CANOE TRIP: Serenity in the Great Outdoors

On Friday, October 12, Turnbridge Phase I hit the water for their most recent outdoor activity: a 6-mile, 2 and ½ hour canoe trip down the scenic Housatonic River in West Cromwell, Connecticut. David Freedman is the Activities Coordinator for Phase I clients, and a member of the Turnbridge drug rehab support staff.  He is responsible for planning weekly recreational activities for the clients, including flag football games, paintball tournaments, professional sporting events and outdoor excursions.  David said these physical activities are important for a number of reasons.  It’s about “letting them know they can have a good time and hang out with friends while being sober,” Dave said.  “Sober living doesn’t mean life has to be boring with no excitement and nothing to do.” David also said there’s a team-building aspect to it that establishes a sense of camaraderie.  “When you’re in a canoe for two and a half hours with other guys in the program,you talk about life and have an opportunity to get to know one another better,” David said.  “Physical activities like that get your body moving, producing endorphins, and you feel good.” These recreational activities are also about experiences, helping clients form new memories and new experiences outside of their comfort zones.  David said, “It’s important for these clients, who came from different parts of the country, to have new experiences.”  A few of the clients on this week’s outdoor recreational trip had never canoed before, and two of the guys fell overboard. Dale, a Phase I client at Turnbridge drug rehab for the last four weeks, was one of the clients who had never canoed before.  He said the trip was “really cool, with pretty good sight-seeing, and he enjoyed it a lot…if you get the chance to do it, go ahead and do it.” Recreational activities in November for Phase I clients include a flag football game against Phase II followed by Bridgeport Sound Tigers hockey game.  David has also planned a day trip to Boston, MA for Phase II and an NBA game in New York City for Phase III clients.