN MESSAGES OF SUPPORT AND HOPE

In mid-January, we mailed blank cards to our supporters and asked them to fill those cards with messages of support and hope for our kids to receive on Valentine’s Day. The response was overwhelming and we received 180 personal and inspirational messages to share with the residents of Northwest Passage.

Being away from home is hard on the best of days, but can be particularly lonely on a holiday. These messages let the kids know there are people out there who are thinking of them, supporting them and believe they can overcome their current challenges. The messages received were impactful for our residents and they were very grateful for those who took the time to think of them on Valentine’s Day.

Thank you so much. Thanks for believing in me when no one else did.

Kaleb, 12

Happy Valentine’s Day! Thank you so much for the card. It was one of the best parts of my day, receiving such a positive message and motivating one as well. It helps a lot knowing there is someone out there acknowledging my progress and who cares about us!

Anonymous

I am a resident at Northwest Passage Riverside. I have received Valentine’s cards from you and I just want to say thank you for your generosity and kindness. It’s nice to know that there are people out in the world that care. You are really doing a great thing with writing these cards because there are people that don’t get anything. Thank you very much!

Jayden, 16

Happy Valentine’s Day! I really liked your cards. They were really heartwarming. You made my whole day. This kind of stuff makes me want to just go an extra mile here at Passage. Thank you for all of the support.

Anonymous

Our residents felt moved to write these messages of thanks after receiving their Valentine’s cards. These simple acts of kindness had a profound effect on those who received the cards and provided the kids with motivation to continue their hard work at Northwest Passage. Thank you!

Creating positive and supportive relationships fits into the Northwest Passage philosophy of living a therapeutic lifestyle every day. Read more about the eight elements at http://nwpltd.org/passageway/.

2018 Equine Assisted Roundup

EQUINE THERAPY OFFERS A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY FOR HEALING

2018 marked the first year that both of Northwest Passage’s treatment programs – Riverside and Prairieview – had their own dedicated Equine Assisted Growth and Learning teams located directly on their campuses! Kayla Rinkel, LMFT led the herd at the Riverside campus and Angela Fredrickson, LCSW coordinated the intervention at the Prairieview campus. 

Each child residing at Riverside during the summer was engaged in equine assisted psychotherapy. The team was able to incorporate equine learning into every Dialectical Behavioral Therapy skills group. The Alcohol and Other Drug Addiction group went to the arena to practice avoiding temptations and work on building stable foundations for living back in the community. Riverside residents also had the opportunity to incorporate equine therapy into their individual therapy throughout the summer months. Additionally, several kids took the lead to care for the horses by cleaning the arena, feeding the horses, and making sure they had water.

At Prairieview, a trauma-focused group was piloted that the participants dubbed “Triple H – Horses, Humans, Hope”. This group utilized the collaboration of expressive arts teacher Molly Thompson and therapist Gina Lundervold-Foley to join the interventions of psychoeducation, art, and equine learning. The equine team was also available to support both individual and family therapy throughout the summer months.  In addition, this fall each treatment team in the Prairieview program had the opportunity to experience equine intervention first-hand as they engaged in team building with their co-workers. 

Of course, equine therapy could not happen without our four-legged therapy partners. Much appreciation to Angel, Dreamer, Velvet, Lienies, Cindy, Buck, Casey, Sakota, and Emma!

Please support Equine Assisted Therapy and other unique opportunities for hope and healing!

Equine Therapy incorporates many elements of the PassageWay, our guide to living a therapeutic lifestyle. In addition to providing an opportunity for recreation and relaxation in nature, horses require relationships to be built in order to trust. Learning to build trusting relationships is an important life skill and the core of our human experience.

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The Greatest Show

PRAIRIEVIEW’S TALENTED DANCE SQUAD PERFORMS FOR A FULL HOUSE

 

The energy level in the Prairieview gymnasium was high on the afternoon of December 14, 2018. You could hear a pin drop as the Razzle Dazzle Groove Squad filed in, heads bowed and hands clasped behind backs. This, however, was the only silent moment of the afternoon. Once the dancers took the floor the music, applause, and cheers of support filled the room with wonderful noise!

The performance began with four solo dances and culminated with a group dance featuring ten kids. The audience, consisting of Northwest Passage residents, staff members and family and friends of the dancers, were treated to light refreshments following the performance. The teens were enthusiastic as they greeted their fans and supporters, and the pride they had for their work was evident in the smiles on their faces.

The Razzle Dazzle Groove Squad is a group that meets on a weekly basis to promote mastery, healthy emotional release, empowerment, confidence, nonjudgmental attitude towards self and others, and self-expression through dance. Dancing is a positive outlet giving the teens a way to get more comfortable within their own skin, express their emotions and experiences within a creative condition, gain mastery, increase their self-esteem and overall positive emotions as well as offer yet another healthy exercise means. RDGS is a place where the teens can experience liberation and emotional release in a healthy and sustainable way. Through dance, the teens are given the opportunity to take ownership and to be creative in their treatment, working through challenges and healing.

RDGS operates in two 10-14 week seasons per year, balancing time with other experiential arts programs such as equine therapy and underwater photography. Northwest Passage staff members, Ashley E, Gina, Ashley V, and Molly, guide the students through song selection and choreography. The students are able to choose their own music for the solo dances, provided the song chosen is empowering and appropriate. The Razzle Dazzle Groove Squad members are Star’te, Mary, Grace, Victoria, Alex, Dmitry, Ari, Ellie, Emma, and Jade.

Membership in the Razzle Dazzle Groove Squad directly relates to the kids’ therapy in a variety of interesting ways and offers them a positive outlet for emotional and physical release. While the enjoyment and pursuit of dance as a hobby may not continue for everyone when their time at Northwest Passage comes to an end, the confidence gained and memories of enjoyment with their peers are certain to last a lifetime.

“Bless myself” by Lucy Hale: performed by Mary

“Scars to my beautiful” by Alessia Cara: performed by Grace

“Through all of it” by Colton Dixson: performed by Alex

“Salute” by Lil’ Mix: performed by Star’te

“Come Alive” from the Greatest Showman: performed by the Razzle Dazzle Groove Squad

Please support the Razzle Dazzle Groove Squad and other experiential learning at Northwest Passage!

The Razzle Dazzle Groove Squad incorporates many of the elements of the PassageWay, an approach to wellness that borrows from the wisdom of the past and combines it with current research about the importance of living a full and mindful lifestyle. We have learned that real, sustainable change occurs when our clients connect with their community, explore their identity, develop their passions, discover effective recreation opportunities, and move their bodies.

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