On Saturday, February 28, several Phase I staff members, along with all 24 of Turnbridge’s Phase I clients, got in the Suburbans and drove down to New York City for a full day of sight-seeing and recreation. The guys woke up early in the morning and arrived in the city just in time to watch the St. John’s Red Storm men’s basketball team take on the Georgetown Hoyas at Madison Square Garden. “The basketball game was a lot of fun,” says Phase I resident Stephan B. “It was really nice being able to get out and have some real life experience while in treatment.”
Recreation Coordinator Casey Olayos, who planned and went on the trip, enjoys the opportunity to give clients a little vacation from daily treatment obligations and loves to see the guys grow closer as they move along in the program. “I think having everyone together and being able to take them out and have new experiences is great,” says Casey. “Not every addiction treatment center gets to do that kind of stuff and it’s just really cool that we have that opportunity.”
After the game, the guys walked through Times Square, got a bite to eat, then headed over to the Museum of Modern Art, all while taking in the sights and sounds that New York City has to offer. Phase I client Graeme R. took advantage of the opportunity to build on the friendships he has made with other Turnbridge guys. “It was a really great experience being in New York,” says Graeme. “It was a great bonding experience for a lot of us. We got to see more of our personalities while actually out in the real world.”
Recreational activities are a fundamental aspect of the Turnbridge program. Early in sobriety, young men need to know that they can still have fun without the use of alcohol and drugs, and exciting recreational sober activities are a great way to help everyone come to that realization. Trips like the one to New York City also give clients the chance to form connections with one another, and with staff members, while having fun new life experiences.
Next month, Casey hopes to get the guys outside more often to take advantage of warmer weather. Accordingly, he has organized some hiking and rock-climbing trips, as well as more go-carts and paintballing.