Janice's journey

This biography is made based on the diary of a young woman who lived in many years in Denmark before she went on a holiday at her birthmother’s county. Her values and morale is based on her upbringing in Denmark which some might consider offending. However in order to truly understand how she experienced her stay in the United States the cultural influences has to be considered a major contributor to her choices both before, under and after her stay.

Second the names of individual youth transport firms, wilderness programs and boarding schools are not mentioned. It is not a question about being for or against various companies offering emotional growth. It is strictly a story about how Janice as she has chosen to call herself experienced a number of incidents which left life changing marks on her adult life.

This biography is co-authored because Janice wanted to have her story published in both Danish and English.


11. A very hard Impact

In the evening after dinner then came Nancy up to me. She gave me blindfolded and led me down to the camp.

When my blindfold was removed Nancy spoke and wished me welcome the first day of my new life.


I was formally presented to the group. Beside me it consisted of the students Lindsay, Mickey, Misha and Robert and of course the two guides Nancy and Brad. In order to remove all the burdens I had entered the program with I was supposed to read the answers to my assignments up in front of the group which I did. 


It did not seem to make special impression on the other group members. Actually a boy named Mickey took the word and accused me of holding something back, which I fully denied. But as Misha said there was no one who came to this wilderness program with so little baggage. She thought I was in denial of my life. It led to shouting and tears. I felt they failed to understand me. I had the answer as honestly I could when it was expected of me that I had to lie because in really I didn’t want to change a bit.

Brad had been somewhat reclined beneath it all. He had just been pampered by cutting a stick. Suddenly he spoke. "Quiet. Everybody. We cannot talk over each other and expect to get something out of it. I've cut this pow-pow stick that Indians used to control whoever is speaking. Only the one who has the stick may speak. The rest must listen. We have heard what Janice said. Let her speak again and this time she will read the letter her mother has sent her once she signed Janice up. Janice! Here's your impact letter. Read it up for the group. "


What? Impact letter? What was an impact letter? Brad gave me a paper. I recognized the mother's handwriting.


Dear Janice


It is with sadness that I have discovered that your life has taken a wrong turn after I left you in Denmark. To this very day I regret my choice and would like to give you help so you can turn your life into something sensible. You have led a dissolute life. You drink alcohol and there is a long way before you turn 21. You also have a relationship with a boy and your father has allowed the situation to go too far. You will be dead or in jail before you turn 25 if I had not intervened.


So I've sent you on this survival in order for you to discover the inner resources that I know that you have in you, so you can get tools to make positive choices in life. I believe in you. I know that you contain so much more than you think. You must choose a Mcjob career or any ordinary day job after the 9th form. You need to reach out for opportunities and get a high school graduation so you can get a higher education. I trust you. I am with you all the way - in mind.


The warmest greetings



Robert took the stick. "Well, the truth came out. I knew that there was more behind. I myself have been confronted with the truth and it can be tough. Janice: Accept it. Tell us in your own words the whole truth now."


I did not want to talk. I had not done anything wrong. I lived a life like most teenagers in Denmark. Now my mother had done his best to ruin my life. A survival course! What if I do not survive? The other young people took the stick one by one just to pick on me and get me to tell them that the contents of the letter were true. After 20 minutes of constant criticism said Brad that I probably denied the truth so much that it would take time for me to open up to the group. There would be a psychologist visiting the group later this week. Perhaps the next group session would be more productive if I had been allowed time working with myself.


My tent was moved down to the camp. I was now at the next level called “Coyote”

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