Veteran Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Retreats
Camp Brown Bear in Frankfort Kentucky has announced a 2021 spring retreat for female veterans. Complete with female staff and a team of several Kentucky organizations to specifically help Female Veterans suffering from PTSD and TBI recover in a peaceful, relaxing and natural setting.
This was not part of our original concept for Camp Brown Bear and the desire to move in this direction emerged by opening the camp to veterans, who crossed our paths and were suffering, and simply observing the healing hand of nature. Since March of 2016 we have hosted multiple groups of veterans with PTSD, TBI and a myriad of other combat related injuries. During the days they participate in team building exercises, receive multiple types of holistic therapy, journal, canoe and kayak and take nature walks. The evenings spent around the camp fire in conversation, bonding, building camaraderie, watching the wood burn and listening to the noises of the fire and nature. Time and time again veterans who have spent the weekend tell us they experienced the best sleep they can remember while at the retreat.
Suicide rates among veterans are reported at 22 each day and continues to increase. A post deployment risk factor is not having the camaraderie of the sisterhood; being thrown back into “normal” life with daily struggles and demands, but now with triggers and those around having the same expectations pre-deployment and naïve misunderstanding of consequential newly developed coping behaviors. The sisterhood (no matter what branch of service) coming together around Camp Brown Bear fires cannot be underestimated—no judgements—no pre-conceived expectations—being together in the present—learning how to live abundantly again.
Being a disabled Veteran suffering from PTSD and TBI I feel the most important thing veterans can take away from the retreat is how their brain and body process their trauma and why they are feeling the way they are. How every aspect of the recovery becomes more intense as the mind and body process trauma: nightmares get worse, night sweats get worse, depression gets worse, and anxiety gets worse; it’s an everyday struggle. But eventually these symptoms settle out and start to get less intense. Everyone is different, different experiences, different mental strength, different recovery time, this is not an easy road to maneuver and I think this is why we are losing so many veterans to suicide every day. It’s not talking about the past, as some would think, but learning what works to ease the symptoms, being in the present, and looking to the future, while the central nervous system works through the past in the subconscious.
Each retreat the veterans will experience a few of the following methods of treatment, equine therapy, yoga, meditation, Thai chi, physical therapy, message, service animal training, acupuncture, music and art therapy.
Steve, Founder of Camp Brown Bear
Camp Brown Bear
355 Bark Branch Rd
Frankfort, KY. 40601