Veterans Exploring Together (VET) is a program focused on connection. Connection to each other and connection to nature. These connections help improve the quality of life of the veterans we serve.
The Goal of the Special Liberty Nature-Based Wellness Retreats is to help Gold Star Widows and Gold Star Mothers adjust and thrive as they live their life after trauma or loss.
Special Liberty Project’s Series of Equine Retreats for Veteran Spouses (SERVS) Program provides monthly sessions for spouses of veterans focused on connection with self, peers and horses.
The Mini Acts of Kindness Program (MAK) is a way that The Special Liberty Project is able to connect to veterans and veteran families who are not able to come to the farm due to various limitations.
Every month veterans join together with their brothers and sisters in arms to explore picturesque landscapes to hike, camp, fish, hunt, climb, raft and more, while talking about everything under the moon. Countless studies and research have consistently shown that regular exercise in the form of hiking, not only improves our overall health and fitness, but lengthens and improves the quality of our lives.
We teach skills such as yoga, meditation, and mindfulness exercises to give participants the tools to lower anxiety and boost confidence. Each 4 day, 3 night retreat focuses on three areas daily.
- Participating in a physical activity in nature, such as yoga, equine activities, or hiking.
- Learning a new coping mechanism or tool to help with emotional wellness, such as journaling or meditation.
- Learning a “new” lost life skill focused on mindfulness, such as knitting, baking or pottery.
The Program is guided by SLP’s trained staff, a social worker and our specially trained Healing Herd of Horses. SLP is based on the foundation that healing and growth can come from nature, from seeing something bigger than ourselves. SERVS takes place outside in nature focused on non-riding, trust-building activities. Each session promotes a variety of mental health and wellness practices, coping skills and support. SLP believes deep connection and ongoing support is key to providing healthy, happy, purpose-filled lives. These sessions are intimate, only allowing up to 10 participants. By keeping the sessions intimate, deep connection is established, which creates a greater lasting impact.
With the help of our miniature horse partners, the MAK program is able to reach those who are especially vulnerable to isolation and loneliness. Many studies have proven that animal interaction boosts mood, reduces loneliness, can lower heart rate, and reduce stress. The novelty of the use of equines allows the MAK program to draw in more individuals as they instill curiosity and playfulness in the participants.