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Vermont State Parks Role in Recovery

As a recovery assistant at Divided Sky, I have had the opportunity to take our guests off campus. Whether it’s for an appointment, an AA/NA type meeting, a Narcan training or art exhibit, what I have enjoyed the most has been our outdoor adventure trips. Working in the therapeutic outdoor adventure field for over 16 years in Rutland County, I have taken folks ranging from preschool aged to 70+ to numerous venues. Many of those venues have been to Vermont State Parks due to their accessibility, amenities, and their beauty; however, Camp Plymouth State Park at Echo Lake has always stood out to me as being one, if not the best, park to visit. There is just so much to do on site for activities, and, in my experience, it has been the cleanest and the friendliest I have visited.

Since starting at Divided Sky, I have been able to bring five groups of adults to the park for a day trip of a few hours. The initial reason was to get some fresh air, some sunshine and to stretch our legs. What ended up happening was folks connected with each other through nature and the park itself. They experienced snow, mud, trees, crunching on ice and a moderate hike up a trail that brought us through the beautiful landscape of the winding brook that eventually flows into the lake. Our guests played frisbee, walked out on the ice, played on the playground and swings like they were in their childhood again. They dipped their hands and feet into the cold water, watched the geese land and splash around and then takeoff together. Folks were super curious about the history of the park and the older cemetery as well. Our guests at Divided Sky have experienced the park even before it will be opened for the summer. Some of our guests had never been on a frozen lake or been hiking in Vermont. Folks shouted out across the lake to hear their voice come back at them with the Echo Lake namesake in mind.

I look forward to taking more groups so they can experience all that the park has to offer in the summer and fall months. Personally, I’m really looking forward to attempting to find gold in the river with our guests. Echo Lake’s proximity to Divided Sky and the number of activities, including volleyball, fishing, and swimming is what will be drawing us back. These activities will not only serve as a physical outlet, but also a safe space in nature for meditation, mindfulness, connection and community.

Vermont State Parks have also benefitted me on a personal level as I recently celebrated 14 years in recovery.

- Brett Myhre, Recovery Assistant

Divided Sky Recovery Retreat

A rack of color canoes in front of a lake
Photo by VPF Staff, Camp Plymouth State Park


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