Spooky tours through the woods organized by Rosecrance staff this week are a fun way to help clients celebrate Halloween while they’re still in treatment.
The “haunted woods” experience started about 10 years ago and has morphed into an elaborate production. Small groups of clients board a trailer that gets pulled through the woods near the Rosecrance Griffin Williamson Campus, where a scary fictional story unfolds about “Camp Deadwood.”
Rosecrance staff members, who don costumes and makeup, volunteer their time for two nights to act out the story and interact with clients in the dark woods; props and lights enhance the production. The ride lasts about 15 minutes, and after it’s over, clients can enjoy Halloween treats in the campus gym.
Abby Nelson, a recreation specialist at Griffin Williamson, said the activity is an opportunity to teach clients that they can have fun without using drugs and alcohol. Teen and adult clients can opt out of participating, but Nelson said the majority enjoy the event.
“There are still things to do to have fun, to be silly, without using,” she said. “It might be sillier than what they do outside of here, but just seeing them laugh, seeing them have a good time, seeing them in the moment, seeing them be like kids again and enjoying it is worth it.”