Weekends begin Friday night at Mountain Valley and bring two traditional favorites: pizza and movies!
The community – both residents and staff – gathers together at 7:00 p.m. and votes for the movie choice unless, of course, it’s a soon to graduate resident’s last movie night – then they get to choose. At 7:30 p.m., we switch off the lights in Gallup’s Room 114 and cue the movie. By 10:30 p.m., it’s time to hit the hay. That’s a little later than Sunday through Thursday, but the good news is, so are the weekend wakeups!
When 9:00 a.m. on Saturday rolls around, residents awaken to the smell of hot breakfast (pancakes, waffles, eggs and bacon, toast, bagels and muffins). Groups are usually on the road for programming by 11:00 a.m. with lunches and snacks in tow. Residential staff lead all kinds of trips – sometimes it’s off to hike a challenging 4,000 footer or a lower peak in the foothills of the White Mountains, with grand views of lakes, rivers, and wilderness. Perhaps it’s mini golf and laser tag or a day on the high ropes course. Other times, we’re whitewater rafting, canoeing, or swimming. A mountain biking day at Kingdom Trails – yes, we’ve done that too! Residents at MVTC in the winter should fret not, for we frequently spend snowy weekends skiing and snowboarding at Mount Sunapee, Cannon Mountain, or Bretton Woods. In addition, there’s snow tubing, ice skating, and Dartmouth College hockey games. Go, Big Green!
Residents with a passion for exploring art, history, and science will have activities to look forward to as well. Whether it’s watching a play at The Palace Theatre in Manchester, NH, exploring the exhibits at Dartmouth College’s Hopkins Center for the Arts, or learning about local flora and fauna at the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center.
Mountain Valley recognizes that rest and relaxation are also an important part of self-care, which is why we build in down time each weekend and have the occasional at-home “spa day.”
The flexibility and variety make weekend programming an exciting part of treatment. Residents often share ideas and suggest plans, which allows us to craft purposeful programming to the specific interests of our community. It’s fun and games, for sure, but that doesn’t mean there’s no work to do. Residents are challenged to practice coping skills and tools they’ve built up, and often incorporate in vivo exposures into off-campus programming.
At Mountain Valley, we take full advantage of our weekends and usually return to campus between 5:00 and 6:00 p.m. Then it’s dinner, chores, and free time, to include karaoke, Dungeons and Dragons, Bananagrams and other enjoyable activities that involve our entire community. Residents finally settle down for the night at 10 p.m., tired from a Sunday filled with opportunities for challenge, learning, and fun!